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Art & Inspiration The History and Art of Engine Turned Material - Lets See Yours

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Speed~On, May 17, 2017.

  1. David Gersic
    Joined: Feb 15, 2015
    Posts: 2,257

    David Gersic
    from DeKalb, IL

    I’ve only ever done these from one side. I start at the right edge, work to the left, then reset back to the right for the next row.

    Alternating left and right might yield an interesting pattern though. If it looks cool when you’re done, that’s all that matters.

    I don’t mark the piece. I just clamp a yardstick down and eyeball measure each step to the side. Draw a T on the table. Draw a second vertical line, that’s the row offset. Center the yardstick on the T to set the first row. Pull, move, pull, repeat to end of row.

    Measure up the row spacing, move the yardstick, center it on the other vertical, and your next row is set. Pull, move, repeat.

    On the plate I just did, I ran out of vertical space. The piece hit the column, three rows from the end. So I had to flip it around, re-measure my offsets and starting points, and work left to right.

    With a mill, I’d think this would be easier. Your left to right spacing is just counting turns of the handle. Crank it back over to the start position, then 1/2 position over, or whatever you want for your row offset. Row to row spacing would just be counting turns of the handle too.

    The next piece I have to do is triangular. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with it. Maybe just rows. Maybe triangles around the edge and working inward. Or something. That needs more pondering, and I haven’t finished prepping the piece yet.

    After that, I have a round piece. I’m thinking concentric circles, but haven’t figured out how to jig that in my drill press.

    Sent from my iPad using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    rusty valley likes this.
  2. rusty valley
    Joined: Oct 25, 2014
    Posts: 1,761

    rusty valley

    thanks for some more education Dave. using a mill was precise, but slow. i spent a lot of time bent over trying to get the dials exactly on the .250 , where as eyeballing on the part would have been accurate enough
  3. Scrapin’Metal
    Joined: Mar 19, 2018
    Posts: 57


    Teaching my girl how to turn panels for her dash. Started out with some clean aluminum and a drill press with a cut down 3 M “Cookie”. Think she did a pretty good job. 32E160B1-36B0-4A30-9050-B819028B5801.jpeg A64CFCAB-4867-49AD-AD58-8F25764FE4B5.jpeg
    chevy57dude, cfmvw and David Gersic like this.
  4. lippy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2006
    Posts: 4,978

    from Ks

    Man those all look great. Even the scraps!! LOL. Guy could get hooked on doing that! Hmmm wonder what the fridge would look like? Wife would kill me. lol. Lippy
  5. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 7,121

    jimmy six

    Check the engine turned firewall. It was installed in 1962 or 3 by Blair’s Speed Shop in Pasadena when this 40 Chevrolet was built for Noel Melovich. Because it was only .050” it did not meet SCTA specs for a non stock or aluminum firewall. I installed a .025” behind it to make the .060” minimum in 1975. C110A692-05E1-4B4E-9E5A-602B9E86267A.jpeg
  6. fleetside66
    Joined: Nov 20, 2006
    Posts: 2,561


    The Studebaker Hawks (including the '55 Speedster) had nice engine turned panels. I wonder if they did them in their plants or subcontracted them? I would imagine that the process they used to make engine turned sheets was automated. I would have loved to see one of those in action.
  7. Speed~On
    Joined: Apr 28, 2011
    Posts: 1,270


    It's a great idea to stay home these days. With shelter in place policies being implemented, perhaps this is a great time to hone your engine turning skills.

    Here are two pieces I recently finished.



  8. Pat Thompson
    Joined: Apr 29, 2012
    Posts: 202

    Pat Thompson

    this is a firewall I'm doing for a 56 Ford pickup. mail[1].jpg
    LAROKE, alchemy, chevy57dude and 3 others like this.
  9. Osoty
    Joined: Nov 21, 2017
    Posts: 42


    You guys motivated me to buy some cratex sticks. I'll toss my hat in the ring shortly. Until then, may I please see some more
    David Gersic likes this.
  10. rtp
    Joined: Aug 14, 2007
    Posts: 149


    I use a end type wire brush with a small hose clamp around the wires, Chuck that up in the drill press . Make a plywood table mark it front to back with 1/2 marks, and a center line ,clamp a yardstick on the first line left to right. Line up a constant number (say 20) the first line of swirls ,move yardstick in to next mark and left or right 1/4in line material up with constant (now offset),run 2nd line move stick in to next mark and back left or right 1/4to line up the constant. Moderate pressure on handle only 10seconds per swirl. When you can't advance in because of press post rotate work peice 180 and move in the other direction (if you moved the work right to left to start then move left to right)
    No lube or it takes longer to make the swirls.
    Did 2 12x 18 panels brush did not lose much length . If it seems to slow down cutting run it against a bench grinder (lightly)to sharpen.

    Sent from my 100005207 using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    David Gersic likes this.

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