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Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
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PostPosted: April 2, 2014, 9:39 am 
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Lengths for curves.
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Ron

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PostPosted: May 22, 2014, 7:52 pm 
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Lonnie,
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Bend the tube around the 10" dia end of the form first. Laid the piece across the 13" end, where it stood proud by almost an inch.
I use a old American made rubber mallet, Softer than the new ones out today, to encourage it to fit to the 13" shape. Marked where the bend needed to be, and made 1/16" cuts 1/16" apart, 2/3 through.Welded and rough sanded and checked the fit.
All for now. Updates will be posted as progress is made.

Ron

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PostPosted: May 23, 2014, 10:49 am 
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Looking forward to it.

Cheers,

Lonnie

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Damn! That front slip angle is way too large and the Ackerman is just a muddle.

Build Log: viewtopic.php?f=35&t=5886


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PostPosted: October 10, 2014, 1:53 pm 
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While in the wood shop this summer, I made more forms.

This oak form has one side for 1/2" tube and the other for the 3/4" tube, 3"R to center line bend used at the top rear of the frame.
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This one has the shapes of the different pieces that use a 4" radius.
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The large form is for the 19"R tubes for the cockpit and over the bell housing.

A pan from Tractor Supply to dry fine sand box sand.
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These pieces welded to the ends provide the means to stopper the ends of the tubes that will be filled with dried, packed sand. A 4ft ,1/2"ID pipe "handle" that fits over the outside of the 1/2" tube and inside the 1"for added leverage.
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I need to make clamps like this to attach to different spots on the forms.
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I,ll post more when I start the actual bending.
Ron

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PostPosted: October 21, 2015, 10:23 am 
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Yo Ron! How are those seats coming along?


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PostPosted: October 24, 2015, 6:47 am 
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They are still in the works!
I plan to throw together a "Brake drum forge" so the the tubes for the seats, the scuttle frame and the back of the frame can be bent.
Sand packed tubes bent around hardwood forms for the corners that have a small radius. Planning to switch to Honda civic headrests. I have a pair, and they are much easier to locate for those brave souls, with to much time on their hands, that want to try this at home. :wink:
This will change the tops of the seats to a flatter shape, but won't really change the way the seats are assembled.

Anyway.. I hope to try the bending before the weather turns much colder.

Ron

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PostPosted: October 24, 2015, 9:31 am 
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Hi Ron,

I've been waiting to see how that all works out for you. I want to design my own seats as well. I don't want to buy a tubing bender. They are so expensive (well I guess it's the dies, really) and I don't have the floor space for one either.

A fellow named Martin from the San Diego area had excellent success with a big conduit bender from Home Depot on his 3/4" tubing for the rear boot hoops on his Locost. However, it's a big tool and you need to stand on, or otherwise restrain the tool, while bending the tubing, so no real "fine" work is practical. Also, the radius of the bends is relatively large and not small enough for what I have in mind. I didn't see it as an effective way to do seat frames, so I've been waiting to see what you came up with.

Here is a video of a tool similar to the one he used ==> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3VeCANZevf4

I've seen some home made benders on YouTube that use pulleys of various sizes to get smaller radii, but have really buckled down to design and build one, and just try it out. I was hoping you'd save may lazy butt from doing that. :mrgreen:

Cheers,

Lonnie

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Damn! That front slip angle is way too large and the Ackerman is just a muddle.

Build Log: viewtopic.php?f=35&t=5886


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PostPosted: October 24, 2015, 5:24 pm 
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This youtube video shows one way to bend a sand packed tube by heating it red hot first. Not good for roll bars but fine for seat frames or the back corners for a 7 frame.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fHXmVKZkAx0

I'll be using 1/2" tubes for the frame and fiberglass/carbon fiber for the back and bottom pans.

Ron

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PostPosted: October 26, 2015, 11:11 am 
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"Home made" bender for small diameter thin wall tube.
http://www.mig-welding.co.uk/forum/threads/tube-bender-for-thin-wall-tube.24772/

And more about bending tubes, packed with sand.
http://blacksmithbend.blogspot.com/


Ron

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PostPosted: October 27, 2015, 7:41 pm 
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Thanks, Ron. The first (UK) one looked very nice, but not too easy to build, I'd say. I didn't see a lot of information on the blacksmith site (Oregon) to see what they actually used to bend the tubes. Did I miss something?

Cheers,

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Damn! That front slip angle is way too large and the Ackerman is just a muddle.

Build Log: viewtopic.php?f=35&t=5886


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PostPosted: October 28, 2015, 9:44 am 
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Lonnie,
Add these two sites to those recently posted.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IpnXL115XOw
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nM11rJ6K4Ys

Put all the information from the vids in one "room".
Reach down (or back), find and embrace your inner MacGyver.
Find something at hand that will stand up to having red hot metal bent around it and that has a diameter that will work with a seat design you like.
The metal in most often heated with an O&A torch (Serious coin if you have to by a good one) or a locost brake drum forge using charcoal briquettes as fuel.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EIQwSsNlpsQ
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Go for it :)

Ron

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PostPosted: October 28, 2015, 1:28 pm 
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STranger 7 wrote:
heated with an O&A torch (Serious coin if you have to by a good one)


...and getting the bottles and having them filled.

However, oxyacetylene isn't the best method of heating things up. A gasoline blowtorch is more efficient for heating and bending work, it's just that for some reason they're quite rare nowadays.

Metalworking hobbyists over in England use them a lot, and "alcohol blowlamps", which I don't think ever made it to America.

Those cheap propane "weed burners" from Harbor Freight will put a LOT of BTUs into a wide area, like for annealing aluminum or heating steel for bending. You can buy a regulator for $15 or so and run them off a barbecue tank.


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PostPosted: October 29, 2015, 5:58 pm 
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Have one of these,(Pic from the web, same style)
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but the last it was used was around 1960. I might be better off just firing up some charcoal. :)

Ron

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PostPosted: October 29, 2015, 6:35 pm 
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I looked at some YouTube videos of blowtorches (overhauling, lighting, using) and I can see the value if you want to heat things, but don't want the bother of an oxy/act system. I found this new one on Amazon. It's not dirt cheap, but is affordable.

Blowtorch ==> http://www.amazon.com/Torch-Blowlamp-Bl ... +blowtorch

Cheers,

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Damn! That front slip angle is way too large and the Ackerman is just a muddle.

Build Log: viewtopic.php?f=35&t=5886


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PostPosted: October 30, 2015, 5:36 pm 
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Lonnie,
I looked at some of those videos today. Some of it was familiar. Surprising since I must have been 8 or 9 yrs. when I saw it being used.
I wish there was one showing how fast metal (tubing in particular ) could be brought to that bright red bending temperature.
One of the videos also explained how to check a torch to see if it's good to use. Guess my dads old antique will get a good looking at anyway!
The blue flame looks hot enough for annealing. That would help justify the expense of a new one.
If i didn't already have 2 bags of charcoal left over from last summer, and plans to build a small forge at some point. :|

Searching out the path of least resistance,
Ron

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