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Discussion Starter #1
i saw on a jeep sometime ago that a guy used a diamond plate for a taillight. i saw they had a peice that may work at home deopt for the 40$ range. i was wondering how hard would it be to cut it/drill holes. also to bend it at a 90 degree angle. the only tools i really have to help would be a table saw and a drill press. i searched and i think i found that more teeth? would be more ideal for the table saw.
any suggestions comments would be appreciated
 

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ate lug
88 + 96 broncos, 96 F250
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for a tail light? Maybe a taillight cover?

If its steel itll be hard to drill & bend. if its aluminum itll be easier to drill, but im betting youll have to heat it up to bend it 90º without it cracking. Youre not gonna be doing this on a table saw either, they cut wayy to fast to cut any kind of metal. Bandsaw, grinder, sawzall, etc.....something thats actually made for cutting metal.
 

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I've cut Al diamond plate with a circular saw and a fine tooth paneling blade. It's loud as shit and watch out for flying chips. I used a sabre saw to cut the tight angles and details, hole saw and a hand drill for the holes. Again, be careful the chips fly around and are pretty hot.
 

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Some assembly required!
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Another good tip for working with diamond plate is when you're drilling your holes in it drill them from the flat back side, not the bumpy front side. Then go back and chamfer the hole from the front to clean it up. That lets you put the hole exactly where it needs to be when the weird contour of one of the raised diamonds is right in the way.
 

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for a tail light? Maybe a taillight cover?

If its steel itll be hard to drill & bend. if its aluminum itll be easier to drill, but im betting youll have to heat it up to bend it 90º without it cracking. Youre not gonna be doing this on a table saw either, they cut wayy to fast to cut any kind of metal. Bandsaw, grinder, sawzall, etc.....something thats actually made for cutting metal.
we use a table saw for aluminum at work, it cuts fine. but kickback is a biatch and leaves a gnarly bruise on your stomach
 

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Discussion Starter #8
thanks for the info. i figure id pick up a peice (ill shop around) and try different stuff with it. i cant think of what there called but would the hand held torches work enough to heat it and bend it? if it works ill let you know and if it doesnt...dont expect to hear anything :)
 

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thanks for the info. i figure id pick up a peice (ill shop around) and try different stuff with it. i cant think of what there called but would the hand held torches work enough to heat it and bend it? if it works ill let you know and if it doesnt...dont expect to hear anything :)
If you get the bendable type all you would need is a vise. How thick are you getting it, if it's for lights I don't see the need for anything over 1/16" which will be about 1/8" thick with the raised diamonds
 

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Discussion Starter #11
this probaly wont happen now due to recent events, so im just "could i" speaking now. i read that you could bend it with a vise with the help of a c clamp but wasnt sure how far would take it to a snapping limit. i was thinking if i ever got around to getting it on the trail to just swap out the lights instead of risking breaking the stock ones. andd i wanna say what home deopt had was al but not 100% positive.
 

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FSB's Bastard Child
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6061 AL in a table saw with an AL blade is cake. up to 1/4'' in a single pass all day long.
 

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Honeynut Cheerios Urine
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If it's aluminum it'll bend, but need pursuasion. You want to see which way the "grain" is going, and bend AGAINST the grain, if grain is going L/R bend from top to bottom...understand? This will keep it from breaking at the grain
 

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If it's aluminum it'll bend, but need pursuasion. You want to see which way the "grain" is going, and bend AGAINST the grain, if grain is going L/R bend from top to bottom...understand? This will keep it from breaking at the grain
i did not know that, i always just bend
 

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Honeynut Cheerios Urine
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i did not know that, i always just bend
Yeah well you'll snap it bad, doesn't matter how much of a bend or the hardness, it'll still be weaker. (I'm a sheetmetal mechanic in the Army..so, somewhat knowledgable in this area of fabrication). I witnessed one of my "lesser" colleagues while in Iraq try to fabricate a bracket that had broke, to no avail. He probably made half a dozen, had a good layout, kept putting the ~.040 T3 (not super hard or thick) aluminum in the break to do a 90+ bend and kept snapping it every time, it was quite comical, we all had a pretty good laugh :rofl:. One thing that's also pretty crucial with forming AL is your bend radius. If you take one or a few of thin scrap pieces of aluminum and then bend them to 90* in your brake (be it a vice or real brake) then you can use these to get a less sharp bend radius inbetween your piece of metal you are bending and your bending surface. Sorta like taking a corner really wide instead of tight, less stress on things.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
not exactly. what im thinking is something the exact same size as the tailight and it replaces it. ill look around online and see if i can find something. i beleieve i saw it on the jeep cherokee
 

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Honeynut Cheerios Urine
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not exactly. what im thinking is something the exact same size as the tailight and it replaces it. ill look around online and see if i can find something. i beleieve i saw it on the jeep cherokee
Yeah i know what you're saying, make a replacement "red plastic piece" and throw in some lights/leds?
 
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