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Old 08-24-2008, 09:46 AM
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Warped sheet metal, how to make it flat again?

Hello all you hot rod body dudes out there is cyber-spaces.

Here's the deal; I farmed out my hood side panels to a custom car guy who proceeded to keep them from me for a year or better while he fixed em. Stock, they had some vent slots, I told him to make that area flat steel. He cut the slots out, made a big square hole. Then he attempted to weld a piece of sheet steel into the hole. He messed up, cut the piece out, tried another etc. He also tried torch, MIG, and TIG. He took the panels to another guy and got some pointers....yatta yatta yatta and a year or so later I get them back.

Both panels are warped quite a bit. One has his hole plugged with sheet steel and the welded areas ground down, a couple places he ground through the stock, a couple places he dug holes with the grinder....It looks to me like he had zero patience.

Anyhow, I got warped panels now. AND I have no idea how to get the panels flat again. I figure to beat them flat, but I don't know how...use a hammer and dolly right? But do I warm the panel with heat to keep it from getting hard after hitting it, or what?

What I am asking is, how do I get the suckers flat again. Beat on them or what?

Got any pointers on books with lots of pictures er whut?

R

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Old 08-24-2008, 11:09 AM
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www.metalmeet.com and use a shrinking disk to help get them back straight again..

Good luck sorry for your issues..

Sam
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Old 08-24-2008, 11:10 AM
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Hi,
I don't know much about body work, but when I've had to
straighten metal I used heat to shrink the metal as I was
working it with a dolly & hammer, as for books? try google.
Good luck,
Rich
PS Did you have to pay the guy to get your
parts back?
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Old 08-24-2008, 07:03 PM
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In the hands of someone that knows what they are doing, it will probably take a considerable amount of time to determine where it needs to be stretched and where it may need to be shrunk. Someone that doesn't know what they are doing can make it more of a mess than it already is.

I would recommend going to that "metalmeet" site and seeing if you can find someone local to you that can help.

Aaron
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Old 08-24-2008, 08:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adtkart
In the hands of someone that knows what they are doing, it will probably take a considerable amount of time to determine where it needs to be stretched and where it may need to be shrunk. Someone that doesn't know what they are doing can make it more of a mess than it already is.

I would recommend going to that "metalmeet" site and seeing if you can find someone local to you that can help.

Aaron
I agree for sure...if I knew what I was doing on the metal on my Plymouth I would be much futher along. It's nice to learn along the way though. There's an old book from the 30's titled metal bumping. Every now and then I see them at swap meets. It's helped me a lot.
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Old 08-25-2008, 07:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richard stewart 3rd
Hi,
I don't know much about body work, but when I've had to
straighten metal I used heat to shrink the metal as I was
working it with a dolly & hammer, as for books? try google.
Good luck,
Rich
PS Did you have to pay the guy to get your
parts back?
Well, sort of...Initially I had all the 39 Pontiac parts from my car, engine, tranny etc. And he was building a rat, so he wanted them for trade on body work on my 39. So I started him with the tires and wheels, stock wheels, bias ply wide white tires...(weather checked but drivable).

When I got the panels back he wanted to give me back the tires and wheels too... but, I have no use for them and he seemed to want them, so I gave them to him for all his effort on the panels....he did a lot of work on them, just messed up because he is novice. I still think he is a good kid, just...you know, it's been a freekin year and I want the panels back!
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Old 08-25-2008, 08:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1930u
I agree for sure...if I knew what I was doing on the metal on my Plymouth I would be much futher along. It's nice to learn along the way though. There's an old book from the 30's titled metal bumping. Every now and then I see them at swap meets. It's helped me a lot.
DUDE! I totally read your Plymouth stuff and eyeballed the pictures. Great stuff! Wow, you have serious tons of work there, both done and to do a! I think the non-Ford part of the car is wonderful! I wish I had your energy...I got tired just reading about the stuff you did. Oh, and the fenders look great too, especially the pointed bad-boy-hard-guy part...

I found that book on the web, it took about 30 seconds. Wow a?! (Freakin computers are fun.) Here is the link for thems of youse whose wants it;

http://www.autobodyhandtools.com/Manuals

I didn't order it yet, (still typing you know).

Thanks for pointing that thing out, I'm going to grab plastic and get one now!

R
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Old 08-25-2008, 11:58 AM
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I can sympathize, for sure. Years ago, when I was doing restoration stuff, we did a Model A, that had the hood and side panels pretty well banged up. I had to spend a TON of time getting it back into shape...and I'm not talking perfect; just presentable.

If you don't know what you're doing, you could be in trouble. Good luck and I hope you can find someone close to help you.
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Old 08-25-2008, 07:09 PM
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In cases of a dent, crease, or even a tear, I will normally ask for a photo, and try to explain how to repair it. In a case like yours, it is likely that the problem is from the heat from the welding shrinking the metal, causing the warpage. When welding sheetmetal, the warpage can be controlled with a hammer and dollie, or by welding slowly. Once it is warped, it will take someone with experience to determine where stretching or even shrinking needs to be done to straighten it out. The wrong operation in the wrong area can make things really hard to fix.

I would not want to try to learn this repair from just reading a book.

Aaron
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Old 08-25-2008, 08:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adtkart
In cases of a dent, crease, or even a tear, I will normally ask for a photo, and try to explain how to repair it. In a case like yours, it is likely that the problem is from the heat from the welding shrinking the metal, causing the warpage. When welding sheetmetal, the warpage can be controlled with a hammer and dollie, or by welding slowly. Once it is warped, it will take someone with experience to determine where stretching or even shrinking needs to be done to straighten it out. The wrong operation in the wrong area can make things really hard to fix.

I would not want to try to learn this repair from just reading a book.

Aaron
I ordered a book before you told me that, bummer! Them 18 bucks went out of my plastic and into cyber-space, ZOOM! Oh well, another drop in the bucket.

Well, these panels have been heated for sure, I can see the blue stuff. There is a bulge in this area, I'd show you a pic but my camera is goofed up...(dropped it and now it don't work so hot, I'll try the tap on it method tomorrow maybe and see if I can get some more pictures out of it, that's worked before).

Anyhow, I suppose the bulge is on account of the metal kinda grew there, "stretched" maybe is what you call it. I hear metal heads say "shrink" stuff with a hammer and I'm like "yah right, whats that all about?". So, if is stretched there, how is it shrunk back again? (Shrinked back again?) And if that bulge is shrank, how can it be stretched? And if it's shranked how can it bulge, or are that the same thing?!!

I mean, lets go for a positive kind of suggestion here men!...this "you can't get there from here" stuff is depressing me! I'd like to be able to eyeball my potential professional and size him up by asking him sneaky questions like showing him my shrinked stuff and saying "how you gonna fix this here stretched part?" Maybe rule out the goof balls! How am I gona do this if I don't know what the heck I'm looking at?!

Oh well, tomorrows another day. I'll be out there pounding blindly, what the hey...Rome warnt built in a day!

R
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Old 08-26-2008, 06:24 AM
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The basic facts that must be understood.


EVERY weld is a shrink point, no matter slow or how cool you think you kept the area you will have a shrink point!


The fix is to use hammer on dolly hits to stretch the area where you welded.

From the sounds of it your metal has been really messed up and you will have little hope of getting it perfect. It takes quite a bit of experience to know how to correct metal in the condition you describe.

Since the problem is caused by weld shrinkage further torch heat shrinkage is likely to do way more damage. You need to do your best to correct welded areas with hammer on dolly and you may have some luck with a shrinking disk getting it back to level. In the end, you should not expect perfection with the metal unless you are willing to spend some time learning about metal work.

With the correct knowledge you may be able to do a decent job recovering the metal.

Metal working hints and websites
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Old 08-26-2008, 11:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lost in NJ
The basic facts that must be understood.


EVERY weld is a shrink point, no matter slow or how cool you think you kept the area you will have a shrink point!


The fix is to use hammer on dolly hits to stretch the area where you welded.

From the sounds of it your metal has been really messed up and you will have little hope of getting it perfect. It takes quite a bit of experience to know how to correct metal in the condition you describe.

Since the problem is caused by weld shrinkage further torch heat shrinkage is likely to do way more damage. You need to do your best to correct welded areas with hammer on dolly and you may have some luck with a shrinking disk getting it back to level. In the end, you should not expect perfection with the metal unless you are willing to spend some time learning about metal work.

With the correct knowledge you may be able to do a decent job recovering the metal.

Metal working hints and websites
Lost,

I've never been to New Jersey, is it a big place?

What is a shrinking disk? I have an inch ounce torque wrench that I bought for the rear end, maybe I could get a shrinking disk to round out my "whasat?" tools...(Like to keep the neighbors guessing when they eyeball my garage.)

I surfed over to the metalworking site you pointed out and read the stuff. It made me think that my bulge is a shrinked spot. I am still having trouble getting that concept straight, but there are lots of other links there too. So, I expect I will find a lot more pointers. I appreciate the link Lost, thanks. I may be learning stuff here in spite of all the lost brain cells!

It's past the crack of noon, guess I'll go hammer some.....looks like a great day for it in the murder city! (yawn)

R
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Old 08-26-2008, 05:32 PM
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A shrinking disk is simply a special disk, usually made out of stainless steel, that is used on a 7"or 9" grinder to heat and shrink sheetmetal. They are available on Evil Bay for about $35 most of the time. I believe Wray Shellin (sp) sells them with a video that explains how to use them.

Keep in mind that very few panels on a vehicle are actually flat. They most all have some kind of a bow or bend to it, for strength reasons. A buldge does not mean that it is stretched. It could simply be shrunk around that area, forcing the buldge.

Aaron
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