09 After I cut out the cardstock template, I check the fit to see if I'm even in the ballpark. Heck, it looks pretty good. Now I will move on to the steel. This is where you can get a visual feel of what the bracket will look like when finished. If you don't like it or think of something better, just whip up another template with your new idea.
10, 11 I cut the pieces out of 3/16-inch steel plate on the bandsaw, but a plasma cutter could also be used. Then I tacked the two pieces together for the hole sawing operation. Using the template I mark the centers of the lighting holes onto the steel with my center punch. Now it's off to the drill press to saw these out.
12, 13 By the way, here are a couple of images I had handy showing how I go about hole sawing in general. I hit the object with a hole saw just long enough to make the marking of the saw. Then I drill three or four holes in the cut line, 3/16 or 1/4-inch works great. This will give the saw cuttings someplace to go as the saw cuts through. You will cut it in half the time with a lot less heat buildup and wear on the hole saw.
14 With the side pieces done, I measured out a 1 1/2-inch square and cut it out of the 3/16-inch plate. Then I drilled a 9/16-inch hole in it for the Panhard bar bolt. Here I'm dressing up the edges on the Apex grinder with one hand and taking the picture with the other. When I get smarter (read that injured) I'll use a tripod for these shots.
15 So here's what I ended up with. I dressed up the edges on the belt sander and ran a rat-tail file through the lighting holes. Now these three pieces will get tack welded together to form sort of a sub assembly.
16 Before I weld them together I made the small notch in the bottom of the inside bracket. The housing does a weird thing right there where it was welded together. This little notch gives me the clearance I needed. I just held it on the housing and laid a small pencil in its side, on the housing, and drew the contour of the housing onto the bracket. This gave me the cut-out area required.
17 Here we have the side piece notched and the bracket tacked together. I have check-fitted it to the housing. Now I'm going to add a piece to the top and box it in.
18 Another cardstock template is made and from that comes this top piece. I just need to cut out the center of the two holes and file it up a bit.
19 Now it's starting to look like something - tacked together and ready for a final check fit.
20 I'm happy with the fit and it looks pretty good too. Now I'll finish weld it and grind it smooth. I'm using the TIG welder, but a MIG would work fine too. After it's welded I'll use the Apex grinder and the belt sander to dress it up.
21, 22 Here's my finished bracket ready to place on the rearend housing and tack in place.
23, 24 Here's how it will work. The new Panhard bar will connect to the bracket and then go over and connect to the bracket on the driver side framerail. This will give me a 25 1/2-inch long bar with a lot less deflection than the shorter 15-inch bar that was on it.
25 This is how it turned out after the new bar was made and installed. I didn't like the brackets that were on the frame so I remade those also. You guess it, using cardstock first.
26 Here are my basic template-making tools. I would be lost without my circle templates. The transfer punch set is nice for transferring hole locations. I used to use a French curve quite often for making brackets. Not so much now, I just draw it in by eye. A good compass, center punch, and a couple of Berol 753 silver layout pencils about wraps it up. Missing from the image are my scissors.