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Old 06-29-2016, 07:04 AM
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randallhilton Male randallhilton is offline
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Default beware of the bed frame blues

In hopes of saving some of you metal workers from some serious heart ache:

Ten or so years ago I installed a flat bed on our gorgeous F-350. At the time, I had some big, steel tool boxes which I installed as a temporary measure till I got around to setting up the truck the way I wanted. I got around to it this week.

So. . . I was raised to be frugal . . . as in: if you have a welder, there's no such thing scrap iron.

So. . . over the years, I'v been collecting metal (angle iron) bed bed frames. Part of my truck remodel includes installing E-Track for securing loads.

My collection of bed frame angle iron looked perfect for mounting the E-Track.

After building a nice frame I started installing the E-Track.

E-Track uses lots of 1/4" bolts for mounting so I started drilling. And that's when I discovered that the alloy used in bed frames is hard. .. make that HARD!!

I had about 40 holes to drill and there was no getting around it. By the time I made a couple of trips for replacement bits I had burned up a day and a half on a 2 hour job!

TEK screws barely tickled the steel so I had to use those brittle "Cobalt" bits (that break too easily). My best results came when I would start the job with an 1/8" then size up to 3/16 and finally 1/4". One lousy quarter of an inch! It took at least 10 minute per hole -- I lost over a day of progress just trying to work with the stuff.

So, if you're tempted to build something out of that imported bed frame angle iron then re-think it! Go get some angle iron -- the real stuff. The other stuff is good fence post material!
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Old 06-29-2016, 08:57 AM
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Was the frame too hard or the cheapo Chinese bits too soft? Free-trade-agreements have made the acquisition of good tools & hardware pretty difficult to come by.
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Old 06-29-2016, 09:42 PM
Setanta Male Setanta is offline
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I just use bed frames for gates, but then I don't know how to weld I can do some jerry rigging though

did you need the holes exact? could you have used a blow torch to open crude holes and use washers as needed to reinforce around them?
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Old 07-06-2016, 02:34 AM
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CountryGuy CountryGuy is offline
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Doesn't surprise me you found those off shore frames to be junk. I run into this often in my work life dealing with imported tooling. Chinese steel is garbage. It is literally remelted scrap and unlike here in the US where they used to only use a portion of scrap to an amount of virgin and then use a high quality processes to refine the steel, not so much in China. Less crap they blow off the more pounds they can sell. One spot in a block might be like solder and a half inch away like diamond, plus often filled with inclusions and voids.

I wonder how much you would have had in angle iron vs. the number of bits and gas for the trips to the store not to mention your lost hours driving as well as drilling.
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Old 07-06-2016, 04:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CountryGuy View Post

I wonder how much you would have had in angle iron vs. the number of bits and gas for the trips to the store not to mention your lost hours driving as well as drilling.
I "saved" probably $25 on steel and turned a 1 or 2 hour job into 10. If I had only known! Which is why I made this post.
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Old 07-12-2016, 10:04 PM
jvcstone jvcstone is offline
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Quote:
One spot in a block might be like solder and a half inch away like diamond
Had a friend into real nice ornamental iron work--he told me the exact same thing about steel from Mexico many years ago.

JVC
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Old 07-18-2016, 12:54 AM
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Doesn't surprise me either, Mexico has imported steel from China for years.

My employer has an operation in China and to ensure we get consistent quality steel, we import it all from Germany. Makes us less cost competitive to our competitors who source local China junk but for us our product quality is paramount.
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Old 07-18-2016, 05:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CountryGuy View Post
Doesn't surprise me either, Mexico has imported steel from China for years.

My employer has an operation in China and to ensure we get consistent quality steel, we import it all from Germany. Makes us less cost competitive to our competitors who source local China junk but for us our product quality is paramount.
Agree, agree!

Quality of steel or other components such as ductile iron castings are typically very bad from China. They will look for loopholes in specifications, play all crafty games with sending one sample for approval then produce at lower quality levels, and all that.

I know I'm getting a little off topic, but the quality of a metal will also effect corrosion properties of a coating\paint system applied over it, casting porosity will decrease coating porosity, and all nasty things resulting in pre-mature failures of components.

I have had so many cases where I'm investigating a corrosion problem, wasting a lot of time and money chasing down red herrings, only to finally prove the fault was in the metal involved. So many manufacturers (everywhere) change sources of metal based on price and availability, it makes it a nightmare when trying to trace failures relating to the metal.

It takes so much monitoring of manufacturing processes and sourcing streams relating to China, Mexico, and other suspect countries - that by the time you invest in a proper quality control regimen, regular audits, and then you still having a high percentage of failures in the field - profits are significantly lower than some bean counter calculated and then you blow your reputation for having poor quality. Most companies that import crap from these companies don't even attempt to perform due diligence in the first place

Whoa. Talk about a run on sentence.
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