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Old 06-01-2006, 12:19 PM
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Metal Shaping article

I came across this article on the web:

The subject of the article is making reproductions of very rare sheetmetal.

Why I posted it, besides that being interesting in itself, is the technique he's using. He uses an original part to make a female mold, coats that mold with a sheet wax to take up the space of the metal, and then casts a buck out of non-shrinking gypsum cement (Ultracal 30) which is reinforced with steel plating.

The buck can be reused and makes producing small numbers of fairly exact duplicates a relatively easy and inexpensive process compared to either doing it from scratch, or going through the process of having stamping dies made up.

For anyone contemplating making something like a custom or reproduction body panel, scoop, etc, this could be a useful technique. He uses it to make aluminum copies of steel parts, for example. I imagine you could also build a custom template body or body part out of foam and fiberglass, for example, and use that as the mold to cast bucks and build the part in aluminum or steel.

Interesting stuff with some real potential, IMHO.

I googled the gypsum cement, and its commonly available. Ditto on the sheet wax.

Of course, you still have to beat the panel by hand when you're done...

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Old 06-01-2006, 04:55 PM
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Thanks for the link! Nice article. The guy doing the work knows what he is doing! Wray Schelin has developed some interesting ways to make bucks using wire frames and bondo, as well as flexible shape patterns. I think these methods are a little simpler than what this fellow is doing, but whatever works for a particular individual. There are a lot of different methods to achieve the same results.

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Old 06-01-2006, 05:00 PM
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It's good to still have these craftsman around to duplicate rare parts for classic hot rods.
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