Re: GAS TANK SKIDZ
In regard to bending the steel diamond plate, here's the preferred farmer technique.
1. Position steel on top of a very sturdy steel structure (welding table, welding stands, etc.) so that the line where you desire the bend to be at is just under 1/4" away from the edge of the table (so the desired bend will be just a hair past the table.
2. Take a big piece of angle iron and place it on top of the piece of steel, so that it is even with the edge of the table...use a few big c-clamps or those screw/friction welding clamps to really crank that baby down to the table.
3. Get out your rosebud torch end, and have a sledge hammer handy.
4. Before bending, make a little jig out of wood or light steel that shows the angle you want to bend to.
5. Use the rosebud to heat one corner red hot...as it gets hot, slowly move across the bend line from side to side, building heat...as you move across, that which has already been heated will start to cool, so you have to heat a little, then backtrack, then heat a little more. When you have the whole thing pretty darn hot right at your bend, start smacking it with the sledge...use your jig to measure the proper angle. It helps to have a buddy run the sledge so you can measure with the jig and keep heating with the torch.
Just a side note...when I built mine, I wasn't nearly as worried about the skid being dented or pushed up into the jeep (since it was heavy steel and was attached pretty darn securely) as I was about the front lip being caught on something and pushed backwards. There's not a very good way to attach it in the front that I felt wholly comfortable with, so I built a crossmember that ties the rear of the skidplate into the rear frame crossmember and my h/d rear bumper to keep the skidplate from relocating the gas tank to the rear a few inches...might want to think about that...
Trying to come up with a witty line to end all of my posts...