Long lost summer

It’s been a long time I last updated.

When I last posted I was lining up where the front cross-member and the brackets for the 1985 Corvette suspension. On the chassis table I need to build what I’m calling “stations”. These are locations along the length of the frame where specific attachments would be bolted to the frame. These attachments are things like the front & rear bumpers, running board brackets. These stations help locate the frame on the chassis table and keep everything lined up, in addition to building additional stations to help locate the front cross member and the brackets to mount the independent rear suspension of the ’85 Corvette.

I was working on building the stations for the front and rear running board brackets. The flat bar has this hard layer to keep the steel from rusting. It’s a pain to remove and even with 40 grid flapper disk, it takes a lot of effort to remove. I also noticed that the suspension brackets were developing some surface rust. I wanted a sand blast cabinet.

I went online to TP Tools and really liked their cabinets, but after starting with the basic model and upgrading to the next one “because it’s only a few hundred more”, when I was done I was looking at a $3500 cabinet. Years ago my dad built one out of 18ga but I gave it to my dad’s lifelong friend when he passed away. Because I’m my fathers’ son, I decided that I’d build my own.

Off to Discount Steel to pick up some 16ga for the main body, 18ga for the hopper, 11ga for the doors and 1.5″ x 1.5″ x 11ga angle iron to build the work support framework.

I started off with trying to build the hopper with the 18ga sheet. It was easy enough to cut out with the nibbler but then I tried to bend it. I thought I could just clamp it and bend it over. This didn’t work, so then out came the body hammer and I tried to bend a 1″ flap over 24″. This turned into an absolute mess. I just wasn’t happy with the results.

After looking online for a sheet metal brake that could bend 16ga sheet over 5′ long I came up with the brain-dead idea that I could build my own sheet metal brake.

After screwing around with this idea for a month I was severely unmotivated and was stuck like this for several months. I didn’t get back to the shop until August.

Over the next few posts I’ll describe the progress I’ve made with the sand blast cabinet.


  1. #1 by eduncan911 on October 29, 2012 - 9:29 am

    I’ve often built my own tools and adapters, not wanting to “buy into” the shiny stuff. Or actually, more often than not, i just didnt have the budget for it.

    I applaud your efforts there man.

  2. #2 by eduncan911 on October 29, 2012 - 9:32 am

    I’ve often built my own tools and adapters, not wanting to buy into the stuff made cheap.

    But more often than not, it would have just blown my budget.

    I applaud your effort here on building it man. Looking forward to the other posts.

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