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Tool Use

  • If you use it, put it back when you're done with it.
  • If you don't know how to use a tool, ask!
  • If you break it, post about it to the list to figure out how to resolve it.


  • If you're buying trash bags, get the 33-gallon drawstring type. They fit the 32-gallon cans nicely. There is one 45-gallon can too.
  • Please don't throw sheet metal, copper, or aluminum away. We recycle these.

Harbor Freight (Hossfeld Style) Bender

  • This is a great tool for bending flat strips of metal, or bending heavy rod.
  • How-to manual can be downloaded from Harbor Freight

Harbor Freight Bender.jpg

Midwest Fastener Corp Hardware Proposal

  • Based on last member meeting, I am looking for a list of all the hardware we would use on a regular basis to send to MFC for a quote. Priority (High: Everyday, Medium: Weekly, Low: Monthly, Minimal: Yearly). I listed a few to get you started.
Name Type Approx Used per Quarter Priority Notes
1/4"-20 (Coarse) Hex Bolts 200 High-Medium Assorted Lengths from 3/4" to 4"
1/4"-20 Standard Washers 200 High-Medium Lock & Regular
1/4"-20 (Coarse) Standard Hex Nuts 200 High-Medium Lock & Regular

Work at the Vise

Sometimes the quickest (and safest) way to do something is using simple hand tools at the bench vise. Need to cut a piece of metal? Try an hacksaw!

  • 14 Teeth per Inch (TPI): Large Sections of Mild Material
  • 18 TPI: Large Sections of Tough Material
  • 24 TPI: Angle Iron, Heavy Pipe, Brass or Copper
  • 32 TPI: Thin Tubing

Do you need to shape or debur a piece of metal? Try an hand file.

  • Ensure that the file has a securely attached handle for safety.
  • Use a file brush card to remove stuck material from face of file. Do this frequently when doing heavy filing.
  • Use sidewalk chalk to load up the grooves in the file before use. The chalk prevents material getting stuck or 'pinned' to the file, particularly aluminum. Chalk also acts as a dry lubricant for whatever you are cutting.