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Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2014 11:49 am 
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Joined: Sun Dec 24, 2006 3:32 pm
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Location: N. Versailles, PA 15137
Made a search, but didn't turn up anything. I've got the rear sheet aluminum in place with about 10 clecos across the under side. Cut the bottom corners into 5 "tabs" and bent them under. Results OK for underside, but not great. Clamped wood blocks on side & rear at upper corner. Results OK on bending short side over 3/4" tube, but coming around upper corner radius, less than satisfactory using plastic faced hammer. Any suggestions, other than a more talented bodyman? Ref. I'm basically configured like Gibbs' book; Figs. 8.4, 5 & 6. Pages 92 & 93. Thanks guys for your suggestions.
Don


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2014 3:07 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 04, 2006 5:40 pm
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Location: Novato, CA
I think a lot of folks decided the corners look better with no sheetmetal than they do with mangled sheetmetal. On both the top and the bottom I cropped the excess in the corners back to the point where no bending was needed.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2014 1:06 am 
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Location: Emerald, Melbourne, Australia.
Hi Don,

You could go half way between your & Nick's ideas: Trim the top edge to be at the same height as the top of the top tubes.
Hit the last little bit over to sit against the tube (the length of this little bit is the radius of your top tube).
Little ali to bend, so it gets squished together easily.
Easy. Looks okay.

Cheers - Gavin.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2014 2:25 am 
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trim the access as described above so that it will wrap over the top tube to the mid point as viewed from above,

anneal with a gas torch, then form using a panel hammer if posible working from the outside edge of the bend and up over the tube evenly but working the hammer blows towards the apex of the bend, this will evenly "shrink" the aluminum into the corner.

don't try to bash it all over at once, a little at a time is best, you may have to anneal it more than once as aluminum work hardens.

when formed around the tube, you may have to file any ripples down slightly to give a flush looking job.

without annealing, you don't stand much of a chance.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2014 9:13 am 
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^^^^ what Gavin said....^^^^

Cut the inside of the bend to ~ 10 degrees past horizontal at the top. That way there is less material to wrap and shrink. Once the tonneau (trunk lid) is in place, nobody will know the difference. To shrink as you form, just keep working the high wrinkles down against the tube. Then file and sand down for the final finish. Here is a poor photo of mine:

Image

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2014 9:44 am 
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Joined: Sun Dec 24, 2006 3:32 pm
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Location: N. Versailles, PA 15137
Thanks guys,
Sounds like between proper trimming and heating/annealing the corner alum. and properly using the hammer, I should be able to get reasonable results. rx7. The pix is excellent reference. Thanks all for the encouragement.
Let me give the ideas a try and we'll let you know if your confidence helps the old, short fat guy. Maybe I need to give the hammer part to the 4 year old Grandson today!!!! Hum.
Later,
Don


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2014 8:38 am 
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Location: S.E. Michigan
Don
Use a piece of hard wood shaped with the same radius as the tubing, as a dolly, allowing for some shinkage as you work around the corner Vs a hammer which will stretch the aluminum. Dave W


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2014 2:23 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 10:48 pm
Posts: 116
working with aluminum is really very ez to do .
the 1st thing you want to do is the annealing proses to the both sides of the aluminum were you want to roll fold of bent it . this will make the aluminum much more pliable to work with it .
then it's always a better idea to make some type of buck out of a hard wood .
the reason is you do not want to really hammer away on the chassis of the car .


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