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Tech Month~~Home made metal shaping tools

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by jhnarial, Dec 27, 2008.


  1. Some aluminum will work harden quite quickly which may have resulted in the cracks. Most guys will anneal aluminum before working with it.
     
  2. jhnarial
    Joined: Mar 18, 2007
    Posts: 410

    jhnarial
    Member
    from MISSOURI

     
  3. ssgkennedy
    Joined: Nov 6, 2008
    Posts: 16

    ssgkennedy
    Member

    What do you mean "put the panel into arrangement"? Everything else makes sense.

    The in-laws made fun of me because I was happy to have wasted the day whackin away on a worthless sheet of aluminum, to make nothing.
     
  4. maddog
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 693

    maddog
    Member
    from So Cal

    I just want to throw this out there-

    Shaping sheet metal can be done very simply at first. The better you get the more you can focus on the tools you need.

    Stump - You dont need one
    Tucking fork - weld two punches together and stick them in a vise.
    Hammer - use a ball peen you already have
    Surface to beat on - any reasonably stable steel surface (or a stump)

    If your are not sure if its for you, just give it a try. You dont need a large investment in time or money to see if you like it.

    Thats what I did. I was amazed at the immediate results and went further with my whole setup. Made hammers from bats, mad a stump, made a hammer dolly, bought an english wheel, shear, bean bag, etc.
     
  5. Dyce
    Joined: Sep 12, 2006
    Posts: 1,906

    Dyce
    Member

    The shape is the shape of the surface. Say you have a bowl. You can push it together into an egg shape. Because you can pull it back into the bowl, you still have the same shape, you just changed the arangment.

    Sometimes it's easier to shape a panel if you push it out of arangment, do the work to it, and pull it back. I did that on this '36 fender. Here is a picture of the shape pattern I made of the fender and the panel I was working on. I had the shape, but it was out of arangment.

    [​IMG]
    You pinch the sides in and it looks more like the fender, but either way it fits the shape pattern.
    Jeff
     
  6. jhnarial
    Joined: Mar 18, 2007
    Posts: 410

    jhnarial
    Member
    from MISSOURI

    To get ready to shape a panel I first take a flexible shape pattern.Then I put some line up holes,so I make sure I place the pattern in the same place every time.I place the line up holes in a line.Now before I pull the pattern from the panel that I am trying to re-produce,I make some contour gauges over the line up holes.I mark the line up holes on the contour gauges,so I know where to place them when putting the panel into arrangement.Next I will pull the pattern from the panel.Place the pattern on the new blank,now I make sure I leave enough material for flanges,lips or what ever else I would need.Then I add 1'' 1/4 more.After that I shape the panel to the pattern until it fits perfect,leaving no air gaps at all underneath the pattern.

    Now that I have the panel fitting the pattern,all I have done was get the shape of the panel.See I can get that panel I could twist it roll it or what ever because I'm not doing anything to the shape I am just messing with the arrangement.

    So to put the panel into the correct arrangement for the panel that I am trying to re-produce I will take out the contour gauges line them up with line up marks and pop the panel into it's proper arrangement.It might take a push here a pull there or what ever it takes really.If it fits the pattern perfectly it will go into it's proper arrangement.

    Hope that made sense it's hard to put into writing.This took me forever to figure out.I kept trying to use the contour gauges to early.Do not use them until your panel fits the pattern.

    Maddog is correct about the tucking forks.There are people that prefer them over stump shrinking.I haven't quite figured out how to trap a tuck properly so it just doesn't run out on me.Plus I don't like the marks it leaves on the metal.One of the reasons I like stump shrinking is when you make your hammer blow,It trapped the tuck.Now all you have to do is hammer it out.

    Try both of them and decide for yourself.I did.


    I really don't know what I am talking about but I did stay at a Holiday Inn last night:D:D:D:D:D:D
     
    navypainter likes this.
  7. ssgkennedy
    Joined: Nov 6, 2008
    Posts: 16

    ssgkennedy
    Member

    If there are other cheapskates out there who want to monkey around with this but don't want to shell out good money to the steel suppliers talk to autobody shops. I was talking to an owner of a local shop and he offered all kinds of panels for me to pick up on Monday. He said they usually swing arrangements with scrappers to haul it all away because they have so much volume, but very little weight to be worth their own time to scrap. It's thin, but it's also free! My local steel supply wanted 40 some dollars for a half sheet of 22ga drop. Bit spendy for my tastes right now.
    Also, anyone in the Cities know of a good cheap place to pick up some metal?
     
    rtp likes this.
  8. 60chevy
    Joined: Feb 27, 2009
    Posts: 3

    60chevy
    Member

    you can, teach us things that you have learned. Tell it in a story, verses using your hands. Remember KNOWLEDGE is power.
     
  9. Milhouse
    Joined: Feb 12, 2007
    Posts: 55

    Milhouse
    Member
    from RI

    So after hammering your metal piece into shape, is there any other way to smooth out the panel without the use of an English Wheel? Or is using an English Wheel the best way to do this?
     
  10. studeboy
    Joined: Feb 12, 2003
    Posts: 539

    studeboy
    Member

    Hey John couple ?'s for you. Is there a specific profile for the bowl in the stump? Could you give some more detail on the construction of your contour gauge?

    This thread has been very interesting, I hope we can get another 8 pages of this stuff.

    Thanks
    Eric
     
  11. maddog
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 693

    maddog
    Member
    from So Cal

  12. tdoty
    Joined: Jun 21, 2006
    Posts: 821

    tdoty
    Member

    Studeboy: I ain't John, but. no, there's no "set rule" for the hollow in a stump. Every one I have used is different.

    Milhouse: The wheel gives a very nice surface finish. Before the invention of the wheel (and in many cases since the wheel) great work has been finished with a planishing hammer. No, not the air powered thingy (though that works too), but a hammer with little to no crown on the face - very smooth and flat - and a stake or dolly that fits the panel nicely. Without spending the money for a "proper" planishing hammer, a good body hammer will do the job. Planishing a panel smoothly by hand takes some work, and some practice for damn sure, but it can result in a very nice finish. It's also a skill that will allow you to do excellent work on panels you can't get to the wheel, i.e. still on the car.

    Some guys produce excellent work with a pneumatic planishing hammer for finishing too. It's a good, cheap way to go if you already have a compressor. The wheel is just a constant impact hammer. It doesn't leave the little lumps behind, which is the true beauty of a wheeling machine.

    As others have pointed out, you aren't hammerforming the metal to fit the hollow in the stump, but that's been covered pretty well.

    Distorting the metal is what this is all about though! I often do stretching that way too. If I'm far enough from the edge, I find it easier to put some real stretch into a piece of metal by NOT having the support of a sandbag behind it - nothing but air. With a high crown hammer, it'll move pretty easily, but then you have to work the lumps out. I'll often work out those lumps by using a mallet with less crown to it to blend the lumps into the rest of the panel - pre-planishing, if you will.

    ssgkennedy: Just be aware that the newer High Strength Steel and Ultra High Strength Steel may be decent for practice, they are not the "good old cold roll" most are used to working with. They can be a bit tough to shape, they may crack, and they can be a bear to weld. For free, or nearly free, practice pieces, yeah, it's a great source........Does that sentence need another comma?

    It's all for the sake of learning! Aluminum is a good place to start.....but be warned it's almost too easy! I started with aluminum. My first round with 18 ga steel, all I could think was "This shit ain't movin'!". Definitely takes a lots heavier hand to work steel vs. aluminum. I ruined a lot of aluminum though, getting a feel for the techniques used in metalshaping. Tuck shrinking can be tough to learn, but there are some good videos out there: John Kelly has an excellent DVD on tuck shrinking, Imperial Wheeling Machines has a "must-have" DVD called Metalshaping 101, there are also some good youtube videos by John Kelly, Cary Culpepper (the Tuck Puck guy) and Kerry and Chris Pinkerton (Kerry is the guy behind Imperial Wheeling Machines, and Chris is his little boy). There are probably others too.

    Other stuff:

    Like John Arial, I'm not a big fan of tucking forks. The little "bite marks" at the end of the tines (no matter how smooth they are) seem to be a bear to get rid of. To trap the tuck though, I use a combination method. If you've seen John Kelly tuck shrink from the outside with a steel hammer, you've seen how I trap tucks. Use a body hammer and get the end to start closing up. Then grab the BFH and whack the tucks right down. Sure, there is some hammer swapping involved, but it's the quickest and easiest method I have found. Sometimes there just is no substitute for tuck shrinking!

    Ok, since this is almost a book now, I'll stop!

    Tim D.
     
  13. jhnarial
    Joined: Mar 18, 2007
    Posts: 410

    jhnarial
    Member
    from MISSOURI

    Thank you Tim

    Tim I went to a sheet metal seminar last weekend.While I was there I had the instructor teach me how to trap a tuck.I have tried it several different ways.He showed me a way that I have never tried and it worked really well.It's still not as efficient as stump shrinking but it worked a lot better then the way I have been doing it.
     
  14. studeboy
    Joined: Feb 12, 2003
    Posts: 539

    studeboy
    Member

    Tim thanks. I need to start looking for a stump so I can shape some metal while I'm laidoff. I don't think you need to worry about your posts turning into books as they are good info that most guys on this site would like to hear. Its awesome that John posted these homemade tools and you guys are sharing how to use them. About the only thing that could be better is a video thread actually showing the tools in use. I found a bunch of stuff on youtube yesterday which will help.

    Again thanks to John and Tim and everyone who have added to this post as it might be one of the BEST EVER.

    Eric
     
  15. 1320stang
    Joined: Nov 21, 2006
    Posts: 166

    1320stang
    Member
    from Edmond, OK

    Okay, I'm trying to get a stump, my neighbor has a landscaping business plus burns firewood in the winter and has a large pile of pieces to choose from. Unfortunately, none are quite as long as I'd like, but I'm figureing on making it roll around, so I'll just lift it up higher by making a stand, or get another piece of stump to put under it and connect them together with banding.

    I previously picked these up from Harbor Freight:

    [​IMG]

    And while searching thru the pile, I came across these:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    They're only about 12" in diameter and about 18" long.

    I'm trying to figure out, when hammering, am I just going to hammer using the edge or do you actually hammer into the side of the bowl?

    The top stump I can make a bowl out of, the bottom one, obviously not.
     
  16. mgermca
    Joined: Mar 2, 2008
    Posts: 213

    mgermca
    Member

    Great thread, great ideas, thanks guys!

    OK, this is not really a shaping tool but when I saw them i knew I needed one of these.

    I've been scratching my head about how to fix my cheapie knockoff Roper Whitney hand punch to my bench to make it easier to use. I know they make a proper stand for the RW but it's kinda pricey and I couldn't be sure it would mate with my Taiwan made US Industrial Tools sourced punch so I decided to make one.

    So I drew something up in Acad, fiddled around with it and cut some bits of CRS on my little self converted CNC mini mill to get the results you see here.

    I highly recommended getting one of these punches if you don't have one, they're about 20$ at HFreight and if you are not inclined to make a stand, there's a guy on ebay making them for 25$, just do a search for "Hand held Sheet Metal Punch Mounting Bracket". He sells the punch too, just check his other sales. Here are the links to HF and US Industrial. I bought mine from US Industrial about 10 years ago, paid too much, D'OH!

    HF: http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=44060


    US Industrial: https://www.ustool.com/store/cart.php?m=product_detail&p=1427

    I think that if you fool around a bit with some end cuts out of your scarp bin you can come up with something that'll do the same thing. In the end I ran a couple off for buds that I owed
    favors to. I am not selling them nor am I in any way affiliated with the ebay fellow.

    cheers!

    Mark
    Montreal
     

    Attached Files:

  17. studeboy
    Joined: Feb 12, 2003
    Posts: 539

    studeboy
    Member

    Nice machine work Mark. You should sell them for $20 (don't know what you got in them). With the cnc you should be able to whip out parts by the dozen. Next thing you know your a gazillionaire. Ok maybe not. Nice stuff though.
     
  18. I don't know if I posted these before...............This is a planishing hammer we built.
    [​IMG]
    Started with an air motor.
    [​IMG]
    Conected to an old spring with "crank shaft".....
     
  19. Works really well...........
    [​IMG]
    We ended up making a base out of 2" steel to keep it on the ground!
     
  20. kopperkart
    Joined: Aug 31, 2008
    Posts: 467

    kopperkart
    Member
    from Wisconsin

    This thread is the best reason to visit H.A.M.B. Low dollar tools that I need.
     
  21. rodknocker
    Joined: Jan 31, 2006
    Posts: 2,267

    rodknocker

    And thats exactly why its worth every penny of $50 for an alliance membership to keep Ryan able to run this site,plus all of the vendor discounts:D
     
  22. John_Kelly
    Joined: Feb 19, 2003
    Posts: 535

    John_Kelly
    Member

    Here are a couple of my home made tools. A stretching machine made from a palm nailer and a 5/8" solid stock frame, a portable planishing hammer, and a rectangular framed english wheel.

    John www.ghiaspecialties.com
     

    Attached Files:

  23. stealthcruiser
    Joined: Dec 24, 2002
    Posts: 3,748

    stealthcruiser
    Member

    Fuzz Meister.......What is the diameter, please sir, of the jackshaft, and the I.D. of the heim end, and has it held up well?????

    I'm nosey!
     
  24. pyro3256
    Joined: Apr 21, 2009
    Posts: 111

    pyro3256
    Member
    from OKC

    this stuff is why i'm here! great thread love the tools. still tooling my shop this stuff is priceless to me. now if i could just find a thread like this on lead work!
     
  25. tdoty
    Joined: Jun 21, 2006
    Posts: 821

    tdoty
    Member

    CTFuzz, if that's a planishing hammer, you're doing something wrong :D That style of hammer is referred to as a helve hammer, one variation of an early power hammer. Theya re quite useful for sheetmetal work. By replacing that lower dolly with, say, a medium urethane pad you can save yourself lots of hand hammering!

    Mark, that punch holder looks nice! One of these days I'll get around to making the foot pedal version I have been thinking of for the past few years. Sometimes it's just a pain to handle a piece of metal and work the punch with only two hands.

    Larry (I hope I got it right), you want to be able to make a dish in the stump. Having a hollow for shaping is different than having a hollow log :D Depending on what you're doing, you'll use the edges, the sides and the bottom of the stump....and probably the flat part around the dish too.

    Tim D.
     
  26. bigds54
    Joined: Jun 3, 2008
    Posts: 132

    bigds54
    Member
    from Sun Valley

    wow amazing ingenuity. thanks for posting this up, btw how did you get the tape to stick like that for the fender?
     
  27. jhnarial
    Joined: Mar 18, 2007
    Posts: 410

    jhnarial
    Member
    from MISSOURI

    Are you talking about the flex pattern.If so I did a tutorial on how I do them here Let's see some sheet metal shaping post 35.

    When I start shaping the new panel I use magnets to hold the pattern in place while checking my progress.
     
  28. bigds54
    Joined: Jun 3, 2008
    Posts: 132

    bigds54
    Member
    from Sun Valley

    thanks for the link
     
  29. tdoty
    Joined: Jun 21, 2006
    Posts: 821

    tdoty
    Member

    Steve Frisbie from Steve's Auto Restoration did a pretty good video on lead...instead of buying it you can rent it from http://www.smartflix.com .

    Mindover here on the HAMB has an AWESOME video on shaping sheetmetal with hand tools and it also includes a tutorial on leadwork. His video is truly porn for the metalshaping guy!

    Tim D.
     
  30. pyro3256
    Joined: Apr 21, 2009
    Posts: 111

    pyro3256
    Member
    from OKC

    thanks i found smart flix 6 months ago. still have not received my dvd. they say back ordered. must have one freak'n copy.
     

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