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Old 02-05-2013, 01:28 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Leonardtown, MD
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Modified/re-purposed vise grips

Had someone stop by the shop needing to add a bead to the end of the aluminum tubing (fuel fill) he had to install in his Cobra project. He had trimmed one end for a better fit and needed to replace the bead for the hose... match the other end.

The dies on my bead roller were much too large in diameter, so I thought to make a manual device out of a pair of vise grips... Once the teeth start to wear these make ideal candidates for purpose-built tools. For the punch part of the tool, started with a thick 5/8 washer and gave the edges a nice radius in the lathe.

The vise grip bottom teeth were welded in and sanded smooth to provide a flat area for the punch to push against without so much marking of the tubing, then an 1/8" thick 3" dia cut off wheel provided the recess in the lower jaw of the vise grips.

The washer was notched and bent to better fit the vise grips for welding....

Multiple layers of masking tape added to use as a reference/stop mark to align against end of vise grip jaw. The masking tape worked well to provide a reference stop and not scratch the polished aluminum, like a hose clamp might.

The vise grips with their adjustable jaw setting work well to set the tension, clamp on the tubing every 1/4 inch or so, making one complete revolution around the tube, then adjust tighter and repeat as needed...

Finished product....

A nice tool for less than $15, just right for a one time or limited use.

Feel free to add what modification you've done with your vise grips...

Last edited by augie; 06-16-2013 at 12:38 AM.
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