Professionally designed tooling vs on the fly

Continuing our discussion on tooling, this week we are taking a look at some of the fixtures. Is the tooling professionally designed and built by tooling experts, or is it something tacked together "on the fly" by welders in the shop?

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Are you paying enough for tooling?

The upfront costs and risks associated with spending money on tooling are usually easy to quantify. The ongoing, perpetual costs of poor-quality tooling are often less well-understood. Its effect on quality and delivery can be the proverbial "death by a thousand cuts." Here are 5 questions every buyer should ask their suppliers before evaluating tooling costs:

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Determining the centerline radius for your tube

When it comes to your tube fabrication project, not only do you want to know what tubing is right for you but you also want to determine the centerline radius. The centerline radius (CLR) is the distance from the center of the bending die to the centerline (axis) of the tube. Why should you know your CLR? The CLR should typically measure 2-3X the diameter of the tube (2D or 3D), depending on wall thickness.

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How to choose the right tube for you

Tubes can come in different shapes – round, square, rectangular or oval. But how do you know which is the right one for your project? Metal tubes are generally fabricated from steel, stainless steel, aluminum, brass and copper. These types of tubes can easily be bent into shape without the need for elbows or other fittings. Before you begin any tube bending project, it is important to think about what you need your product to do.

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