My name is Dan and I just placed an order for a Crossfire Pro with the Hypertherm 45xp. I’ve been making and selling tailgate check brackets for Jeeps for a couple of years now, all cut, ground, and drilled by hand. After making close to a thousand of them I’m looking to simplify my production a bit. As well as create other products.
Looking forward to exploring the forum, asking questions, and providing answers where I can
Oh my gosh did you pick the right tool for the job! That is great that you already have a good use for it. I have the same set-up. Totally a hobby for me so I am taking it slow. Besides, metal is so costly you have to pick your “wants & needs” more wisely these days.
There is nothing like cutting out brackets and having the holes right where you need them. With a little practice you will be able to dial in the size holes. And forget about how to make slots. It is as easy as making holes. The plasma cutter and table is not concerned: it goes where it is told to go!
I am in Washington state. Lots of good people on this forum. Welcome to the forum!!!
Southwest VA here. Welcome aboard!!
You’re going to love it. I’ve been making Jeep YJ exhaust hangers with mine.
Have you tried scrap metal dealers? Or if your local landfill has an appliance section, you might be allowed to pull the panels off of washers and dryers that have been tossed. You’ll have to grind the metal where you attach the work clamp but it’s not a bad way to get cheap (or free) metal to practice with.
Thank you for the warm welcome! I’m pretty excited to be able to cut out so many manual steps in my process. Hours of grinding radius corners on a belt grinder, constantly burning my fingers and dealing with all the dust will be something I won’t miss.
Good tip! I will have more time in the coming months. I will need to check out those options.
I think you are removing my excuses from cutting more metal. That is a good thing: cutting more metal and remove excuses.
Your brackets look great! Nice to meet a fellow Jeep parts fabricator.
What are you using to make your bends? My shop space is limited, so something like a large brake would not be feasible. I’m looking at a HF 20 ton press with the Swag Off Road finger brake kit.
(Here are the JK tailgate checks I make. Simple solution to a poorly designed OEM check that breaks as soon as you put a larger spare on the tailgate)
Like I tell my wife when she cooks something I really like: "You could make this and sell it and people would eat it!!!.
David, You could make those brackets and people would buy them and use them. They look like they are out of a factory!
I sold $4000 worth of them last year. I’m over $2000 already this year. I’m the only source in the world for those particular parts right now
Gotta love the Jeep market! What other vehicle has been so consistent since the 40s, with such a huge dedicated following. If you make something that works, there is such a massive market for it. Keep up with the sales!! Best to you.
I use a harbor freight 36" brake for most of the bends. I made a custom receiver and die to form the U shaped bend on the tailpipe hangers with a 20 ton press.
See what I am saying Dan Brown…you are getting the right tool.
Thank you. Looks like you are using 11ga material. I didn’t think the HF brake would bend it. Nice to see I’m wrong
Yes, they are made from 11ga steel. I’ve made a few modifications to improve the performance of the brake. It won’t bend a full length piece of 11ga, but I’ve done as much as 6 inches wide. I’ve even bent some 2" wide pieces of 3/16" on it.
There are several of us here who have that setup.
You’ll want to add another piece of angle iron to rest in the stick one to get tighter radius bends. You might also want to look at the gooseneck fingers from SO as well - you can do some pretty complicated bending that the standard fingers won’t handle because the goosenecks allow for less bend interference. You don’t need them for the part you pictured but they might give you ideas for other things.
Also, check out the HF sales for the 20T hydraulic jack that has the air hose setup. Then it’s easy to swap in and you get fingertip pressure control using your shop air instead of doing the manual jacking thing. You can also get a foot pedal control for your air hose to free up your hands entirely so they can help keep the material lined up correctly while you’re pressing.
I recently added this foot valve to my air operated jack. Makes it much more user friendly.
SNS Foot Operated Pedal Valve Switch 1/4" NPT Spring Return Pneumatic 5 Way 2 Position FOV-N320 https://a.co/d/f2ErLBd
And, I actually used it yesterday.
@jamesdhatch tip of resting a smaller piece of angle in the trough of the finger press is a good idea. I keep forgetting to do that.
@danbrown welcome to the group! Looks like you have a great product!
You defiantly wont “miss” the dust… you might not get as much (the water table does a good job catching a good portion of it) …but you will still get allot of dust. Invest in a good mask and consider a good ventilation system. There are a few good examples here on the forum if you search it.
Congrats on the new purchase! looking forward to seeing what else you come up with!