Saturday, September 15, 2007

Fabricating the Grill Body

Whew! It's been a while since I last posted. My life has been fairly hectic recently- moving into a new apartment, lots of schoolwork, etc. But I've made plenty of progress on the grill. First, cutting and preparing the sheet:

This hydraulic shear cuts 16 gage steel effortlessly. I used one 4x4 foot sheet, plus a few smaller pieces lying around.

Finished cutting all the pieces. This pile of sheet is pretty heavy-- the whole grill is going to weigh a LOT.

This sheet is going to become one of the long, curved sides of the body. Watch the roller do its thing...

And there you have it! But nothing is as easy as it seems. It turns out that while the roller bent my sheet admirably across the short side, it also put a slight unwanted bend on the long side.

You can see it's bulging up pretty badly. Only later did I learn that this is common with bending big sheets. The roller has to be set up just right. There are controls on either side that must be exactly equal, and it's tough to do that on this particular machine, because the gauges are not accurate.

Eventually, I figured out a way to solve this problem: brute force. I jumped up and put all my weight on the corners. It flattened them out a bit and equalized the curve across the sheet.


Anonymous dids said...

When the original bend came out warped, did you have the option of straightening it back out and attempting a do-over like you did with the wire frame?

Does anyone help you manipulate these pieces of metal?

8:18 AM  

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