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Old 11-30-2016, 10:08 AM
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Fab of door bottom panels 1937 Buick

I'm finally ready to tackle the rust repair on the bottom of the doors of my 1937 Buick. Like most panels, there are no aftermarket parts, so I need to fabricate. The shape has a large radius leading into a .875" radius near the bottom that leads into a sharp corner and vertical tab (return). The part is further complicated by the gradual curve of the door from front to back.
Does anyone have suggestions as to equipment, or process to fabricate this shape.
Thanks
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Old 11-30-2016, 11:45 AM
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I had to fab the complete bottoms of my doors. Granted, it is a different style than yours but the same principles of fabrication will apply.

The only special tool I used was a set of shrinker/stretcher jaws. A set will run you about $150 but you will use them over and over throughout your build.

Start here if you want to follow along as I built my door.

https://www.hotrodders.com/forum/53-b...33635-187.html

Good luck to you.

John
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Old 11-30-2016, 01:44 PM
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If the door has the curve the same all along it you can copy the shape. You open the door and slap a thin layer of grease on the edges. Then grab a piece of cardboard and lightly tap on it. Pull the cardboard away and cut out your template.

Get a 4x4 and start working it until it matches your shape perfectly you do not want any dips. Then slap the steel down and working from the edge using a body hammer tap it.

Keep the steel and wood secured. Make sure you work from one end to the other or you will make ripples.


This works for practly any body panel. If you have the resources you can have a piece of steel milled to use as a template. Wood is cheap and easier to smooth out in complicated shapes for me.
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Old 11-30-2016, 04:22 PM
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when tackling a tough shape try starting with the stuff you know you can do, like the straight 90 bend. as you get one part done you'll think of ways to do the tougher bends, it just comes to you.
I don't ever cut the old door or paneluntil I have a patch already made and screwed into place with drill screws.
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Old 12-01-2016, 12:54 PM
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Thanks all for your feedback.
Attached is a picture of the back of the door.
The rust goes about 5 inches up the door. I have been using butt welds for my repairs.
Others expressed concern about a seam that is 5 inches up because that section is relatively flat and will be prone to warpage. They recommended moving the weld seam up to the belt-line.
I would rather keep as much or the door as possible because I'm a rookie without equipment and think it will be difficult to replicate the curvature of the door.
Seems a flanged weld joint would add stiffness at the weld joint and reduced warping due to weld.
1) For the door bottom, would I be better off using a flanger and creating an overlapping flange at the top of the 5" panel?
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Old 12-01-2016, 01:51 PM
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A flanged joint is much stronger and you'll get less warping but the flanged part is always on the old skin so the bottom of the flange is down. Its done this way because doors are designed to allow water to run through them and drain out holes in the bottom, if the flange was in the patch it would point upward and catch water as it traveled down the door like a cup and you would have to rely on seam sealer alone to keep water out and sooner or later it will fail and allow water in.

One of my rules of thumb when patching is only replace what you have to.

I believe you'd have better success with a flanged joint starting off but with a good flanged joint you'll have to notch it at the ends so its butted as it goes over the inner structure and around to the back side this way theres no lump caused from the extra metal of the flange. just cut the flange part off the last inch or so. Another advantage of the flange is you'll be able to use drill screws to hold the patch in place as you remove and replace it in exactly the same spot every time until you get it dialed in as best as you can.
Cool car Matt, I cant wait to see you get started on it.
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Old 12-01-2016, 03:02 PM
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Thanks deadbodyman and others who have gave advice. If you look at the first picture at top of thread there is a folded hem on the sides of the door. I've seen hems created across the bottom of more modern doors, but I'm having trouble picturing how to hammer a hem around that curve as it attaches to the side piece.
1) Is it just a case of hammering with a round hammer or is there a different method you could recommend?
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Old 12-01-2016, 06:27 PM
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You can always make it in pieces, sides then front skin.
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Old 12-01-2016, 10:16 PM
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the pics aren't really very descriptive. Could you take a pic of the good door so we can get a better idea? One thing I gathered is there's radius. You can use some angle iron and clamps and make a 45 that you will later hammer over the edge of the shell flange along the bottom. Before you hammer down you EVENLY around the sides and more in the middle. shrink it and test fit in between shrinks to get the right curve. Thing is, without pics I have no idea what's going on from top to bottom of the door.
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Old 12-02-2016, 09:51 AM
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First and second pictures are the same door on car. Third picture is the end of the door (from back) showing the curve to the bottom. Notice the folded over hem that captures the side piece. The hem is very similar to a folded over hem that holds more modern door skins to door frames. The difference is the hem goes around that .875 radius curve. This folded hem would be on the end of the 5" tall panel.
I'm having trouble seeing how to form this hem around the radius.
Thanks
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Old 12-02-2016, 10:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mutt's37Buick View Post
First and second pictures are the same door on car. Third picture is the end of the door (from back) showing the curve to the bottom. Notice the folded over hem that captures the side piece. The hem is very similar to a folded over hem that holds more modern door skins to door frames. The difference is the hem goes around that .875 radius curve. This folded hem would be on the end of the 5" tall panel.
I'm having trouble seeing how to form this hem around the radius.
Thanks
Im not sure if im looking at this right but could you use something 1/4 rod with the sheetmetal welded to it instead of shaping the sheet metal?
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Old 12-02-2016, 11:35 AM
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Not sure what you mean. These are is a folded over hems on the original door. Similar to the folded over hem across the bottom of more modern doors. This picture shows a different angle. of the same end.
Thanks
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Old 12-02-2016, 04:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mutt's37Buick View Post
First and second pictures are the same door on car. Third picture is the end of the door (from back) showing the curve to the bottom. Notice the folded over hem that captures the side piece. The hem is very similar to a folded over hem that holds more modern door skins to door frames. The difference is the hem goes around that .875 radius curve. This folded hem would be on the end of the 5" tall panel.
I'm having trouble seeing how to form this hem around the radius.
Thanks
Folding a hem on a one inch (approx) radius will be very hard. The easiest thing would be to tip the hem down to where the tight radius starts and then add the hem welding along the edge after it is folded. The appearance will be that it has a continuous hem even though it was added last at the bottom.

John
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Old 12-02-2016, 09:16 PM
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use your door to make the radius on the bottom by bending straight on top, or use some rod with the same radius and bend. You can then do the 45 on the bottom with a brake or angle iron and clamps, and shrink that flange and get the arch from side to side,Now you just need to do the sides. Then cut some scrap wood to match the contours on the side. Screw it into the skin on each side with sheet metal screws, leaving enough room on the edge to hammer down onto the wood with the amount you want as a lip. This would be like a quick hammer form that allows you to make your 45 on a radius. Once you have your 45 on the radius you won't need the piece of wood. The longer the wood is side to side the less distortion. Then you can finish your hem and weld up the holes. When it comes to radius' in two directions easier said than done, but doable for sure.
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Old 11-15-2017, 11:29 AM
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Using a Bead Roller to form door bottom

Hard to believe it's been nearly a year since I started this thread.
I'm considering buying a Bead Roller to make floorboards.
Hoping could also use the Bead Roller to form door bottoms.
The radius near the bottom of my doors appears to be .75 inches.
A sketch of the cross section is attached. The picture shows the door laid horizontal with inside of door facing upward.
I have been watching videos of metal forming with a Bead Roller.
1) Would it be possible to form the .75 radius first and then follow up with the 90 deg bend for the .5" lip?
2) If so, then what dies would I need?
Thanks
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