Turn a pile of tubes into your own creation | Scratch-built solutions: Part 1

By Carl Heideman
Jul 5, 2022 | DIY, Fabrication, Scratch-Built Solutions | Posted in Shop Work | From the June 2014 issue | Never miss an article

Photography by Carl Heideman

Sooner or later, the time will come for you to scratch-build something with steel. It may be as trick as a chassis or an A-arm, or something as pedestrian as a sawhorse. No matter what you build, the quality of your layout and the fit of your parts will directly affect your outcome. Follow along to make the cut.

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RonB001 GRM+ Memberand New Reader
7/1/22 1:50 p.m.

It may seem pedantic, but when measuring diagonals, you get more precision from measuring from or to points rather than flats.

In pictures 9 & 10 above, the tape measure is hooked on the flat, on the angle cut of the rear cross piece.  If the angled pieces that go towards the front are a little bit short or long, and that would be missed by the measurement.  If, instead, the tape measure were hooked on the point of the rear cross piece, it could still miss if the angled pieces were a bit short, but would catch if they were a bit long.

The same way at the front, although from the pictures he might already be doing this.  Pick a specific point of the joint, then use that same point when measuring the opposite diagonal.  This gets a bit more challenging when the welding filet is in the picture.

Coupefan Reader
7/1/22 2:39 p.m.

A dream of mine.  But I don't trust my welding ability.  It's fine for gates and fences and misc projects that I've built but not a chassis or suspension parts.  

Randy_Forbes New Reader
7/6/22 8:35 a.m.

Lotus 7.  I wasn't far off, I thought he was building a go-kart chassis...

Another good article, looking forward to the next one!

My first time building "a frame" was to make a cart/stand for a Snap-On (actually, a Lenco Spot MkII) spot-welder.   With sitting at its original elevation (on the floor), the cables couldn't reach to the insides of the trunks I was reinforcing, so I had to get it up in the air to be useful.

The machine itself was found on ebay for about 1/4th its original cost, and it works perfect!

I took the finished project (and the machine's glaring RED cover panel) to a local powder-coating shop and had them match it the rest of the welders.

More pictures here:  ebay-find SnapOn-Lencospot-II | spcarsplus.com photo gallery

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