Metal work for the Australian Radio Amateur – Upcoming talk by VK3ZZC

At the next club meeting at 10am, Saturday, June 17, we are delighted to welcome prolific home brew builder Ralph, VK3ZZC who will share lessons from his long experience of metalworking at home.

If you have the urge to construct your own ham equipment then at some stage you will be required to perform some simple metalworking operations. In the old days this activity was called “chassis bashing” when all things radio were mounted on an aluminium or tin plate steel chassis. Making the large diameter holes for valve sockets or funny shaped holes for inductors was a total pain. These days we have moved on. Tools have improved and the kind of tools once reserved for professional metal shops are readily affordable to the determined hobbyist.

The kinds of metal work Ralph has encountered involve box construction, antenna construction and lately the construction of simple machinery. Simple competence with sheet metal is rapidly and easily acquired with modern tools. Aluminium is the metal of choice due to its high availability, lack of corrosion and easy work ability. Brass is the “gold standard” for high power or low loss RF plumbing due to solder-ability, high conductance easy cutting and working compared with steel tinplate. Brass sheet is very costly, nice if you can find it at scrap yards or by re-purposing junk.

Topics to be covered include:

  • Tools & their maintenance
  • Fasteners
  • Laying out
  • Cutting
  • Filing
  • Bending
  • Joining
  • Materials

Ralph has shared his knowledge over many years at a website that will bring back a wave of nostalgia for the early web. Notes will be provided at the talk.