How to make some links!!!

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Budhatrain
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How to make some links!!!

Post by Budhatrain » Sun Mar 10, 2013 1:55 am

With a couple of projects I have going on... I need links made. I purchased some from a retailer a couple weeks ago and spent $30 for a set of 4 custom links (included shipping). Wasn't too much money but I ended up needing to re-tap them and provide my own rod ends. I looked at that and said, "surely I can do better than that?!"

So I pursued what I am about to share. There are other ways, some similar to this but just with different resources. For what I need them for and the look I have already established on my builds, this was a good fit.

First I purchased some aluminum tube from here: https://www.onlinemetals.com/merchant.c ... top_cat=60 I cannot tell you the difference from aluminum pipe and aluminum tube... but I "think" tube was the better fit. Another fabricator tried going this route himself and said he was unhappy from the center hole not being center, not sure what he tried buying and where he tried buying it at... but mine was dead on perfect, doesn't look like it will ever be a problem. He also warned me that tube "might" be weaker than aluminum rod. Surely it is but I can't notice it at all and for what I using them for- I am confident it will never be a worry. Also he has a lathe and it does take him longer than my project did :) So pro's and con's people. I am just a broke and cheap guy here. The Outside Diameter (OD) is 1/4in and the Inside Diameter (ID) is 1/8in. For this project I am using traxxas jato rod ends ect... so this is perfect with 8-32 studs.

I don't know about you, but cutting a straight line can be an issue for me... so a LHS guy suggested this little hobby saw and it cuts through aluminium like butter- thin cut and straightish.

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Here is what I am going for... on the left is a link from current build style, on the right is what I made.

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I cut some aluminum tube to my desired length. Chuck'd the tube in one of my cordless drills. Used the proper tap drill bit. Tapped the tube by hand (do not do this part with a cordless drill).

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Some things to take note. I marked the maximum depth I wanted my 8-32 studs (picked up the studs from Local Hardware Store). Also while you have the tap out- save yourself some grief and just tap the rod ends too :)

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Ok, now lets finish this right! The finish on the newly bought tube is nothing to brag about. So just use some hobby grade very fine sand paper and spin the drill. Makes the tube look much better for a completed project.

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So that's that! Very happy with the results and I have plenty of material for 2-5 more builds depending on what I use it for. Total cost... $5.71 for 2ft of aluminum tube (I used 6" for this project). 12 traxxas rod ends, $6. 8-32 studs $.55 ea. I already owned the tap- but that's like $8. Joy of personal discovery and building..... wait for it..... wait for it..... PRICELESS.

Just kidding... I didn't really do bargain shopping here, just went to the most convenient suppliers I could find- so I am sure I can bring that price down. I think if someone is charging around $20 for a set of 4 links, it's a good deal especially if they include all the hardware (including rod ends ect). Plus you add shipping. I will just do it myself, save some money and take joy in fabricating my own stuff.

If you have anything to add here, please feel free. Another option I am pursuing is aluminum rod and delrin rod... I picked up these drill guides from a guy named Jeepin Doug on rccrawler for $18 (set of three different sizes). Looks to be easy peezy too!

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SFC K
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Re: How to make some links!!!

Post by SFC K » Sun Mar 10, 2013 2:12 am

This looks much easier than the brake line and threaded rod bit I did for my links. Nice write up Mike. I'm sure a lot of guy's will see this and make their own. I may do this the next time I need links. Very Nice!
Jeff

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andymac0035
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Re: How to make some links!!!

Post by andymac0035 » Sun Mar 10, 2013 2:21 am

Sticky-worthy!
Nice job Mike!

91lxcoupe
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Re: How to make some links!!!

Post by 91lxcoupe » Sun Mar 10, 2013 2:34 am

nice work man

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Budhatrain
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Re: How to make some links!!!

Post by Budhatrain » Sun Mar 10, 2013 3:17 am

SFC K wrote:This looks much easier than the brake line and threaded rod bit I did for my links. Nice write up Mike. I'm sure a lot of guy's will see this and make their own. I may do this the next time I need links. Very Nice!
you should add the brake line method so that people can see it! I know I heard that way for a long time... :)
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SFC K
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Re: How to make some links!!!

Post by SFC K » Sun Mar 10, 2013 3:49 am

Budhatrain wrote:
SFC K wrote:This looks much easier than the brake line and threaded rod bit I did for my links. Nice write up Mike. I'm sure a lot of guy's will see this and make their own. I may do this the next time I need links. Very Nice!
you should add the brake line method so that people can see it! I know I heard that way for a long time... :)

I will have to do that. :wink:
Jeff

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charliechristmas58
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Re: How to make some links!!!

Post by charliechristmas58 » Sun Mar 10, 2013 4:31 am

I have been looking for those drill guides and i cant find them. someone posted a link one time. and are you trying to put Brett out of business (jk) :lol: I have made a lot of links and im just lazy thats why i get CPE to do it. But i think i well give the aluminum tube and allthread a shot cant be that hard i hope. :D
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slapshot1979
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Re: How to make some links!!!

Post by slapshot1979 » Sun Mar 10, 2013 12:23 pm

Ive been making those drill guides for years for the guys in my area. I have found that a little longer guide part for the drill bit and a cross hole for the shavings to escape works better IMO. as is you make alot like I do then as the shavings get pulled up into the guide hole it eventually gets excesive wear.

I think someone posted something like this awile back put ot got pulled for some reason!

Still a good thread for the DIY guys, and a good write up. :D

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mugen69
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Re: How to make some links!!!

Post by mugen69 » Sun Mar 10, 2013 8:39 pm

Thanks for the info, It is a big help

nosyajg
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Re: How to make some links!!!

Post by nosyajg » Mon Mar 11, 2013 8:04 am

slapshot1979 wrote:Ive been making those drill guides for years for the guys in my area. I have found that a little longer guide part for the drill bit and a cross hole for the shavings to escape works better IMO. as is you make alot like I do then as the shavings get pulled up into the guide hole it eventually gets excesive wear.
so how much for a set shipped of your updated drill guides?

slapshot1979
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Re: How to make some links!!!

Post by slapshot1979 » Mon Mar 11, 2013 12:28 pm

nosyajg wrote:
slapshot1979 wrote:Ive been making those drill guides for years for the guys in my area. I have found that a little longer guide part for the drill bit and a cross hole for the shavings to escape works better IMO. as is you make alot like I do then as the shavings get pulled up into the guide hole it eventually gets excesive wear.
so how much for a set shipped of your updated drill guides?

I dont really make sets, It would depend on what size rod and tapped hole size you wanted. I generally use 5/16 or 6mm rod (cant remember) with 3mm threaded holes. you can Pm if you want.

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apadua
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Re: How to make some links!!!

Post by apadua » Mon Mar 11, 2013 6:57 pm

Wow...

Great Job... I make take a stab at this one day...

kball
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Re: How to make some links!!!

Post by kball » Thu Jun 20, 2013 7:52 pm

Good post! Ill be doing this soon.

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Heathen
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Re: How to make some links!!!

Post by Heathen » Tue Apr 08, 2014 8:57 pm

I am taking my Dragoon build to the next level and I need to find a supplier a little closer to home. These guys are a little too far away and I fear it would not be good shipping medal that far, https://www.onlinemetals.com/merchant.c ... top_cat=60.

I have tried Metalsupermarkets.com and they are of no help.

Does anyone know a good Canadian supplier of medal
Hooked since 95

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Dukk
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Re: How to make some links!!!

Post by Dukk » Wed Apr 09, 2014 4:34 am

^ What are you looking for? Metal Supermarkets doesn't have much for tube or pipe this small but they do have solid round bar that can be drilled and tapped. A hobby shop should be able to get whatever K&S Engineering offers and it's all over ebay too.

And the difference between pipe and tube is that tube is usually heavier but most importantly, pipe is nominally measured internally while tube is nominally measured externally, ie a 1" tube will slide inside a 1" pipe.

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