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Building a Bumper?Ruffstuff Axle Simple Swap Kit!~Artec JK 1 TON SWAP~

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Unread 08-28-2013, 08:18 AM   #1
Bigdude408
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What would u get next

So I was going to buy some bolt ins for my tj, I have about $3500. But then I had the epiphany. I'm 31, and ill get allot of use out of some more fab tools, or adding to my fathers rather and that's where I do all of my work at.
We have all the basic hand and air tools, a good compressor, a 110 mig, and a stick welder that handles up to a 3/16" stick.
I'm really looking into a plasma cutter and a tube bender, but I'm not closed minded for other items. I coulda get bottles for the oxygen acedilin torch, but since I have very little fab experience, I thought a plasma would be easier on me.
I also would need a notcher and any other things I would need for tubing.


As far as purpose, it will be used to repair and modify my jeep, with plans to eventually build a purpose built tube buggy.
It's a open conversation, if u think I'm waisting my time and should just give my money to genright or Psc, just say so. Lol

Thanks in advanced.

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Unread 08-28-2013, 01:07 PM   #2
wushaw
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Horizontal band saw.
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Unread 08-28-2013, 02:26 PM   #3
AtTheHelm
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3500 could get you
Plasma
Bigger welder
Tube bender w one die
Lots of steel

Skip the plasma for more steel and use other cutting methods. (Portaband, angle grinder, cheap skilsaw w a freud D0738F metal cutting blade.

Of course the amount of time you want to spend building is a factor but I say its time well spent..
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Unread 08-28-2013, 03:42 PM   #4
Bigdude408
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Think ill need a bigger welder? It's so new to me, I guess I should start with a tube bender and go from there.
I have a chop saw and porta band.
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Unread 08-28-2013, 04:46 PM   #5
AtTheHelm
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What kind of machines do you have and is 230 power available where you'll be working?

You can get by with a 140 amp 115v wire feed plugged into a strong 20a plug and some skills.
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Unread 08-28-2013, 04:46 PM   #6
Bigdude408
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This is only a residential area, there's 220 in my garage for the stick welder
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Unread 08-28-2013, 06:14 PM   #7
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while a plasma is awesome, there are other and cheaper ways to cut metal in most any way you can with a plasma.

IMO a decent press if you don't have one already, a 220v mig would be high on my list as well and i do like my bender, but it is really not a tool for everyone as unless you do work for others, you can quickly run out of uses for yourself as it is only good for one thing. a drill press is great to have as well.

i have a well equipped shop so i take it for granted and don't know what should be first on the list, as i use everything frequently. but welder, drill press, and shop press would be the top 3 i think.
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Unread 08-28-2013, 08:26 PM   #8
AGDubyaJ
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Id buy a big wire feed machine- probably a big miller or hobart (something that can push spray-arc), and an Oxy-Acetylene rig- you can do all sorts of stuff with an O/A setup. Do yourself a favor and buy a GOOD mask- I like the Miller titanium series, but if you can afford it, Speedglas is the way to.
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Unread 08-28-2013, 08:42 PM   #9
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speed glass is what i use at work and home. great mask.
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Unread 08-29-2013, 01:29 AM   #10
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Jackson NexGen is my favorite, my guys prefer the Miller elites though.

Shop around for the guys who tried to make a go of CNC plasma cutting, they are letting machines go for cheap. Look at craigslist and ebay.

Look for one that is controlled by Mach3, then you can use oxy/fuel too (later down the road) and not be limited to half inch. Plasmacam only does plasma and is not open source, so upgrades cost $$.
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Unread 08-29-2013, 04:52 AM   #11
Bigdude408
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So I'm pretty sure I'm gonna go with the jd2 bender, seems like a good deal and decent equipment. That and atleast 1.75 dies to start. And a notcher ill have 8 or 900 in that. i wouldn't buy one but no one I know has one, and I do plan on making a pipe buggy one day. And I can use it for some motorcycle fab work.

I have a cheap hf 20ton press. I have a 1950something drill press, I haven't played much with but ill see what I can do with it.

I was eyeballing the Hobart 190, but I need to learn, so ill play with what I have and figure out what exactly I'm missing.

Although I really want a plasma, ill fill up the torch bottles, and buy some quality blades. Maybe eventually upgrade but for now ill see if I can get by.
Maybe ill find some good stuff used on Craigslist or something so ill keep my eyes open and ask here for advice before I buy.


I just can't let this money burn a hole in my pocket. My first project will be fixing my frame, the only rot is way back, where the rear bumper mounts to it.

Thanks for all the tips

I was a machinist for 5 years,mostly lathe work. Now I got pushed into the gas industry and I'm maintenance at a gas processing plant. I can allways bring home a porta band, mag base drill, and some other stuff if I need. Pretty good place to work!
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Unread 08-29-2013, 11:03 AM   #12
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Plasma is great for general cutting...like brackets on a frame or diff, it does great for thin material cutting and the best thing about it is once your done cutting you can just lay the torch anywhere unlike oxy/acet.
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Unread 08-29-2013, 01:11 PM   #13
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I just picked up a Hobart 190 and love it. Still doing flux-core on it until I get back to dual family income next month and then will get a bottle and start in on sheet metal repairs. Rerouted a 50A circuit the PO had for a hot tub back into my garage and now waiting for my neighbor to make me an extension cord.
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Unread 08-29-2013, 02:40 PM   #14
Bigdude408
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What's a good hobby grade plasma torch for the fab we do? How much would I expect to spend?

The 190 seems like a pretty good do all, I'm not sure what model my dad has, but seems like it would be a good investment. I'm pretty lucky, I can get one of the electricians at work make me up a cord too.

There is a community college that has some welding courses I could take. Think I should look into that? Or just read some books and practice?
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Unread 08-29-2013, 02:58 PM   #15
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Take a look at the Hobart Handler 210 mvp. Dual voltage plugs allow for 110 or 220. I just bought one but haven't even opened the box yet which is killing me. Can't wait to be done moving.
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