Attaching side panels
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Author:  JackMcCornack [ June 7, 2008, 1:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Attaching side panels

I put a big panelling how-to up on my web site, the short cut is

I'd appreciate y'all taking a look at it and telling me where it needs improvements. I'm including a link to this topic from the panelling page, so it ought to be pretty easy to get back here.

TIA, Jack
[edit--oops, it wrote "DRAFT 6/7/48" because once I write 6/7 my fingers go on autopilot. I fixed it. Happy birthday to me!]

Author:  JackMcCornack [ June 8, 2008, 1:48 pm ]
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Gosh, is everybody being polite? I can take it. Or if you're unwilling to trash me in public, let me know off list.

Has anybody had success bending panelling without a brake? If so, please tell us how you did it.

Author:  Miatav8,MstrASE,A&P,F [ June 8, 2008, 2:24 pm ]
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I'm guessing we are all turning wrenches.

This weekend, I've been making a fiberglass seat/tail cone/backrest/trunk to fit my wife's Honda Helix, changed my oil, reshaped the universal foam in my helmet to fit my head (which is not perfectly round), and cut the grass.

If you don't have a rivet fan, thats an excellent way to space them. I'd go a step further by cutting a strip of holes the same width as the tube. Easier to quickly center the holes that way.

Author:  a.moore [ June 8, 2008, 3:16 pm ]
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I think its a pretty good tutorial.

There were only a few suggestions I have. Most are probably because I'm too picky about stuff.

1) When you're cutting an inside corner, drill a 3/16" to 1/4" hole at each corner and make a straight cut tangent to the holes. I guess I'm picky, but it looks a lot better. For doing larger holes where you want a radius, hole saws in a cordless (or pneumatic) drill do wonders; you just have to cut from tangent to tangent to complete the hole and do a little finishing with a sanding drum.

2) Deburring holes in the sheet and on the tube before cleco-ing or riveting allows everything to sit nicer. Either a countersinking tool or a few sizes larger drill bit does nicely. You just need to be careful not to go too far and knife-edge the hole.

3) A small bead of RTV sealant keeps panels from rattling against the frame when you're driving. Again, its a pet peeve, but I can't stand when a car rattles (plus its difficult trying to distinguish between a rattling panel and something working its self loose). RTV is also great at holding edges of sheet down. I've bought seam-sealer on accident before; I didn't realize it until my "RTV" cured in about 2 minutes. The lesson learned was make sure you get RTV sealant. Napa and others sell caulk tubes of the stuff.

4) If you have someone with a brake, leave an extra 1/2" past where you want your panel to end near the driver/passenger and have them fold it over 180 degrees. Instead of having a sharp edge exposed, you'll have a nice round edge. Sanding corners of the sheet to a radius also reduces the chances of taking a chunk out of your arm.

I liked the Captain Nemo comment...I've been accused of trying to build an airplane before by doing just that.

Author:  locostv8 [ June 9, 2008, 3:03 am ]
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The body donor for Put-put is the shell of an old refrigerator so I will use the factory bend for the top rail. I don't like the idea of holes in the frame so I intend skip welding the perimeter of the pannel and punching holes to fill weld to members inside the perimeter. The last step will be to have a thin coat of Linex sprayed on the tub section. I like the looks and idea of the front pannels being a vent being spaced away from the tub.

Author:  chetcpo [ June 9, 2008, 3:03 pm ]
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I didn't get a chance to have a look this weekend since I was busy cutting and fitting my body side panels. :)

Author:  RacerDan [ June 9, 2008, 5:37 pm ]
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Don't ever take that site down. I have it saved in my tech favorites. Thanks for the info.

Author:  Zengineer [ June 9, 2008, 6:33 pm ]
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The use of pegboard as a hole spacer is a very elegant concept and one that I plan on trying.

Author:  JonW [ June 9, 2008, 7:15 pm ]
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When I paneled my Locost 7, I didn't own a 48" shear or my 48" brake. The only panel I had bent on a brake is the bonnet/hood. Every thing else was bent by locost methods.

The side panels (0.040 alum. 3003) were made in one piece and hammer bent with a HF $4 rubber mallet. This resulted in a custom fit that you can't get by bending off the car. I assure you I can't measure/bend that close and my frame tubes aren't perfectly straight or parallel. Besides I don't have a 8'+ brake. Trimmed by hand shear (snips).

The top edge was riveted on the inside (2-90 degree bends). The bottom riveted to floor (90 degree bend).

When bending with rubber mallet, proceed in 2 or 3 passes so you don't stretch the edge. If you do you will have ripples or have to shrink it to make it lie flat. Annealing shouldn't be necessary.

I have less experience with steel panels. I prefer alum.

Author:  eVox [ June 9, 2008, 9:48 pm ]
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Just found the tutorial...good stuff. So you dont put rivets where the two pieces meet? It makes it look better for sure...

Author:  OzGecko [ June 9, 2008, 11:08 pm ]
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If I had to change one thing it would be to correct the spelling of "rivit" everywhere to "rivet". I know being a spelling Nazi is uncool but, in all seriousness, it makes a difference when people Google search for a page. Other than that it all looks OK.

And happy 60th for Saturday Jack :)


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