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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm attempting to fab the lower 6 inches of the door skin on my '57 F100. I'm running into a "which came first, the chicken or the egg" issue. I've cut the bottom 6" of the door skin off. It was swiss cheese. The picture below shows the first cut, which was 6"x 12". After that cut I found that the rest of the skin was just as bad, so I continued.



I'm hoping to get a push in the right direction here. I cut my new piece of 18g (same as the original) 7/16" of an inch wider on each side to form the door edge.

In my first attempt, I used a sheetmetal brake to form the lips on each side of the patch panel first, then used a shrinker to match the curve of the door. This looked great at each side, but the middle of the panel was terrible.

The next attempt was to start with the curve of the panel by gently bending it over a 4" pipe. This too started well... until I tried to fold over the edges.

Obviously, I have a lot to learn here, but thats the fun part. Is there a proper order to do this? Is it all trial and error? Am I missing something obvious?

I'd love to continue to play with it and learn on my own, but I can see this starting to get expensive.

Thanks,
Mike
 

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That is where the English wheel comes in and I use a hammer and dolly to turn the metal around the door edges.. Just take your time and it will work out..

Sam
 

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I believe you will have to fake it if you don't have the tools to tip the flange after you form the curve of the door skin.

Once you get the door skin formed tack it to the door frame at the edge and then add the flanges. You can weld them to the skin along the edge of the door and add some plug welds to serve as the spot welds did from the factory.

Of course they will be artificial, but only you will know. Before you install them punch some holes for the plug welds.

John
 

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an english wheel and tipping wheel would be ideal but you could do it with a shrinker like you tried. Did you make a dummy flange for the part that's being butt welded? You could make a dummy flange and kind of shrink both flanges equally til you have your shape then cut it off then lay it down and scribe and cut. Mind taking a pic of your results of using a shrinker? You said it looked funky in the middle but let's see what you're talking about.
 

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Cut your patch as you did oversize, curve it and drill plug weld holes on bottom flange area and side flange, fold just bottom edge flange but not side edge flange - leave that unfolded, and tack into place...then fold side edge using hammer/soft gathering mallet/dolly...and then finish weld.
 

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practice on some thinner steel like 22 gauge andsee how that works...it sounds like you got right the idea but the tools your using arnt working on the thicker steel.. it's best to use the right gauge but its not the law ...so do what you CAN do.......no matter what it'll be better than it was....Do you have a real brake?
 

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He could also do the Lazze trick to his shrinker. It worked wonders for my shrinker. It worked much much better after that.

I also think he has an updated video he uploaded after this on the subject.

 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for all the advice. Last night I went out to the shop and started to tinker a little more. I got close, then started to make it perfect and quickly made a mess. I may be able to fix this patch piece, but it may be faster to cut a new one.

I cut it to size (including the flanges), then used the shrinker on the flanges to give the two sides the proper curve. I gently helped the lower edge around a pipe and then used the planishing hammer. It's really close now. The only this I needed to do was to slightly stretch the edge that joins to the rest of the door panel as it has a slight crown.

I should have stopped there for the night.



A little closer shot of the damage



Yeah, a little stretch, a little shrink, a little stretch, a little (or a lot) of heat... I kinda spiraled out of control with bad ideas. So many that I can't remember what I did and in what order I did them.

So at this point... Do you think the patch is salvageable or should I suck it up and cut a new piece.
 

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Thanks for all the advice. Last night I went out to the shop and started to tinker a little more. I got close, then started to make it perfect and quickly made a mess. I may be able to fix this patch piece, but it may be faster to cut a new one.

I cut it to size (including the flanges), then used the shrinker on the flanges to give the two sides the proper curve. I gently helped the lower edge around a pipe and then used the planishing hammer. It's really close now. The only this I needed to do was to slightly stretch the edge that joins to the rest of the door panel as it has a slight crown.

I should have stopped there for the night.



A little closer shot of the damage



Yeah, a little stretch, a little shrink, a little stretch, a little (or a lot) of heat... I kinda spiraled out of control with bad ideas. So many that I can't remember what I did and in what order I did them.

So at this point... Do you think the patch is salvageable or should I suck it up and cut a new piece.
Well, I am not sure whether you can save this one or not but my guess it would be better to make another one.

I suspect the planishing hammer is a little brutal for the small amount of stretch you need. Especially since you need it over a large area.

An English Wheel yould be nice but there are other ways you can go.

You may try using a plastic mallet, slapper, or such on your panel lying on a piece of wood, several layers of towels or something like that will allow you to work just a small amount of stretch in a larger area. The wood just has enough give to allow the metal to move slightly and form the crown. Much like a shot bag but with more resistance.

If you use a spoon or slapper work it gently over the panel while hitting it with another hammer. You want to spread the force gently over a larger area than the planishing hammer can do.

Good luck,
John
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I fab'd up a new panel that is much closer than the one in the pictures. I didn't use the planishing hammer for the curve at the bottom. I need t form that curve and the bottom lip of the panel.

On my way to work this morning, I stopped and grabbed some 2" pipe. as a form.

So here's the question. Am I better off forming the curve by hammering a bit over the 2" pipe, then finish it on the english wheel or just doing the whole thing on the english wheel with the caveat that it's a cheap Grizzly english wheel and I can reach the middle 6 inches of the panel with it.

I will say this is fun. I spend my work life in front of a computer... I wish I had more time in the garage to make things with my hands.
 

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So here's the question. Am I better off forming the curve by hammering a bit over the 2" pipe, then finish it on the english wheel or just doing the whole thing on the english wheel with the caveat that it's a cheap Grizzly english wheel and I can reach the middle 6 inches of the panel with it
I am not sure you said what you meant here. You can or can not reach the middle with your English Wheel?

The 2 inch pipe will work as a form. If you form it with a soft mallot, you can get a fairly smoot roll at the bottom. After you have youy bottom roll, you can work the panel in the English Wheel to add the compount curve to the center of the panel.

Your challenge will be how best to tip the flanges at the ends of the panel. with a 2 inch radius they will be very difficult to add last.

As I said earlier, I would consider building the panel without the flanges and add them to the door for appearance.

John
 

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See I know perfect is the goal but we do have skim coat materials and a little bit of skim coat will do wonders..I use my spi turbo primer as a build coat with perhaps a skim of filler to get it perfect.. and I won't tell anyone if yours is not perfection..

See as long as you do not have to be over say an 1/8 or so in filler to get it to look right that is certainly acceptable and you can carry on and make the next one a bit better..

I do like the idea of roughing the piece out on the beater bag or plank and the wheeling to finish as most guys do it that way..

Sam
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Took half a day off and started tinkering a little early. I got it. Not master fabricator quality by a long shot, but it fits and follows the contour pretty well. Just started tacking it up. You can see I went a little crazy, but it was fixable with two short cuts.

 
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