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Bending PotMetal parts

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by e-tek, Jan 6, 2009.

  1. e-tek
    Joined: Dec 19, 2007
    Posts: 424

    from SK, Canada

    I've heard you can bend Pot Metal parts with a "little" 170F (?). Has anyone tried this and how would you know it's 170F? Hammering heat did nothing. Thanks.
  2. john walker
    Joined: Sep 11, 2008
    Posts: 998

    john walker

    pot metal usually breaks when you try to alter it's shape, heat or not.
  3. hotrod-Linkin
    Joined: Feb 7, 2007
    Posts: 3,382


    pot metal will eventually melt ,explode or break. i've found that making small cuts in the side that won't be seen and slowly,real slowly bend it cold in the direction you want to go.
  4. KidAgain
    Joined: Jan 4, 2009
    Posts: 91


    Depends on the part and how it is being bent. 55,56,57 Nomads commonly have their liftgate windows bend out of shape. This is because the heavy torque put on them from the orginal design. There a couple of guys how have made jigs and then bend them (slowly) back into the right shape. Ya gotta know the part pretty well though and it's gotta be worth the time.
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2009
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  5. oldrelics
    Joined: Apr 7, 2008
    Posts: 1,597

    from Calgary

    I have had success bending and removing dents from pot metal using a heat gun and some wooden tools. Steel tools will mar the surface fairly easy when the pot metal is hot. Just be careful not to try to go too fast. Do NOT use a torch, because once it hit that special temp it will just liquify instantly!
  6. buddieboy
    Joined: Jul 20, 2008
    Posts: 31

    from rockwood

    herers a related hint although not bending as follows have you ever wanted to weld a small pot metal or aluminum part back together ? ( if so) i had to do this this way
    a few times a coupe times i welded those aluminum racks that pull the key to switch
    wire found inside the GM tilt colums ... i did it by takeing a thin peice of steel and wraping or bending acurately to the the two halves of the broke part leave top area open ,then with the item placed as flat as levil is possible (proubably on a peice of wood) i use a propain
    torch to play the flame onto the broken crack while holding a peice of aluminum rod in my ouher hand in about 20 - 30 seconds i can feed the rod into the now molten metal if you dont have aluminum rod find i thick peice of aluminum wire like painters us to hang that buckets on occasionaly or is sometimes used to tie chain link fence! the part will possibly be thicker and your tin should extend well beyound the area you r melting by inches or your part will melt away it might be posible to imbed a small part in plaster of paris let it dry a day then mend it outher wise forget my suggestion !
  7. Crusty Nut
    Joined: Aug 3, 2005
    Posts: 1,837

    Crusty Nut

    As far as temp I would look into those temp sticks (like a crayon). Any welding shop should have them.
  8. Boil it, I used to straighten scripts and such thet way.
  9. 29Phaeton
    Joined: Sep 10, 2012
    Posts: 1


    Small relief cuts on the back side and boiling worked great! Fitting Cadillac DeVille tail lights to the rear body on my '29 A. Bitchen tip.
  10. blowby
    Joined: Dec 27, 2012
    Posts: 4,415

    from Nicasio Ca

    I need to take the slight curve out of these 39 Chevy trunk hinges to use as hood hinges. Been debating that or maybe flat filing them. What do you think?

    Joined: Jun 6, 2007
    Posts: 2,145


    blowby, That is such a small, gentle bend I would put a wood block under the hinge pin and another under the tip and slowly bend it in a hydraulic press with a little heat from a heat gun. I might even try a wooden bending shoe in the press ram to conform to the general shape.
    Post results.
  12. 1971BB427
    Joined: Mar 6, 2010
    Posts: 5,482

    from Oregon

    Pot metal will bend to a point, and then fractures. There's enough bent up pot metal grilles to show it will indeed bend. I had to straighten out numerous grille bars on my '46 Austin when I built it, and only a couple bars were fractured and needed to be fixed. The rest I was able to bend back into original position by gently working them a little bit.
  13. 325w
    Joined: Feb 18, 2008
    Posts: 4,768

    from texas

    Rubber pad under them.
  14. terryble
    Joined: Sep 25, 2008
    Posts: 541

    from canada

    Off topic, but 49-50 Fords have similar trunk hinges and they are quite straight on both sides might be worth finding some
  15. An Infrared Thermometer will handle the temperature reading.
  16. redo32
    Joined: Jul 16, 2008
    Posts: 1,005


    I've been beating on, welding and chroming pot metal for 40 years. No two pieces will react exactly the same. Some will seem soft and very compliant. Others are brittle and will break even if you heat them. I would warm it to just too hot to handle & tap it gently to see the reaction. Pot metal melts at 800 degrees, it heats real slow & then holds the heat, it doesn't change color and then you get a puddle on the floor. If your not a wham, bam kind of guy, take a 1/4 " plate & drill holes for the screw bosses to fit through. Tap or even use a C clamp to straighten.

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