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Old 04-04-2017, 03:08 PM
JohnPollard JohnPollard is offline
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Missouri Ozarks
Posts: 2
Default My first panel

Part of a panel at least. Wow, 18ga crs is tough stuff. Cut a stump and put a 6-7 inch dish in it but didn't have any luck doing tucks with just the stump and hammer. Seems like all I could do was make a dent and stretch where I hit it but no matter how hard, where or what angle I hit it, it just wouldn't pucker enough. I'm sure using a carpenter's framing hammer had a bit to do with it. So I made a quickie tucking fork. That worked ok but was still tough.
I imagine using 18ga and trying to match a shape was probably not the best thing for a 1st timer to try but I managed to make a usable patch panel albeit a small one. I didn't actually plan or expect to make a cab corner but just couldn't see making a bowl once I discovered how hard it was going to be using 18ga steel. At that point, I figured I'd just see if I could come close to the cab corner. Still got some wrinkles but I figure I'll take those out after I weld it in. A skim coat of filler doesn't bother me either. The first few trucks I do will be the "patina" (rusty old truck) look that seems to be so popular these days. I like em shiny but I don't have the facilities for painting a whole vehicle right now. The interior and under the hood will get painted. Seems to be what all the young guys want these days. Pretty bed floor, nice interior, nice under the hood and the rest as ugly as possible. Technically, I could probably just let it be bare and rust but I'll probably put some e-primer on it and then some flat black from a spray can.
I'm thinking that most of the videos I've watched of stump tucking were done with aluminum. I know I need some proper tools, like a tucking hammer etc and that would help I'm sure. What you see in the first pic is all I have for body tools.

The guy I get my steel from says they won't send him anything thinner than 18ga because the thinner stuff never makes it to it's destination without damage. Probably talking about those smiley shaped dents from careless handling of the thin stuff. They probably try to only sell it by the pallet. I'll have to see if they can make an exception since I'm just cutting it up for patch panels. What I'm working on is 47-54 Chevy trucks and every place I could take a measurement on the cab sheet metal, it was right about .047 which is 18ga. Not sure about the cab corner. Won't be able to measure a decent spot on that until I cut it out.
John Pollard

Last edited by JohnPollard; 04-04-2017 at 03:40 PM.
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Old 04-04-2017, 04:16 PM
Mike Rouse Mike Rouse is offline
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Baton Rouge
Posts: 299

Nice work John. You are right about the hammer. You need to get or fabricate a round face hammer the radius of your hammer and stump should be slightly less in radius than the panel you want to produce. You have to drive the metal to yield and then allow for spring back.
I have a couple of dished granite stones that I use on short radius panels. There are a couple of pictures in my album. They work real well for shrinking and dishing. The granite does not deform like wood when hit upon.
So work the radius to fit the application.


Last edited by Mike Rouse; 04-06-2017 at 09:48 AM. Reason: Spelling
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Old 04-04-2017, 08:45 PM
CaptonZap CaptonZap is offline
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Denver CO
Posts: 86

You don't say what kind of 18 ga sheet you used, but what you want is draw quality, aka aluminum killed steel. And a BIG (heavy) round face mallet to form the tucks.

Jerry Roy
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Old 04-18-2017, 04:01 PM
mikebarg mikebarg is offline
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Hutto Texas
Posts: 223

Hand forming steel is a slow process. I have done a few small pieces from 20G and it takes some serious effort. Keep at it. Good work.
Mike B. - More tools don't make me better until I have the skills to use them.
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Old 04-18-2017, 04:59 PM
crystallographic crystallographic is offline
MetalShaper of the Month October '14 & April '16
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Western Sierra Nevadas, Badger Hill, CA
Posts: 2,705

Originally Posted by JohnPollard View Post
What I'm working on is 47-54 Chevy trucks and every place I could take a measurement on the cab sheet metal, it was right about .047 which is 18ga.
Hey John,
As I have pointed out to a number of beginning restorers, "Truck metal is thicker than car metal."
... and the bigger the truck the thicker the metal gets, to a point.
Ford, Chev, Dodge, Corn Binder - all the same, except that CB did not make cars ...

"All it takes is a little practical experience to blow the he!! out of a perfectly good theory." --- Lloyd Rosenquist, charter member AWS, 1919.
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