Tutorial – DIY Inside Corner Bracket


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Senior member Navig has graced the our forums with another detailed how-to. This time he tells us how to make a corner bracket for connecting aluminum square tube together. There is even a bonus how-to make endplugs for the open end of the square tube you’re left with.

Navig’s thread will be merged into this article’s comments thread so the tutorial will be in the Comments section below. If the photos don’t load properly, just click this link and head straight to the forum post to read his superb tutorial.

Thanks for sharing your craft with us Navig!

– Jeremy Vaughan (hokiealumnus)

About Jeremy Vaughan 197 Articles
I'm an editor and writer here at Overclockers.com as well as a moderator at our beloved forums. I've been around the overclocking community for several years and just love to sink my teeth into any hardware I can get my paws on!

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Navig

Senior Case Master

1,725 messages 7 likes

Step #1

Materials.

Stockbrass.jpg

I started with ¾” angle brass, 1/16” thickness.

Why brass? It’s solid, machinable, inexpensive, can be powdercoated, comes in standard sizes like 1/16” thick. Aluminum would be ideal, but you just can’t easily solder it, and welding it would require some fairly expensive specialized equipment. Steel would work great, but I only found ⅛” thick angle, which is probably overkill for our purposes.

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Navig

Senior Case Master

1,725 messages 7 likes

Step #2

Cutting down the stock.

Each bracket of mine is composed of 2 pieces of the angle brass, one 4” in length and one 2 1/16” in length

Cutstock.jpg

Tools:
I use a cutting bandsaw:

Cuttingstock.jpg

Alternatives: chopsaw, cutt-off saw, dremel with a cutoff wheel, standard bandsaw, handsaw with a miterbox, tablesaw with a sled, scrollsaw, sawzall.

I also use a sanding disk to finish the edges:

Sandingstock.jpg

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Navig

Senior Case Master

1,725 messages 7 likes

Step #3

Add the mounting holes.

I suggest making a quick marking jig to make your holes consistent from bracket to bracket:

Markingjig.jpg

Then use a center punch to create divots for your drill:

Centerpunch.jpg

Weapon of choice: springloaded center punch

Drill all your holes:

Drillingholes.jpg

Be careful here! I’ve noticed brass has what I call pull-thru. When standard drill bits exit the far side of the material, they will catch on the under-surface and cause the material to jump up towards the chuck. You can hold it down easily, but just be ready for the jump.

Weapon of choice: drill press.

Alternate tools: drill

Stockwithholes.jpg

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Navig

Senior Case Master

1,725 messages 7 likes

Step #4

Slot the 4” piece.

First mark a midline slot:

Stockslotmarked.jpg

Next cut the slot out (I’ve also added a pencil line for the next step):

Stockwithslot.jpg

I use my bandsaw:

Cuttingslot.jpg

Alternate tools: dremel with cutoff, hand miter box.

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Navig

Senior Case Master

1,725 messages 7 likes

Step #5

Score the bend line.

Using my dremel I lightly score the bend line. This will help it bend easier and straighter:

Dremelslot.jpg

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Navig

Senior Case Master

1,725 messages 7 likes

Step #6

Bend the 4” piece.

Vicetobend.jpg

Clamp the 4” piece in a vise, with just about 1/64” addition from the previously scored bend line to accommodate the bend radius.

Then I apply some gentle heat, and pound the bend in with a hammer.

Vicebend2.jpg

Video (click to view)

th_Bendingbrass.jpg

Tools: vice, hammer, butane plumber's torch

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Navig

Senior Case Master

1,725 messages 7 likes

Step #7

Prep your soldering surfaces.

Some people feel that prepping is a good but not essential step. Surface preparation is CRUCIAL for welding and soldering. If you don’t take time and prep, the solder will NOT hold and you might as well not do any of this.

Prep the interface surface:

Prep.jpg

I used an 80 grit sanding triangle on a Dremel Multimax followed by 220 grit by hand, then cleaning with a paper towl.

Alternates: plumber’s cleaning cloth, sandpaper by hand.

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Navig

Senior Case Master

1,725 messages 7 likes

Step #8

Setup your soldering jig.

Jig.jpg

I’ve got my brass pieces ready to solder together, but it is best to do so while they are attached to a jig. So I put together 3 pieces of ¾” square tube together to a corner, held by external L brackets. This is important so that you know your bracket will come out shaped properly.

Jig2.jpg

Next, I secured the inside corner bracket to the jig with some screws and tape.

Mountedtojig.jpg

We are going to make a butt joint, where the ends of the folded 4” piece will meet the surface of the 2” piece. This is why the 2” piece is actually 2 1/16” in length because it sits down losing 1/16” of its length to make the joint.

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Navig

Senior Case Master

1,725 messages 7 likes

Step #9

Gather your tools to solder.

Solderingtools.jpg

We’ve got for soldering:

1) Small butane lighter
2) Larger propane torch (not necessary but makes it faster)
3) Flux and brush
All available at any hardware store in the aisle for copper plumbing.
4) Solder--I’m using standard Radioshack solder (it’s leaded, so remember, wear mask).
5) Forceps or tweezers for handing hot items, maybe some hot mitts

Safety:

1) N95 mask, especially if you are using leaded solder
2) Gloves
3) Something to torch on, in this case an old aluminum motherboard tray
4) Squirt bottle of water
5) Fire extinguisher

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Navig

Senior Case Master

1,725 messages 7 likes

Step #10

More prep.

Make sure you surfaces are sanded and clean bare metal.

Then add flux. Flux will dictate where the solder will go, 2 important things to remember:

1) Work the flux down into the surfaces of the actual joint (especially on the edge of the folded piece--in fact its probably better to flux this surface before mounting it to the jig).

2) Only put flux where you want solder to go--in fact I will mask off areas to lay down my flux:

Flux.jpg

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