How Can You Fabricate Ductwork by Yourself?

Most homeowners hire professional technicians to repair their HVAC units. When you want to save money, you might wonder if you have what it takes to do your own ductwork.

Depending on how handy you are with a few simple tools, you could craft ductwork that might work well in your HVAC. You can fabricate your own ductwork by following these steps.

Gather the Necessary Materials

Before you make your own ductwork, you need to make sure you have the right materials and tools on hand. You should start by purchasing a piece of sheet metal that measures four by eight feet.

You also should make sure you have a table and work area that is large enough to accommodate the sheet metal. After you buy the metal and tools like a sheet metal hammer and steel ruler, you can start making ductwork for your HVAC.

Measure and Mark the Sheet Metal

Using the steel ruler, you can then start measuring and marking the metal before cutting and forming it. Place the steel ruler anywhere from 10 to 12 inches from the metal’s long edge. After lining up the ruler to the sheet metal, mark the metal at one inch in two places. Make sure the marks are two feet apart.

Then slide the ruler away from the metal’s edge until the edge of the ruler lines up at one of the one-inch marks. Locate the measurement on your ruler that corresponds with the width of the duct and then mark the metal at this point. Repeat this for one more inch.

Continue this process to measure for the height and length as well as one more measurement for the width of the duct. The last measurement should be marked at the ¼-inch mark. When you are finished marking the metal, you should have a pattern of:

  • One inch
  • Width of the duct
  • Height of the duct
  • Width of the duct
  • ¼-inch

When this pattern is in place, you are ready to put the ductwork together.

Bending the Metal

Bending and crafting the metal into ductwork requires you to use a lock former machine. Follow the measurements on the metal to bend it at each mark. You will have a ¼-inch lip on the duct when it is finished. Use a sheet metal hammer to clamp this down and lock the duct into place.

Ductwork does not have to cost you a lot of money. If you are handy with working with sheet metal, you could craft your own for your HVAC. Call us today at 408-295-2182 for more information.

How are Sheet Metal Ducts Made?

There are basically two types of ductwork. The first type, which is also the most frequently used, is rigid and often made of galvanized sheet metal. The other type is flexible and is usually constructed with plastic. This blog will take a deeper look at the former type and how exactly this ducting is constructed.

When metal ductwork is installed in a building, it is custom fitted so that it fits exactly into the dimensions in the floor, ceiling or wall. There is a number of ducting parts that are commonly built that are then assembled and modified at the build site. It is kind of like putting together a kid’s construction set. A variety of pieces are provided and then pieced together to make a functioning air flow system. The common ducting shapes include:

  • Straight round pipe
  • Straight oval pipe
  • Half sheet rectangular pipe
  • 90 degree adjustable elbow
  • X, Y and Z connector pieces

Machinery Does the Fabricating Job

Sheet metal, the raw material for rigid ducting, can be cut and shaped by hand, but this is a difficult task. Automated machines do the work of cutting, folding and grooving to create all the different components needed to assemble a new ducting network.

Rectangular metal ducts are built by putting two pieces of bent sheeting together. The flat pieces of metal are first cut to the desired size with a cutting machine or plasma cutter. Then, another machine folds the sharp edges inward. Thirdly, the sheet is shaped into an L or a tube. Most rectangular ducting is made to standard sizes, but the machines can be adjusted to create the ducting in custom sizes.

Round metal duct, also known as spiral pipes, are made with a different process. At the start of the process, the sheet metal is put into a machine that coils it. The machine fuses the edges together to make the pipe air-tight. The pipe is then passed to the next processing step where it is cut to the desired length.

The ductwork in your building is a critical component for the safe and healthy use of the facility. Give us a call today at 408-295-2182 to learn more about the ventilation services that we provide.

What Are the Different Types of Sheet Metal Duct Designs?

Sheet metal is an excellent choice for heating and cooling equipment because it enhances the performance of duct design components. Not only are sheet metal components easy to install, but they also provide energy efficiency, strength, and durability, as they can withstand high temperatures and environmental elements.

Materials Used in Sheet Metal

Galvanized Mild Steel

One of the most popular duct designs for buildings is based on galvanized mild steel with a rust-resistant zinc coating. This design is widely used because it can be easily customized and it provides sufficient protection against air loss, helping lower energy bills. The smooth quality of galvanized steel reduces the airflow compared with other duct materials. It also prevents the growth of mold and fungus.

Aluminum Duct-work

Due to its light weight and resistance to corrosion, aluminum has become a popular choice for duct-work. The material is reliable for both indoor and outdoor use in the following industries:

  • automotive
  • construction
  • printing
  • mining

Major advantages to aluminum are that it’s easy to install and can be easily bent to fit any shape.

Stainless Steel

Providing the same amount of strength as aluminum or galvanized steel, stainless steel is another effective type of sheet metal for budget-conscious building owners. It also resists corrosion and moisture, which is why it’s a top choice among food processing plants and sites with large industrialized construction. Swimming pools also work well with stainless steel applications, which add attractive aesthetics to a facility.

Custom Designs

An experienced fabrication shop has the tools and skills to create custom designs for clients with unique building layouts. Any type of duct can be designed with computer-aided design (CAD) software. The ideal duct system takes into account how much heating and cooling is needed in each room in terms of BTU per hour. You then need to determine the materials, the size of the system and select the right tools.

Like any HVAC equipment, the ducting system must be installed properly to avoid common maintenance problems. Keeping the duct clean and having it inspected by a professional every year are keys to extending its longevity.

Conclusion

Understanding the various types of sheet metal duct designs will help you determine the best solution for your needs. Make sure your design allows air distribution throughout a building while maintaining good air quality and energy efficiency. Call one of our counselors today at 408-295-2182.

Why Professionals Should Help With Your Commercial Ductwork?

Air quality is one of the defining features of a workspace. Fresh, clean, well-filtered air is a necessary part of a positive, peaceful, and ultimately productive work environment; poorly filtered air is unpleasant to breathe and can even lead to health issues. Your building’s ducts play an integral role in maintaining air quality.

When left unattended, they can develop an escalating series of issues: a clogged filter leads to an overworked motor, which eventually gives out and stops filtering air for the entire building. The easiest way to prevent large problems is to address them while they’re still small – and that means the professional handling your duct maintenance needs to notice them.

Commercial Ductwork Needs Professional Care

Ducts aren’t something you can just clean yourself, or assign to regular janitorial staff. An HVAC professional will be able to:

  • Assess the state of your ducts and the maintenance required.
  • Provide timely and necessary repairs.
  • Clean to a level that helps prevent air contamination.
  • Comply with commercial health and safety regulations.

The need for professional attention starts at the installation of your duct system; incorrectly installed units and neglected repairs will eventually lead to more costs and problems for your business. This makes it important that the technician you hire knows their work and cares about your company’s quality of air.

Work done right the first time will result in lower costs for your business, a better environment for your employees, and a duct system that is easier to maintain in the future. After installation, regular maintenance is key to keeping your duct system from developing issues. It can often be more difficult to properly clean mold or dust buildup than it is to prevent them from happening in the first place. A professional maintenance service will change filters, fix leaks, and keep your air clean and breathable.

Commercial ductwork is a cost that your company can’t afford to cut. From installation to maintenance, every step requires attention and expertise. By investing in professional services, you know that your budget is spent efficiently and effectively and that you are getting the quality of air your business deserves.

If your ducts need a professional, give us a call at 408-295-2182. Our team of experts will provide your company with a consistent quality of work that you won’t find anywhere else.

Does Heating and Cooling Duct Work Take a Long Time to Install?

Ductwork is an important part of your heating and air conditioning set up. Ductwork is used for distributing air throughout your home once it has gone through the heater or air conditioner. It also sucks air back through the ducts to create equilibrium in the home. Your ductwork has a direct impact on air quality. Whether you run a warehouse or a small office, air conditioning and heating is a necessity.

Over time, ductwork can need replacing. It may need to be replaced because of a bad design that is hampering air flow, or because it is simply older. Bad ductwork can have an effect on employee productivity due to reduced air quality and/or bad air circulation. When choosing to get your ductwork replaced, time is an issue. You want your office, warehouse, store, or other business to be back up and running as quickly as possible.

What factors affect how long ductwork replacement takes?

It is hard to give a definitive timeframe for all ductwork since there are many factors that affect how long it will take to replace ductwork.

These include:

  •  Building Size
  • Number of Air Conditioning Units
  • How much redesigning is necessary for better air flow.
  • Accessibility of ductwork.
  • If the construction is new or already existing.
  • Type of ductwork.

While each item on this list plays a factor in the length of time for ductwork replacement, normally ductwork replacement takes at least a day or two for normally sized buildings. Larger buildings may take three to four days, depending on the size of course. If you have a large building with more than one air conditioning unit, that will also have an effect on the installation time.

The other major factor in time mentioned above is if ductwork is being installed in new construction or an already existing building. Ductwork installed in new construction can be done quickly because there are fewer obstacles to accessibility. New construction also offers the benefit of being able to work a new design, versus having to work within an old design and possibly find ways to improve it.

Also, ductwork types affect installation time. Industrial style sheet metal ductwork will take longer than the fiberboard styled duct working. If you are building new construction, or need your ductwork replaced in your current building, we can help you! Call us at 408-295-2182 today.

How Can Sheet Metal Prototypes Improve Your Interior?

We are a family-owned company with a team of dedicated technicians. Our contractors perform a slew of services, including HVAC for industrial, commercial, and residential properties, process piping, design/build for new or renovated buildings, plumbing, and sheet metal fabrication.

We work with many industries, such as data centers, heavy industrial piping, LEED Certified projects, health care, and clean room construction, and process tool installation & fit up. Due to our exceptional service, we’ve been the most respected mechanical contractor in the Bay Area for over a century now.

Unparalleled Sheet Metal Fabrication Prowess

• Our contractors have experience with all sections of Sheet Metal Fabrication. This includes Computer Numerical Control (CNC) bending, CNC machining, assembly, hardware insertion, CNC punching, CNC forming, and welding.

• Our team members and highly advanced fabrication tools can handle any phase. If you need assistance with Metal Insert Gas (MIG), laser cutting, flat banks, high-quality fiber laser procedures, plating, and painting, then don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

• Beyond working with CNC machining, we also use turning devices, hydraulic and mechanical presses, and wire EDM (Electrical Discharge Machining) devices.

• We offer a variety of specialized services, including Automation system design construction, process piping, fabrication, plumbing, Building Information Modeling (BIM) planning as well as 3D modeling. Due to our vast resources, we can create metal prototypes or exact components that are suited for all uses and industries operating.

Our team can handle all metal choices, and we will happily take metals in sheet, bar, tube and plate forms. In addition to that, we can demonstrate techniques in fabrication that will certainly offer precise details to our clients. Tooling, assembly, laser metal cutting, robotic welding, metal stamping, our sheet metal fabrication technicians provide all of those services and much more. If you’re looking to work with the Bay Area’s most professional and expert sheet metal fabrication specialists, then your search ends here.

Our work is well known for its masterful craftsmanship, and we’ve built some of the most complex and astonishing facilities and installations in the Bay Area. Our reputation is founded upon our insistence to integrate our original values with state of the art technology. Combining these traits have provided our clients with consistent, high-quality products, exceptional customer service and a prompt, affordable team of contractors. Ready to get started? Be sure to call us today at 408-295-2182.

How Much Does It Cost To Replace Air Ducts?

If you own commercial property, air conditioning maintenance and repair is often essential. Sometimes it becomes necessary to replace the duct work. Ductwork wears out after 10 to 15 years of use. Leaking ductwork can pollute the indoor air quality, cause the heating and cooling to be ineffective, and can even cause leakage around the vents. If you notice any of the symptoms of failing ductwork or have ductwork that is over 15 years old, it is time to start looking to getting your properties duct work replaced.

Including labor and materials, it can be $35 to $55 per linear foot to replace ductwork. This price can change based upon the type of building you have, the number of vents, and the type of duct work you use, the need for return air drops, and other unique features your building may have.

Just the ducting itself can cost $16-$19 per ten linear feet, but different types of ductwork have different b benefits and costs.

Price Break Down of Ducting Types (all per linear foot)
• Flexible Non-Metallic: $1-$2
• Flexible Aluminum: $1-$4
• Sheet Metal: $1.50-$6
• Fiberglass Duct Board- $4.50-$6

In addition to the cost of ducting, there are other necessary materials. The ducting may require joints or need elbows, which can cost between $5 and $25 each. Ductwork also requires foil sealing tape, which costs around $35 for every roll of 60 feet. Duct fans start at $30 and then increase in price. Vents can cost $6 and up, depending on size and how decorative they are. Labor is usually billed between $50-$70 per hour. Of course, necessary permits will also have to be pulled and paid for.

Keep in mind that while there are lower cost options available, you want to make sure to choose the materials that will be the longest lasting and fit best in your building. Ensuring you pick quality materials that work well within your space will help ensure your heating and cooling is more effective, and that your ductwork will last as long as possible. Picking a quality professional to install your ductwork is also important. You can get more help and information, or schedule a test of your ductwork, by calling O.C. McDonald at 408-295-2182

Sheet Metal Fabrication, Prototypes and More

If you’re interested in making prototypes or even exact components, you don’t have to search for credible companies that can help you anymore. O.C. McDonald can take care of any and all of your requests. We’ve been providing clients with all types of useful specialties since our establishment back in 1906. Some of our diverse specialties include:

  • Process piping
  • Automation system design construction
  • Plumbing
  • Fabrication
  • BIM (Building Information Modeling) planning and 3D modeling

Clients that need world-class assistance with any of those services can always depend on our skilled, meticulous and hard-working team members.

Our metal prototyping assistance is of exemplary quality. We make customized metal prototypes that are suitable for all kinds of uses and industries out there. We offer in-depth options in fabrication techniques that give our clients the promise of precise depictions. We accommodate the vast majority of metal choices. We utilize a range of contemporary CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machining systems, too. Several examples are wire EDM (Electrical Discharge Machining) devices, turning devices, mechanical presses and hydraulic presses. If you want to work with professionals who are more than well-versed in laser cutting, robotic laser welding, micro spot welding and beyond, you can trust us 100 percent.

Unrivaled Sheet Metal Fabrication Expertise

We employ technologically advanced metal fabrication tools that are appropriate for production runs of all different varieties. Our team members have expertise in all sectors of fabrication. They know a lot about CNC bending, CNC punching, assembly, hardware insertion, CNC machining, welding and CNC forming. If you’re searching for high-quality fiber laser help, our team won’t disappoint you for a second. Our team members are capable of managing any and all phases. If you’re searching for assistance with flat blanks and laser cutting, we can come through for you. If you’re looking for assistance with plating, painting and even MIG (Metal Inert Gas) matters, we can come through for you, too. We enthusiastically take raw metals in tube, bar, plate and sheet categories.

If you want to work with the finest and most experienced sheet metal fabrication specialists around, O.C. McDonald is ready to serve you. We can aid you with metal stamping, tooling, assembly, robotic welding, laser metal cutting and much more. Contact our team for a quote 408-295-2182

Can Custom Duct Work Be Done To Fit My Building?

The building that your business occupies for years can prove to your customers that you are here to stay. But what happens when you experience growing pains? Many times a building simply no longer provides what you need. So, now you have some decisions to make. In most cases, a new building is out of the question so you must look deeply into what your needs actually are and compare this list to the existing space and what it could provide in a new configuration.

  • Historically, office space is easy to deal with.
  • However, the comfort level, efficiency and safety of the newly configured space all need to be addressed. When a building is initially designed, the systems tend to be somewhat over-engineered allowing for future expansion and unfortunately a bit less efficiency.
  • In the case of the HVAC system, Rooftop units are easily upgraded to proved additional heating and cooling.
  • In the case of larger buildings with mechanical rooms designated for HVAC equipment, the room and equipment can be reconfigured to meet current needs. Air handling units, pumps and other system components could be upgraded, many times using the existing units by simply increasing capacity. A larger fan motor can provide additional air moving capacity. A pump with a larger motor or even just a differently designed impeller can provide additional water for heating and cooling.

Getting the increased air flow to where you need it!

Upgrading the mechanical room or Rooftop units is all well and good but what about the requirements of the newly reconfigured space? You can assume that the existing ductwork will not be sufficient to handle the new air delivery requirements. Most times, these air delivery requirements are dictated by law for various industries. For example, a laboratory has very different requirements from an office space.

Your HVAC system helps keep the air clean and tempered in your work environment. By law, there are different requirements for “number of air changes per minute” in a space. This keeps the air fresher by venting a portion of the air to atmosphere and replacing it with fresh air.

Custom duct work is a large part of the building renovation process. If you find yourself in this situation kindly give us a call and we will help you through the process. Ready to get started? Call us today at 408-295-2182

What All Can Custom Sheet Metal Be Used For?

When it comes to architectural projects, one of the most commonly used materials is custom sheet metal. Sheet metal is a component that is easily fabricated and adapted to countless uses both in residential and commercial construction projects. From the mailboxes in a residential neighborhood to the air ducts in a commercially designed building, the presence and versatility of custom sheet metal is undeniable when it comes to today’s tried and true construction practices.

The residential and commercial uses of sheet metal have large areas of overlap, including the aforementioned air conditioning ducts and cooling systems as well as lighting fixtures (both for exclusively functional purposes but also custom aesthetic fixtures too). However, lets dive a little deeper into the applications of sheet metal within the home.

Residential Applications of Sheet Metal

Sheet metal can be hiding many places you wouldn’t normally expect to find it within your home, which means it’s doing the job it’s designed for: remaining functional while also blending in with the look and feel you’ve strived to achieve within your home. From custom flooring or siding to backsplash in your kitchen or bathroom, sheet metal can be tastefully implemented anywhere.

The kitchen can be one of the most common places for sheet metal because it can easily be used for stovepipes or stove hoods, or it can even be used to make food vats or bins, but that’s more often seen within commercial applications such as in a restaurant or cafeteria setting.

When it comes to other outdoor residential uses, sheet metal is often used to construct various types of fencing enclosures as well. The uses for sheet metal really are boundless and can include:

  • Awnings and canopies
  • Gutters and other roof draining equipment
  • Coal chutes
  • Guardrails

Sheet metal can be manufactured in either flat pieces or coils depending on the fabrication process and the needs of the client. While the material has increased in popularity in architecture and construction projects in recent years, it has also seen widespread use in electronic fields and in fields such as the manufacture of military-grade weapons and equipment.

Whether you’re in the market for something simple like a custom sheet metal sign for your business in need of a more hefty air conditioning system makeover, don’t hesitate to call us at (408) 295-2182 to chat about your options today!