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Technical TECH WEEK How I'm making my own dadgum frame for my roadster in the basement

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by BobPer, Oct 3, 2015.

  1. BobPer
    Joined: Feb 15, 2009
    Posts: 275

    BobPer
    Member

    This Tech Week entry will hopefully encourage other Hambers to tackle projects of their own to further their skills. This project is still a work in progress for me, and I have learned alot from Hamb members posts. I value the quick and knowledgeable members, and consider all of you a tremendous resource. I respect and admire all those that participate in Tech Week both with entries and or prizes. I have also gotten alot of encouragement from members and friends to finally write up an entry and document my work so far. Thank you all. And to answer the burning question from one of our esteemed contributors, anonymously known as "Frameless in Owasso"...3 yrs!

    I am building my own chassis now for my Model A roadster project. For the scope of this write-up I will focus on the perimeter frame, and not go into the suspension and running gear (but be assured it will be traditional). I started my frame 3 1/2 yrs. ago by cutting and forming 11 gauge steel.

    I like the looks of a 32 style frame under a Model A. If I bought a set of 32 rails, there still would be a lot of work to modify them for an A, so I decided to attempt to make my own interpretation. I don't like welded box sections that have crisp corners, and I like to minimize the welding, yet still have a box tube when finished. My approach uses a "C" for the outer rail, but instead of making wide flanges and boxing it with a flat inner plate, I prefer to make the inner a "C" as well. So I have 2 "C" sections meeting to form my box channel. This allows one weld on top and one weld on the bottom, but gives me "formed corners" because all my bends are done on a press brake. Making 2 "C" sections also allows the flanges of the "C" to be narrower, which is a lot easier to form.

    I also like the formed detail on the 32 Ford rails, so I made a form and pressed in the detail using the bed of the press brake. And since I was set up to press with the form, I also pressed the detail into the inner rails so the reveal is both inside and out. When I weld the 2 half rails together, I have an 1/8" gap, and have a backer strip on the inside to assure full penetration, and also to be double thickness for threaded body holes to be added later.
    32Arails 133small.JPG
    32Arails 135small.jpg
    32Arails 140small.jpg
    32Arails 148small.jpg
    Practice reveal, with inner form (center) and outer form (right). This helps confirm pressing depth before doing actual rails.
    32Arails 132small.JPG
    Here is how the form stacks (this is after pressing). The upper form has a 1/2" square stock as the edge, minus the 1/8" locating guide sheet, gives me a 3/8" deep reveal. The upper and lower forms (with the un-formed rail in between) are indexed with bolts to register the pieces, and sandwiched together, and then pressed.
    32Arails 155small.jpg
    Reveal pressing setup.PNG
    I mocked up the body and a grill shell, and made a wooden template to form the outer rails to.

    32Arails 20small.JPG

    32Arails 150small.jpg
    After forming the outer rail to the wooden template, I then formed the inner ones using the outers as the template. I drew reference marks every 2" on the rails with a sharpie so I could keep track of the progress. I use an air powered Marchant shrinker/stretcher to both shrink the majority of the outer rail, and to stretch the majority of the inner rail, there also is a small back bend at about the firewall. I also use the Marchant with stretching dies to form the center X-member pieces.



    32Arails 143small.jpg

    32Arails 145small.jpg
    The top edge of the rail is straight under where the body will sit. The top edge in front of the firewall is also straight, but rises as it approaches the grill shell. The bottom edge is straight and parallel to the upper edge under the body, and the front lower edge is straight as it tapers up towards the front cross-member.
    [​IMG]
    32Arails 003small.JPG
    set-up for X-member
    32Arails 156small.jpg
    Here is a short Youtube video of me using my Marchant to shape one half of my X-member.


    Here is how it looked immediately after the video when held against the pattern. A little fine tuning, and I'm there in under 3 min.
    32Arails 157small.jpg
    For me this is alot quicker than making several cuts, bending, and welding.

    32Arails 015small.JPG


    I made dies to flare the oval holes in my X-member.
    32Arails 107small.jpg

    Set-up and practice pieces.
    32Arails 121small.JPG


    Here is a picture of the frame jigged up for welding.
    32Arails 034small.JPG


    This photo is of the first one I made of this style, and my subsequent ones are longer in the rear. I re-did the front ends of the X-member since this photo to give me more space for the tranny tail and drive-shaft.

    I made my front cross-member out of 7 gauge, bent into a channel with a lip on the bottom back for the ends of the rails to tie into. I made it wider than needed, and it will be trimmed later. For the rear cross-member, I will be using a Model A, because I hope to use a quick-change in the future.
    32Arails 160small.jpg
    The proportions of an A on 32 rails looks just a little to "frame heavy" to me (and only to me, I'm picky that way). So since I was making my rails from scratch, I could make them whatever height I wanted. So since the taller 32 roadster body sits on a 6" high frame, I figured the slightly shorter 30/31 A body would look good on a 5 1/2" frame (so I made them 5 1/2"), maybe a 28/29 A would look better on a 5" frame. Lots of people that see my frame have asked if I can make them a 32 frame, and I have to explain to them that mine is my interpretation for an A and is flat on top for an A body, and that a 32 body wouldn't fit on my frame.

    32Arails 089small.JPG


    32Arails 072small.JPG


    32Arails 076small.JPG



    With this method of frame construction, I can make the rails any contour or wheelbase I want, which is a huge benefit over purchased rails. By making a pattern, I can contour rails for A and T bodies, or whatever. I don't need to worry about pinching the frame at the firewall, or notching and bending the front rails in to follow the hood line and be inside the grill shell, because I just make it that way to begin with.

    I hope this sparks some ideas with our readers, and that someone will benefit from the write-up presented here, and then share their results with the rest of us as well. Thanks for following along, Bob
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2015
  2. A lot of photo's are missing. HRP

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2015
  3. 3wLarry
    Joined: Mar 11, 2005
    Posts: 12,804

    3wLarry
    Member Emeritus
    from Owasso, Ok

    fix the dadgum pics :D
     
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  4. captainjunk#2
    Joined: Mar 13, 2008
    Posts: 4,291

    captainjunk#2
    Member

    Dadgummit I see a bunch of X s and few pictures
     
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  5. NO photos here either...
     
  6. BobPer
    Joined: Feb 15, 2009
    Posts: 275

    BobPer
    Member

    They do seem slow to load, but there are 12 pictures, and they do come up on my screen. Any suggestions or help (maybe a tech week tutorial?). Bob
     
    volvobrynk likes this.
  7. You see what you started? DADGUMMIT!!
     
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  8. pitman
    Joined: May 14, 2006
    Posts: 4,561

    pitman
    Member
    from Hampsha

    Fascinating concept!
    And who you've woken up. :D
    Robert there's an old clergyman's motto:
    Comfort the disturbed...
    and disturb the comfortable.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2015
  9. stimpy
    Joined: Apr 16, 2006
    Posts: 3,547

    stimpy

    hmmm maybe dadgum is a rare mineral as stated . it disapears when its photographed...
     
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  10. Finnrodder
    Joined: Oct 18, 2009
    Posts: 2,840

    Finnrodder
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Finland

    Same here,i get 2 pics too..
     
  11. Stu D Baker
    Joined: Mar 4, 2005
    Posts: 2,438

    Stu D Baker
    Member
    from Illinois

    I got to go back to the dadgum garage for a while.
     
    3wLarry likes this.
  12. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 11,260

    DDDenny
    Member
    from oregon

    Call me when it's done, dadgummit.
     
    3wLarry likes this.
  13. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 10,185

    Hnstray
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Quincy, IL

    HAMB traditional philosophy........."if there aren't pictures..it didn't happen" :D

    Ray
     
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  14. pitman
    Joined: May 14, 2006
    Posts: 4,561

    pitman
    Member
    from Hampsha

    Sounds a bit like Ratatouie's Post-mistress! :rolleyes:
     
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  15. BobPer
    Joined: Feb 15, 2009
    Posts: 275

    BobPer
    Member

    Alright, I just tried to re-size all the pictures. Let me know if that helps. Thanks, Bob
     
    hipster likes this.
  16. Lost the 2, now there's none
     
  17. 32 hudson
    Joined: Mar 5, 2005
    Posts: 692

    32 hudson
    Member

    I have no pics either.
     
  18. What if.... what if this happens EVERY time something is built from dadgum? You start to build and after a while, the dadgum just.... vanishes? This would explain all of the builders reluctance to build a frame from dadgum for sanswindowsLarry. DEAR GOD IN HEAVEN!! It would ALSO explain "No pics? Didn't happen!"
    Mind blown....
     
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  19. BobPer
    Joined: Feb 15, 2009
    Posts: 275

    BobPer
    Member

    OK, I just created a new album, loaded the pictures into it and copied them from there. Do you see them now? Anything, none, how many? Thanks for your patience, boy it sure is hard building your own dadgum frame. Thanks, Bob
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2015
  20. Can't BELIEVE I beat Larry to this...

    patiently waiting :D
     
    volvobrynk and 3wLarry like this.
  21. There's a bunch more now. 12
    But there's a blank box every other photo
     
  22. Great job, you'll get my vote.
    I've never seen a shrinker stretcher that big. Where did you find it. Man would it be nice to have that!
     
    volvobrynk and falcongeorge like this.
  23. No you didn't :) check post 3.
    You gotta get up real early to beat Larry


    Bobper said :
    "I started my frame 3 1/2 yrs. ago"
    So there you go Larry , that's how long it takes when using dadgum
     
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  24. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 25,297

    The37Kid
    Member

    I can see all the photos, really nice frame. What is the history behind that shrinker /stretcher? Bob
     
  25. I see no patience in "fix the dadgum frame" :D
    ... and I'm up at 5 pretty much every morning :)
     
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  26. BobPer
    Joined: Feb 15, 2009
    Posts: 275

    BobPer
    Member

    Marchant Machine Co made these machines for shipyard and airplane manufacturing, and they have also been used in the metal shaping trade. Mine are the 4A, which mean that they have a 4" throat depth, and are powered by an air cylinder. There are "kick" versions which are completely manual, but are alot tougher to get repeatable results on heavy material.

    Shrinking & Stretching
    Air Operational
    Remote Control



    [​IMG]
    Specifications:
    Throat Gap..........................................4 inch
    Weight of Machine...............575 lbs. approx.
    Dimensions of Machine:
    Width..................................4 sq. feet (2' x 2")
    Depth..............................................42 inches
    Length.............................................57 inches
    Required Air Pressure...........90-125 p.s.i. Max.

    DESCRIPTION:


    This machine is an air powered machine and controlled through the use of a foot value. A calibrated hand wheel adjustment insures exact gripping action for all thickness' of material within the capacity of the machine.

    Approximate Maximum Capacities:
    Type of Metal

    Size of Metal Width
    Aluminum Alloy 2024......... 1/4" 1 1/2"
    Aluminum Alloy 5052......... 1/4" 2"
    Stainless Steel.................... 5/32" 1 1/2"
    Titanium............................ 5/32 " 1"
    This is a screen shot from their web site (I hope you can see it). The tooling is interchangeable, so when you are shrinking material you use one set of tooling, and then switch tooling to stretch. Bob
     
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  27. King ford
    Joined: Mar 18, 2013
    Posts: 1,135

    King ford
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from 08302

    I got all of the pic's, ....nice job, I mean NICE JOB Bobper!
     
  28. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 10,185

    Hnstray
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Quincy, IL

    Excellent planning and execution.......beautiful workmanship.........worth the wait on the pics!

    Ray
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2015
    Stu D Baker likes this.
  29. Stu D Baker
    Joined: Mar 4, 2005
    Posts: 2,438

    Stu D Baker
    Member
    from Illinois

    I got to say, that's a dadgum nice job.
     
    Hnstray and 3wLarry like this.

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