T-Shirts

Order your offical Jeep Wrangler TJ Forum t-shirt today!

Click here to order!

Jeep Wrangler TJ Forum T-Shirts

Making a steering box guard


WSS

Rock Stacker
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2019
Messages
2,100
Location
California, southern part
I am not sure if I have posted details of the projects I do on our Jeep. I make most of the stuff I put on the TJ.

My job requires me to make and fix a lot of stuff, so I have a lot of unusual tools. One is a CNC plasma with all the design CAD and CAM software.

Here is a small project I did using CNC plasma cutting and manual welding.

So I started with two known dimensions snd built from there. The first was a flange to match the bolt pattern in the bottom of the bumper

36665682-07CA-4A54-AE09-098B7744ACE9.jpeg


786BBB84-E324-42CA-A4A1-509A72E996D3.jpeg


From there I cut templates from cardboard

9B2221C9-1610-4948-A310-557E7A50A45D.jpeg


From here I put the cut pieces on a flatbed scanner and imported to my computer.

1D6570AA-2FC7-411E-A501-71903F5B454F.jpeg
38CE77C6-372E-4943-8AA6-611DEA5EC2A7.jpeg

Then I imported them as a “raster” image into “cutting shop”. It’s software designed for converting raster to vector plus lots of other tools

Here is the resulting drawing in vector (DXF) format. It is being size checked to make sure the scan was 1:1. This can be done by checking any one or two dimensions against the cardboard cut outs.
3025CC49-DD60-4F4D-BFAF-5304127652C6.jpeg


This is the CAM software. It converts the DXF file to G code that the actual machine can interpret.
770F270F-6667-459E-948E-34A53C06FADA.jpeg


This is the CNC interface. I use Mach3. It’s old but stable. I built the machine back in the depression of 08. Old by today’s standards.

122501CF-220F-492F-AA46-D27459FF8F0C.jpeg


Then line up the plate to the torch and hit RUN.

4075B110-37A7-4F13-AAA0-E13052D92CA6.jpeg


I always check the cut pieces to the cut cardboard for accuracy.

E22355D3-6B73-41DF-BF0A-47B4D68622D3.jpeg


Then tack in place for the best fit. If it was going to be a production part, I would build a jig but this is one off. The type of projects I look forward too

D40C1FB7-C402-4FF1-A1B2-2D8B6910BCE6.jpeg


After everything is fit, I removed it and welded up everything.

4FF632C9-9B5C-45C7-8B27-97A5FD9E1349.jpeg


9B9C74E8-D313-472D-B4A2-0AA145273B34.jpeg


That was the last details I did today. Tomorrow I will smooth out the edges with a flap disc grinder and paint. Took about 3hrs total. Would have been cheaper to buy a ready made one but it’s part of the fun building Jeeps.

Anyway, I hope someone can grab some idea or way to do a project from this.

WSS
 
Last edited:

Irun

Jeep Addict
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2019
Messages
4,597
Location
Virginia
I am not sure if I have posted details of the projects I do on our Jeep. I make most of the stuff I put on the TJ.

My job requires me to make and fix a lot of stuff, so I have a lot of unusual tools. One is a CNC plasma with all the design CAD and CAM software.

Here is a small project I did using CNC plasma cutting and manual welding.

So I started with two known dimensions snd built from there. The first was a flange to match the bolt pattern in the bottom of the bumper

View attachment 285237

View attachment 285238

From there I cut templates from cardboard

View attachment 285239

From here I put the cut pieces on a flatbed scanner and imported to my computer.

View attachment 285240View attachment 285241
Then I imported them as a “raster” image into “cutting shop”. It’s software designed for converting raster to vector plus lots of other tools

Here is the resulting drawing in vector (DXF) format. It is being size checked to make sure the scan was 1:1. This can be done by checking any one or two dimensions against the cardboard cut outs. View attachment 285243

This is the CAM software. It converts the DXF file to G code that the actual machine can interpret.
View attachment 285245

This is the CNC interface. I use Mach3. It’s old but stable. I built the machine back in the depression of 08. Old by today’s standards.

View attachment 285246

Then line up the plate to the torch and hit RUN.

View attachment 285244

I always check the cut pieces to the cut cardboard for accuracy.

View attachment 285248

Then tack in place for the best fit. If it was going to be a production part, I would build a jig but this is one off. The type of projects I look forward too

View attachment 285250

After everything is fit, I removed it and welded up everything.

View attachment 285251

View attachment 285252

That was the last details I did today. Tomorrow I will smooth out the edges with a flap disc grinder and paint. Took about 3hrs total. Would have been cheaper to buy a ready made one but it’s part of the fun building Jeeps.

Anyway, I hope someone can grab some idea or way to do a project from this.

WSS
Whenever I see work like this I realize how crappy I am at welding. Now I need to go practice more! 🤤
 
  • Like
Reactions: freedom_in_4low
OP
WSS

WSS

Rock Stacker
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2019
Messages
2,100
Location
California, southern part
Beautiful work, Tommy. But don’t you dare grind down those welds…

:)
Haha! by nature, they look decent. Note the tacked together assembly how it has V troughs all around the weld areas. That trough holds the weld in the right place. This way there is no butt welds which tend to wander due to both the weldor and the flat weld plane. The trough also allows you to run hotter with more volts without risk of over flowing.

That type of assembly also lends to easier shaping, if you look at the bumper the guard is attached to, you can see the roundness so to speak, it was assembled the same way and ground to give a finished/shaped look while still keeping 80-90% or the weld.
 
  • Like
Reactions: kenosha whiz six
OP
WSS

WSS

Rock Stacker
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2019
Messages
2,100
Location
California, southern part
When your welds gotta look good and function properly, here are a few things you can do to help you get there:

Make sure the wire is correct for the job!! Same with the gas.

Grounds, if you move your parts around, strike a quick arc everytime you move your part to make sure the loop is stable before you start to weld.

If your weld does not establish right away (hunting ground), stop and strike just a quick arc to make sure loop is complete. Then try again, if it still hunts or push the gun away ( or worse, birdnests by the drive rolls) you need a better ground loop, could be the clamp itself or rust, paint etc. stopping the loop.

If doing mig, keep the nozzle clear. The welper pliers and clones of it have sharp edges to do that in just a twist. They also have a wire cutter area to cut back wire, which is the next thought....

Wire welders are CV (multi purpose can switch but for this I'll stick to wire welding) as opposed to CC, CV is constant voltage. When you establish an arc, the welder attempts to go to the preset voltage, if you have a ball or dingleberry on the end of you wire, the machine will adjust the current to that size and not the 030, 035, etc size wire and then drop the current quickly as the wire thins, this causes many unpleasant things to happen, the worst is a stuck tip as the high current burns it back to the tip. The usual problem is poor weld quality at the start. This can be confused with poor ground or even cause a barely there ground to drop out. Long story short, cut the ball off end, starts kinda set the pace.

Probably the biggest cheat is Miller's weld app for your phone. If you have digital gauges, you can dial it in using the app. It is not perfect and uses flat welds as the start point but it is closer than any other tables or apps I have used.

Another source is youtube. As most things internet, pick and choose wisely. LOL. A friend of mine is L.A. city certified, pipe certified, etc. Lots of classroom time. He often jokingly says he learned how to weld from youtube.
 
Last edited:

hosejockey61

TJ Addict
Supporting Member
Ride of the Month Winner
Joined
Apr 9, 2020
Messages
1,140
Location
Parker, CO
I love watching people fab stuff up like that just for the love of it. Sure we can save money, but doing it is the beauty of it.

Very nice work 👍
 
  • Like
Reactions: Zorba and WSS
OP
WSS

WSS

Rock Stacker
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2019
Messages
2,100
Location
California, southern part
Covid has made things tough in my industry. AR500 is almost the same price as A36 mild now. Getting plate is fun too. I usually have rems or scrap pieces left over from jobs for my projects but lately I’ve had to dig deep and use bloomed/pitted material. It does not effect the overall quality but it’s my Jeep!
 
  • Like
Reactions: kenosha whiz six

NashvilleTJ

I miss the snow...
Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2020
Messages
2,173
Location
Nashville
  • Like
Reactions: WSS