Tag Archives: vise

Tail 2

Started working on the tail.  I was hesitant to cut the spar channel on my compound miter saw because I was unsure if it would vibrate too much or get caught and bent.  I held it firmly and cut really slow and it cut perfectly.  I even made the 5 degree cuts on the flanges with the bevel feature of the saw.

Cutting the circle was another matter entirely.  First I used my unibit, but this vibrated like crazy and didn’t seem precise at all.  Plus it seemed to be melting the aluminum more than cutting and the force I was applying to cut was deforming the metal.  Not having a hole saw or a fly cutter I decided to use a forstner bit as a last-ditch attempt.  I added cutting fluid and the forstner bit went through like butter.  Spade bits probably would have worked just as well except mine don’t have a nice tooth on the outside to cut the circle out.

I have been dreading bending the forward spar fitting for a while.  I decided to try using my bench vise and a piece of thick-walled pipe I found in the basement with the correct diameter. I cut a “V” into a block of wood with my bandsaw.  Once I lined everything up, the bending was way easier than expected.

Aluminum Angle Bundle 17

I have tried a few methods to open angle past 90 degrees.  The 4lb hammer method was very tedious for some of the longer pieces so I used the bench vise and WD-40 to squeeze the angle open.  This would have worked much better with a chunk of steel or something to squeeze against, but I could have wasted a bunch of time finding a suitable chunk.  Instead I stacked a bunch of pieces of scrap aluminum together–this was a pain, but now I’m done :-)  On the plus side, it was very easy to control the angle of the squeeze over the entire length of angle.