Register now to get rid of these ads!

Technical What Gauge Sheet Metal?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by HUSSEY, Jul 7, 2016.

  1. HUSSEY
    Joined: Feb 16, 2010
    Posts: 628

    HUSSEY
    Member

    I need to make a transmission tunnel. I'm going to try and form it by bending it over whatever I can find that's the right diameter, gas bottle, propane tank, tree, anything. I've never done much of any sheet metal work, what gauge do you suggest I go with.
     
  2. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,894

    squirrel
    Member

    20 is probably plenty thick, as it's a curved piece. 22 would probably work, too, and would be easier to form.

    I'm sure several guys will suggest that 18 is the thinnest you should ever use on a floor :)
     
  3. Finnrodder
    Joined: Oct 18, 2009
    Posts: 2,960

    Finnrodder
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Finland

    I made mine from 18 gauge
     
    Hnstray likes this.
  4. aaggie
    Joined: Nov 21, 2009
    Posts: 2,531

    aaggie
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    20 would probably be OK if you brace it in a few places or bead roll some grooves. I buy a sheet of 18 cold rolled about once a year and cut pieces from it when I need patch material or tunnel stock. It is a good all around thickness.
     

  5. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,894

    squirrel
    Member

    Being a good all around thickness, means that it's too thick for some things, and too thin for others....right? :)
     
    Dino64, JOYFLEA and need louvers ? like this.
  6. Spiveywhiplash
    Joined: Feb 27, 2016
    Posts: 5

    Spiveywhiplash

    Think about your welding abilities, if you're going to weld it. Thinner the steel, easier to burn through

    Sent from my LGLS992 using H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  7. I made my last tunnel from 18 G but the truth is that the squirrel is correct 20 gauge will be easier to work with and likely gaining strength from the curve will work just fine.
     
    need louvers ? likes this.
  8. HUSSEY
    Joined: Feb 16, 2010
    Posts: 628

    HUSSEY
    Member

    Thanks for the input, I think I'll go with 20 GA. A little while back I bought a drop piece of 16 GA. I've used it for various stuff but realized it would be a bit difficult to bend for the trans tunnel. I'll likely use what I have left of the 16 GA for the floor section, then use 20 GA for the formed section.

    You can see in the pic below of where I'm at...and where I want to go, except I was going to make mine removable.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2016
  9. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,894

    squirrel
    Member

    You might find the original floor is 19 gauge. Or maybe not.
     
  10. woodiewagon46
    Joined: Mar 14, 2013
    Posts: 1,713

    woodiewagon46
    Member
    from New York

    Many early Ford's used 19 gauge which is .0437 thick. 20 Ga. is .0375 and 18 Ga. is .050. Not too many places stock 19 Ga. anymore. If you can find the 19 Ga., I would use it.
     
  11. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,894

    squirrel
    Member

    18 would be good for the flat places on the floor, 20 is fine for the curved areas.
     
    Speedys Garage likes this.
  12. RoadkillCustoms
    Joined: Jul 10, 2008
    Posts: 270

    RoadkillCustoms
    Member
    from Mesa, AZ

    Use 18 gauge and bend it around a 5 gallon bucket. You can use a couple of ratchet straps to snuggly and evenly wrap it around the bucket...
     
  13. 1946caddy
    Joined: Dec 18, 2013
    Posts: 1,705

    1946caddy
    Member
    from washington

    No shit, I gave up looking for 19 ga. I must have called twenty places and the only place I could find was somewhere down South 3000 miles away from Washington. If I had to buy a whole sheet, I would go with the 18 ga. but if you could find a remnant from a sheet metal shop, 20 ga. would work fine. A bead roller makes 20 ga. pretty strong.
     
  14. 55willys
    Joined: Dec 7, 2012
    Posts: 1,604

    55willys
    Member

    I like the workability of 18 gauge and it is usually a bit thinner than it is supposed to be making it somewhat close to 19 gauge. I like that it holds its shape well without denting easily like 20 gauge does. I have shaped 18 gauge over my knee to make trans tunnels before.
     
  15. RR
    Joined: Nov 30, 2008
    Posts: 99

    RR
    Member

    Another vote for 18, but 20 will work great for the curves as the bend adds strength.
    This day and age, 19 gage is a bastard size- even gages are most prevalent.
     
  16. Don's Hot Rods
    Joined: Oct 7, 2005
    Posts: 8,319

    Don's Hot Rods
    Member
    from florida

    I tend to overbuild everything, so we use 18 ga on floors.


    Don
     
    1934coupe likes this.
  17. 1934coupe
    Joined: Feb 22, 2007
    Posts: 4,129

    1934coupe
    Member

    I agree with Don, if you use 20g and don't like it later are you going to redo it in 18 or live with it. I think you will like the end result of the project using 18g.

    Pat
     
  18. toreadorxlt
    Joined: Feb 27, 2008
    Posts: 733

    toreadorxlt
    Member
    from Nashua, NH

    if you're in new england yarde metals is the source for 19ga. I buy it all the time from them
     
  19. woodiewagon46
    Joined: Mar 14, 2013
    Posts: 1,713

    woodiewagon46
    Member
    from New York

    If you are in the NYC area, Rapid Steel in Long Island City has 19 Ga. 4'x8' sheets or they will shear it to your size.
     
  20. Fitnessguy
    Joined: Sep 28, 2015
    Posts: 1,430

    Fitnessguy
    Member

    I just finished my tranny tunnel and front pans. All made to be removed. I will be installing nutserts on the perimeter and along the tunnel edge. I used 18 gauge for the tunnel and 16 gauge for the pans. 16 gauge is a little heavy I know but I wanted them to be really solid. I have an English wheel which is what I used to form the tunnel.


    ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1467984385.419455.jpg ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1467984420.153837.jpg
     
  21. 50dodge4x4
    Joined: Aug 7, 2004
    Posts: 3,535

    50dodge4x4
    Member

    If you need tight corners, or multiple bends in a short distance, 20 g is a lot nicer to work with, and its easier to trim with tin snips. On a trans tunnel, 20 g is plenty thick enough.
    If you have to cut the sheet metal with tin snips, 18 g will give you some sore hands by the time you cut the length you need to do a trans tunnel, and those tin snips better be in good shape.

    I've made my living replacing rusted out floor boards. 20 g sheet metal is a good thickness if there are a lot of bends or curves, and you have to form it by hand or use simple hand tools. On wide open spaces, 18 g has much more support, but its more difficult to work with if you don't have a plasma cutter, or some other electric cutting devise to cut it with, and an English wheel or lots of experience to bend it. Gene
     
  22. 1946caddy
    Joined: Dec 18, 2013
    Posts: 1,705

    1946caddy
    Member
    from washington

    I bought one of these from Harbor freight and it says its good to 14 ga. I've never used it on anything thicker than 18 ga. but was surprised at how well it worked. Cost less than $40 with a discount coupon. I don't know how it would hold up in a production shop but I used mine about once a month and have no complaints so far.
    image_13972.jpg
     
  23. 19Fordy
    Joined: May 17, 2003
    Posts: 6,928

    19Fordy
    Member

  24. stoneyzoni
    Joined: Sep 27, 2013
    Posts: 11

    stoneyzoni
    Member

    Hot tip for sheet metal cutters. If you loosen the screws and rotate the head 90 degrees you won't have to deal with the cord (or hose) snagging on the edge of the sheet metal.
     

Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!

Archive

Copyright © 1995-2020 The Jalopy Journal: Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.

Atomic Industry
Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010-2014 XenForo Ltd.