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I need to make a square end on a steel rod. The rod is about 11/32 and the square part needs to be about 7/32. Anytime I've ever tried doing something like this by hand, I've always ended up with uneven sides.

And ideas or tips that could help me come up with a square end with equal sides? I have no metal milling machinery and my past lack of success seems to indicate that "be careful" doesn't work so well either..
 

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If you have no machinery, you have to do it by hand file. Do the best that you can and live with it or take it to a machine shop.


Just do a little bit on each time keeping the file as square to the last cut as you can. Work your away around as many times as it takes to get to the desired dimension.



George
 

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I need to make a square end on a steel rod. The rod is about 11/32 and the square part needs to be about 7/32. Anytime I've ever tried doing something like this by hand, I've always ended up with uneven sides.

And ideas or tips that could help me come up with a square end with equal sides? I have no metal milling machinery and my past lack of success seems to indicate that "be careful" doesn't work so well either..
What do you have for equipment? How long does the square portion need to be?

Equipment required;
drill press
some means to cut one or two square blocks of wood
some means to drill a 11/32 hole exactly thru the center of said wooden blocks
a 3 inch cutoff wheel with mandrel

Once you have the blocks made with the hole in them, use some hot glue to glue them onto the rod similar to as shown in the diagram. These will be your guide blocks to control cutting 90 degree sides to your square.
Put the cutoff wheel in the drill press. Adjust and lock the height to slice away the excess material. In this case 1/16 per side.
Do one side, rotated the rod/guide blocks assembly 180 degrees and cut the opposite side. (Manually advance the rod into the spinning cutoff wheel.)
Measure to check thickness, if OK cut the remaining two sides.
Use heat to remove the guide blocks.
 

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Ancient Termite
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OK. Lets use some of the math we learned in grade school. That means you will need to remove 1/16 from four sides of the round rod.

Go to the hardware store and get a flat mill file. Hold the rod in a vise while filing. A simple cheap clamp on vise will suffice. If the sides of the needed square are numbered consecutively, start with 2, back up to 1 and then 3. Get the 1,3 sides parallel and square then true up 4.

You can use a small square to insure that you are turning the rod 90° by referencing against the vise.

If you really work at the project it might take you a couple of hours. But more than likely 15 minutes.
 

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Village Idiot
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How precise do you need it to be? Anything more than "eh, looks close enough", get a 12 pack and walk it down to the closest machine shop you can find. Trying to get a centered, square end on a round bar without any metalworking tools beyond a bastard file is going to be a PITA no matter what you do. I can think of a few ideas for blocks you can clamp to the bar to work as a file guide, but honestly they probably wont work any better than freehanding it
 
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