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Old March 17th, 2011, 07:11 PM   #1
TimberwolfFXDL
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Default My CNC Plasma project: Jeep JK hitch

I know you can buy them for $50-$60 or so, but since I am taking a manufacturing engineering class at the local college, I had to do a CNC Plasma project and a fabrication project. So don't give me too much grief about doing something the hard way when there's product out there cheap to buy ;)

So I decided to combine them into one and make my own hitch. So far I have $12 into it, and that's only because I had to buy the square receiver tubing ($4.95 at Alro plus a $7 cut charge). All the plate steel we had in the shop already.

I designed the pieces I wanted in Autocad. I used Acad 2010, but our CNC controller software for the plasma cutter only recognizes DWG files from Acad R14 and older.

It looked like this:



I eventually redesigned the chain hook plate and forgot to take a new screen shot. But you'll see that later.

Here's a shot of the plasma deck and CNC controller. We have some sheet stainless on there to do a test run so we can check part fitment.



The kerf on the plasma was a bit wider than I liked, and it made the part dimensions a little funny. Here's the stainless sheet after cutting:



Rather than playing with the tolerances in the CNC software, I made a quick adjustment to the drawing instead. I also didn't like the chain plate, so I changed it a bit as I mentioned above. Here's the parts right off the bed. This is the 1/4" plate steel. Slag hasn't even been knocked off yet when I took this shot.



After cleaning up the slag, removing the mask coat in the area I needed to weld, and cleaning up the tube, I MIG welded them together and ground down the top weld where it fits against the bumper.



That was about all I had time for today. I want to pull the bumper cover and clamp the back half in place and make layout marks where the front plate and chain plate will be welded. More to come first of the week (shop is closed tomorrow). But here's a quick mockup after cutting the tube to length and drilling the pin hole.



More to come! Time for green beer!
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Old March 18th, 2011, 07:42 AM   #2
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OK, Part 2:

Being as we didn't have a piece of square tubing of correct size in the steel room, I grabbed a 1/4" x 3/4" steel bar. I tacked one end on the bottom of the hitch so the seam would be hidden, then clamped it in the vice. With the aid of a little persuasion and a ball peen hammer, I wrapped the first side. Then welded it, and continued to the next side. Rinse, repeat :)




Once completed, I faced it with the grinder to make sure there were no ledges.



Then onto the hook plate. No real magic here. Just square it up, center it and weld.




I ground the two inside welds on the top of the tube flush so the hitch would fit tight to the bottom of the cross member. After that, a trip to the sandblasting cabinet.



Once at home, it got 3-4 light coats of Duplicolor Spray-On Bedliner:


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Old March 18th, 2011, 08:01 AM   #3
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nice work!
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Old March 18th, 2011, 08:50 AM   #4
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I like when people take the time to make their stuff rather than just throw money at it.

Look good too!
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Old March 24th, 2011, 11:55 AM   #5
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Very nice work! I to agree with littletrucker.
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