Wrench Tips # 23: Tube Fabrication Tips
By Mike Kojima
When hanging out at Costa Gialamas’ shop Gialamas Technical Innovations, we picked up on some really good ideas that Costa uses when fabricating. Costa has many years of fabricating experience in both the Motosports and Aerospace worlds. This is not a story on how to build an exhaust, instead it’s about some tricks we have seen Costa use that can help speed your fabrication. Check these few simple tips out!
|A lot of fabrication projects start with this, a box full of mandrel bends. These are cut up and welded together to make exhaust systems, IC pipes, air intakes and other useful things. The trick stuff we like is made of thinwall aluminum and stainless. This requires a lot of skill to weld as it requires precise mitering and fitment. We get our fabrication supplies from Burns Stainless as they have stuff like 321 stainless that most other places don’t stock.|
|The first cool trick that Costa uses is this tool he made. It’s two straight pieces of aluminum bolted together. It helps him estimate the angles that the pipes must run at.|
|Costa has various pieces of cardboard that he will draw the general shape of the mandrel bend on. He then will draw out the bend he thinks he needs on the cardboard to visualize how the section he needs should be cut without actually cutting it. He saves time and tube wasting mistakes this way.|