All MetalShaping

Go Back   All MetalShaping > Metal Shaping Projects > Automotive Projects
  Today's Posts Posts for Last 7 Days Posts for Last 14 Days  

Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 05-08-2009, 08:06 PM
Kerry Pinkerton's Avatar
Kerry Pinkerton Kerry Pinkerton is offline
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Near Huntsville, Alabama. Just south of the Tennessee line off I65
Posts: 8,194
Default The Art Deco Imperial Project - Part 11

Back from MM07 with considerable progress.

When we unloaded the trailer, the first thing we did was get it outside with the fenders on it to get some perspective on how it will look:

What I'm going to do is print these out, trace over them and do some drawings of what it should look like. I'd hoped to do something at the end of the meet with the work accomplished but with the rain that just didn't happen.

Joe Hartson and Robert Koleda worked with me the entire meet. Joe redid the aluminum curves on the B pillar and made new door flanges for the drivers side.

Robert and I started trying to decide how the rear deck would look. We started by shaping some 18 ga 1x1" angles to define the vertical portions of the deck.

After we did the center rib we made the side angles. Three dimensional lines are tough, especially trying to make two sides match in three dimensions. After we got it done, we tacked them in place and wove some 1" strips of 18 ga for support.

This worked well and originally I was going to try and get a rough tape pattern off the woven strips and angles but Joe, Robert, and I got thinking and decided to try something new. Joe went by Rural King the next morning and got a roll of aluminum window screen, some duct tape, and several containers of plaster of paris. This was laid over the frame work. The plaster sets up very fast but doesn't dry for quite a few hours. Also it doesn't stick to the duct tape. We'd have been better off using wires to hold the screen to the framework.

By that night, the plaster was looking so good I asked the Blake and Jay to help me spread a skim coat of bondo for a real true surface. the guy on the left is Steve, Blake is on the right.

Here are Jay and Blake spreading the final coat.

After a little sanding we carried the now much heavier framework/plaster/bondo back to the car and clamped it in place. REALLY like the look!

The whole purpose of the true surface was to pull a flexible shape pattern. Joe and I were working on the first one and we later pulled another which was cut into 4 parts. One for the decklid, one for each side and one for the lower back.

We ended up with the side plates done, the rear bottom almost done, and the decklid roughed out. We also got flexible patterns off the front and rear fenders and several panels nearly finished.

As soon as I get the shop back in order, I'll unload everything and get back to work.
Kerry Pinkerton
Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2009, 08:08 PM
Kerry Pinkerton's Avatar
Kerry Pinkerton Kerry Pinkerton is offline
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Near Huntsville, Alabama. Just south of the Tennessee line off I65
Posts: 8,194
Default The Art Deco Imperial Project - Part 12


I see you are using low tack masking tape instead of the transfer tape. When did the group graduate to the masking tape? I assume it's better?

The masking tape is painters masking tape and is low stick. Transfer tape is too low stick to stick to unprimed bondo but the painters tape works fine. Regular masking tape is way too sticky for most uses imo.

I read on the other site that Jim Baile is using spray on tack with shrink wrap and covering with clear packaging tape...may have to give that a try.
hi kerry,

i was wondering what you guys were doing to the car during mm07. from the camera view, it was impossible to see.

are you going to build up the lower sections before you start building the actual decklid ??

Yeah, we should have pulled the car in the other way so folks could see what we were working on...hindsight is a wonderful thing.

The way the fenders and deck will blend together will hide most everything below the blend except at the rear pan area which will be a reverse of the top side...I think...
hi kerry has ther been any progress on the car ?

In the metal meet photos, I was suprised as to how big the car seemed when
the photo came through of the lady in the driver seat .
I know that you are quite tall as I have been following the build.
I will now go and recap on the wheel base and the dimetions

I also saw a for sale sign, I hope it was in jest.

Not much progress. The for sale sign was a joke that John and Lino pulled on me...For sale by owner, fixer upper, cheap!

When I got home from MM I decided to finish putting up the insulation tiles in the remaining two rooms in the shop BEFORE I unloaded the trailer. A neighbor has a powered sissor lift that really, really makes this easier but you need a fairly clean floor. That took a couple weeks but I finally started unloading the trucks and trailers early last week. Still have a bunch of stuff in the box trailer but have most my tools out. Now I'm trying to reorganize my 'stuff' so I won't be able to find it in it's new location instead of just putting it back where I wasn't able to find it previously. I'm filling up about 4 trash cans a week with junk.

Anyway, before I pushed the car inside, my son Cameron and I pushed it out in the yard and took some photos with the bucks on it so I could see it all together at a distance and check proportions. A little distance is a good thing. When I edited the size down, I converter them to grayscale. I'm going to be tracing the outlines and trying to make some drawings of what I want the final body to look like.

I'm still ruminating on the length of the hood. I may shorten the wheelbase by a few inches. The Corvette C4 rear MAY have to sit an inch or to further to the rear than the current JAG and I've just purchased a C4 front end. Next month Bennett and I will get together at his shop and install them in the chassis. I have lots and lots of room in front of the engine. LOTS!

In this shot, the rear fender buck and the deck bucks are not sitting square so you have to use your imagination. The dark lines on the deck buck are the truck opening. The little divot you see in the lower center of the deck is a dent and there are a couple more spots where the plaster of paris popped off the duct tape. (Don't use duct tape) Foam bucks are not as durable as I had hoped. Fortunately, I pulled two flexible shape patterns while in Oblong.

You'll also have to visualize the headrests on the decklid.

So why did I go scrap the original Dakota suspension after all my big talk? Basically it was poor planning on my part. Originally I was only about building the body, the chassis was secondary and relatively unimportant. I could always redo it down the road...right? As I progressed I made some discoveries:

1- Building the inner structures were very difficult and consumed a LOT of time and energy. I don't want to have to redo any of that so having the final suspension in place will make it a one time process.

2- The car is going to turn out nicer than I had originally thought and I realized it was worth the investment in the upgraded chassis.

3- The Dakota front end is pretty well worn out and even to get it on the road will basically require a complete rebuild. Spending the money on what would be a 'temporary' front end only to have to do it again with the final front end seems a waste of time and money. Plus, I discovered that custom Dakota springs are not available without paying for custom tooling to have them made or going with coil overs.

4- The Jag rear came about when I found a source for next to nothing. Unfortuately, they are heavy, expensive to build, and at the end of the day, this one was in unknown condition with the wrong gear ratio. The C4 front and rear has a full replacement guarantee. The rear is a 3.08 posi (not the Dana 44 chunk). Plus, because of the way the C4 rear mounts, I'll have more room for the gas tank.

In retrospect, the whole Dakota donor was probably a bad idea. While the 318/AOD combo is bullet proof, there are virtually no after market wiring harnesses/computers/trans controllers available. Going with straight street rod components like a belly button motor/trans, carbs, and a manual tranny would have really simplified the build, probably looked better and run as well, and cost about the same or less. Not to mention I wouldn't have the Dakota parts scattered around the shed. A little hindsight is a wonderful thing.

The good news is that changing the motor over would not be a major rebuild should I decide to do that down the road. I might be deluding myself though.....

I still like the idea of building something the old school way but reality is a harsh taskmaster and never stops teaching lessons.


Ok, I had a little medical procedure and am on house rest for a couple days and I woke up at the crack of dawn and decided to play with Photoshop a little. I really need to get a photoshop for dummies book but probably am not smart enough.

Drawing 1: OK, this is the current configuration. I drew a black line so you cans ee the fender and door openings and sketched in the line of the headrest. In case anyone is wondering if I've been working out, that is my son Cameron behind the wheel.

Drawing 2: Same thing with some coloring done. This will be what I end up with if I do not move the wheelbase around.

Drawing 3: This is the same as above but with the front end moved back about 6 inches. I still have PLENTY of room in front of the engine for the radiator, AC, oil cooler, etc.

Drawing 4: This is the same but with the rear of the front fender sweeping back instead of rounding over.

I'm leaning toward #4. But some emails have me rethinking things...Wheelbase will be in the 114-116" range. The current wheelbase was kind of arbitrarily chosen. I wanted a LOOONG nose and 120 seemed like a nice round number.

Once I saw the car from a distance with the fender bucks on it, the proportions looked a bit off??? Maybe not but that's what it looks to me. I'm open to opinions about it.

When I redo the front clip to accept the C4 crossmember it would be the perfect time to pull things back a bit but still keep the art deco long hood look.

I see their point about the fenders matching...dang it! Now I'm going to have to think some more.

John Brown wrote:
I like the non racing version with the pontoon fenders myself. Kerry as long as your car is it should lend its self to this profile is Art Deco.............john


I'm only after the general look. It's going to look different from any of the Buggatti thread renderings.

John, I LOVE the looks of that car but as a driver, enclosed wheels are totally impractical because the fenders have to be so much wider than the tires in order to mount the wheels and tires. Could do full fender skirts but then you get into tire clearance problems when turning unless you have these huge fat fenders.

Here are a couple sketches done in KERRY DRAW. Hopefully it is clear enough that everyone can see the general flow of the metal.

Headlights will be an XJ140 type of thing. No turn signals on the fenders though. They'll either be IN the headlight or below them.

Kerry Pinkerton
Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2009, 08:11 PM
Kerry Pinkerton's Avatar
Kerry Pinkerton Kerry Pinkerton is offline
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Near Huntsville, Alabama. Just south of the Tennessee line off I65
Posts: 8,194
Default The Art Deco Imperial Project - Part 13

If I ever write a book about this build it will be "How NOT to build an Art Deco roadster...but still get it done".

Well, times change and so do plans. When I first started this project, it was going to be low buck with as much of the Dakota used as possible. Including the front and rear suspension. Problems mounting the leaf springs in a short deck car and the available of a Jag rear let me go with the Jag end and the Dakota front end. Then reality set in and I discovered that rebuilding a Jag rear is pretty pricy. The 2.54 ration was too low and given it was a total unknown quantity made me unhappy about keeping it. And the Dakota front takes very expensive and custom made springs. In addition it turned out to be totally worn out. Just didn't make sense to put a complete rebuild in a truck suspension.

Gator picked me up a 96 Corvette C4 rear and brought it to MM07. I liked the way it looked enough that I called the same folks (C&S Corvettes out of Florida) and had them bring an earlier C4 front end to the Moultrie Swap Meet in November. The earlier C4 has 2" narrower track than the later and I wanted a wider track in the rear. Bennett Chapman picked it up for me the week before Thanksgiving.

A few weeks ago Bob Baisden (who was having grinding dust withdrawal), and I met at Bennett Chapman's well equipped to install the C4 suspensions. We thought the rear would be the easiest so we started there. I had previously braced and removed the old Jag suspension.

The wheel bolts were a little too long for the pattern adapters so Bob took about 1/8' off all of them with a cutoff wheel.

This is what we started with.

Bennett has a 5x10' steel top table that we leveled and set the frame on it. The front was supported on steel saw horses at the correct ride height and clamped down securely.

We then went through about 5 hours of measuring, moving, leveling, measuring, moving, leveling, squaring, etc.

Finally everything was in position, a new brace was in place at the rear of the frame, and I cut out the old Jag rear cross member.

The C4 rear is supported by a 40' wide 'BATWING' that needed mounts. After making the 19'th check of the measurements, Bennett drew up some brackets in Autocad, transferred the drawings to 1/4" steel and nibbled close to the scribed lines with his ironworker.

Bennett then cut to the scribed line on the bandsaw while Bob ensured quality control.

We clamped each side together and ground them at the same time on a belt sander to ensure they were identical. Bennett then punched a 1/2" hole for the bolt to go through the Batwing.

And here it is installed. I'll plate the top and bottom back at my shop. The rear tie rod unit that sets the toe in was missing and C&S shipped it right out as well as a replacement dog bone because one was bent slightly. They are good folks and I recommend them highly. Their deal is that if ANYTHING is wrong, they'll make it right and pay the shipping. They even sent me a Ebrake cable because one was cut off.

The pinion angle is set by a bracket that hangs from a new rear cross member. We made a mount for the chunk with a urethane bushing. The cross member will also be the upper shock mount.

This 'easy' one took about 16 hours!

Surprisingly, the front was a snap. Bob had previously removed all the 'extra' stuff. The front of the frame was braced so it wouldn't move before the old suspension was removed.

Once ride height and camber was set we welded the front cross member to the brackets and the brackets to the table so nothing would move. The C4 cross member is really a nice clean unit and the frame rails fit it nearly perfectly.

We wanted to shorten the wheelbase so we cut the frame back and measured AGAIN. The original frame points were still visible on the frame and we were able to use them to index and square everything. Once I realized how handy they were, I drilled small holes where the prick punch marks were.

We then extended the frame rails and welded things up.

It came out very clean. The frame rails will probably be cut off a little later on. The front sway bar will mount to the frame rails also.

We then picked up the whole frame using Bennett's bridge crane...

and flipped it over so we could weld up the bottom.

While it was upside down, I cleaned up some of the original welds while Bennett finished welding up the front.

Still will need to fabricate upper shock mounts. but I'll need the shock specs first.

The front end took only about 6 hours start to finish. So much for my estimates.

The wheelbase shrunk 6" overall, 9" less in the front and 3" more in the rear. New wheelbase is 114"

Thanks again to Bennett and Bob for their hard work and inspiration. We had a ball and Bob has his grinding dust fix for a few more months...
Kerry Pinkerton
Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2009, 08:14 PM
Kerry Pinkerton's Avatar
Kerry Pinkerton Kerry Pinkerton is offline
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Near Huntsville, Alabama. Just south of the Tennessee line off I65
Posts: 8,194
Default The Art Deco Imperial Project - Part 14

Still working on some of the structure fab but was having a metalshaping withdrawal and it turned cold so I spent the day shaping metal...

What a novel idea! I bet we could build a great internet site about shaping sheetmetal .

Aluminum is hard because it's SOOOO easy. At MM07 Robert Kolenda spent quite a while working on the lower front fender. He'd never worked aluminum and was having a problem was because the aluminum moves SOOOOO fast. He was over stretching then over shrinking and really fighting the panel. When you get down in the 5% range, you have to go really, really slow. Like the old Brylcreme commercial..."Just a little dab will do ya!"

By the time I picked up the piece it was probably 98% and I just had to do some little bitty tweaks, push it into arrangement, and there it was. I decided to work the flexible shape patterns on the inside of the panel so my panels would fit ON the buck.

Once the nosepiece was done and clamped down to the buck, I cut a new piece of aluminum for the outer center. This will be the right (passenger) rear fender. I made a paper pattern, sliced it to lay fairly tight, trimmed it to fit, then laid it on the sheet for a cut pattern. Like most panels, this was stretched in the center over the bag, wheel, and shrunk on the sides. I used the Eckold dies in the kick shrinker although with the .063 aluminum it was toe work not kick work. Very light pushes on the pedal. Did I say it moves REALLY, REALLY fast? This panel took about 3 hours, at least one of them was stretching where I had over shrunk.

The panels fit better than the photos make it appear but I still need to trim for a butt weld and work into arrangement for tacking. I left myself about 3/4" extra material for a wire edge.

I put the fender and decklid bucks back on the car so I could determine how far the metal needed to come down on inside part of the fenders. If you compare this to previous photos, you'll notice the new location of the rear axle is about 2" further back than the original.

The inside metal needs to come about 6" from the center line of the fender. This panel completes the center portion and was made by stretching and some work with the Eckold dies. You can see the scuff marks the Eckold makes in the aluminum but they'll file right out. They are very shallow.

In this photo the two center panels have already been scribed and cut and actually fit together very tightly. It's really hard to hold them in place on the buck.

And here is the nose piece added to the mix. It still needs to be scribed and cut. I think I'm going to weld these up before I start on the rear of the fender.

I still haven't finished cleaning up from the re-construction and things are a mess in the shop. Cleaning up and organizing is just so not fun....I need to get Dan Shady to come organize my shop the next time he has a couple three spare months...
I am interested in how you intend to weld the fender panels together.
with a foam buck. Clamping won't work. If you weld with bare alum. it will be very difficult to hold in position.

I've been kept inside with a cold but hopefully tomorrow I'll get to play again.

The buck has a center plywood component that I can clamp to. This blue foam is fairly dense and I can also put a thin metal foot on top of the clamp to spread the load on the foam. My plan is to put a strip of copper under the seam on top of the bondo, clamp the pieces in place and quickly tack together with the TIG. I'll then pull the metal off the buck and complete the welding.

The buck probably won't like the tacking on it but it only has to last through two fenders. I talked to Randy and discovered he sometimes tacks on his wire and bondo bucks without serious damage to the buck.

That's the plan...we'll see if it works.
12/23/07 Finally, the first sheet metal panels go together. The structure is not complete but I just had to shape some metal.

I am a rank amature at TIG and especially aluminum TIG.

Wanted to try a test piece so I got a cut off piece from the panel and sliced it in the HF Beverly clone...

I used 2% Ceriated tungsten instead of Thoriated. I set my Miller Dynasty at 90 amps, 120 CPS, 75% balance, 18 CFH gas flow with 10 second post flow with a 3/32 tungsten. I used 1/16" diameter 1100 rod. I watched Covells TIG welding DVD last week while I was feeling poorly just to get my head back into it.

Here is the top side.

And the bottom...the copper strip really makes a difference!

A little off the top with a flap disk and a few wipes with a lead file..

Nice, full penetration, and supple. I bent it in a full circle and back with no cracking. Time for the real thing!

I made this little stand to hold my post dollys. The small football is one that Bob Erison made. The stand is heavy and stable enough that it's easy to use and still move around the welding table.

Here is the tacked seam. Because one side was deeper than the other it was a bear to hold. Since I have to do a bunch of these style panels I need to think about some type of fender holding fixture that has clamps that I can adjust end, out, and at angles to hold things in place.

Here is the final weld from the top. It certainly isn't anything to brag about but I think it will do. I really need to learn to feed the filler rod in real time without having to stop and reset the rod in my hand....

And from the inside. I had a couple spots that didn't have full penetration so I ran a couple hot lines to melt it in.

After a little flap disk work to take the pride off the top of the bead and then some final smoothing with a lead file and scuffing with a DA, here is the result.

Tomorrow afternoon I'll try and weld in the nose piece and start on the rear of the fender.
Kerry Pinkerton
Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2009, 08:22 PM
Kerry Pinkerton's Avatar
Kerry Pinkerton Kerry Pinkerton is offline
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Near Huntsville, Alabama. Just south of the Tennessee line off I65
Posts: 8,194
Default The Art Deco Imperial Project - Part 15

Wray Schelin says he figures an hour a foot for welding and finishing. We used to laugh about "Wray time" vs time for mere mortals. I'm probably closer to 2 hours/foot and I've still got some tweaking to do. The fenders actually look better in person but there are some highs and lows that will have to be tweaked.

Here is the nose piece welded on. I think the hardest part is holding things together while I tack...I need to get some of that magic aluminum that's magnetic...

The reflection makes it look like the weld is still proud but it's perfectly smooth.

Interesting learning about aluminum. There were a few highs and lows and mismatches near the seam but a few minutes wheeling and everything blended and it fits the buck very nice.

Every time I use my big wheel I'm more impressed with how important frame stiffness is, especially with aluminum. I can set a gap just about the metal thickness and the frame will stretch the metal or actually shrink high spots with little effort. I knock the proud down, wheel which shows by making all the high spots shiny, knock them down some more until the shiny is uniform, then file a bit and it's done and everything is blended smooth.

I left myself about an inch for the wire edge which will be the last thing done on the fender.

I'll try and get a start on the rear of the fender tomorrow but probably won't get much time on it. I think I'm probably going to have to help the wife cook for Christmas dinner.. My goal is to finish the fender this coming week.

Thanks for the compliments on my weldingguys. I ain't no expert but I think they will hold and that's the main thing.

... you made comment about wishing you had a Manual Transmission Set-Up, Remember? JB commented that the Tranny wiring Issues were a good reason as to why he uses common components. Have you decided what Transmission you'll be going with? Also is it still going to be under Modern Mopar Power, Or will you cross the line to the common components to get the Manual Transmission? Every V8 Chevy will bolt to Every Chevy V8 Bell Housing, Besides, that Corvette Rear End is screaming for a Big Block.

I don't know.... I don't know....

I've found a guy on the Dakota USA site that has offered me a really good deal on a 5sp but it's the lighter one that is normally behind V6's. It will fit and according to some Mopar guys will probably hold up fine but with my luck...

Another reason for wanting to go manual was to scrap the computer and go with a carb. Problem is the newer 318 heads don't have a dual plane manifold available. I don't want a single plane high RPM manifold.

I've also found an older 833 4sp OD tranny that is V8 rated but it's in unknown condition and I'd probably have it gone through... It fits in a B Body Mopar and has two shifter positions so it would probably fit the cockpit well with the shifter in the rear position.

I don't know. Lots of other considerations. Clutch pedal room. Gear shift placement....

I really want to stay Mopar. Chebby would be cheaper and simplier but it'd be just another belly button combo and I'm not into that. A big block would be too heavy and probably too wide for the car. Right now it's 50%/50% weight distribution which should make a really nice riding & handling car. I do have this strong 454 in my Dad's dually just sitting there turning to dirt though.... NO NO STAY BACK...I REJECT YOU!!!!!

I have this 351 Cleveland that would make a really nice motor but it's a (gag) FORD! Whoever heard of a Ford in an Imperial???

I guess that this is why I shifted to shaping metal for a while so I could ruminate on all this 'stuff'. My inclination TONIGHT is to stay with the 318/automatic, make a gas tank from stainless/aluminum and maybe look for something exotic for generation II.

Current body unresolved thinking is how I'm going to mount and support the fenders. I'm NOT going to weld them directly to the body but rather bolt them on to the main body via a turned seam in the bottom of the sweep between the body and vender...hopefully a nice sweeping line. But I still need a way to support them as the car rolls down the road.

I'll also need some type of inner fender to keep the rocks from ruining the exterior skin and paint job... I'd been thinking of a wired edge but if I turned a couple flanges I could bolt the inner fender to the outer skin.....

I don't know...I don't know.

Dang there are a jillion details that need decisions....I have a headache.
Beautiful day after Christmas here today....55 degrees so I did some stuff outside until late afternoon when I went in the shop to play with the fender.

Cut a blank:

An hour later it was at the 80% point:

I'm working with the pattern on the inside of the panel so they will fit the buck better. It's a bit different but it seems a little easier once I started getting used to it.

There are lots of of ways to make panels, tuck shrinking, stump shrinking, using the deep throat shrinker, thumbnail dies, pure stretch, stretch and shrink, mallet, bag, wheel, planishing hammer, and probably a few more that I can't think of. I'm experimenting with different approaches. This one was done all pure shrink using thumbnail dies (Clay Cook) in the Pullmax so far except a couple passes with the wheel. I've got an hour in it so far.

It's supposed to rain tomorrow so I'll probably finish it up. I have to make 3 more just like it. (2 reverse sides)
Here is the outer rear fender piece. I'll probably do the inner one tomorrow and then repeat the whole fender for the other side.

This was pure shrink, 97% using thumbnail dies, 2% wheeling, and probably 1% a few taps on the deep throat shrinker with Eckold dies. There were probably 20 very light hammer taps in the center. I also used a gokart slick to help put it in arrangement. With this much shape in the panel, getting the proper arrangement was pretty difficult even with it being aluminum.

It's really, really close! I have one high spot about 2" in diameter and about 1/8" high that is too far to reach with the shrinker. I can either run in a few thumbnail tracks to shrink it out and then stretch out the outer portion, work it down with traditional hammer/dolly methods, or use the shrinking disk. I'm probably going to use the shrinking disk on it. I'll need to master it anyway so I might as well get to it.

To answer some email questions, I've got about 2 1/2 - 3 hours in the panel so far. Probably another half hour before I tack it to the other pieces.

I've been thinking a lot about how to mount the fenders and also to protect the relatively fragile aluminum and the paint on it.

I still have to find a way to securely mount the fenders and plan for repairability.

I want to have the fenders bolt to the main body and use a fender welt between the panels. The joint will be at the center of the sweeping reverse valley between the fender and the body itself.

Here is a pitifully bad drawing that shows something I'm thinking about.

The fender skin is the aluminum fender you've been watching me build. You can see the flange in the center of the valley. There would be an inner fender (probably steel) with vertical support arms every so often welded to it and going over to bolt to the frame through urethane body mounts to isolate vibrations.

The fender itself would bolt to the inner fender and also through the flange to the frame itself. The inner fender would protect the outer panels and provide strength without having to have any bracketry welded to the outer panel.

It's possible that the inner fender can attach to the frame on the side rather than the top of the frame tube. This would make the inner fender more structural and reduce the strength requirements for the support bracket, possibly eliminating it alltogether.

This drawing is a closeup of the way the outer fender would fasten to the the inner. I'll tip a detail line (just for appearance) about 1" from the wheel opening and then tip a 90 for the actual wheel opening. An additional aluminum angle will be shaped and rosette welded to the fender lip forming an angled inner lip. This could be done in one piece but would be more complicated. The steel inner fender and the inner lip will be bolted together with blind nuts or nutserts.

The green shape is some type (to be determined) of steel brackets that tie the inner fender to the frame itself. It would be welded to the inner fender.

Obviously none of these drawings are to scale. The inner fender will have to clear tire travel.

Does this make sense? Most my older Mopars are done this way and it strikes me as a fairly easy and elegant way to address not only the fender mounting but the repairability and paint protection also.

Well things may change yet again....

I've been agonizing over the engine/tranny for weeks. The 318 is a great little engine but just doesn't have the 'look'. Jags do but the 7grand price for a built engine is out of my price range and manual OD trannys are not easily or cheaply available.

Surfing around I found something REALLY interesting. A 325-350HP Chevy 250 (now 277) in line 6. Fresh built but stored a few years by someone who knew how to store it.

The downside is it may be too hot. The compression is 11:1 and it has a .600 lift cam which means it's lumpy and requires premium. Any Chevy V8 or inline 6 tranny will fit and I think a 5 speed is reasonable. That's what I'm looking at now. The price is quite reasonable...quite. I should be able to sell the 318 for what the 250 runs me. And it gets me back to things I'm comfortable with, a hot wire and a gas line.

I can easily build a valve cover that has a OH cam 'look' to add to the 30's era apperance of the inline motor.

Thinking on it HARD! Anyone got a GM 5 speed for sale?
Well, after considerable soul searching, I pulled the trigger on a different motor/tranny. That marks the end of the Dakota/Mopar components...

Tomorrow, Gator is picking up a motor I found on CraigsList up in his area. Its a Chevy inline 6, 250cuin now 277. 11:1 compression, 600 lift cam. headers, 4bl aluminum intake, ported, polished, balanced, TRW forged flat top pistons (307 Chevy), V8 valves, new electronic ignition distributor new everything. No miles on motor other than break in. The 2bbl version of this motor with less head work dynos at 325. This one should be closer to 375. The guy had the motor built for his son but the kid wanted a V8...

I'll have to detune it a bit for a more streetable engine. Brian Herman is quite experienced with these engines and told me that changing the cam is a piece cake.

Plans are to make a custom aluminum 'dual overhead cam' looking valve cover and other period correct stuff. Eventually I'd like to get a manifold for 3 sidedraft carbs.

I also picked up a T56 6 speed tranny from a 96 Camero (Borg Warner version). It has a 1 1/8" 26 spline input shaft and I'll have to get a clutch kit that fits it. I got a 5 speed flywheel with the tranny that may or may not work. This particular year trans has the pull type clutch which are pretty pricy but a different bellhousing should be cheap. The photo below is not MINE but one like mine. Mine isn't that petty...yet.

I haven't been able to mock the tranny up yet to the seating position but it 'looks' like the shifter will be about perfectly positioned. The way the shifter handle bolts into the shifter it will be pretty easy to position the shifter handle pretty much wherever I want it.
With the Corvette C4 suspension installed, things move around a bit. The rear wheels are about 3" further back and the front is about 9" back making the new wheelbase 114 or so. I redrew the rendering showing this. Also I've reconsidered the front fender and decided it needs a gentle sweep instead of the straight line.

Here is the new drawing:

And for comparison, this is the previous version with the original wheelbase and straighter front fender.

And this is the original configuration that was at MM07:

Kerry Pinkerton
Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2009, 08:25 PM
Kerry Pinkerton's Avatar
Kerry Pinkerton Kerry Pinkerton is offline
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Near Huntsville, Alabama. Just south of the Tennessee line off I65
Posts: 8,194
Default The Art Deco Imperial Project - Part 16

I took some time off to build the recriprocating thumbnail machine but it's time to get back to metalshaping.

Tools are great and all that but the reason we build tools is so we can shape metal faster. You DON'T have to have all these tools and I'll say it again, until you get your head around shaping metal, TOOLS are only a distraction and consumer of your money. There is no magic metalshaping tool that will make this stuff easy. It isn't.

Finished up the right rear fender today. It's a total of 7 pieces. It's also only at about 95%. I talked to Dutch who told me I was obsessing over getting it perfect too early. Until I get it mounted I really can't work the details out. That makes me feel better. The shiny areas are where I wiped it with a lead file.

This is the rear view.

And this is the bottom of the rear.

Outside reear. Next time, I'll probably make the inside part one larger piece similar to this one.. There is a low spot on the vertical seam that I'll have to wheel out. The fender is just too big to handle by myself so when someone comes over I'll work on tweeking it a bit more.

Front view.

I started on the steel inner fender this afternoon. Once it's finished, I can mount the inner and outer to the car for the first of probably 9 million times.

Building this fender has been a real confidence boost. UNDERSTANDING how metal moves and being able to explain it is not the same thing as DOING IT. Universities are full of folks who teach but have never done what they teach. Good instructors have done both. I had some of both types...guess which ones I learned the most from?

When I started this project, I was really pretty scared that I would not be able to do it. How embarrasing that would be for someone who teaches and talks as much as I do??? Not only the shaping but also the welding of the aluminum was a concern.

This fender is the LARGEST single thing I've ever made, not the most complex but the biggest. It's a good representative panel for the car and now that I've made it, I feel confident that I can make the rest...better, faster, and easier. I'm still no expert but I'll get it done! And while I'm CERTAINLY no master with the TIG either, I'm now confident in my ability to make welds that will clean up nicely and hold.

On a less positive note, I may have a problem with my 'new' 6 speed tranny.I took it to my tranny guy to clean it up and go through it and he said he thinks it has some internal problems..... You'd think I'd learn...if it sounds too good to be probably is.
Back to work on the roadster now that I've finished playing with the recriprocating machine.

A link to this photo was posted this morning. It is not only STUNNING, it is very close to the LOOK I'm after. I notice there are no doors, Apparently it is a step in model. I have no idea what it is but I sure like it! MOTIVATION! If anyone knows what it is or has any additional information, please let me know.

Before I can hang the rear fender I need the inner fenders which will actually be the support structure for the outer fender. These were made in three pieces, the center piece is 9 1/2" wide with 1" flanges that turn down 75 degrees and were shrunk with the kick shrinker to get the correct radius. The sides were cut based on the layout info that Gene Olsen gave me last week. I put a few rosette welds to hold them together and will do the rest after all the tweeking is done.

This view shows the angle of the sides.

And here is the inside view.

The inner fenders are sitting on brackets on top of the tire and the outer fender is clamped to it. Obviously the wheel opening has not been trimmed or tipped.

Here you can see the gap between the body panel and the fender that will have a big reverse that connects the two. At the center of the reverse will be a flange where the two panels bolt together.

A rear view. The pretty bondo work done at MM07 will not survive so I'll have to get new autographs next year. Tomorrow I'm taking the metal angles out of the bondo and begin to mount them in place. I want to mount and finish the right rear before I move on to other fenders so I can deal with any changes or re-design only one time....yeah right!

Lots and lots to do!

Gave up on the T56 six speed. I finally found someone locally who had the special tools to work on it and was quoted $400 to tear down and put back needed extra.

Given that I probably won't be able to use the 6th (.50 overdrive) gear unless I'm in Nevada or on the AutoBann with a strong tailwind, I decided I'll sell it for parts and once again remind myself that if a deal sounds too good to be probably is.

So I went looking for a 5 speed and was surprised to find a take out from a guy who switched to an automatic. I got the tranny, bellhousing, flywheel, clutch, pressure plate, shifter, etc. for $400 with a warranty that it will be good when I finally get my car time writing. The Tranny is a Borg Warner T5 from an 88 IROC Camero. I got everything but the throwout bearing fork and the slave cylinder.

If anyone has a lead on what I need and where I can get it please let me know.

Gator is bringing the 6 cylinder engine to the Dixieland Meet and Bennett is going to be in charge of hanging the new engine/tranny and modifying the firewall to get the shifter in the right place...

Also in the market for a tilt column that doesn't have the shifter on it...prefer one without the ignition on it either. I know they made them but don't know what they were in. I'm too cheap to pay for a new Flaming River column...
Thene is mounted as far back on the tailshaft as it will go and it's only about one inch from the perfect hand position so I should be able to make it work by modifying the shifter arm.

I have room up front for the cylinder I think. The 250 engine has everything on the drivers side so it might be tight right by the engine because of the headers. I haven't seen the engine yet.
2/7/08 Some progress. I've been building machines and cleaning up prior to the meet. Small steps but slow. I made brackets to hold the inner fender in place.

One for the front...

One for the rear:

And now the fender sits right on top.

I've also built a tool that fits in the center of the wheel and has a pivoting, extendable arm for marking the tip line and character line for the fenders. That's next.

Btw, the T56 six speed tranny is on a truck headed to Rockford. I put it on Ebay, warts, history and all and got my money back. A tranny shop bought it.


Been a while since the last update but considerable has gotten done. The 318 and auto tranny is gone via Ebay to Idaho. The 6 speed manual is gone to Rockford, Il.

I spent three weeks getting ready for the DixieLand Meet and didn't get much done on the car but during the meet stuff happened for sure!

These photos are duplicates of those posted in the DixieLand report but are duplicated here to keep the saga intact.

Gator brought the Chevy 6 cylinder down with him. Mark Denny mated the T5 to it and we swung it in place:

Name:  Engine1.jpg
Views: 12549
Size:  47.7 KB

Name:  T5.jpg
Views: 12357
Size:  40.3 KB
Gator suggested bracing the motor in position so the mounts could be built after everything was rigidly positoned. Great idea.

Grant, Bennett, Matt, Gator and some others got to work on the motor mounts while I showed folks where 'stuff' was.

Name:  Motormount2.jpg
Views: 9685
Size:  39.3 KB

New shock mounts, 4 link mounts, and pinion crossmember were fabricated

Name:  Shockmount2.jpg
Views: 9727
Size:  37.1 KB

Last week I recovered from the meet and didn't do much at all.

3/8/08 This week I was determined to do some metal shaping. I was able to layout and tip the wheel opening in the right rear fender.

A little out of the box thinking and it got done:

Name:  Tip7.jpg
Views: 9604
Size:  34.6 KB

The fender was just too large and floppy to manage alone so in a moment of inspiration, I hung the back end from a strap on my rolling trolley. This worked really, really well and moved around as I needed it to. I'll be doing this again.

Name:  Tip8.jpg
Views: 9618
Size:  43.0 KB

I made a new urethane lower for the smaller Pexto and it worked really well. You can almost see it in the upper photo but I removed the Pexto hand crank and used a 1/2" square socket on a ratchet. The whole thing fit INSIDE the radius of the opening and I could position the ratchet where I needed it. The hardest part was trying to see.

Name:  tip9.jpg
Views: 9609
Size:  42.3 KB

Then came the hard part...hand work. I understand now why this stuff is SO expensive. I had all day in getting to this point.

I can tell you now that bumping aluminum is really different. It moves SO DANG FAST! What you would have to shrink with a shrinking disk on steel you can slap shrink in this 3003 H14. I'm going to have to learn finesse.

Name:  Tip10.jpg
Views: 9582
Size:  30.7 KB

The fender is MUCH more stable and rigid now and it is pretty easy to work with on the bench. I still need to tweek some of the flange and do some metalfinishing on the panel itself but I think I'll build a "Doug Hawkins" style stand so I can access the panel for the metalfinishing.

Next step is to hang it on the car and start building the skin that connects it to the body of the car. I'm going to be using a "Burt" buck from metal tape.
Then yesterday, I decided I didn't like the shape of the rear fender so I cut it apart, repositioned it, and welded it back together.

This morning, it is reshaped, and hung on the car in it's (Hopefully) final position. The inner fender side is seen hanging down in the front of the tire. It will be trimmed away.

Name:  BertBuck1.jpg
Views: 9570
Size:  32.7 KB

The body panels are drilled and screwed to the temporary structure with sheet metal screws. Cleecos would be in the way of the tape buck.

So how to fill this big hole between the body and the fender. Ken Burt gave me the solution when he used adhesive aluminum tape over metal stats on his motorcycle fairing.

So I sheared a bunch of 1/2" aluminum strips and bent them to the profiles I wanted and taped them in place.

Name:  BurtBuck3.jpg
Views: 9585
Size:  44.2 KB

I started to get really excited at this point because for the first time I could SEE what had only been in my head.

Name:  BurtBuck4.jpg
Views: 9457
Size:  44.3 KB

I used pieces of TIG rod to make sure the slats were in a smooth lofted line.

Name:  BurtBuck6.jpg
Views: 9792
Size:  41.1 KB

The metal tape used to make the BURT BUCK were purchased at a local HVAC supply house for $5.50 a roll.

Name:  BurtBuck8.jpg
Views: 9416
Size:  40.9 KB

Did I say this worked GREAT! Obviously this will not be a true surface but will give me the gross level surface information I need to build the panels. They will be shaped to blend the actual panels as needed. Once finished and metalfinished, a new tape pattern will be used for the other side. I'm going to do the entire right side of the car before I do the other side.

Name:  BurtBuck9.jpg
Views: 9405
Size:  41.3 KB

I stopped at the vertical transition point. Not sure how I'm going to do the 'rolled pan' yet.
Kerry Pinkerton
Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2009, 08:27 PM
Kerry Pinkerton's Avatar
Kerry Pinkerton Kerry Pinkerton is offline
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Near Huntsville, Alabama. Just south of the Tennessee line off I65
Posts: 8,194
Default The Art Deco Imperial Project - Part 16B


Name:  BurtBuck10.jpg
Views: 9152
Size:  46.0 KB

The metal tape is pretty amazing. I had a couple spots above and behind the rear of the door opening that had no structure. I just pulled some tape tight, folded it and put it where I wanted. A second layer of tape stiffened it up enough I'll be able to make my tape pattern.

Name:  BurtBuck12.jpg
Views: 9122
Size:  39.4 KB

Name:  BurtBuck13.jpg
Views: 9080
Size:  40.4 KB

Name:  BurtBuck15.jpg
Views: 9049
Size:  35.1 KB

Now it's time to make the standard flexible shape pattern.

Name:  BurtBuck16.jpg
Views: 8980
Size:  36.1 KB
Name:  BurtBuck17.jpg
Views: 9077
Size:  37.3 KB

Ran out of time for the day. I'll finish it tomorrow. The Burt Buck is a huge innovation imo. Right up there with the Nadia tool holder.
How are you going to do it, the transition? I think it would be difficult(sp) to do in one piece. What's your thought on it?

It will be SEVERAL pieces Ron, maybe 5-6 counting the areas around the door and cockpit. It probably could be done in less but I'm no longer afraid of welding the panels together.

I still haven't decided HOW to join the body & fender. The welding rod lofted over the ribs is in the 'bottom' of the trough and would be a perfect place for a flanged seam.

Alternatively, I could let the fender unit go all the way the the trunk opening. More or less like the metal is in the photos.

It would be more period correct to do the join in the transition bottom but I hate to break up that line.... We'll see. I'll probably make a couple tape patterns so I can cut them up differently. Lots of learning going on here!
...This is workmanship at the highest level...

Thanks but I've seen workmanship at the highest level...this isn't it...yet.

... And as I understand it you did not shape metal since you wore diapers, so your documentation is a great inspiration for us old farts.

I started my metalshaping apprenticeship (via MetalMeet) in 2001. Started getting serious about in 4 years ago when I started the Ewheel business. If I can do this...anyone can. I've learned more from teaching the basics to others than any other single thing....helped them...helped me too.

Btw, I'll be 59 next month so I'm certainly an old fart myself. I figure I've got 10 years of heavy activity left (Lord willing) and then I'll probably be spending more time in the recliner than in the shop.... Hopefully more but statistics are what they are. Anyway, the time line gives me some motivation to get things done.
Working reverses is HARD. Dan Pascoe gave me this idea a few months back...using a lower for an upper. In my case my EDWARDS anvils have 3/4" axles so it was easy to do. The wide yoke gets in the way so I'll probably make another yoke. Worked well enough though.

Name:  Linear.jpg
Views: 8945
Size:  21.0 KB

Most the work was done using a linear stretching die...actually one from my planishing hammer the Pullmax. I have tool holders for the planishing dies which extends what the Pullmax can do.

This panel should have been all stretch on the edges.

Should have been but I screwed up and over stretched the sides and ended up spending twice as much time shrinking it back than it should have taken.

The flexible shape pattern pulled from the Burt Buck worked GREAT!

And here is the finished panel mounted on the car. I still need to wash out the panel but the fit is there. This is a top view.

Front view

I've got about 6 hours in this panel...three more than it should have taken.

Reverses are hard for me. I'm really pretty good at visualizing shape but reverses are backwards/inside-out/upside down or something and I have trouble getting my head around them. I expect I'll figure them out long before I finish all the reverses that are on this car...

Side view...

Kerry Pinkerton
Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2009, 08:29 PM
Kerry Pinkerton's Avatar
Kerry Pinkerton Kerry Pinkerton is offline
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Near Huntsville, Alabama. Just south of the Tennessee line off I65
Posts: 8,194
Default The Art Deco Imperial Project - Part 17

I'll definitely be building a dedicated yoke for this approach. Not everyone has 20-30 ewheels they can set up for specialized uses but it sure is handy to just walk to another machine instead of having to switch things back and forth.

I use my big monster with the 3.5x3.5 Edwards anvils for most things but sometimes I use a 26F with 8x2 Hoosier and 3x2 anvils (and some others). Another is setup with a gokart slick, and another is setup with a Hoosier tipping attachment. I'll probably pull out another for this concave upper...

I didn't use the thumbnail machine at all on this. Only the linear stretch dies and, because, I screwed up and overstretched, the big kick shrinker (and the stretcher a bit) with Eckold dies. I don't think you could get a decent surface with a Phammer alone. The aluminum is too soft and Phammers are not enough of a finesse tool.

I've had a couple PM questions about this panel. You do NOT have to have the tools I have and used to make this panel. It could be done all on a good ewheel, or on a bag and ewheel, or with a planishing hammer and ewheel. The big tools just saved me time. If I hadn't know what to do to the metal, the tools would have just helped me make a mess quicker. Don't fall into the tool trap. Learn how to move the metal first! All the tools in the world won't make you a metalshaper.

Sorry for the sermon, it's Sunday and I'm feeling preachy.

3/11/08 This is what happens when you get cocky...

Ok, started on the next piece:

Name:  RRtransition6.jpg
Views: 8570
Size:  41.0 KB

Should be a snap...just more of the same, then bend the top lip over....right?

WRONG! It's a double reverse and it kicked my a$$. That top lip really, REALLY complicated things. First it has to be stretched...a LOT to the the transition piece done...then it has to be shrunk...a LOT more!

Name:  RRtransition7.jpg
Views: 8530
Size:  32.4 KB

Life's too short!

Name:  RRtransition8.jpg
Views: 8557
Size:  39.0 KB

After about 4 hours I gave up. Tomorrow I'll cut the flange off and do it in two pieces...'s a good thing....


To wheel all these reverses I've decided to modify my P.O.S. Horror Fright top wheel into a concave upper with a 3/8- 1/2" contact flat. I'm running into the yoke and even running into conflicts with the anvil I'm using for an upper. The HF thing isn't good for anything but a doorstop without remachining anyway. This will be a better longterm solution for reverses than making specialized upper yokes. This way I can just swap out uppers as needed.

Today I drove out the 20mm bearings and epoxe'd in some 3/4" bearings.

Progress but slow.

One thing I did a couple days ago was reshape that worthless HF upper. That thing was FIFTY FIVE THOUSANDS out on the original bearings .055!!!

The steel was pretty good though. Took me about an our to cut it the the profile I wanted and polish it smooth. Works REALLY, REALLY well and I can swap back to the standard upper or slick in just a few seconds. I probably won't need it too much as I don't plan on doing many double reverses but I need it to wheel out Moniques 6 pack abs.

Name:  Convex-upper3.jpg
Views: 8517
Size:  27.4 KB

After I cut off the extra reverse it took about half a day to finish the short panel up...I'd have been better off starting over...

The "hole" you see at the top will be capped by an aluminum piece that is welded at the edge you see sticking up, bends over and goes into the interior upholestry.

Name:  BurtBuck18.jpg
Views: 8498
Size:  40.1 KB

Name:  BurtBuck19.jpg
Views: 8498
Size:  37.4 KB

Started on the back part. Dutch doesn't do many reverses and said he fights with them when he does have one but he had a suggestion I thought I'd try. Reverses can be made by doing linear stretches on the sides OR by shrinking the center. Shrinking the center is really hard. What Dutch suggested was cutting the center removing appropriate material and welding it back to together. Nothing wrong with a little fabrication to help the metalshaping so I'm going to give it a shot.

A paper pattern was cut and sliced in the center the overlapped until it laid fairly tight in the reverse and then marked.

Name:  Dutch4.jpg
Views: 8482
Size:  32.7 KB

You can see from the line how much material will be removed.

Name:  Dutch3.jpg
Views: 8484
Size:  28.8 KB

So I cut some aluminum, figured out the cut lines and had at it.

Name:  Dutch2.jpg
Views: 8458
Size:  37.7 KB

And here it is tacked together. Tomorrow, I'll finish welding the fabrication, grind the welds and wheel, then proceed as normal shaping to get the reverse.

Name:  Dutch1.jpg
Views: 8472
Size:  35.2 KB

We'll see how well this works. That was a LOT of metal that would have had to be moved to get this configuration.
..To make a reverse compound curve the long ways cut like you made is wrong any way. you need to shrink the center the other way if it is to be done that way...

Richard, in steel I think I would agree with you but with the .063 3003 it appears to work fine with just the lengthwise cut as you can see in the following photos. The aluminum is soft enough that it seems if you have the right surface area, moving the arrangement is pretty simple.

This was the largest reverse yet and it went the fastest....about 4 hours including the welding of the center piece.

Here is the fabricated panel after welding but before any metalshaping.

Name:  BurtBuck27.jpg
Views: 8458
Size:  24.0 KB

After some linear stretching on the edges and smoothing the V on the wheel it quickly got close.

Name:  BurtBuck26.jpg
Views: 8447
Size:  38.8 KB

About an hour of tweeking had it done. It's sitting on the metal ribs so it won't lay perfectly flat yet.

Name:  BurtBuck25.jpg
Views: 8443
Size:  39.1 KB

I wanted to try and tie some of these smaller panels together so I could blend the lines. The center one was the obvious choice. I scribed a line, cut it and put some copper under it so I could tack it while it was held in position.

Name:  BurtBuck24.jpg
Views: 8448
Size:  42.2 KB

Worked really well. After cleaning the weld and some metalfinishing it's awful close.

Name:  BurtBuck23.jpg
Views: 8409
Size:  34.0 KB

The fabrication shortcut worked so well I decided to do the same approach on the next piece which will be at the back of the car all the way down until the reverse goes vertical before it rolls under.

Here is the welded fabrication.

Name:  BurtBuck23.jpg
Views: 8409
Size:  34.0 KB

Name:  BurtBuck21.jpg
Views: 8402
Size:  26.4 KB

Turned out I took too much out and had to work the panel a bit more than expected. This one was a couple hours. Tomorrow I'll do the final piece.

Name:  BurtBuck22.jpg
Views: 8407
Size:  28.5 KB

And then I'm going to have to decide what's next. I can't weld everything together because I won't be able to work them... Basically I wheeled things lengthwise with a 1/2" contact flat. A little work was done crosswise and it was done using the convex upper. I forgot once and used the flat 4x9 and proceeded to put a couple lines in the panel. I was watching TV and not paying attention.

It's really hard, at least for me, to get my head around reverses. To make a bowl you can either: Stretch it all from the center, shrink it all from the edges, or do some of both. I normally do both. To make a reverse, it's just the opposite. You can shrink the center (pretty hard to do), or do a lengthwise stretch on the sides (Make the outer edges LOOONGER). This makes the center go down, the sides come up and the whole thing BOW over backwards.

The fabrication technique has the same effect as shrinking the center area. 3/14/08
... Does aluminum hammer weld nicer then steel? I would think being softer it might take less time, or am I drinking my bathwater on that assumption?

DEFINITELY! If you read back a few pages when I first started on the fender, I wrote about my learning to weld aluminum. Another 1950 hours and I'll be able to say I'm fair I think.

What I do is grind most the pride off with a flap disk, then wheel a bit. Wheeling stretches the metal and pushes things in arrangement. The high spots get shiny which shows me where to grind some more. A couple recursions of this process usually takes care of it.

I'm using some 1100 aluminum rod that I got from Steve Hamilton and it's great. VERY workable. I've not yet had a weld crack in spite of a lot of shaping directly on the weld seams. 3/18/8
Interesting day.

Started out spending a while making the amazing reversing dies that Terry Stolarski showed me back in 2006. WOW!

Then got to work on the remain piece on this series of reverses:

Name:  BurtBuck20.jpg
Views: 8414
Size:  32.5 KB

Interesting thing about this panel is it LOOKS like it fits two different ways and nearly does but it really only fits one way... remember this.

So I used the new reversing dies and quickly overshaped it...again. Being stuborn. (Who? ME?), I shrunk and shrunk until it fit, then scribed the interesection with the panel beside it, cut the line and proceeded to TIG it up. About 1/2 way through I suddenly forgot how to TIG. Welds looked like crap. Wasted 15 minutes regrinding tungstens, stainless brushing the panels, etc before I realized I was OUT of argon. It was 4:15 on a Friday afternoon. My welding supply place closed at 4. GERRRR

I've been planning to switch to another supply place anyway so I called them and they agreed to swap out my bottle (which I own). They stay open till 5...another reason to switch...and they're 15 minutes closer. Of course I got caught in Friday rush hour traffic so it was nearly 6 before I got back.

Supper was about ready so I took the gas bottle in and hooked it up. The panel was laying there so I picked it up and laid it in's way out of arrangement. OH CRAP! I welded it in wrong!

Humility is a good thing....right?
Kerry Pinkerton
Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2009, 08:31 PM
Kerry Pinkerton's Avatar
Kerry Pinkerton Kerry Pinkerton is offline
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Near Huntsville, Alabama. Just south of the Tennessee line off I65
Posts: 8,194
Default The Art Deco Imperial Project - Part 17

Considerable progress even if I am doing it wrong.

Originally Posted by Joe Hartson
....Thanks for showing the good and the bad it helps me learn and understand the process.

To be honest, writing things down helps me understand the process too as well as gives me something to look back to the next time I have to do it as a reminder.

Cut my screwed up back panel apart and welded it back correctly. Cleaned up the welds and Cleco'd it in place.

Name:  BurtBuck42.jpg
Views: 8397
Size:  38.6 KB

Now I can see how the 'ditch' progresses front to rear. This is from the back
Name:  BurtBuck41.jpg
Views: 8391
Size:  38.4 KB

A little further forward
Name:  BurtBuck40.jpg
Views: 8378
Size:  20.0 KB

Yet more forward
Name:  BurtBuck35.jpg
Views: 8338
Size:  36.9 KB

And the front. A nice smooth transition from a pretty deep reverse at the rear to none at the front.

Name:  BurtBuck33.jpg
Views: 8357
Size:  32.2 KB

This is the part of the double reverse panel that I gave up on earlier. It's pretty simple, just an edge tipped on the correct line and shrunk/stretched to give the correct profile.

Later on the inside edge will be scribed and tipped also.

Name:  BurtBuck34.jpg
Views: 8365
Size:  42.0 KB

Now I can start on the rolled pan. I raised the car on the lift, made sure it was level side to side, and marked a constant distance off the floor as the vertical transition line on the rear.

Name:  BurtBuck32.jpg
Views: 8367
Size:  29.6 KB

Then I bent a bunch of strips to the same radius and taped them to the line using more of the aluminum tape. I rasied the car a bit and used the 60" rule to make sure the bottom of each strip was at the same height and tweeked them until they were.

Name:  BurtBuck31.jpg
Views: 8349
Size:  37.3 KB

Then I taped some mid strips between the strips.

And applied the magic aluminum tape. Now I can see what the rear of the car will look like...with enough imagination that is.

This is the view from another car following.

Name:  BurtBuck30.jpg
Views: 8379
Size:  30.8 KB

I was halfway through making the flexible shape pattern when my wife came out and informed me I was taking her to dinner.
Name:  BurtBuck29.jpg
Views: 8314
Size:  35.0 KB

I doubt I'll get this finished tomorrow but should make some progress.

I've changed my mind (AGAIN) about how the fender/body will be attached. I'll explain it later but I won't be doing a body/fender flange down the bottom of the reverse transition.

...Just seeing the need, from a looks perspective, for a rolled rear pan. However, I have to ASSUME that it will also be one heck of a high pressure area, at speed..... Curious to know if you've planned around this. ....

There will be a full trunk that will more or less come to the bottom of the rolled pan...should take the wind load off the pan....I think...maybe??

...Just a reminder; before you fab that rear pan put the car back on the floor to make sure the pan looks the way you prefer. Can be decieving up in the air.

It's at close to ride height in the photo.

... Question? How does the fender to body transition piece get fastened
1. to the fender
2. to the body

It looks like it overlaps right now.

It does overlap on both edges at the moment Richard. I'm using Clecos to hold things together until I get everything roughed in and then I'll start finishing each piece and welding everything together into one big complex panel.

I've decided that what you're looking at will basically BE the rear fender. The whole unit will go from the outside of the fender, through the reverse, and up to the decklid opening where it will bolt to an inner structure. There will also be a support structure inside the wheel well tied to the frame...different from the earlier one I did. Also a different and much more better looking inner fender liner.

Basically the whole back of the car behind the doors will be 4 relatively complex panels. Two rear fender assemblies, a deck lid, and a small panel at the center rear of the car below the decklid. The decklid will hinge up from the front and go all the way to the cockpit. I've got several reasons for doing it this way and THINK I have everything thought out...hopefully.
This rolled pan kicked my butt. Even though it's in two pieces it was by far the most difficult two parts because both of them were had significant changes down their length.

Name:  BurtBuck43.jpg
Views: 8350
Size:  45.4 KB

I'm pretty happy with the look though. I think I'm going to tackle the door next and try and get the whole side done in panels and cleko'd together before I invest the time in welding and finishing things that might have to come apart once I see it all at a distance. Alan knows what I mean and I've learned that lesson before once or twice.

Name:  BurtBuck44.jpg
Views: 8345
Size:  39.6 KB

I did the left hand part of the pan all on the stump/bag and wheel. It went pretty easy and fast. Because it was a little slower, I didn't over do it and have to back into it like I've been doing.

The right hand panel was a real --ich though. A LOT of stretch where it meets the fender. I ended up doing a lot of kick shrinker/stretcher work to tune it in place. I've decided that after some hand tools, stump, bag, a wheel (or three), the deep throat kick shrinker/stretchers would be the next tool I'd want if that was all I could have. Quote:
Just curious, does any of the Dakota survive in the current incarnation?

Actually, I'm using the Dakota gas pedal
Kerry Pinkerton
Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2009, 08:32 PM
Kerry Pinkerton's Avatar
Kerry Pinkerton Kerry Pinkerton is offline
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Near Huntsville, Alabama. Just south of the Tennessee line off I65
Posts: 8,194
Default The Art Deco Imperial Project - Part 17

Been working on the engine for a while but this week I decided I wanted to shape some metal before I leave for the Bugly meet. The door is next in line. I shrunk some 18 ga angles to match the fair curve that I lofted from the grill to the back of the door and welded them in place. To make a Burt Buck, I sheared some 1/2" strips of some 5051 aluminum (I got some from Frigo when I got the 18 ga and us it for misc. stuff.) I wove it into a grid that lays on top of the angles. At the top, I bent the strips to mate up with the armrest portion of the top of the door and tucked the strips under the door top and taped everything in place.

Name:  BurtBuck48.jpg
Views: 8331
Size:  45.8 KB

Some aluminum tape and here is the Burt Buck. I needed about 6 feet of tape off a new roll, the second so this tape goes a good way.

Name:  BurtBuck47.jpg
Views: 8344
Size:  44.3 KB

After the fiberglas tape was applied, you can see how the door side transitions from a pretty tight radius at the back of the door to a large radius at the front.

Name:  BurtBuck46.jpg
Views: 8313
Size:  37.0 KB

This is a fairly low crown panel all over...not a lot of shape anywhere. I was able to use 2" wide transfer and fiberglas tape.

Name:  BurtBuck45.jpg
Views: 8316
Size:  31.9 KB

I'm going to try and whip this out tomorrow. It LOOKS easy but it will probably kick my butt.... I'm going to try it in one piece.
Originally Posted by jhnarial
...How will you attack the top of the door?At one point on the top of the door there's a 90 degree angle.I am not sure how to do that with a English wheel....

Beats me....

Seriously Johnny, my thinking is to shape to the flexible pattern before I worry about the tip. I'll then mark the tip "line" on the back side of the panel, and work it over using a combination of the tipping wheel (probably the one in the Hoosier tipper rather than a Pexto tipper. Also work the rolls with the gokart slick, various lower dies, and some hand work. That's the plan. This and 5 more will make an even half dozen door skins I've ever done.

That said, one thing I learned in the Army was that plans go to hell with the first problem so I expect to be OBE. (Overtaken By Events)

I REALLY like the whole Burt Buck concept. It works very well, is easy, cheap, and most important, it lets me pull a rough flexible pattern that SPEAKS TO ME! Hard bucks don't. AND it lets me 'see' what the panel will look like.
Kerry Pinkerton
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:29 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2023, vBulletin Solutions Inc.