This thread is stunning, there's been so many places where I've gone "so that's how to do it!!!!".
I've done a little panelwork, but your thread has shown me how to make much better complex panels with simple tools & how lots and lots of patience when stretching and shrinking metal gives better results than trying to get it done in a one-er. I love the way that you've used hammers and other stuff as dollies, rather than having to buy special tools for jobs.
It's been much more informative than most magazine articles that have covered this, too. Thank you.
Well as promised tonight we will shrink it instead, making the curve go the other way, now before I start I do want to make it clear that this is not easy, and will take you several attempts before you get anything remotely like a curve, but practice and perseverance is the key.
And if all else fails, buy a shrinker and stretcher, it does the same thing, just alot easier and mechanically, once you grasp what can be achieved and what panels this will help you to make, then you can decide whats best for you
Anyway, start with a new piece
Put it into an open vice and strike down with the cross pein end of your hammer, try not to stretch the metal, just to start the pucker
That will give you this
Then place it over the edge of the vice or similar
And then push it round, this raises the pucker some more
Then you need to use the flat edge of your hammer to dress the pucker in tighter, working in from both sides
To give this, the secret is to get nice tall and tight puckers like this, not too tight mind or too tall, as you may end up folding the metal over instead of shrinking it.
Then back onto a hard metal surface, and dress the pucker straight down, this forces the metal into itself, and shrinks it. A couple of good hard blows are best
This is the result after 1 good shrink
then move up and down the piece repeating the process as many times as needed
After about 10 - 15 minutes you should have something that looks like this, the wrinkles can be further dressed out, or a quick flash over with the Flap disc will help
You can see that this could easily form the end of a sill repair section or similar
As I said this is not easy and is likely to cause many hours of frustration before you get the hang of it, unlike stretching which gives almost instant results.
Fortunately stretching is the more common type of manipulation you will need when creating repair panels.
A good example of a panel using these techniques would be a wheel arch repair, you can create a wheel arch lip using these methods, and once you have the lip into shape, you can add more sections to make up the rest of the arch.
REALLY appreciate you dragging out your repair jobs buy taking not just some photos, but excellent photos, for us lot. You've inspired me to get myself some more metalworking tools. After the metalwork bill from the place doing my Plymouth, I won't be able to afford to pay someone else to make panels for me for a while!
Datman - No Problem, I reckon if a few hours of my time can save others a few hours of theirs then it is time well spent
Diablo + Paul H - Glad to help
Oldnail - Welcome on board, you will have a whale of a time here, the spectrum of skill and ingenuity on this forum can be breathtaking at times.
Benzboy - If you mean can you use a shrinking hammer without the pucker, then no you cant, but if you mean would a shrinking hammer help in shrinking the pucker, then yes I am convinced it would, as its ultimate use is for shrinking high spots
After re reading the thread I felt a little further explanation re the wheelarch would be in order, as this is a very common repair needed to our Retro cars
Don't get me wrong there is no substitute for a proper arch repair panel, but if you cant get one, or you only need a small section then this might help
I have done a drawing showing what I meant
On the left is a typical wheel arch profile, and on the right, how it could be broken down into sections, that could be made using the shrinking and stretching methods. I have joddled the joints to make it a better and stronger and easier job to weld, and ultimately easier to grind flat
So starting with an angle section for part 1
But this time for ease I am going to use my Shrinker / Stretcher
The angle goes in like this, the secret to using these is not to put the piece too deeply into the jaws, just try to stretch the first 10-12 mm of the piece, you will get much better and quicker results, than trying push it all the way in.
As mentioned earlier there is a limit to the depth of flange that can be stretched or shrunk, if you stick to 20 -25 mm you should be okay
Then pull the lever, and stretch as required, move around the piece and repeat as necessary until you get the shape you want
Then you need part 2
This time the jaws are swapped over for the shrinking operation
And again repeat until you get the right curve.
As most wheel arches also curve in wards as they go down, then part 1 may need to be shrunk in to suit, so back it in goes and work on its other flange
you get this, not really sure if you can see it very well from the picture, but as it curves around the arch, it also curves back in front and rear. Part 2 is much harder to make follow this shape so if necessary you may need to make part 2 in smaller sections, or even cut it in places, but for this demo, I made my part 1 suit my part 2, hopefully you will get the idea
Offer the 2 parts together and tweak then until they follow the curve you need, and match each other
Once happy with that Joddle the edge of part 1, you can just see my air joddler to the left , they are a great piece of kit, much easier on the wrist than the hand operated ones.
Then trim part 2 as needed and offer them together, with any final tweaking as needed
Then again for ease I spot welded them together, but obviously any type of welding will do
Here you can see the benefits of joddling the joint, all that needs now is a bead of weld, then grinding off, and as it is on the flat surface it should be straight forward enough, and nice and flat when you have finished
And the view from inside, a bead of seam sealer once it is welded should be all you need
I did not actually get as far as making part 3, but I am sure you get the Jist of it, in most cases that part may not even be needed, I always try where possible to join arches along the line of part 2, as this helps to minimize distortion,makes it easier to clean off, and means you don't have to spread filler all over the whole side of your wing to try to blend it in
Now that you know how to make an arch repair panel, I will quickly show you how I would weld one in
This is a sequence of photos, from a BMW 6 Series that I am also busy with for another friend, Neil
First cut out the rotten part of the arch, trying to keep the cut within the flare of the arch
Then trim your arch down to suit
Joddle as needed
And then tack it in, make sure it is right before you start welding as once you start it will be too late to try to change it, use plenty of clamps if needed to make sure.
Then lots of tacks
Then fully weld it, not that it as easy as that, you must only weld in 1inch bursts, and move randomly over the length of the arch doing so, the tip is to prevent too much heat build up, or else you will end up buckling the rear wing, and then have to spend hours filling it to try to get it flat again, so little at a time and well spaced out, leaving it to cool between welds if needed
Then as before grind off using the edge of a grinding disc to start with to take the tops off the welds, and then a 40 grit flap disc, but again you have to be careful not to concentrate too much attention on 1 spot at 1 time, as even grinding can cause heat distortion
and all being well you should finish with this
Just a light skim of filler should now see that looking just right
Well I had better stop there as I feel I am starting to get off topic, but if I have managed to pass on a few tips along the way, then hopefully it was worth it
All being well I hope to get back on with the Victor at the weekend
Hello to everyone...this is my first post also....a big thanks to you tonybmw for teaching us the <how to> that leads to an excellent work like yours. I,m speechless..everyday I check in to see if you show us something new.. Marius - Montréal
Mods, can the instructional parts of this thread be copied to the wiki please, or somewhere else as a permanent resource?
Brilliant work TonyBMW. Thank you for taking the time to prepare these how-to's. The metal stretching/shrinking work is obviously very useful, but I will certainly also be getting myself a strip of copper!
There is nothing more expensive than a cheap Mercedes
Legendary post, You my man are the god of sheet metal!, If i was wearing a hat I'd take it of to you, In fact i might even find a hat just so i can take it off.
But in all seriousness that is very impressive skills, I done sheet metal work at college many years ago and i sucked so i know how hard it can be to get the angles correct, Something which you make look easy!.
and then decided to have a look at the scuttle panel
It is very rusty in some tricky places
While not impossible to repair, it would certainly not be easy, and it is also quite rusty inside
Fortuanetly Gordon was able to get a good secondhand one
So a quick rub over the spot welds with some 40 grit production paper, helps to show the spot welds
and then drill them out
I have a specially sharpened drill, that I use for drilling out spot welds, it is sharpened in what is called a butterfly configuration. I have tried the small saw type spotweld drills in the past, but with limited success, you can of course use a normal drill , but you end up drilling a hole through both bits, and this limits your options later when you have to weld them back together.
Here is a photo of the drill, I tend to use an 8mm drill as this seems to be the optimum size to take out most spot welds, I also use it for drilling holes for pool welding panels
With this drill, you can easily just drill through the first skin and leave the second skin intact, a bit like drilling with a milling bit
Once they were all drilled out it was a matter of slipping a small chisel in between and easing them apart
and then we have this
Pretty rusty inside too, this will give Gordon plenty more to clean up
and this is the underside of the scuttle panel, definitely glad we took it off
So now just got to clean it all up and weld in the new bit, it will need some small repairs but nothing too bad
how to sharpen your own butterfly drill
Remember this is what you are trying to acheive
So start with an 8mm drill, it must be a good quality HSS drill
Then with the bench grinder
Grind the end flat, keep twisting the drill when you are doing this to get it nice and even
Then back into the bench grinder at this sort of angle on the edge of the stone
You need to twist it slightly as you go, then twist it round and do the other side
The idea is to have both sides equal and the same and both cutting points level, with a raised nipple section in the middle, the nipple must be as central as possible or else it will wander as you try to drill, you could centre punch the spot weld if you need to, and by keeping the nipple only 1mm tall, it wont drill right through the underskin either
The important thing is that the trailing edges are lower than the cutting edges, otherwise it will just skid ontop of the steel and not cut in
If you use the following dimensions as a guide you should not go too wrong. Again, plenty of practice helps
The good thing about this type of drill, is that it wont bite as it goes into thin steel, so it wont twist the metal or twist itself out of your hand, and you don't need a pilot hole first either, they are great for drilling big holes in thin steel, you can easily sharpen a 13mm drill like this and drill straight through 1mm steel without snagging