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50 votes

Knowing where to drill holes in steel plate?

Lay the steel plate on the concrete where you want it. Draw a line around it. Cut a piece of paper to the same size as the steel plate. Place it on the concrete in the same position as the marked ...
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  • 3,115
48 votes
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I want to build an all metal, self-designed building. Are metal frame and joists really that infeasible?

You're probably thinking of the wrong sort of metal When most people think of "metal buildings", they think of I-beams, columns, and open-web joists, as found in large-scale construction. ...
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28 votes

How to drill holes in 3/8" thick steel plates?

3/8" mild (hot-rolled) steel isn't difficult to drill, but any bit will fail if you get it hot enough to melt the cutting edge. Each hole should take no more than a minute. Use a sequence of sizes (1/...
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  • 106k
28 votes

I want to build an all metal, self-designed building. Are metal frame and joists really that infeasible?

There are loads of pre-designed steel building shells out there. Use one. These are offered by commercial building companies for farm and industrial buildings. They have gotten a family of designs pre-...
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27 votes
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How to cut a rectangle out of a STEEL ruler?

Drill a round hole, and then square the sides with a file. You might also get lucky by calling metal working shops in the area. If they have a punch of the right size, it would take only seconds for ...
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  • 19k
23 votes

What is the right tool to cut a clothesline made of coated steel?

I use what are generically called "tin snips". True tin snips are designed for thin, relatively soft material (like sheet tin or similar metal). But the good ones can cut through almost ...
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21 votes

What are the "pinch" marks on steel rods called that stop something from sliding past and how do you make them?

If you are not making 10,000 rods per day, you don't do this, you stop the thing you are trying to stop by drilling a hole through the rod and inserting a pin, typically a cotter pin or hairpin. Or ...
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  • 136k
18 votes
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Is a reciprocating saw the right tool to saw 2cm/0.8" hardened steel?

For cutting locks, nothing beats an angle grinder. Good locks are all made with hardened steel that should be as hard as any metal cutting blade for a saw. The reciprocating saw will be able to make ...
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  • 26.6k
18 votes

What is the right tool to cut a clothesline made of coated steel?

An abrasive cutting disk works well. That might take the form of an angle grinder or a rotary tool (often generically called by the Dremel brand name).
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  • 20.2k
18 votes

What is the right tool to cut a clothesline made of coated steel?

Cable cutters are the tool designed for cutting cable. If you're doing this a lot, the correct tool helps. For a one-off task, it may not be worth the cost, although then you have the tool for life. ...
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  • 7,081
17 votes

How to drill holes in 3/8" thick steel plates?

Cutting should be easy This is true for generally all tool-bit-upon-steel work. You should cut long, continuous "chips" (strings, really) that come off like pasta, to the point where you sometimes ...
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16 votes

How to cut a rectangle out of a STEEL ruler?

Depending on how small a square you want to cut out, you may be able to do it with a rotary tool (e.g.- a Dremmel) with a cut-off wheel.
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  • 5,005
16 votes

Best way to drill square tubing (Without drill press)

If I have to drill square tubing with a hand operated electric drill I will use a square and mark a line all the way around the four sides of the tubing at the location along the length where the hole ...
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  • 61.5k
15 votes

Knowing where to drill holes in steel plate?

The usual methods are: Careful measurement. Really this doesn't need to be that precise, you are not looking for a press-fit between bolts and clearance holes. If it goes wrong, just elongate a hole ...
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14 votes

Use screw into steel tube without using nut?

Your best bet would be the correctly sized metal screw. Not a bolt, but a screw. Some of them are self drilling/tapping (these are commonly referred to as simply "self-tapping" in the US). They will ...
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  • 26.6k
14 votes
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How can I determine if metal parts are stainless steel?

The term "stainless steel" is a very broad term. There are many types of stainless steel, and on top of that there are more than 150 grades of steel (i.e. each "type" of stainless ...
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  • 1,308
13 votes

Load Bearing or Not How Can I Know For Sure

Any information you'd glean from this discussion is untrustworthy for the following reasons: No photos. They often reveal issues not mentioned in your short description. No dimensions. In ...
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  • 106k
13 votes

I want to build an all metal, self-designed building. Are metal frame and joists really that infeasible?

Background: My father was a structural engineer in the steel building industry and did exactly what you are asking for - calculate the statics of buildings and other large constructions, dimension ...
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  • 331
12 votes
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Best way to drill square tubing (Without drill press)

Feeds and speeds First, there is one correct feed and speed that will make even a $1 drill cut like through butter. This is an eye-opener for those new to metal work; they think they can buy ...
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11 votes

How to cut a rectangle out of a STEEL ruler?

For the serious metalworker there are square punches, but for the hobbyist one great tool is the nibbler. This is a handheld punch that removes about 1/8 by 1/4 inch of material per stroke. With ...
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  • 839
11 votes
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How to attach an appliance bracket to a stainless steel table?

That application obviously results in a lot of torsional stress on the part. You'll want to drill the top for bolts and nuts, as opposed to using sheet metal screws, which will eventually work loose. ...
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  • 106k
11 votes

Will these DIY steel plates for post to beam connections work as well as the commercially available ones?

What makes the commercial product better than just purchasing steel plates and bolts? The commercial product doesn't rely on the screws in wood to connect the two sides. A sideways force would be ...
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11 votes

I want to build an all metal, self-designed building. Are metal frame and joists really that infeasible?

Prefab metal shed. These are popular and durable. They are used on farms and workyards everywhere. Many, many sizes and shapes are available. Quonset huts many decades old are still in service. ...
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  • 5,498
10 votes

What is the right tool to cut a clothesline made of coated steel?

I would use a hammer and chisel on steel plate. Not a wood chisel but a cold chisel for steel. Lay line over a solid piece of steel, place chisel at cut point, and hit chisel with heavy type of ...
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  • 6,577
9 votes
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Is stainless steel water piping more durable than copper?

In general, yes, stainless steel is more corrosion resistant than copper. It forms a tightly bonded oxide coating which tends to prevent further corrosion. If replumbing a house where copper pipes ...
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  • 136k
8 votes

Drilling 1/4" steel plate and concrete?

No. Steel bits need to be very sharp to do their job. In fact, unless you set a depth gauge just barely through the metal, you'll wreck the cutting edge with every hole when you contact concrete and ...
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  • 106k
8 votes

Will these DIY steel plates for post to beam connections work as well as the commercially available ones?

The most dangerous thing I hear on construction sites is, "Aw, that ain't goin' nowhere." I can't tell you how many things I've seen go wrong because someone did some eyeball engineering ...
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7 votes

Will these DIY steel plates for post to beam connections work as well as the commercially available ones?

That is made for structural building members, e.g. this is designed to support a composite main beam holding up a 2-story building. Home Depot doesn't even stock it. What you're actually after is this ...
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6 votes
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What's best to use in a sawzall to cut steel pipe?

It will probably be 3 to 6 hours of non-skilled labor (neighborhood kids?) to dig up the concrete and remove the whole assembly. Don't cut the post off: it will help wiggle out the base. Dig a hole ...
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  • 12.1k
6 votes

Use screw into steel tube without using nut?

Look for rivnuts, or nutserts. Both are brand names for the same type of fastener. These fasteners are pulled up like a rivet, expanding and squishing the fluted section of the sides into the hole in ...
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