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***TECH WEEK** Making odd compound curved patch panels on the cheap.

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by johnboy13, Aug 27, 2012.

  1. johnboy13
    Joined: May 1, 2007
    Posts: 1,073

    johnboy13
    Member

    EDIT!, I made some tack welds on Galvanized steel and it has offended some people. If you are afraid of it, wear a respirator or spend more money on mild steel.

    With that said, here's my entry for the latest Tech Week.

    I did this all with...
    1) Some weldable steel tubing
    2) A cheap harbor freight flux-core welder
    3) Some sheetmetal
    4) a drawing utensil
    5) paper
    6) bathroom paneling
    7) a jig saw
    8) an angle grinder with a cut-off wheel on it
    9) a steel 2X4
    10) some sheetmetal screws
    11) very little body filler

    I posted back in April about how to disassemble the rear bed panel on a 57-60 F100. I'm not going to rehash the disassembly here, just give a little background. This is what I started with.

    [​IMG]

    Nothing too eye-popping, but one afternoon, I was poking around a bit and noticed a tiny crack forming. "Bondo!", I thought. So, like a scabbed over wound, I started picking at it only to find this.

    [​IMG]

    "Holy rusted metal Batman!

    I got to looking at the curvature of the bed panel. Let's look again...

    [​IMG]

    Notice all of the different radii I'm dealing with, not to mention, the curve from the flat under the taillight, to the bedside. Where to start?

    First , I pulled out my trusty piece of scrap paper and a crayon from my kids art box. I held the paper parallel to the ground and made a mark where the curve started and another where the curve ended. I then measured the distance between the two marks and found it to be, well I don't remember what I found it to be. I went to Summit Racing's website and ordered me one of these...

    [​IMG]

    A nice J-bend in the diameter I needed. That's the first one I ordered. Remember that saying, "measure twice"? Well, I measured once and had to buy two. I blame it on the frosty beverages. I also went to Autozone and bought a cheap piece of galvanized exhaust tubing to make a template from. Now this is where the fun begins.

    I had some left over panel board from a bathroom remodel laying around. I put it up against the back of the bed and traced the contour of the bed side onto the board. I then used some more paper and what was left of the original panel...

    [​IMG]

    ...to finish the outline on the panelboard. Once I was satisfied with the outline, I cut it out with the jigsaw.

    [​IMG]

    Now we're ready to cut some metal. Go to Lowe's or Home Depot and get a steel 2X4. A 10 foot long stud was around 5 bucks if I remember right. Cut it into three equal lengths. FYI, if you have a welding table, you probably don't need this. Tack weld the three pieces together and you've just made yourself a super cheap welding platform. Trace the outline of the panelboard onto the welding platform. You've now created a jig to make the new section from.

    [​IMG]

    Take some flat sheetmetal and trace the outline of the lower section of the panel onto it. Draw another line about a half inch in from the original line and cut it out. This will eventually be the flange of your new panel section. Using sheetmetal screws, attach what's left of the original panel and the flange pieces to your jig.

    [​IMG]

    Now you want to make a template piece from the exhaust tubing. Cut the tubing in half, clamp it to your workbench, and make a bunch of slices almost all the way through the piece. After trying a few times, I found that in my case, I needed 4 cuts about an inch apart and 9 cuts about a half inch apart. Once you are satisfied with your template, it's time to make the final pieces. Cut the weldable steel tubing into quarters, transfer the cuts from the template piece to the final pieces, and make the cuts.

    [​IMG]

    Tack the new pieces to the original panel and to the flange pieces following the contour of the flange pieces. Only tack on the outside here. Once everything is stable, remove the screws and weld everything solid from the inside to limit the amount of grinding needed.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Once the perimeter of the panel is structurally sound, take this time to test fit the panel to see that everything lines up correctly.

    [​IMG]

    Now you can remove the panel and trace the opening from the backside onto a piece of sheetmetal. Cut out the panel and tack it into place.

    [​IMG]

    Pie cut a couple small pieces of steel and tack them into the corners. Once you're happy, weld everything solid.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Now's time for some body filler. I'm no professional body man, so I'm completely happy with a skim coat over what was in there to start.

    [​IMG]

    Notice in the above picture that i used the taillight screw holes to fasten the panel to a wooden 2X4 that I clamped to my workbench. This makes it considerably easier to work the body filler.

    [​IMG]

    Add some primer...

    [​IMG]

    And there you go. The money shot.

    [​IMG]

    When it was all done, I didn't even need the j-bend. I was able to do this all with one of the straight legs of the bend. Save yourself some cash and get straight tubing instead of a j-bend.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2012
  2. f1 fred
    Joined: Apr 29, 2005
    Posts: 514

    f1 fred
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from mn

    Thanks for the tech article. Came out nice!!
     
  3. shinysideup
    Joined: Sep 1, 2008
    Posts: 1,627

    shinysideup
    BANNED
    from ruskin, fl

    Whoa, teaching people to make a welding platform out of galvanized sheet. Dont do this!
     
  4. johnboy13
    Joined: May 1, 2007
    Posts: 1,073

    johnboy13
    Member

    If you grind the galvanizing off before you weld, you'll be fine. Even if you don't, you'll get over it. So yes, do this and do it often. Wear a respirator if you're scared.
     

  5. shinysideup
    Joined: Sep 1, 2008
    Posts: 1,627

    shinysideup
    BANNED
    from ruskin, fl

    wtf!
     
  6. johnboy13
    Joined: May 1, 2007
    Posts: 1,073

    johnboy13
    Member

    Last edited: Aug 27, 2012
  7. Del Swanson
    Joined: Mar 27, 2008
    Posts: 708

    Del Swanson
    Member
    from Racine, WI

    Johnboy, your project turned out good! To everyone else, if you need to make a welding table, don't be an idiot, use mild steel.
     
  8. johnboy13
    Joined: May 1, 2007
    Posts: 1,073

    johnboy13
    Member

    This could go on forever, but there is really no harm in tacking Galvanized steel in a well ventilated area. The fumes released are made up of the same stuff that sunscreen is made of, zinc oxide. I'm not condoning taking full breaths of the stuff, but a few tacks aren't going to kill you. If you have mild steel and you're worried about it, by all means use mild steel. If you don't, and you aren't worried about it, then go buy a five dollar wall stud and have at it. Here's OSHA's take on the subject. They don't seem to be too worried about it, and they're worried about everything.

    http://www.osha.gov/doc/outreachtraining/htmlfiles/weldhlth.html

    There's no need to call anyone an idiot.
     
  9. 52pickup
    Joined: Aug 11, 2004
    Posts: 833

    52pickup
    Member
    from Tucson, Az

    You've obviously never done it. It's the fucking SUCK.

    Also, not to shit on your tech, but you could have made it from one piece pretty easily by using a simple hammer form.
     
  10. johnboy13
    Joined: May 1, 2007
    Posts: 1,073

    johnboy13
    Member

    You do things your way, I'll do things my way. I have no experience with making hammer forms or the tools to it with, so no, I couldn't have done it pretty easily, but thanks for not shitting on my tech.
     
  11. johnboy13
    Joined: May 1, 2007
    Posts: 1,073

    johnboy13
    Member

    Guys, before this gets outta hand, it's just a simple tech article. I had a problem, I fixed it for around twenty bucks and a few evenings. Let's get passed the galvanized steel thing. I've added a note. Get over it.
     
  12. HUSSEY
    Joined: Feb 16, 2010
    Posts: 628

    HUSSEY
    Member

    I learned somting here, thanks for sharing. I don't know why some people have to shit on other peoples threads? Hammering it out, shaping it out of tubing, six one way half dozen the other, the job got done and it looks good.
     
  13. 52pickup
    Joined: Aug 11, 2004
    Posts: 833

    52pickup
    Member
    from Tucson, Az

    I was trying to suggest a better method to achieve the desired results. A method that doesn't require 37 welds (yes I counted), and less filler.

    You were half way there with your wood template. If you had radiused the edges with either a router or with a sander, and clamped a second piece of ply over the top with your sheetmetal sandwiched in between, you could hammer a piece of sheetmetal over the edges and your done. No welding, no slicing and dicing. If you made the radiused template the right height, you could even hammer the steel around the corner to make the flange.

    Here is a youtube video showing a basic hammerform procedure.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6CNXQPU4dU0
     
  14. johnboy13
    Joined: May 1, 2007
    Posts: 1,073

    johnboy13
    Member

    I tried finding a router bit. Anything with the radius I needed was way more than I wanted to spend for a one time use. I tried sanding a block of wood for the lower form too. I couldn't get it to work out either. I went with what I had. Why does it bother you so much?
     
  15. johnboy13
    Joined: May 1, 2007
    Posts: 1,073

    johnboy13
    Member

    Thanks
     
  16. chiro
    Joined: Jun 23, 2008
    Posts: 1,065

    chiro
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Great tech article. Thank you so much for the time and effort.
     
  17. iamben
    Joined: Apr 6, 2009
    Posts: 106

    iamben
    Member

    Nice tech. We weld galvanneal at work all the time and osha doesn't require a respirator to do it. I like the tech. Good job.
     
  18. Nice Tech. I learned something too. Everyone has different ways to achieve the same results based upon skills and tools available. :)
     
  19. JBOLTON
    Joined: May 24, 2006
    Posts: 243

    JBOLTON
    Member

    Sweet, thanks for taking the time to post. Came out looking good
     
  20. NielsK
    Joined: Jan 16, 2008
    Posts: 197

    NielsK
    Member
    from Denmark

    I liked it :)
    Regarding the galvanized stuff, I've done a lot of panels and patches out of that stuff.
    It was free :)
    Just remember to drink some milk, then you dont get sick
     
  21. 28TUDOR
    Joined: Jan 25, 2007
    Posts: 419

    28TUDOR
    Member

    Good job, It looks great.
     
  22. johnboy13
    Joined: May 1, 2007
    Posts: 1,073

    johnboy13
    Member

    Thank you

    Thanks for the input

    Thanks

    Thank you

    I've heard that, didn't know it was true. I've never drank milk before welding galvanized and I've never gotten sick. Go figure

    Thanks
     
  23. It worked, it looks good, we all were reminded about the evils of galvanized steel and we had a wee bit of drama...all in all a good time was had by all.
     
  24. willymakeit
    Joined: Apr 13, 2009
    Posts: 1,326

    willymakeit
    Member

    OP, thanks for sharing. There is always another way to skin a cat.
     
  25. nice tech article. about the galvanized material, I like using it. especially inside panels that are hard to rust proof like center rocker pieces. its only bad bad BAAAADDD if you use a chlorinated material like brake cleaner to clean the pieces and you don't let it dry, and mig weld with gas, hold your tongue wrong, assume the Fox rabbit ears airwave viewing position, etc. etc. etc.

    good job on the truck!
     
  26. 40FordGuy
    Joined: Mar 24, 2008
    Posts: 2,907

    40FordGuy
    Member

    GREAT POST !!!!!!! Where there's a will, there's a way ..........


    4TTRUK
     
  27. Joshua Shaw
    Joined: Feb 7, 2007
    Posts: 2,191

    Joshua Shaw
    Member

    Great article. Good job. Making due with what you HAVE availible on the CHEEP. That's what Tech week is about.

    ...as for the Galvanized wimpers. :rolleyes: They probably are typing it with a lit cigarete in there hand.
     
  28. 62rebel
    Joined: Sep 1, 2008
    Posts: 2,820

    62rebel
    Member

    i like it... i've had zinc jitters too. couldn't tell them from the usual stumbling/mumbling i do, so it didn't bother me too much.
    i, too, am all about the cheapest damn way possible to do something...
    i'm determined to slice-n-dice some exhaust tubing to make a '50 Merc style grill surround for my shoebox.... using the factory '51 upper bar for a mounting flange.....
     
  29. n847
    Joined: Apr 22, 2010
    Posts: 2,713

    n847
    Member

    Looks cool to me...I work at an automotive supplier and everything we weld for Honda has a Galvaniel coating on it. None of the 1000+ employees wear a respirator!
     
  30. Nice tech post, thank you. I thought it was a clever way to tackle the problem.
     

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