As outer sills for a BMW E3 are either overly expensive or NLA I decided to take a shot at making them myself. I have only hand tools to work with, so I started off making wooden model to get the shape right and as consistents as possible. I need to make 4 pieces on each side. To make the sharp corners I use two L-shaped pieces of iron.
On the right you can see a ‘reasonable’ piece I cut out of my rusty body to use as a reference.
Those sills look good. I'm in the same position with my type-85 Audi coupe, no sills available as far as I know, so I've been trying to make them myself.
I've had two problems - first is trying to do the beads along a straight line, and second to bend the sill section once the beads are rolled into the panel. I've decided that for the other side, I'm going to make it in two shorter lengths, because I've got a folder that will probably help with the latter. It's only 1m wide, though, so I couldn't use it on this side. I made the front section separately so that I could cut the rest of the sill across the full sheet rather than along it.
On the plus side, the car has plastic covers over the sills (which is how they got so bad in the first place) so a decent coat of stonechip and the plastic will cover up the wonky bead.
Droopsnoot, Now that looks like some very neat work! I think this panel will make your audi look like it’s better days.
Personally I noticed that getting straight lines in any panel requires guidance on both sides of the metal sheet. Often I simply clamp two pieces of L-shaped steel to both sides to use as a point of reference. Maybe that could help you getting the bead straighter.
I did clamp a bit of angle in the bead roller with the intention of holding the sill against it as it went through, but it still went off a bit. My fault entirely - I've got the roller in a bit of the workshop that isn't very well-lit, and because it's a manual roller, I'm having to stretch across to turn the handle as well as trying to guide the piece. But it's still relatively new to me, so hopefully my technique will improve.
I still struggle to measure things properly, when I'm measuring up to a bend or bead, because the edges are never sharp and I can't quite tell whether my measurement is on the start of the curve, half-way up it, flush with the outside of the bend, and then where I should line up the tool to get it the same. Maybe the thing to do on the other side, rather than make it in two pieces and try to line up the bead and step, is to do those parts, then cut it in half to bend it, then weld it back together.