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Old 03-09-2018, 06:26 AM
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Quilted firewall?

I want to do a quilted firewall. I am having trouble tracking down the material. Or would it be better to learn how to bead roll and do it myself? Whats your guys opinion"?

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Old 03-09-2018, 07:13 AM
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Googling "diamond pattern stainless steel sheet" pops up answers. You can also try industrial kitchen suppliers, as it was a common backsplash material in diners.

Just know that theres no 'standard' for the angle of the diamonds; according to the google pics, some seem very tall and narrow, others are decidedly more square. Some have a much more soft looking edge which makes them look more quilted, others have a very clean edge and less 'puffiness'.

If you dont see what you like, theres always beadrolling
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Old 03-09-2018, 04:53 PM
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I have gotten a few sample online and they are not exactly what I am looking for. I also heard the back of some semi trailers doors also. But bead rolling might be in my future. Anyone have pointers on that lol
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Old 03-09-2018, 07:15 PM
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Bright Quilt Pattern Stainless Steel Sheets from QuickShipMetals.com

Click on above. Not Cheap. If you bead roll your own, you'll need a bead roller with a deep clamp to get in the center of the sheet. Another way to do it is with a sheet metal bending brake. Mark up the pattern and make small angle bends in the brake. Like done on air ducts. See below:

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Old 03-13-2018, 11:09 AM
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I'd recommend you buy a bead roller and a sheet or two of cold rolled mild steel and start by practicing to get the technique down. There's a lot of videos on youtube showing various bead rolling techniques.

The only practical way to create the diamond pattern in a brake is via the use of a press brake with a set of cross braking dies. Its near impossible to maintain consistent bend angles in even a heavy leaf brake as the operation progresses, due to the fact that you have to alternate the direction of bends to keep the sheet somewhat flat. Attempting to just progress across the sheet in one direction results in rolling the sheet into a curve. OTOH, alternating directions in a leaf brake means each successive bend is crossing more and more previous bends which will not clamp flat. The result being the appearance of the bends changes as you progress across the sheet. A press brake has the power to flatten the intersections of previous bends and maintain a uniform appearance.

Even if you were to buy a piece of pre-formed sheet, you'd still need a bead roller to deal with the edges.

Having seen firewalls done both ways, either with a full quilted sheet or with panels created with a beaded edge and then bead rolled with the diamond pattern, I'm of the opinion that the panels make a much nicer looking finished job. The full sheet approach just ends up looking like too much of a good thing. I've spent 50 years in the metal working trades and have a well equipped industrial level sheet metal shop. I can tell you from experience that the panel approach is also a much easier way to end up with a good overall result. To be clear, the panels are created as a part of the sheet itself and not separate pieces to be applied to the sheet.

I'd also recommend making a firewall "cover" as opposed to attempting to make an actual replacement firewall. A cover can be made from 22 or 24 gauge metal which is orders of magnitude easier to work with than the 16 ga that would be needed for the typical firewall replacement. The lighter material also makes it possible to use one of the lightweight leaf brakes available from Harbor Freight to put any necessary bends in the metal since the typical firewall isn't a flat panel unless its on something like a T bucket.
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Old 03-13-2018, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Bigspoon85 View Post
But bead rolling might be in my future. Anyone have pointers on that lol
IMHO, TubeTek is right,you will want a border around the outside to make it look complete and finished-

If you choose to make this yourself (and learn), it's going to be a semi-expensive lesson (but one you can maybe use in the future)-

You will need to buy a Bead Roller-the Harbor Freight, Woodward Fab and the like are similar (if not made by the same Mfr.), but the Harbor Freight is the cheapest-(especially if you use on of their Coupons)-they are flimsy, however, and if you use anything hard (Steel, Stainless), you will need to weld some steel around the perimeter of the Frame (I used square tubing)-

To actually do the Quilting you will need a set of Tipping Dies (the Harbor Freight/Woodward units do not come with those)-you can get them here:

Some guys have made their own with a hub and a washer, but you will also need a Urethane bottom wheel to do it (some guys use a skateboard wheel)-

Another option is to make a pattern and send it to someone who can make it for you-these guys come to mind:

Custom Bead Rolling | Cornfield Customs |

Here is a video of the above Company doing Quilting:


hope this helps-
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