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Jere 05-20-2014 12:11 PM

Getting Started #1 - Tucking Forks
11 Attachment(s)
After reading the post by Richard K ( , and the responses, and not seeing anything done in response I thought I might try to give the beginners, and those who have been lurking the chance to get involved by making some basic tools, made at home, and quite economically. You could make some projects just to get your feet wet with posting progress photos and by getting advice and helping guys at about the same skill level.

This series will be called “ Getting Started” meaning everyone will start at the same place and post pictures as the project moves along. This should allow everyone to see how someone else approached the same project and arrived at the end results.

The first one will be Getting Started #1 – Tucking Forks.

The second will be Getting Started #2 – Beater Bag

The third will be Getting Started #3 - Stump

These tools will not be the last tools you will have and they are not intended to be. They will be made of inexpensive materials and meant only to get you through making the projects that will be presented. You will definitely want to upgrade if you are intending to get more involved with metal shaping.

So with that lets get started on the first project - Tucking Forks

Attachment 27978
You can buy these pry bars at Harbor Freight for less than four dollars a piece, and you couldn't buy the material and grind the taper on them for that much. Cut the tapered portion off about 1/2” past where the taper ends (white line) and then remove the paint. I am making four sets in this set of pictures so don't be confused. You will only need two pry bars to make one set of forks.

Attachment 27979
To remove the sharp edges where the point is I tape the blunt end into a socket and with the appropriate adapter I use my hand drill and belt sander to put a nicely rounded end on both pieces.

Attachment 27980
This is what they will look like after dressing.

Attachment 27981
These are the dimensions you will use for the layout of the two 9/16” holes to be drilled in your plate. I am using 1/2” X 2” X 2” But you can use almost anything you have at hand. I would not suggest anything thinner than 3/8”.

Attachment 27982
First I drill a 1/4” hole as a pilot.

Attachment 27983
Then drill them out to the full 9/16” diameter and deburr. If you use the layout above, the distance between the two holes will be 1/8”.

Attachment 27984
These are all the parts necessary for four sets of forks. I use one inch square tubing for the piece to be held in the vise. You can use anything that is at hand that will suite your needs.

Attachment 27985
Place the two tapered pins in the holes and with a piece of 1/8” material in between clamp the two pins together. When everything is set in place put a small tack on the outside of each pin.

Attachment 27986
Here you can see the small tack I made with my TIG. The only reason for this tack is so they hold their place while turning them up side down to finish welding them.

Attachment 27987
Make a rosette weld on both pins and grind the bottom of the piece flat.

Attachment 27988
After welding the piece that will be held in the vise on the bottom, I spray them with Pam to keep them from rusting.

There is our first project. Please post some pictures of your process. Please give me some feedback so I will know whether this is something that is worthy to pursue.


Kerry Pinkerton 05-20-2014 12:47 PM

Excellent tutorial Jere and thanks for making the effort. I have created a new forum called tutorials just for this type of thread. 05-20-2014 03:17 PM

Great initiative Jere,



HEATNBEAT 05-20-2014 03:50 PM

Very nice Jere!:D
It's nice to see you had your wheaties this morning :lol:

nonhog 05-20-2014 04:39 PM

I have a HF trip coming up. I'll make some forks and post the results, good, bad or different. lol

rcv4 05-20-2014 05:14 PM

nice thread Jere.

Jere 05-20-2014 06:51 PM

One thing I neglected to mention in the first post is that we are making these first three tools so we can make a hood scoop and a blister.:dunce::p;)

For those who are following along. At some point we will need some 1100, or 3003 X .050 aluminum. Don't be afraid to buy a fair amount because all the projects we will make will be made of that material.

If this sequence has enough participation it will be you who dictates what the next tools and projects will be.:eek:


foamcar 05-20-2014 08:01 PM

Thanks Jere. Off I go to HF.

barry grigg 05-20-2014 08:48 PM

Thanks Jere. Little tutorials like this kick start the minds of those who aren't sure where the starting line is. :rolleyes: Mine included. Looking forward the next ones.

Troy Fab 05-20-2014 10:07 PM

I am in! Off to Harbor Freight.

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