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How to make this with ATM tool?

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#1 cnchillstar

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Posted 22 November 2020 - 08:55 AM

How to make a aluminium tube end like meade lightbridge? I think it is press with a pressing mold. Can we make a decent end with ATM tool?

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#2 Couder

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Posted 22 November 2020 - 10:03 AM

I worked in a metal shop for years - you would need (to do it right) a metal cutter, former, roller, and probably a press. But I'm sure something could be made by hand, although it would (probably) not look as good. This is assuming you do not want to weld the seams. And yes, you can weld aluminum. You can buy end rings to size. A simple internet search for "12" metal end rings" turns up many examples.


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#3 MitchAlsup

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Posted 22 November 2020 - 12:04 PM

A tube made out of thin metal is not very stiff until it has rather significant tube end stiffeners. (Think circular I-beam)



#4 gregj888

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Posted 22 November 2020 - 01:37 PM

Make the piece a bit longer than needed 6" or so.  Clamp to something smaller than you want the final tube to be and roll the sheet around it so it takes a set.

 

Then trim to size, cutting off the flats on the ends. 

 

I had some heaver stuff rolled at a local metals shop for not too much.   Then I uses some U channel I bent to a drawn circle (over a paint can) that I had welded to the ends. 

 

If you want the folded ends as the stiffener, that will be hard without a brake.  Try you local trade school/CC or University Shop (most physics depts have them) and see if they will do the job.  I had my welding done at the local CC. 


Edited by gregj888, 22 November 2020 - 01:37 PM.


#5 cnchillstar

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Posted 22 November 2020 - 06:26 PM

Thank for every reply, I mean how to press the truss pole end. My plan is using some 1" diameter aluminium tube, press the tube end. Not rolling the big tube for OTA.

 

Wish there are further info, thanks.



#6 SteveV

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Posted 22 November 2020 - 06:34 PM

Mark up the end of your tube with a #2 Pencil.  Heat with a propane torch until the graphite vaporizes.  Immediately smash in a vice.  Let cool.

 

You can make a jig that hangs in the vice to smash a specific pattern if you need.  I used scrap plate for jigs.  I would think an arbor or hydraulic press would work just fine too. 


Edited by SteveV, 22 November 2020 - 08:02 PM.

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#7 gregj888

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Posted 22 November 2020 - 11:25 PM

Steve's method sounds interesting, I haven't tried it.   If you have some scrap tubing try crushing it in a vice or press.  If it cracks or acts like it will, use Steve's method to anneal the end of the tube and try again.  In both cases I would try with a piece of scrap first.  it will be bigger than the diameter.  If you want to cut it down then weld or fill the crushed area with a good epoxy.

 

You can also get threaded Tube ends at McMaster-Carr as well as ball end screws tie-rod ends.  The last 2 are also available on ebay.




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