Tue Sep 23 2008

Firewall work

Mark, the guy that runs the sheet metal shop at work was nice enough to put this 7 degree bend in the firewall on the press brake at work. It came out great...nice and crisp. Thanks, Mark!

When I got home, I found that my replacement j-channel stiffeners had arrived from Van's. They were nicely packed in a 1 1/2 inch diameter piece of PVC pipe.

Then it was time to break out the new air tool. I hate to admit it, but I got this tool at Harbor Freight. I'm afraid I'm a bit of a tool snob, so I usually don't go for the Chineese made tools at Harbor Freight, but in this case I figured it's a tool I'll use infrequently, so I don't need the best quality.

In preparation of making a guide template, I meassured the mandrel diameter...

...and the outside cage diameter.

Then it was some quick arithmetic to determine the correct template diameter that will result in a 2" hole in the firewall for the heater box.

Here's the template in position.

...and a bunch of duct tape to hold it from moving around. As a side note: never buy crappy duct tape. This stuff is so thin and flimsy and has poor adhesive, it's nearly worthless. If I wasn't cheap I'd probably just pitch the roll.

I used my Dremel with an abrasive cutting disc to cut a starter hole for the nibbler.

Starter hole complete.

The nibbler says it'll cut through up to 16 gauge steel. It certainly had no difficulty cutting through this .016 thick stainless. But, dang it spews oil everywhere. Definitely a far cry from my Sioux drill. :-)

The hole came out reasonably well. Only a little deformation around the perimeter.

That'll be covered by this heater box. Boy the finish on the heater box looks like crap compared to the firewall. Maybe I'll see if I can send it out to be electropolished.