Where can I get the U-channel metal to make door window frames? Pic.. - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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Old 07-09-2007, 12:36 PM
F&J F&J is offline
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Where can I get the U-channel metal to make door window frames? Pic..

I need to make windows and frames for an early cabriolet. 20 years ago I saw an article about a restoration company that was making selling mild steel U-channel to make custom size window frames for door windows.

I've done plenty of searches with no luck. Can't figure a way to make them as the 2nd bend would be difficult on a brake with the thick steel on a long run.

My other idea was to do a frameless glass but with that lower extension on both lower tails of the setting/lift channel to keep the glass stable. But I don't know if you can only do that with tempered factory windows(that can't be cut to help me), or if AS2 plate glass would crack if the door gets slammed.

I'm open to ideas. The frameless would look slick, but will it work?

Here's a 55-57 chevy frame with just one stabilizing tail...I'd do two.


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Old 07-09-2007, 10:25 PM
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I have made similar U-channel by carefully slicing off one side of square steel tubing on my metal cutting band saw.
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Old 07-10-2007, 07:09 AM
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I've made custom window channels out of stuff like this.
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Old 07-10-2007, 07:20 AM
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I would think hammer forming a u-channel would be pretty easy.

If the u-channel is curved, I would hammerform the channel straight, then use heat to bend the channel into shape, rather than try to hammerform the channel into the correct shape right off the bat.

Joe
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Old 07-10-2007, 09:23 AM
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Thanks for the replies. I'm getting some ideas now. I need to find an online steel tube catalog with rectangle tubing & sizes. Now that you mentioned cutting one up; I recall seeing some oddball sizes like 3/4" x 2" 14ga? in the scrap pile at a steel place years ago.

Maybe I could find a smaller one and cut it right down the middle to get 2 pieces in just one cut, and end up with a channel size to fit standard AS1 glass with the black setting material.

I think a non-tempered glass without a complete frame would crack, so I guess I'd better do frames. Then get the stuff that Crashtech put up to make run channels with.
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Old 07-10-2007, 12:16 PM
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I just found plenty of that retangular tubing online. Either in mild steel or stainless.

I was looking at the 1/2 x 1 and 1/2 x 1-1/2, in either 12ga, & 14ga.

I could rig up the plasma clamped to a bracket to use a fence like on top of a table saw to end up with 2 channels with a nice cut.

The stainless would eliminate $$ chrome plating, but how nasty would it be to bend by heating the back side? Seems like the unsupported side flanges would kink up even if I tried to keep them cooler than the closed end of the channel?
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Old 07-10-2007, 01:23 PM
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cut 3/4 plywood to shape of the channel u want

make sure your channel is a tight fit (sand or shim with sheetmetal till it fits snug

heat your channel

wrap around plywood, hammer lips flat as you go

cut off burnt section of plywood and give yourself a fresh edge

slip channel over new form

hammer form your pieces to perfection
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Old 07-10-2007, 06:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by F&J
I need to make windows and frames for an early cabriolet. 20 years ago I saw an article about a restoration company that was making selling mild steel U-channel to make custom size window frames for door windows.

I've done plenty of searches with no luck. Can't figure a way to make them as the 2nd bend would be difficult on a brake with the thick steel on a long run.

My other idea was to do a frameless glass but with that lower extension on both lower tails of the setting/lift channel to keep the glass stable. But I don't know if you can only do that with tempered factory windows(that can't be cut to help me), or if AS2 plate glass would crack if the door gets slammed.

I'm open to ideas. The frameless would look slick, but will it work?

Here's a 55-57 chevy frame with just one stabilizing tail...I'd do two.

I wish I was far enough along with my coupe to need the U channel. I see the material your speaking of at some of the larger meets like Goodguys or NSRA events. Another option is to call or email the folks that make repro glass or the vendors that sell door hardware like regulators, ect. I bet they can hook you up.

Good luck
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