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Old 12-03-2017, 06:17 PM
Mr fixit Mr fixit is offline
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Default Wire edge straightening question

Hi Group,

I have door sill trim pieces that are U shaped with a 2"side x 1" top x 1.5" side x 34" Long and has a wire edge on the 1.5" side. I am straightening the original pieces as they were pried off by a previous owner which bent both sides.

I have got the 2" side done but I seem to be chasing the wire side and can't seem to keep it straight. I have been using a .75" of flat steel as my dolly, should I be using something else for better results?

advise would be appreciated.

TX
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Old 12-08-2017, 02:05 AM
Oldnek Oldnek is offline
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Chris, A pic would be good. So we know how to help you
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Old 12-08-2017, 05:07 PM
Marc Bourget Marc Bourget is offline
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My first thought is your are "painted into a corner" i.e., the wire in the edge requires so much overbending to straighten that the wrapped material will show more/different damage and you are subconsciously treating it "too nicely".
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Old 12-10-2017, 07:06 PM
crystallographic crystallographic is offline
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Hi Chris,
I was just untangling some 18 ga steel fenders with wired edges ... and remembered your question about this stuff.
Now that I have my mind on it, wired edges are more tender when on thin metal ... 20ga, 22 ga...etc.

- So, I bat them with a body hammer with the hammer face contour matching what I expect when the metal is straight.
- And I back up the work when hammering it, by supporting it with either a shot bag or a stout block of wood - thus avoiding adding more stretch to the already-stretched-plenty-enough metal.
- Sometimes I smack directly on the hump, twist or tangle ...
- and sometimes I "leverage" the metal into place by supporting in one spot and pounding on another.
- Sometimes twisting with some grip-pliers is better - or clamping the part in a vise or down against the table/workbench, and then thumping it.

At some point the metal will get springy, so try not to overwork the piece by simply smashing it harder with a bigger club.

Best to remember that wired edges are giving you three metal thicknesses and a tight geometry (strength by shape) to deal with.

Sometimes the metal unrolls during the wreck, and then unrolls more when thrashing it back into shape.

Many times I use the O/F torch (not an air-fuel canned flamer) and I warm the area to dull red and then nudge it into shape - because the wire tends to be hard and springy in many cases, or it gets that way when bonking it with the hand tools.

- Two tools are helpful with untangling mangled wired edges :
One:

Carved visegrips - for unrolling and re-rolling/squishing the metal back into "roundness" ...
P1040669.jpg
And,
P1040670.jpg
P1040671.jpg
The hand-forged un-roller/hem-opener/seam lifter.
I started making these doo-dads in 1980 when I really got going on ratty old racecar restos (lots of wired edges) .... before that time I used screwdrivers, pliers and whatever I could pry with.

My source of good common (cheap!) steel for these is:
Allen wrenches/hex wrenches.
Heat to orange, hammer out to a "spatula," grind to shape, heat to orange and then curve over. Cannot do any work on this steel in black heat, so have to keep it going into the flame, hammer .. heat, hammer ... heat, hammer ...
Sand to bright, heat to tan and quench.

Bend test.

Good luck,
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Last edited by crystallographic; 12-10-2017 at 07:10 PM.
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