cleaning stainless steel

Ways to Clean Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is a wonderful material, providing a strong, attractive, waterproof and “stainless” finish to many different types of products, such as appliances, hand-rails, tanks, etc. But stainless does not always remain rust-free, and it often needs cleaning, especially outdoors or in environments around food, pharmaceuticals or other chemicals. At the same time, when preparing stainless steel for fabrication or finishing, it’s essential to ensure the surface is clean. There are fundamental differences in these two ways of cleaning stainless steel.

Cleaning Stainless Appliances

When cleaning the surface of stainless steel appliances, vent hoods or tanks, start with the simplest solutions first. Water, a drop of dish soap, and a microfiber cloth applied with elbow grease can accomplish a lot. Be sure to dry off any leftover water to prevent streaking. To shine the finish, rub a cloth containing a couple drops of mineral oil in line with the metal grain. If the surface shows cloudy oxidation or rust, use a non-toxic, non-acidic product such as Flitz Polish to remove the oxidation. For heavier stains, grease, mold or rust, use a commercial stainless steel cleaner that contains a degreaser.

Metal Surface Preparation

In the process of making a stainless steel product, oxide scale can form on the steel as a result of hot rolling, thermal treatments, welding, and brazing. Lubricants and coolants may be applied to the stainless during cutting and forming operations and bits of metal from cutting tools may become embedded in the surface. Shop dirt, fingerprints, and grime may accumulate on the stainless during handling and storage, and even protective paper or plastic sheets may permanently adhere to the surface over time. All these contaminants must be removed in the surface preparation process before welding, priming, painting, electro-static painting, and powder coating stainless steel.

Is Stainless Steel Really Stainless?

Stainless steel contains at least 10 percent chromium, which is a highly reactive metal. The chromium on the surface of a piece of stainless oxidizes (rusts) quickly in the presence of oxygen or water molecules in the atmosphere. These oxidized chromium molecules form a very thin, tight film, called a passivation layer that acts as a barrier against the surrounding air, preventing any further oxidation of the steel.

But when this protective film is broken up in the process of manufacturing, a heavy scale can form on the surface. This scale could cause a welding or adhesion failure, and it is removed by “pickling,” or applying a combination of acids to the surface. Typically nitric acid is part of the solution, because it encourages the passivation layer to form. Another method for removing scale from stainless steel is sandblasting.

Certain types of welding can create a light scale or a heat tint discoloration on the surface. Any type of screw holes or other attachment points that create a break in the passivation film leave the stainless susceptible to rust.

Applying a pickling solution or metal degreaser to remove oil, grease, scale and rust should be followed by a protective coating to prevent further rust and leave a brighter surface finish.

Industrial Metal Supply carries cleaners, polishers, and degreasers for stainless steel and a range of ferrous and non-ferrous metals.

Selecting Tool Grade Steel

4 Things To Consider When Selecting a Tool Grade Steel

Known for their distinct hardness, tool steels are used to make cutting tools including knives and drills, as well as to create dies that stamp and form sheet metal. Though selecting a tool steel may seem straightforward, the process requires tradeoffs – making the task an art as well as a science. Choosing the optimal tool steel grade will depend on many factors, including:

  1. Characteristics of available tool steel grades
  2. The specific application
  3. The history of failures in similar applications
  4. Tool steel cost

Tool Steel Grades and Corresponding Applications

Tool steels are available in a wide range of grades, based on their composition, the temperature range in which they were forged or rolled, and the type of hardening they have undergone. The AISISAE general purpose grades of tool steel are O-1, A-2, and D-2. These standard grade steels are considered “cold-working steels,” that can hold their cutting edge at temperatures up to about 400°C. They exhibit good hardness, abrasion resistance, and deformation resistance.

O-1 is an oil-hardening steel with high hardness and good machinability. This grade of tool steel is mainly used for items like cutting tools and drills, as well as knives and forks.

A-2 is an air-hardening steel containing a medium amount of alloying material (chromium). It has good machinability along with a balance of wear resistance and toughness. A-2 is the most commonly used variety of air-hardening steel and is often used for blanking and forming punches, trimming dies and injection mold dies.

D-2 steel can be either oil-hardened or air-hardened, and contains a higher percentage of carbon and chromium than O-1 and A-2 steel. It has a high wear resistance, good toughness and low distortion after heat treating. The higher carbon and chromium levels in D-2 steel make it a good choice for applications requiring a longer tool life.

Other tool steel grades contain a higher percentage of different types of alloys, such as high-speed steel M2, which can be selected for high-volume production. A variety of hot working steels can maintain a sharp cutting edge at much higher temperatures of up to 1000°C.

How Does Tool Steel Fail?

Before selecting a tool steel grade, it’s important to consider which type of tool failure is most likely for this application by examining failed tools. For example, some tooling fails due to abrasive wear, in which the material being cut wears down the tool surface, though this type of failure is slow to occur and can be anticipated. A tool that has become worn to failure needs a tool steel with greater wear resistance.

Other types of failure are more catastrophic, such as cracking, chipping, or plastic deformation. For a tool that has broken or cracked, the toughness or impact resistance of the tool steel should be increased (note that impact resistance is reduced by notches, undercuts, and sharp radii, which are common in tools and dies). For a tool that has deformed under pressure, hardness should be increased.

Keep in mind, however, that tool steel properties are not directly related to each other, so for instance, you may need to sacrifice toughness for higher wear resistance. This is why it’s so important to understand the properties of different tool steels, as well as other factors such as the geometry of the die, the material being worked, and the manufacturing history of the tool itself.

Cost Of Tool Steel

A final issue to consider when selecting a tool steel grade is cost. Cutting corners on the choice of material may not result in lower overall production cost if the tool proves to be inferior and fails prematurely. A cost-benefit analysis should be undertaken to ensure that the tool steel material chosen will provide the performance required.

Industrial Metal Supply offers a variety of shapes and sizes of tool steel bar in O-1 and A-2 grades.

steel diamond tread plate

How Are Diamond Plates Made

How Are Aluminum Diamond Plates Manufactured?

Diamond plates go by several names, including tread plate, diamond tread plate, deck plate, and checker plate. All these names refer to the same basic product: metal sheet, or plate, with a three-dimensional diamond-shaped or bar-shaped pattern embossed on one side.

Diamond plates offer a rugged, maintenance-free, slip-free surface that makes stairs, ramps, vehicle running boards, and walking surfaces safer, especially when wet. It provides protection to bumpers, docks, walls, columns, toolboxes, etc. Aluminum diamond plates also makes an attractive backsplash or wall covering or decorative accent in modern industrial-style interiors.

Diamond tread plates comes in different types of aluminum alloys, and steel, but it is called floor or tread plate when made of steel. There are two basic methods for making diamond plate – stamping and rolling.

Stamping Diamonds

A sheet metal stamping machine uses a metal die on a room-temperature metal sheet to create the raised diamond pattern. After the molded die presses down to emboss a small section of the sheet, the automated machine moves the sheet along a bed of rollers, and then the block stamps the next section until the entire sheet has been embossed.

Rolling diamonds

Most metal sheet is created through the process of rolling, in which pairs of heavy rollers gradually compress a block of very hot metal to create the desired thickness and cross-section. Diamond plate can be created near the end of the rolling process while the metal is still hot, or in a separate process after the metal sheet has cooled. Either way, one of the rollers is covered in a raised diamond pattern. By using just a single patterned roller, the resulting diamond plate will remain smooth and flat on the back side, making it easier to install.

Industrial Metal Supply offers steel tread plate that meets ASTM A786 standards, and aluminum tread plate in 3003 and 6061 alloys. Four styles are available:

  • Tread Brite is the most common type of aluminum tread plate. It has a shiny appearance and can be used for a wide variety of applications, including architectural and decorative, as well as functional.
  • Embossed Firetruck-Quality (FTQ) Tread Plate has the same pattern as Tread Brite, but with a slightly modified textured diamond¬¬ which provides an even better grip. FTQ meets NFPA industry safety regulations.
  • 5-Bar Tread Plate has a unique pattern of individual blocks of five parallel bars positioned perpendicularly with neighboring blocks like the squares on a checkerboard.
  • Mill Finish Tread Plate comes in aluminum or steel with a matte-finish diamond pattern. It is used primarily in structural applications that do not require bending.

Contact Industrial Metal Supply for all your diamond tread plate needs.

corrosion resistant metals

4 Types of Metal That Are Corrosion Resistant or Don’t Rust

We usually think of rust as the orange-brown flakes that form on an exposed steel surface when iron molecules in the metal react with oxygen in the presence of water to produce iron oxides. Metals may also react in the presence of acids or harsh industrial chemicals. If nothing stops the corrosion, flakes of rust will continue to break off, exposing the metal to further corrosion until it disintegrates.

Not all metals contain iron, but they can corrode or tarnish in other oxidizing reactions. To prevent oxidation and breakdown of metal products, such as handrails, tanks, appliances, roofing or siding, you can choose metals that are “rust-proof” or more accurately, “corrosion-proof.” Four basic types of metals fall into this category:

  • Stainless steel
  • Aluminum metal
  • Copper, bronze or brass
  • Galvanized steel

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel types, such as 304 or 316, are a mix of elements, and most contain some amount of iron, which easily oxidizes to form rust. But many stainless steel alloys also contain a high percentage of chromium – at least 18 percent – which is even more reactive than iron. The chromium oxidizes quickly to form a protective layer of chromium oxide on the metal surface. This oxide layer resists corrosion, while at the same time prevents oxygen from reaching the underlying steel. Other elements in the alloy, such as nickel and molybdenum, add to its rust-resistance.

Aluminum metal

Many aircraft are made from aluminum, as are car and bike parts. This is due to its light weight, but also to its resistance to corrosion. Aluminum alloys contain almost no iron and without iron, the metal can’t actually rust, but it does oxidize. When the alloy is exposed to water, a film of aluminum oxide forms quickly on the surface. The hard oxide layer is quite resistant to further corrosion and protects the underlying metal.

Copper, Bronze and Brass

These three metals contain little or no iron, and so do not rust, but they can react with oxygen. Copper oxidizes over time to form a green patina, which actually protects the metal from further corrosion. Bronze is a mixture of copper and tin, along with small amounts of other elements, and is naturally much more resistant to corrosion than copper. Brass is an alloy of copper, zinc, and other elements, which also resists corrosion.

Galvanized Steel

Galvanized steel takes a long time to rust, but it will eventually rust. This type is carbon steel that has been galvanized, or coated, with a thin layer of zinc. The zinc acts as a barrier preventing oxygen and water from reaching the steel, so that it is corrosion protected. Even if the zinc coating is scratched off, it continues to protect nearby areas of the underlying steel through cathodic protection, as well as by forming a protective coating of zinc oxide. Like aluminum, zinc is highly reactive to oxygen in the presence of moisture, and the coating prevents the iron in the steel from further oxidation.

Industrial Metal Supply carries a wide range of rust-resistant metals for a variety of applications.

hot rolled steel vs cold rolled steel

What is the Difference Between Hot Rolled and Cold Rolled Steel?

Both hot rolled steel and cold rolled steel start out in essentially the same way and both can have the same grades and specifications. But cold rolled steel undergoes additional processing steps, resulting in improved properties that can be exploited for different applications. Each type of steel has its advantages and disadvantages and costs for the two types of steel are also different.

How It’s Made

Both cold rolled and hot rolled steel start out as large steel slabs or billets cast from hot liquid metal. The billets are then heated, eventually reaching over 1700°F. At this high temperature, they are easily flattened into a long sheet using a set of rollers, and then wound up into large coils. To make bars or plates, the heated billet is rolled to the desired thickness and cut into sections before cooling.

As the rolled or cut steel cools to room temperature, it shrinks slightly, making the final dimensions of each piece less exact and the edges somewhat rounded. The surface is slightly rough and covered in scale. At this point, hot rolled steel products are ready for shipment, and require no further treatment.

Cold Rolling Processes

But cold rolled steel products are destined for further processing after the steel has cooled. Cold rolling is most often used to decrease the thickness of plate and sheet metal in the manufacturing stage. This “cold forming” occurs either by re-rolling at around room temperature and then coiling into sheet, or else drawing into bars or tubes. Additional steps such as drawing, grinding or turning create the desired finished product.

Work hardening of the metal at room temperature increases its hardness and yield strength by introducing crystalline defects, but also may cause internal stresses that must be relieved by heating, or else the final product may warp.

Finishing Touches

Cold rolled or cold formed steel has a smooth, shiny finish with an oily texture that is free of rust or scale so it can easily be painted or chromed. The dimensions of the final product are more precise and square, with a sharper edge, and cold rolled steel sheet can hold tighter tolerances than hot rolled when machined or otherwise fabricated.

In general, cold rolled and cold formed steel costs more than hot rolled steel because of the extra processing steps.

Industrial Metal Supply stocks hot rolled steel in the form of structural shapes, bar, sheet or plate, as well as cold rolled steel structural shapes, sheet and plate.

Guide to Understanding Abrasive Wheels

Whether you are cutting off a frozen bolt, prepping for a weld, or you want to create a beautiful brushed pattern on stainless steel sheet, abrasive wheels are an essential tool for any welder or metal fabricator. IMS stocks a huge selection of abrasive metal wheels in all sizes, styles and varieties for cutting, grinding and finishing metal.

Abrasive wheels are similar to sandpaper. They are made from powdered abrasive grains held together with a binder, such as resin, which also glues them to a fiberglass backing in the shape of a wheel. As the wheel rotates on a grinder it abrades the metal surface, causing sharp edges of the grains to either break off, leaving more sharp edges, or wear down. Gradually the worn grains are pulled out of the binder, exposing sharper grains in place behind them.

This guide will help you select the right abrasive wheel, including the best choice of grain type and size, as well as binder material, for your application.

The four primary types of grains used on abrasive wheels for metal include aluminum oxide, zirconia alumina, silicon carbide, and ceramic alumina:

  • Aluminum oxide grains are tough and hard-wearing, making this type of abrasive wheel a good choice for grinding metals such as steel, stainless steel and other ferrous metals.
  • Zirconia alumina grains also can be used to grind steel and steel alloys. It costs more but lasts longer than aluminum oxide. Zirconia is very heat resistant and is typically used for high pressure machining and grinding because the pressure causes the grains to break down quickly, exposing sharper edges.
  • Silicon carbide grains are very sharp, but break off easily under high pressure. They can be used for grinding softer or weaker metals, such as copper or cast iron, or non-metals such as cement or stone.
  • Ceramic alumina is a newer type of abrasive with a micro-grain structure that breaks down in smaller pieces, giving it a longer life and fast cut rate. This type of abrasive works well in a range of applications, from cast aluminum to titanium alloys.

The different types of grains can also be blended, to create an optimal formula for specific metals and applications.

Grit size, which reflects the size of the grains, is denoted on the wheel label. The larger the grit size, the smaller the grain. As with sandpaper, large or coarse grains take out larger chips from the metal, resulting in a rougher finish. The smaller the grain, the finer the finish. Also, larger grains are more appropriate for softer materials, such as low-carbon steel, while smaller grains should be used on harder alloys.

Binder materials are graded by their ability to hold the grains. The stronger the binder, the longer the grains hold on, even though they have been dulled. This means that a weaker binder is a better choice for cutting strong, tough metals that require razor sharp abrasive grains. Many abrasive wheels used for standard metalworking use a resin binder.

IMS stocks a varied line of abrasives including:

  • Metal cutting wheels – used with an angle grinder to make fast, clean cuts in steel, stainless steel and other metals.
  • Sanding discs – remove paint, rust, corrosion, surface marks and uneven edges to create a smooth finish.
  • Bench grinding wheels – use with a bench or pedestal grinder to remove metal, shape, sharpen or deburr.
  • Flap discs – a flat, circular abrasive disk made of multiple overlapping cloth-backed “flaps” joined at the center. Used with a grinding wheel to blend or finish a welded surface and prepare it for priming or painting.
  • Flap wheels – similar to a flap disk, but the flaps are arranged around a central hub in a three-dimensional tire shape. Used to create a smooth finish on curved metal.
  • Wire wheels – prepare welding surfaces by cleaning off spatter and excess filler material without removing base metal.
  • Shank mounted points – rotating abrasive points in a variety of shapes and materials allow fast, free-cutting stock removal, blending and polishing.
  • Carbide burrs – used with a grinder or in a CNC machine, these tungsten carbide rotary files with raised diagonal teeth are used for cutting, shaping, grinding and deburring.

For more information about abrasive wheels for metal, contact IMS.

How to Choose the Right Material for Metal Handrails

Choosing the right metal for handrails can be confusing. Railing components and systems are available in a wide variety of metals, including aluminum, steel, stainless steel, brass, and wrought iron. With all these options, what are the most important factors to consider in selecting metal handrails?

First, decide what you need the fence to accomplish. Are you providing safety for an industrial or commercial installation or security around a property? You will need a sturdy metal fence that can stand up to the environment.

On the other hand, you may be looking for an attractive, aesthetically pleasing handrail to complement the design of a home or office building. You can choose between traditional steel railings or go with aluminum, which offers some benefits over steel. For a more upscale look, you also may want to consider brass, stainless, or wrought iron fencing.

Aluminum vs. Steel

Aluminum railings are typically anodized or powder coated, providing extra corrosion resistance and requiring little maintenance. Non-sparking and chemical resistant aluminum alloy railings are ideal choices for industrial applications, such as petrochemical plants and offshore oil rigs. Aluminum-magnesium alloy 535 is the most corrosion resistant alloy available, and is as strong as iron at only one-third the weight. Aluminum railings are also less expensive than steel.

Steel handrails can be painted, but will need to be stripped and repainted every few years, due to rust, which is not only unsightly, but also can lead to structural damage, such as bent or broken posts. Steel is much heavier than aluminum, and costs more to transport and install. Aluminum railings are easier to handle and can be cut to size with a miter saw.

Aluminum fencing components, such as Hollaender Speed Rail fittings, are an easy, convenient way to install metal pipe railings of any size or cross-section. The fittings can be used with galvanized carbon steel, stainless steel, black iron, or aluminum pipe, with no electrolytic corrosion. They can be slipped on and tightened down with a hex key – no welding required – and they can be disassembled and re-used.

Brass and Stainless Steel

Brass and stainless steel are great choices for decorative and functional handrails in high-end residential, entertainment, and commercial building projects. Brass provides a traditional, classic look, but can also fit in with an ultra-modern architecture. Its wear-resistance and anti-microbial properties make it a favorite choice in marine architecture. A polished brass railing will tarnish, requiring regular maintenance, but solid brass will age to a rich patina.

Stainless steel is strong, durable, and corrosion-resistant, with very low maintenance requirements. It is easy to sterilize, making it ideal for hospital and medical facilities. Type 316 stainless is a good choice in coastal and industrial environments because it is resistant to chemicals and salt water.

Wrought Iron

No discussion of metal handrails would be complete without wrought iron. This type of fence has been used for hundreds of years, and can match the architectural style of any building, providing old-world elegance and charm. Wrought iron fences are strong enough to deter animals and most vehicles. A variety of patterns, shapes, supplies, and materials are available to create almost any design.

In addition to higher cost, drawbacks of wrought iron include the heavy weight of the metal, which makes it harder to handle and more difficult to install. Maintenance is an issue with wrought iron – like steel, iron rusts in humid environments, especially in salt-water air. To prevent rust from taking hold requires sanding off rust spots, priming and re-painting regularly.

Visit Industrial Metal Supply for more information about metal handrails.

What is the Difference Between Galvanized and Galvalume Roofing?

When completing a project with corrugated sheet should you go with a galvanized or Galvalume metal roof?

The answer lies in the difference between the two. Traditional galvanized metal roofing is a corrugated sheet of carbon steel with a galvanized coating. The coating is created by dipping the straight sheet in hot molten zinc. The zinc ions bond with iron molecules in the steel to create a shiny, rust-resistant finish on its surface. This process is called galvanization.

After the coating hardens, the sheet is put through a cold forming corrugation process, which bends the sheet into parallel linear patterns. These “corrugations” give the sheet more strength and stability when it is installed as a roof.

The patented Galvalume process invented by Bethlehem Steel in 1972 is similar to galvanization, but also adds aluminum and silicon to the zinc. As the coating dries, patches of aluminum and zinc molecules coalesce into a pattern across the surface of the sheet. The aluminum areas provide corrosion resistance and the zinc provides galvanization protection. The small amount of silicon helps the coating adhere to the underlying metal, even when it is being cut or rolled into the corrugated shape.

So which one is better for a roof? There are pros and cons to each type.

The extra corrosion resistance of Galvalume means that scratches, bends, or cut edges won’t rust so quickly, and it also makes a better choice in rainy climates and in salt air.

Paint does not adhere as well to Galvalume, so the aesthetics may not be as good. Also, Galvalume costs more than galvanized metal roofing – but the fact that a Galvalume metal roof will last up to twice as long as a galvanized roof of the same thickness could make up the difference. For these reasons, Galvalume metal roofs are much more popular.

Typically, galvanized sheet roofs are used mainly for agricultural buildings, where rust is less of an issue and costs must be kept low. Galvanized metal roofs may also be used by architects looking for a traditional, rusted appearance in a new building.

For more information on ordering galvanized or Galvalume metal roofing, visit Industrial Metal Supply.

How Wire Mesh is Made

Wire mesh sheet is a highly versatile product used for a wide variety of applications, from safety fencing, concrete reinforcement, light fixtures, to air filtration. Wire mesh can be made of many different metals – such as carbon steel or stainless steel – with a range of gauges and hole sizes.

Wire mesh comes in two basic types: woven wire mesh and welded wire mesh.

Both types of mesh begin with extruding a metal rod, tube or wire through a number of dies that are successively smaller to create a thinner wire which is then wound on a spool. The wound wire later can be run through a straightening machine and cut in desired lengths for the next part of the process.

Woven wire mesh

Weaving wire into mesh is similar to the process of weaving cloth. First, a wire loom is set up with long lengths of wire strung parallel through the machine like yarn warp threads.

As the machine operates, wire harnesses lift alternate strands of the wire, allowing a shuttle to pass between strands perpendicularly, pulling along a filling wire, similar to a yarn weft. Then a batten presses the filling wire against the mesh and the harnesses lift the opposite strands so the shuttle can pass through in the opposite direction, producing an over-under weave.

Other weave patterns can also be created.

Welded wire mesh

Another type of wire mesh, sometimes called welded wire fabric, can be made with an automatic wire welding machine. This type of mesh consists of a series of parallel and perpendicular wires spaced at equal distances and welded at the intersections.

To set up the machine, wire is strung through a row of automatic feeders that push the long parallel strands through the welder. To create the cross-wires, another feeder drops short perpendicular sections of wire down on top of the parallel wires. At the intersections between parallel and perpendicular wire, a row of electrical resistance weld heads then fuses the joints and the mesh is pulled ahead, while another perpendicular wire drops down.

Contact Industrial Metal Supply today for more information about wire mesh or to get a quote.

How-To Video Building a DIY Travel Trailer – The Frame

Our friend and master DIY’er Joe Mooney of Homesteadonmics is back at it again! This time he’s working on a Travel Trailer build, currently welding the frame together to create the basic shell. This will end up somewhere at the crossroads of a Teardrop Trailer & a full size Camp Trailer. Stay tuned as his project transforms from this base frame into a full fledged aluminum clad roadworthy companion!

From the Forney welder to the steel & aluminum, down to welding tabs, our six stores have everything you need to make one of your own!

About The Project – By Joe Mooney:

Building the base frame of this DIY Travel Trailer project started about two years ago when I was asked if I wanted an old axle from a Travel Trailer that was getting a larger axle installed.   Being an opportunistic user of what some would call junk… I said YES!  And that was the start of a rather long developed build that is now becoming a travel trailer!

After getting the axle, I figured I’d build a simple ‘angle iron’ utility trailer frame that I could pull with my 2006 Jetta TDI.  And maybe add some sort of lightweight teardrop style camper later on.  Well, as time passed, so did the Jetta with it’s 300k miles.  And the trailer sat just collecting dust and rust until I figured what the new plan would be.  And so the Travel Trailer plan developed.

Extending the Base frame…

The first step was to lengthen and widen the trailer from the angle iron utility frame that I originally built.  This definitely isn’t the ideal start to a travel trailer, incorporating different profiles and steel thicknesses, but it’s what I had to use.  I made all of the extensions with 2×3 14ga tubing coming off of the original 2×3 3/16th angle frame.  Each of the extensions off the sides and the back was also supported by the original frame angle that was positioned horizontally and had been left slightly wider than the original frame.  This keeps the new sides from ‘pulling’ outwards on the original frame.

As a matter of dimension the original frame started at roughly 5.5’W x10.5’L and with the new additions sits now at 7’ wide and is 13’ long for the foot print (lengths do not include tongue)

Building the upper frame…

The upper frame is constructed of 1×1.5” 16ga steel tubing for the sides and roof and 1×1” 16ga tubing for the front and back walls.

Starting the upper frame began with laying out a basic roof outline on the base frame, using it as a template, and then welding four wall posts up from the roof assembly.  Once this was done I then dragged it off of the trailer base frame and then flipped it over and set it back on the trailer base frame and tacked it into place.  Boom!  Walls and a roof started!  Once these were in place I then welded vertical ‘studs’ to infill the side walls and roof.

Next I added the back wall and connected it to the base frame at a 45 degree inward slope to give a clearance section for the back of the trailer.    The next big step was adding the front wall and then bending the front ‘radius’ sections.  This was accomplished in the old school method of a torch and an old water tank we used as a form.  Once those bent sections were in  tacked in place I then in filled horizontal pieces and went about framing a doorway and adding metal tabs to provide mounting points for window frames and interior wood framework.

So that’s about it for the general frame build.  The next steps are to prep for paint and adding all the window frames and other support members prior to adding the aluminum ‘skin’ to the outer shell.  This is currently underway and will be in the part 2 video of this series!    Thanks for watching and stay tuned for more on this build!