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Custom Stainless

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Ryan, Jan 31, 2008.

  1. Ryan
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    Austin, TX

    Ryan
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    Staff Member

  2. haroldd1963
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    Peru, IL

    haroldd1963 Member

    Ryan,

    Thanks for bringing this old tech article back.

    Great info!
  3. FountainJackCycles
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    FountainJackCycles Member

    Gorgeous car too!
  4. Deadender60
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    East Salinas

    Deadender60 Member

    Max "51Gringo" does some amazing work... check out his website..
    http://kustomfabrication.com/

    -Juan

    p.s. Hey Max don't let it get to your head buddy.. haha
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  5. Ryan
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    Ryan
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    WOW! Great stuff... It always works that way doesn't it? A guy can make something look so simple just because he is so damn good at it...
  6. Nicholson
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    Nicholson Member

    I like your technique on polishing the stainless. Much safer than using a pedestal buffer especially with delicate parts. Last week I was buffing a headlight ring on my Baldor and the thing got caught around the spindle with my hand in it... tore the hell out of my hand. I was more mad it wadded up my stainless headlight ring and ruined it.
  7. 1950ChevySuburban
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    1950ChevySuburban Member Emeritus

    I may not ever get a TIG and learn it (Then again I may), but I can certainly make use of the polishing technique!
    Thanks Max and Ryan for teaching me something new and safe as well!
  8. 4woody
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    4woody Member

    Just last week I re-read Gringo's how-to several times before I tried my hand at some stainless trim. Of course mine didn't come out like his, but I thank him for that post. I probably wouldn't have tried it myself otherwise.
  9. 50Fraud
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    50Fraud
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    Great post. Way out of my depth, skill-wise, but a treat to read and look at.
  10. mcload
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    mcload Member

    Perhaps Gringo or someone else can answer this question. I see where you spot weld on your cut, but did you go back and fill in the rest? Or did you fill in the backside of the piece? It would seem that after filing and buffing, you would still see a very small slit between the beads?

    Great post and technique by the way. I think the detail on welding settings is great. Is yours a 110v or 220v TIG unit?

    Patrick
  11. JimA
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    JimA BANNED

    I could not agree MORE! There was a comment in Kustoms Illustrated that said adding stainless has become a lost art- and it has. Back in the day all the customs had cool stainless treatments. Today it doesn't matter how badass of the chain a Merc can be- if it doesn't have side stainless I feel it's missing a large part of what makes a Merc or any custom cool.
  12. flamedabone
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    flamedabone
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    Jim, I found out for myself why lots of customs don't have window stainless. It is reeeeal hard to do.

    I gave it a shot and came up short.
    [​IMG]

    Makes me really appriciate the art that goes into that kind of work.

    Nice tech, -Abone.
  13. flamedabone
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    flamedabone
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    I hate to horn in on this post, but.....

    I understand slidinmatt has a kick ass way of doing window stainless also. Well... my skill level is not up to Matt or Gringos, so I did something else.

    [​IMG]

    More later. -Abone.
  14. T McG
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    T McG Member

    That was a surprize for me to read that article, as I too weld a lot of stainless trim and use the same polishing method. After you learn to weld that paper thin material, the last thing you want to do is give it to some uncaring polisher to destroy. When you have it straped down to the board you can really lean into the buffer without worry about it getting away from you. I knew a guy who was polishing a thin trim piece from a Porsche, and it got caught around the wheel and came off and went right up his nose. Ripped it half off his face. He doesn't polish anymore! One thing that didn't get mentioned is the fact that the back side of a stainless weld ends up being crusty and black. A lot of guys will build a tent around the part being welded and purge the weld with argon to eliminate the crust. I got a tip from a guy that worked in the food industry about Solor flux, which is available at most welding supply stores. Basically you mix a small amount of the flux with Isopropyl alchohol to a toothpaste like consistency and paint it on the back side. It makes some kind of chemical reaction that shields the weld and makes the back of the weld very smooth. Another tid bit of info is that Ford stainless is much thinner than GM stainless, so you Chevy guys have a better chance of less scrap trim. I will say, I wouldn't want to weld this stuff daily as is is very stressful and time consuming to perform.

    [​IMG]
  15. injectedA
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    injectedA Member

    wish I had seen and remembered this tech post yesterday...

    Not being able to find the original rear trim for a Pontiac wagon (or pay the price once when I did) I bought a set of 4 door trim and yesterday cut and welded them together. I guess I have a bit of grinding and polishing to do.

    Attached Files:

  16. PsychoBandito
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    Montreal

    PsychoBandito Member

    "the best quality" really sets the mood to that picture.
    i'd be careful, that section is going to rust now. pulsing tig welders are great for this kind of work. you don't need filler and can run a beed thinner the tungsten.
  17. injectedA
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    injectedA Member

    FUNNY and F'. serious?!?! damn...I guess I have to find another set of 4 door trim. Thanks for the heads up. I have to grind this one out now though just to see if I can get it clean.

    Anyone want to purchase a very rare rear quarter trim for a Pontiac? cheap? :)
  18. PsychoBandito
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    PsychoBandito Member

    you can be saved. if you grind it out and redo it, you MIGHT be ok. stainless is touchy, if you overheat it it will rust. just use alot of filler.
  19. Roadsir
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    Roadsir
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    On my convert I had two issues requiring me to fabricate new side windows. One the original stainless was a .017" skin over steel and the steel had rusted and bulged the skin, and Secondly the chop changed the size of my glass.
    I found 57-59 Mercury hardtop and wagon stainless (these are laying around everywhere!) to be the same shape. After some cutting and mitering I was able to form the door glass windows and had them tigged and polished.
    [​IMG]
    For the quarter windows, to bend the material "the hard way" I used this simple die. The female portion has the mating curve between the sandwiched plates. The bending was done with an arbor press and it moved surprisingly easy. It does have some spring back.
    [​IMG]
    For the little triangle piece I made another aluminum die that bent the offsets and sandwiched it in the vice. After fitting I had these tigged and polished as well.
    [​IMG]

    This stuff is heavy and easily workable compared to side window decorative trim. That work is fabulous.

    I have also seen Early Mustang, Fairlane hardtop stainless used for 32-34 cabriolet side windows. It works well and has a smaller profile than what I used.
  20. slddnmatt
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    slddnmatt Member

    ya thin stainless isn t to fun to play with. Flamedabone you might want to do what i have done, and doing for a couple more mercs pretty soon, i fab new trim out of brass and have it plated. it is time consuming but nice results. had a few guys ask me to do a tech on it so im trying to get some pics together here shortly.

    Attached Files:

  21. autobilly
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    autobilly Member

    51Gringo, beautiful car. Awsome even. Thanks for the tech. I'll be refering back when I chop one of my roofs. I'll also be taking you're advice and specifically checking out the stainless on customs that I see.
  22. 51Gringo
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    51Gringo Member

    Thanks for the nice words guys, it's cool that there are some out there that do pay attention to the details, there are many that just walk by and never even care about that shit, or take the time to appriciate the time it takes for such detail. I can remember a time I was at Paso once looking at nothing but that stuff on Mercs and stuff, and being totally blown away at the many who slap on that plastic chrome door trim stuff on a $20,000 paint job and are pleased about it. I'll never forget that "Papke" guy saying, "Ah, you don't want to do all that..just get some of that chrome stripping stuff, they'll never know the difference.
    I think there are those that do..I'm one of them.

    Max.
  23. Old School 40
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    Old School 40 Member

    I'm one of "them too".where about in norcal
  24. slddnmatt
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    slddnmatt Member

    I dont think i have ever met anybody who Papke didnt rub the wrong way...I dont care how desperate i might be, ill avoid getting a merc part from him. and that merc of yours 51gringo, is just smooooooooth...
  25. 51Gringo
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    Nor Cal

    51Gringo Member

    I'm located just 13 miles South of Redding, Ca.
  26. 51Gringo
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    Nor Cal

    51Gringo Member

    Thanks Matt, yeah I would ask that guy for stainless and other stuff at the shows and he'd be like, "Yep, I got tons of that stuff, then I would call him(and if he answered the phone) and then it was a different story, "sorry, all out of that stainless...but you can get that stuff from Kragens...you know."
    unbelieveable.
    I like the brass idea.
    Max.
  27. fiat128
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    El Paso TX

    fiat128 Member

    Thanks for bumping that Ryan, I missed it the first go around and it was really enlightning to me.

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