Offroad Trailblazers and Envoys

Bumper/Skid/Whatever Fabrication Tips Thread

Any special projects involving a decent amount of fab work (bumpers, sliders, roof racks, etc)

by HARDTRAILZ » Fri Feb 01, 2013 12:07 pm

And... with the body lift mods to it...it is virtually worthless. No strength left at all.
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by navigator » Fri Feb 01, 2013 12:15 pm

I didn't think it was. I'm not planning on using the impact bar for anything other than keeping the bumper cover formed correctly. I was thinking of building something like this
Screenshot.JPG

I realize instead of the tube sliding into the frame I'll have to use plate on top and bottom and attach the receiver through the plate. I was thinking I could have the hitch slide through a 2X2 hole in the impact bar.
As I think about it more I'll likely have to lose the impact bar completely and build something that is a recovery point and support the bumper cover.
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by bartonmd » Fri Feb 01, 2013 12:20 pm

Yes, built something the size/shape of the impact bar that you can put a receiver in, and that can support the bumper cover.

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by v7guy » Fri Feb 01, 2013 2:03 pm

I'd build a receiver like you're mentioning and then weld some rod to the receiver frame (like antennae) and weld a flat plate on the end to support the bumper.
I've done this to strip weight off cars and it's simple and effective.


I see a lot of PPE talk here. It should be noted that it's a bad idea to be wearing gloves around anything that is spinning. Occasionally I'll wear gloves with my 4.5" grinders, but I try to avoid it. I never wear gloves with my drill press, drills or the lathe. If that spinning piece grabs a glove it can easily pull in your whole hand. I'd rather slice my hand open or lose a finger as opposed to destroying my entire hand. Alot of these tools can seriously hurt you, respect them.

In my experience those little triangle magnets are awesome... except for when they attract little metal shavings.
Also, you can never have enough locking pliers/vicegrips. HF sells them cheaply in a 6" throat version and they work well
HF also has a paddle switch grinder for cheap. A second grinder for a flap disk or grinding wheel speeds things up a lot.
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by bartonmd » Fri Feb 01, 2013 2:36 pm

v7guy wrote:I see a lot of PPE talk here. It should be noted that it's a bad idea to be wearing gloves around anything that is spinning. Occasionally I'll wear gloves with my 4.5" grinders, but I try to avoid it. I never wear gloves with my drill press, drills or the lathe. If that spinning piece grabs a glove it can easily pull in your whole hand. I'd rather slice my hand open or lose a finger as opposed to destroying my entire hand. Alot of these tools can seriously hurt you, respect them.


To be honest, I heard this in wood shop, and I believe it's primarily for wood tools with big teeth. I've run an angle grinder into the side of my hand (rather, it hit something, caught, and kicked into my hand) without gloves, and had 2 internal and 7 external stitches from it. I can't count the number of times my gloves have taken an angle grinder hit for me, and never got sucked in. I've ruined 2 pair of gloves on my porta-band, by having a piece slip (cutting/notching tube at odd angles on it, like I shouldn't do), and boom, hand into blade, and hand out of blade as soon as I pulled it back. No glove sucking me in or anything, small scratch on me, long cut through glove.

Now, lathes, yes, I don't wear gloves. I do wear gloves with drill and drill press, because I clamp or vice things down, and don't get my hands on anything but the oiler and handles.

I do, however, wear gloves that fit me. I could see it being a problem with an angle grinder or whatever if you're wearing the cheap cloth-top gloves they sell at HF, a size or 2 too big, but I don't. There's no loose flap of glove material to get sucked into anything, if you wear the right sized gloves. I also wear the kind of gloves that slip-on and just have either nothing or elastic holding them on, so if they do get sucked into something, it's more likely that the glove will come off, rather than something that's firmly attached to your wrist.

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by tbangert » Fri Feb 01, 2013 2:47 pm

Like Mike said, proper fitting gloves are key. Stay away from the cheapie gloves with cotton or nylon with leather and get all leather/pigskin gloves, those cheapies like to burn with enough sparks, and hurt like hell.

Best piece of PPE, common sense. Think before you do...
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by navigator » Fri Feb 01, 2013 5:43 pm

I had drill with a wire brush catch my T shirt one time, that was not fun. It could have been worse though.
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by bartonmd » Fri Feb 01, 2013 5:52 pm

navigator wrote:I had drill with a wire brush catch my T shirt one time, that was not fun. It could have been worse though.


T-shirt = loose, thin, and easy to wrap around something.

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by v7guy » Sat Feb 02, 2013 3:03 am

I made my previous comments concerning gloves from personal experience. I had a classmate in high school motivate a drillpress to do its best to wrap his hand around the bit. I don't remember anything other than looking over at the loud noise and seeing his gloved hand wrapped around the drill bit in the press. I'll never forget it.
Our gloves fit reasonably well, but the definitely weren't skin tight and close cut, can't say i've worn anything other than my shooting gloves that were close and tight with good feeling and I wouldn't expect them to do anything up against metal working tools. I haven't worn a work glove yet that's worth a shit and I wore various work gloves over two years when I worked construction trying to find a good pair.
I've had the 4.5" grinder kick and try to suck in my support hand that was wearing a welding glove. It jammed the glove between the gaurd and the disk. Left me with a hell of a bruise and blood blister. Would have prefered a cut cause it would have been a glancing blow.

I'm not saying gloves are bad. I'm saying I'm not comfortable wearing them with spinning tools. I also tend to roll up my sleeves and tuck in my shirt and hood strings when applicable. My forearms take a beating sometimes, but it is what it is. Maybe guys have had different experiences, but mine tell me to keep gloves away from spinning tools.


Of further interest, if you don't have a leather apron, or just aren't wearing it at the moment you're cutting, be aware of the direction of the sparks. You'll find yourself on fire if you don't.

Even if you tuck in a t shirt, if the tool goes into your midsection it's going to be an uncomfortable day.




We're really getting off the real intention of this thread.
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by ErikSS » Sun Oct 27, 2013 5:04 pm

I'm bumping this thread hoping for more/new information from the ORTB crew. I decided this weekend to build a hitch mount tire rack first. I can use it for the winter and while I build my rear bumper. At this time, I intend to basically copy the concept of Kyles bumper. Of coarse, I want to make it my own so some changes will have to happen.

What have you guys done that you like?
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by bartonmd » Sun Oct 27, 2013 5:20 pm

Are you talking about a fold down style, or a swing out style like mine? viewtopic.php?f=9&t=4193

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by ErikSS » Sun Oct 27, 2013 5:38 pm

I'm planning a tilt down 2" reciever spare tire mount. For the bumper, I'm debating a single or double swing out.
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by ErikSS » Sun Nov 03, 2013 6:28 pm

What wall thickness do you guys think I would need for a spare tire carrier? 2" mount. I intend to send it too Moots when I'm done with it, so it's gonna have to live a hard life. haha
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by v7guy » Mon Nov 04, 2013 6:15 am

I'd just use some 3/16s, it's worked exceedingly well for the use I've seen it under, I wouldn't hesitate at all to use it.

I think the biggest key is to bevel the edges appropriately for good welds. Make sure the metal is clean and add support/webbing across any larger spans of flat metal.

For a spare tire carrier the build should be straightforward. The brackets Mike built for his carrier make it pretty bullet proof.
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by mikekey » Mon Nov 04, 2013 8:55 am

Erik I was planning on doing the same like you. After baby Alex arrives I was actually going to copy Mike's (DirtyAnton's) setup when I purchase a welder and do the skids.

I'm a fan of the placement which brings it closer and above the hitch rather than hanging out the back of it.

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by HARDTRAILZ » Mon Nov 04, 2013 9:20 am

Barton did a couple that way, but it would be a bitch to ship that style to Moots.
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by ErikSS » Mon Nov 04, 2013 9:33 am

HARDTRAILZ wrote:Barton did a couple that way, but it would be a bitch to ship that style to Moots.

Tecore. :grin:
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by mikekey » Mon Nov 04, 2013 9:37 am

I missed the part about sending it to Moots, but TECORE is a good option, lol :)

My boss was kind enough to give me 2 weeks off whenever I want after baby Alex is born that won't cut into my vacation time, so I'm going to use it to go down the ToDo list on the Trailblazer. Although if I'll have time is to be seen. The misses thinks I will.
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by ErikSS » Mon Nov 04, 2013 9:41 am

Mike. I do like that option. I wasnt planning to go that route as it would require cutting my SS bumper cover... Then again... Its sitting in a boat in the corner of my shop. Haha
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by mikekey » Mon Nov 04, 2013 9:53 am

Wait wait, you're afraid to cut your SS bumper. According to all the guys on tbssowners you've already committed sacrilege. No going back now, lol.
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