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26-75  Surface grinders can be used for various weld preparation such
as tensile test specimens.   © Renee Bohnart

Power Punch
Another method of making holes in metal is with a power
punch. It is important for the shop to provide a machine
that can punch holes in different shapes and sizes with a
minimum of tool change time. Fig. 26-76  A pedestal model of an electric drill press
There are combination machines available that will punch with dial-controlled variable speeds.  © Clausing
Industrial, Inc.
and shear, such as the power iron worker shown in Figs. 26-78,
page 864 and 26-79, page 864, which is capable of exerting
18 tons of force to punch a 7⁄8-inch hole through ¼-inch thick
material. It can also shear angle iron, round bar, square bar,
flat bar, and channels, and be used as a conven-
tional press for forming. It has a blade guard, foot
lever guard, and gear guard for operator protection.

Using high pressure water to change the shape
of a piece has been done for many years. You
can experience the tremendous forces that can
be exerted by water by simply observing a gar-
den hose. When the water nozzle is open, the tap
pressure expels the water from the end of the
hose nozzle. However, if the nozzle is adjusted
to stop the flow of water, the outside diameter
of the hose will increase because of the pressure
buildup. The same principle is used for hydro-
forming. Figure 26-80, page 864 shows some
typical parts that can be made with this process.
The process is quite simple as illustrated in
Fig. 26-81, page 864. It is similar in operation to a
punch press; however, it uses half the tooling and Fig. 26-77  Pedestal drill press in operation.  © Renee Bohnart

General Equipment for Welding Shops   Chapter 26  863

Fig. 26-78  Iron Worker used to punch a hole in a steel plate.
Note the punch and die. The safety door is open to show interior
components.  © Renee Bohnart

a computer program adjusts the water pressure to shape the

desired form, unlike the traditional system of top and bot-
tom dies used in a press operation. Figure 26-82 is a small
hydroforming press capable of production and use for devel- Fig. 26-79  An 18-ton power iron worker capable of sheering,
punching, and forming. It is capable of approximately 48 strokes per
opment work. minute. Note the safety guards.  © Rogers Manufacturing Inc.
There are many advantages to hydroforming. It
• Can process complex components in a single
• Saves materials and money through part elimination
and simplified assembly
• Reduces tooling costs
• Has dimensional precision
• Reduces part weight
• Reduces the number of weld joints
• Increases part stiffness
Tooling costs are one of the major concerns when working
on weldments. In simple terms, hydroforming is not a tool- Fig. 26-80  Hydroformed tubes and structures that may become
intensive technology, unlike pressure punch or stamping part of a weldment.  © Schuler AG

Hydroforming Process

Upper Die Ram
Upper Die
Formed Part

Lower Die Lower Die

Platten of Press Platten of Press
In the first step the steel Step two involves filling As the steel expands
tube is inserted into the the tube with water under the pressure, the
hydroforming machine’s under incredible levels part is formed, or bent
die. of pressure. into the desired shape.

Fig. 26-81  Schematic of hydroforming operation.  Source: Advanced Manufacturing.

864  Chapter 26 General Equipment for Welding Shops

Metal-Cutting Band Saws
A power saw is used more than any other tool
in the welding shop. These saws cut rectangu-
lar and round bars, angle iron, and a variety of
other structural shapes. The metal-cutting band
saw shown in Fig. 26-83 is a portable machine
that is actually two machines in one. As a hori-
zontal cut-off saw, it features a quick-action vise,
which swivels to 45°; an adjustable blade guide;
and an automatic shutoff switch. Only seconds
are required to convert the tool for vertical use.
The head is swung into an upright position, a
work table is attached, and the saw is ready
for cutting angles, slots, notches, and bevels,
Fig. 26-84, page 866. ­Figures 26-85, page 866
and 26-86, page 866 show in use the vertical and
horizontal band saw, respectively.
A more sophisticated model of the vertical
band saw is shown in Fig. 26-87, page 866.

Fig. 26-82  A hydroforming press and computer control capable

of doing production and development operations. It is capable of
exerting 75 tons of clamping force with a pressure intensifier
capable of water pressures of 20,000 pounds per square inch. 
© Interlaken Technology Corp

operations. The hydroform tooling is simple, low cost, and

capable of being used for short or long runs. Table 26-1
represents some cost considerations.
Limitations are that hydroforming must be done on
newly designed parts, because the existing part design may
not lend itself to hydroforming. The raw material tube will
be more expensive than a sheet of steel that may be used for
a punch pressed part. Hydroforming cycle times are longer
than those of a punch press. There is wall thinning in areas
where maximum stretch is required. As more work is placed
on designing materials for hydroforming, tailored tubes with
differing properties and wall thicknesses will be produced. Fig. 26-83  A horizontal metal-cutting band saw for cutting bars,
angles, and pipe.

Table 26-1  Cost Comparison of Hydroforming and Conventional

Punch Press Operation for an Engine Cradle
Number Tool Costs Part Costs1
Type of Parts Weight (U.S. $) (U.S. $)
Conventional manufactured 34 24.56 5,359.090 51.00
Hydroforming steel 30 20.50 3,712.636 42.83
Hydroforming aluminum 1
30 14.41 3,891.727 73.17
Aluminum; 25% less weight, 30% higher part costs.
Source: Advanced Manufacturing.

General Equipment for Welding Shops   Chapter 26  865

Fig. 26-84  A metal-cutting band saw in the vertical ­position. Fig. 26-86  Horizontal band saw in use. Once the angle iron
length to be cut is measured and securely clamped in place, the
saw blade guides will be repositioned as close as possible to the
part being cut.  © Renee Bohnart

Fig. 26-85  Vertical band saw in use. Note the material handing
tool to keep hands away from the blade and also the well-lighted
work surface.  © Renee Bohnart

This type of machine is often called a band machine be-

cause of its continuous sawblade. Many people in industry
feel that it offers many advantages over other types of cut-
ting tools. Unlike other machine tools, it cuts directly to
a layout line and removes material in sections instead of
chips. Chipless cutting saves both time and material.
The cutting tool on a band saw is a continuous band in
which each single-point tooth is a precision cutting tool. Fig. 26-87  A metal-cutting band saw and the many forms that
It cuts continuously and fast. Wear spreads evenly over all can be cut with this machine.  © Baileigh Industrial, Inc.
the teeth to extend tool life. Because reciprocating ma-
chines waste motion on the return stroke, the band ma-
chine’s continuous action allows it to do more work in the overcome material resistance than do the bigger, wider
same amount of time. cutters on other machine tools.
The thin band tool, a fraction of an inch thick, saves A significant advantage of band machining is its unre-
material. Because of its size, it takes less horsepower to stricted versatility. There is no limit to the length, angle,

866  Chapter 26 General Equipment for Welding Shops

Less Horsepower Unrestricted Machining Continuous Cutting
Tooth No Limitation Chip Removal is
Kerf on Angle, Fast and Accurate
Direction, or
Length of Cut

of Material
Reduced Each Tooth is
to Chips a Precision
Built-in Cutting Tool
Tool Holder
Least Material Waste Holds Sharpness Simple Fixturing

Removes Downward
Whole Cutting Action
Wear is
over Many

Uniform Chip
Cuts Directly Load per Tooth Cutting Force Holds
to Finish Line Work to Table

Fig. 26-88  Advantages of the band machine.

contour, or radius that can be cut. The constant downward

force of the band holds the work to the table so that it is
easy to hold or fixture work for production runs. Making
a setup or changeover is fast, operation is easy, and cost
per cut is low. Figure 26-88 summarizes the advantages of
band machining.
If the band machine’s saw blade could be replaced
with a high pressure water jet, even more versatility
could be achieved while maintaining many of the same
advantages. Water jet cutting technology is unique in
that it can cut almost all materials cost effectively from
the hardest metals to the softest food products. The en-
ergy required for cutting materials is obtained by cre-
ating ultrahigh water pressures and forming an intense
cutting stream by focusing this high speed water through
a small, precious-stone orifice. There are two main steps
involved in the water jet cutting process. First, the ultra- Fig. 26-89  Water jet being used to cut a gear out of a plate. 
high pressure pump or intensifier generally pressurizes
normal tap water to levels above 40,000 p.s.i. (2,760 bar),
to produce the energy required for cutting. Second, water to be cut much like with the band machine, Fig. 26-89.
is then focused through a small precious-stone orifice to Motion equipment can be more sophisticated than that
form an intense cutting stream. The stream moves at a of the band machine and may range from a simple
velocity of up to 2.5 times the speed of sound, depending cross-cutter to two-dimensional systems and three-
on how the water pressure is exerted. The process is ap- dimensional machines as well as multiple-axis robots.
plicable to both water only and water with abrasives. The Computer aided design/computer aided manufacturing
cutting nozzle can be stationary or integrated into motion (CAD/CAM) software combined with computer nu-
equipment, which allows for intricate shapes and designs merical control (CNC) controllers translate drawings or

General Equipment for Welding Shops   Chapter 26  867

commands into a digitally programmed path for the cut- determine which method is better for a particular job to
ting head to follow. Chapter 25 has addition information be done.
on water jet cutting.
Since much of the work that can be done on band saws, For video of water jet cutting technology, please
band machines, or water jets can also be done with arc visit
or flame cutting, the welder or fabricator will have to


Multiple Choice 8. Magnetic clamps are useful work holding devices;

Choose the letter of the correct answer. however, they may cause_______. (Obj. 26-3)
1. Ventilation systems are used to remove what in the a. Marking of the metal
welding booth? (Obj. 26-1) b. Deflection of the shielding gas
a. Smoke c. Magnetic arc blow
b. Fumes d. Muscle strain when trying to remove them
c. Particulate 9. Modular tooling is_______. (Obj. 26-3)
d. All of these a. Seldom used and not very flexible
2. Transparent welding curtains should_______. (Obj. b. Only used for locating of parts but never used for
26-1) welding
a. Exhibit good visibility c. Very flexible and used for a variety of
b. Minimize arc glare applications
c. Reflect usable light back into the work area d. Both b and c
d. All of these 10. Portable power tools can be powered from_______.
3. Welding positioners are used to_______. (Obj. 26-1) (Obj. 26-4)
a. Put the weldments in the most advantageous a. Electric motors
welding position b. Pneumatics
b. Move the arc along a fixed workpiece c. Hydraulics
c. Allow the use of manual welding processes d. All of these
d. Allow the use of high energy-density beams
4. Turning rolls are devices used to make_______. Review Questions
(Obj. 26-1) Write the answers in your own words.
a. Longitudinal welds on tanks 11. Explain why positioners are used with other
b. Circumferential welds on tanks ­devices. (Obj. 26-1)
c. Girth welds on tanks
12. How are turntables used with robotic applications?
d. Both b and c
(Obj. 26-1)
5. Manipulators are used to provide travel in which di-
rection? (Obj. 26-1) 13. Explain why the side beam carriage can have such
a. Vertical close linear tolerances and what a typical linear tol-
b. Horizontal erance would be over 10 feet of carriage ­movement.
c. Circular (Obj. 26-2)
d. Both a and b 14. Describe how a trackless carriage system works and
6. Seamers move the arc along a fixed weldment. (Obj. what type of joints they can be used on. (Obj. 26-2)
26-2) 15. Describe the applications and typical welding posi-
a. True tions encountered with the enclosed head ­orbital
b. False welding machines. (Obj. 26-2)
7. Side beam carriages move the arc along a fixed 16. Why is ceramic backing material in some cases pre-
weldment. (Obj. 26-2) ferred over copper backing? (Obj. 26-3)
a. True 17. List eight induction heating applications and list re-
b. False lated workpieces. (Obj. 26-3)

868  Chapter 26 General Equipment for Welding Shops

18. Which type of hand power tools should be 19. List some typical applications the power iron
used with engine-driven welding generators worker can be used for. (Obj. 26-4)
that only have d.c. auxiliary power and why? 20. List five advantages of both the band machine and
(Obj. 26-4) the water jet cutting machine. (Obj. 26-4)


Internet Activity A
Using your favorite search engines find the largest weld positioner that is cur-
rently available on the market. Record the date, manufacturer, and the pertinent
Internet Activity B
Using your favorite search engines find information about the advantages and limi-
tations of pneumatic-powered hand tools as compared to electric-powered hand

General Equipment for Welding Shops   Chapter 26  869