When cutting sheet metal, I like to use a flap wheel instead of a grinding wheel for cleaning up a cut. Takes off just enough material to get rid of the slag/dross.
Instead of using a drag tip, I prefer standoff cutting. Simply measure how far your kerf is from the edge of the standoff guide, then set your straightedge accordingly. It’s very accurate, and saves consumables.Notice how the straightedge is offset from the cut line. The actual cut line is where the torch nozzle cuts. In this case….5/8″ from the edge of the standoff guide on the torch.
The old battery boxes were used as a template to mark the bolt holes for attaching the things to the tractor.Had to do this because the holes in the tractor were not in line, or the same on both sides.
After the holes were marked, I took the pieces of sheetmetal, and dry fitted them on the tractor. THIS IS IMPORTANT……..ALWAYS BUILD FROM THE OLD OUT TO THE NEW. NEVER ASSUME ANYTHING. As it turned out, the holes would have been off about 1/2″. The old boxes were narrower, and the new ones, designed to handle full size commercial truck batteries, were wider.Because the boxes are mirror images, the pieces had to be kept separate, and marked as to which box they were for. Bolt hole placement is different on either side of the tractor.
All the metal was tacked with pretty small tacks, but still actual serviceable mini welds. Don’t think that tacks aren’t important, they sometimes have to withstand some actual stress during fitup, and welding.The finish welds are small, this prevents distortion.It’s important to note that something like this should be welded with a series of small welds….no need for continuous weld.Drainage holes were cut in the floor of the box to keep water from collecting. These are open boxes.
Next step is to mount everything up, and put the batteries back.Currently I’m running Group 65 batteries because I got a good deal on them. The boxes are sized to accept larger batteries if I happen to get a good deal on those next time around.