Fab question

In_the_works

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I'm looking for some insight from some of you veteran fabricators on where to begin. I will be taking a welding course come January at the local J.C. and i plan on fabbing a cab/engine cage for my truck as soon as I feel I have enough expertise. My question(s) are:
1. What kind of welder should i get? does new/used matter?
2. I plan on using mild steel material(?), what thickness is recommended?
3. Who makes a quality tube bender at a reasonable price? what size dies would i need
4. As far as geometry goes should i just get a general plan on paper based on trucks I've seen or do i need to invest in a program like Solidworks to finalize it?

thanks for your time
Dane

P.S. If there are any independent fab shops in the north county area that need part-time/weekend help, I'd like to hear from you.
(760) 492-1595

'96 F-150 4x4 ex cab
 

1992f150

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use race sanction rules as a guideline for what materials (score, BITD, etc...). Get the welding machine advice from the JC, i wouldnt buy a type of machine you cant use yet.
Desert tools in corona (call donnaho for the number), and JD squared sell good manual benders (www.jd2.com). JD bender is available thru www.bajaconcepts.com Generally most tubing you need to bend will be 1.5" (roll cage, a arms, bumpers, shock hoops.)

Azusa: shame of the foothills
 
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