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Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
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PostPosted: June 8, 2018, 9:01 pm 
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Location: Green Bay, WI
Lonnie-S wrote:
I did consider aluminum on the bottom, bonded and riveted per the original 7 concept, Steve. It's just that it is more complex, more expensive, and somewhat risky compared to welding in steel.

I actually found a virgin, but surplus, sheet of 16 gauge at a local supplier. It was just a fraction of the cost of aluminum. It has some surface oxidation, but no pitting or real damage to it. I'm following the examples of Perry (horchoa) and RacerAl who have both gotten good results with careful welding. They're both a little better welders than I am, but I'll go slow. If you've seen their builds, I'd call their welding stitch+ as they use longer beads than I have with my stitch welds.

Cheers,

I have seen some of Perry’s builds and they have really nice detail. You can also bond and rivet steel the same. Just no more than 1” stitch, clamp tight all around and alternate the welding around the piece and let cool from time to Time. It would be nice if aluminum wasn’t so expensive it’s proporties are almost mind boggling up against steel.

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My build : viewtopic.php?f=35&t=17160


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PostPosted: June 9, 2018, 8:37 pm 
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Location: Carlsbad, California, USA
It was "Tool Time" today. I pulled the small English wheel out of it's stored location, ready to stretch out the 20 gauge sheet for the tunnel pieces prior to bead rolling them. I got the wheel for something like $60-$80 on clearance a couple of years ago from Harbor freight. It's the type that goes in your vise, but I had different plans. Grizzly and Eastwood have (or had) similar models. Here's what it looks like stock (Grizzly in this case):
Attachment:
File comment: Stock benchtop/vise English wheel
Grizzly Benchtop English Wheel.jpg
Grizzly Benchtop English Wheel.jpg [ 27.79 KiB | Viewed 1388 times ]


The anvils are quote nice, and I decided it fit my small budget at the time perfectly. However, it was not stiff enough to do serious work, so I modified it and put it on a home-made, mobile stand.
Attachment:
File comment: My HF English Wheel as Modified.
DSC04316.JPG
DSC04316.JPG [ 123.73 KiB | Viewed 1388 times ]


I fiddled with it a bit back then, but found the adjustable rest for the lower anvil (the upper is fixed) was very wobbly. That wouldn't be acceptable because the two anvils need to track on their centers, and be pretty much immovable. I put off fixing it until I needed to use it. That day arrived and it was today.
Attachment:
File comment: Lower, adjustable rest for the lower anvils.
DSC04314.JPG
DSC04314.JPG [ 120.23 KiB | Viewed 1388 times ]


You can see the slop in it here:
Attachment:
File comment: Too sloppy a fit for accurate, repeatable work.
DSC04315.JPG
DSC04315.JPG [ 62.46 KiB | Viewed 1388 times ]


Fortunately, I have a supply of small weld nuts and bolts that I felt could solve this problem.
Attachment:
File comment: 8-32 weld nuts, bolts and lock jamb nuts.
DSC04313.JPG
DSC04313.JPG [ 123.2 KiB | Viewed 1388 times ]


Just drill the right holes, put the weld nut in them, weld in place:
Attachment:
File comment: Weld nut positioned for welding in along tube centerline on all 4 sides.
DSC04317.JPG
DSC04317.JPG [ 134.91 KiB | Viewed 1388 times ]


Weld, primer and paint and bada-bing, you've got a means of squaring and stabilizing the lower rest (and anvil) with respect to the upper one:
Attachment:
File comment: Completed fix in place.
DSC04318.JPG
DSC04318.JPG [ 129.27 KiB | Viewed 1388 times ]


Tomorrow the paint should be hard enough to use, and I'll get going on the stretching of the panels.

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: June 10, 2018, 10:10 pm 
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Location: Carlsbad, California, USA
OK, time to bring out the sheet metal tools and get my learning panel in place.

I have a Harbor Freight (HF) bead roller. If you know about bead rollers, you've learned about the HF product deficiencies. It's a kit. However, I did get it to do useful work out of it unaltered, and that was today's plan. It works in a bench vise. Here it is:
Attachment:
File comment: Standard HF bead roller.
DSC04320.JPG
DSC04320.JPG [ 142.24 KiB | Viewed 1332 times ]


In order to use it, I need to substitute for the supplied handle as it won't clear my work bench, so I applied the usual substitute when you need something quick and simple:
Attachment:
File comment: Vise Grips - your standard non-OSHA go-to product. Also know as duct tape with handles.
DSC04321.JPG
DSC04321.JPG [ 141.63 KiB | Viewed 1332 times ]


I'm using a technique from Lazzie, which has you pre-stretch the metal to be bead rolled buy running through an English wheel. You can see the highlights in the metal now in the bead roller (below) where I stretched it. Doing this prevents the bead roller from turning your panel into a potato chip kind of of piece. I can say that it does work even when the English wheel operator (me) isn't too experienced.
Attachment:
File comment: Bead rolling pre-stretched areas.
DSC04319.JPG
DSC04319.JPG [ 138.04 KiB | Viewed 1332 times ]


I'm about a mile from the ocean. I have to primer everything or it rusts. The white paint is metal primer. All this would work better on bare metal, but that's a luxury to me, so I went with keeping the primer on while doing these operations.

It came out pretty flat, but I ran the backside flanges through the English wheel to get them a little straigter still. It worked pretty well. I'm like a 1-armed paper hanger trying to do this stuff all by myself. My beads are a little crooked, but what can I say? They're in there and fully functional. I'll get better as I go.
Attachment:
File comment: English wheel flattening of the flanges.
DSC04323.JPG
DSC04323.JPG [ 139.63 KiB | Viewed 1332 times ]


So, I wire brushed the weld spots clean and clamped the stuffing out of the panel, so it wouldn't move as I welded (don't you love the smell of burning wood in the afternoon?) and "got 'er done."
Attachment:
File comment: Clamped and ready to weld.
DSC04324.JPG
DSC04324.JPG [ 140.04 KiB | Viewed 1332 times ]


And, now we have panel #1, my test piece, in place and ready for final grinding and paint.
Attachment:
File comment: Panel in place and rough grind of welds complete. Tomorrow I'll finish grind and paint.
DSC04328.JPG
DSC04328.JPG [ 137.05 KiB | Viewed 1332 times ]


All-in-all, a solid C+ for the day. Mo better next time.

Cheers,

_________________
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: June 11, 2018, 7:26 am 
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Location: 4AGE in S.E. Michigan
I know what you mean!!! "I'm like a 1-armed paper hanger trying to do this stuff all by myself."
I have the same bead roller i.e. Woodward Fab. Try to crank on one end while holding a panel at the other end is a royal pain. I suggest that you made a straight edge guide that clamps on the bead roller that you can set at the correct offset to help keep things straight.
I also had to reinforce the my bead roller, similar to what you did on the English wheel.
DaveW


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PostPosted: June 11, 2018, 11:17 am 
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@davew
Duly noted, Dave. Part of the reason I bought it was there are so many upgrades that have been done to it (you've probably seen them on YouTube yourself) including motorizing them, that I felt I could make it work well in the end.

After using it twice by myself, I really like the idea of a motor and foot control.

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: June 12, 2018, 1:59 am 
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Look ay you! Filling in the blanks! Looking good Lonnie :cheers:

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'If man built it, man can fix it'
"No one ever told me I couldn't do it."
"If you can't build it safe, don't build it."

Perry's Locost Super Che7enette Build
Perry's TBird Based 5.0L Super 7 L.S.O.
Perry's S10 Super 7 The 3rd
Perry's 4th Build, The Topolino 500 (Little Mouse) Altered


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PostPosted: June 12, 2018, 11:08 am 
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Thank you, Perry. I'm tryin'.

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: June 12, 2018, 2:26 pm 
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Lonnie-S wrote:
I have a Harbor Freight (HF) bead roller. If you know about bead rollers, you've learned about the HF product deficiencies. It's a kit. However, I did get it to do useful work out of it unaltered, and that was today's plan. It works in a bench vise.
Lonnie, I bought the same bead roller, but from Woodward Fab via Summit, thinking it might be slightly better quality than the one from HF. Wrong, only the paint color was different. It lived in its box for a few months and when I first went to use it discovered that the 1/2" thick steel frame was bowed end-to-end about 3/32". Net result, when the pillow blocks with the brass sleeve bearings are tightened down, the shafts bind so much it's nearly impossible to turn the crank. Greasing the bearings didn't help. If the pillow blocks are set loose, then the shafts are so sloppy the bead becomes sloppy as well. After several emails, conversations etc. with the nice folks at Woodward Fab the most I got is a "that's odd." And too many months / too much weight to return to summit. :BH:


I may put the frame in my hydraulic press and try to take the bow out of the arms, kind of an iffy proposition, though. If I had a mill, I'd make new bearing blocks and use self aligning bearings.

One advantage of the HF version is you can inspect the purchase at the store and check for obvious flaws. One should take a straight edge, too!

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Cheers, Tom

My Car9 build: viewtopic.php?f=35&t=14613
"It's the construction of the car-the sheer lunacy and joy of making diverse parts come together and work as one-that counts."

Ultima Spyder, Northstar 4.0, Porsche G50/52


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PostPosted: June 12, 2018, 11:43 pm 
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Hi Lonnie,
I have today finished reading the build-logs of you and GonzoRacer, and am now avidly seeking others to sate my gluttony (I think I'm going to go with Tom's Car9 next...). I want to thank you for all the detail you have squeezed into your pages, and the quality of your detail design is quite phenomenal - an inspiration...

If I may, I would like to mention one thing that has niggled me - with your English-wheel support, which is very heavy and, when you tip it back to move it must be close to being top-heavy. You have previously mentioned the apparent ease that one can stumble, especially when moving backwards and, if you fall over, the handle of this support looks likely to fall right across your hips/groin/pelvis. It occurred to me you might add a couple of outriggers behind the wheels, like they have on dragsters - for much the same purpose. It would certainly put my mind at rest...

In the meantime, I am on tenterhooks awaiting the sight of this machine whizzing down the road...

Many thanks, MangPong.


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PostPosted: June 12, 2018, 11:53 pm 
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@seattletom
Well, it sounds like you got the worst of it from Woodward Fab. I'm sorry to hear that, Tom. These products should work out of the box, but they often don't. As with just about all the "major" tools, I have looked for USA made products. There are some very nice ones, but they have been out of budget for me - even used ones. If I used them every day to make a living, I would definitely buy the "real" tools.

At least the HF one will work as sold, but it does have limitations. Today, I was able to figure out the consequences of the top and bottom flexing (pushing away from each other) under pressure. It effectively moves your bead to the right as your're looking at the machine. The key to it is not tightening to maximum pressure. The beads will be shallower, but more true. Also, it makes the sheet metal on the left side of the bead pucker up. I can't explain why yet, but I can see it happen.

Here's today's panel piece after stretching in the English wheel. The long, straight lines with the tick marks are the centerlines of the underlying RHS tunnel structure mapped out on the front of the panel. The red dashed lines are the outer extents of the RHS. The 4 shorter lines with the tick marks at their ends are the intended bead paths. The drilled hole is for the seat belt attachment bolt. Hopefully, that will be visible to you.
Attachment:
File comment: Marked out panel with bead paths run through English wheel.
DSC04330.JPG
DSC04330.JPG [ 138.06 KiB | Viewed 1214 times ]


Wheeling the bead paths tends to bend the panel downward. You have to bend them back a little on a bench. Rolling the bead will bring the panel back a fair amount, but you need that hand bend too to get it flat.

Here is the panel after beading. It's not really obvious due to the flat paint. The beads have been run, and the outer flanges wheeled a little flatter in spots.
Attachment:
File comment: Hand bent, beaded and flat-wheeled panel.
DSC04331.JPG
DSC04331.JPG [ 132.23 KiB | Viewed 1214 times ]


If I turn it over, it becomes pretty apparent.
Attachment:
File comment: Back side of completed panel.
DSC04332.JPG
DSC04332.JPG [ 133.97 KiB | Viewed 1214 times ]


I wasn't satisfied with yesterday's effort, so I changed my strategy. I elected to put in fewer, longer and deeper beads. They are the maximum size possible with the supplied HF dies at 1/2". It was too hard to keep the short narrow ones nice and tight. The wider bead dies do work better. The finished panel is very stiff. It will be welded in around the perimeter plus all the tick marks along the black "centerlines" will be drilled and the panel rosette welded at each hole. It should be very strong and stiff. I'm moving myself up from a C+ to a B-, or maybe even a B for today's work.

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: June 13, 2018, 7:46 am 
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I would say that you did a pretty good job on the panel beads :cheers: For the next TEST, we want to see curved panel beads. Just kidding :mrgreen: It will not happen when used by a one arm paper hanger. I had to wait until my helper came home, on spring break. By the way my bead roller was reinforced with 1 1/2" sq tubing, around the perimeter, made a big improvement when rolling in offsets on 16ga body panels. Davew


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PostPosted: June 13, 2018, 8:07 am 
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Location: That point where the humidity and the temperature combine forces to destroy all that is good
I used to work as a fabricator in a commercial machine shop and when we had flat panels that got distorted, one of my jobs was to work them back to flat again, and all I had to work with was a steel table and a few hammers. Stretch and shrink, stretch and shrink, get the pieces back to where they wouldn't oil can or "pop". I wish we'd had an English wheel. I also had access to an assistant when I needed one, something I ALSO wish I had now...

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PostPosted: June 13, 2018, 11:23 am 
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@davew
Thanks, Dave, the encouragement is appreciated. I do feel I'm understanding the process and machine better. Hopefully, by the last panel, I'll be able to give myself an "A" grade.

@Raccoonman
Yeah, I can imagine what that was like with only hammers. Not from doing it myself, but from meeting a metalshaper from England who did his apprenticeship there. They had wheeling machines and other things like power hammers, planishing machines, etc., where he learned. However, the apprentices were not permitted to use them for some time. Part of the training was doing jobs with only hand tools, so you would really understand how the metal moved and responded to the basics of shrink, stretch, folding, etc. He said it really made you respect the processes, and be so appreciative of the more sophisticated machines when you were allowed to use them.

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: June 13, 2018, 11:38 am 
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I've been having problems with the little CoolPix camera I use in the garage. This morning I inadvertently unseated the memory card to it. But now, my disappeared photos are back. I think I need a new battery for it.

Anyway, I was debating elevating my scuttle 1" with a simple structure. I made the first element of the structure months ago, but did another trial fit of it a few days ago. I didn't like the visuals of it. I think I'm going to eliminate it, and either use flat bar or top-mounted RHS to keep the height at the regular Locost for the Haynes/Gibbs roadster.

Here'e what it looks like with the structure under the scuttle:
Attachment:
File comment: Base of 1" structure.
DSC04300.JPG
DSC04300.JPG [ 144.92 KiB | Viewed 1155 times ]

Attachment:
File comment: Scuttle mounted.
DSC04301.JPG
DSC04301.JPG [ 143.33 KiB | Viewed 1155 times ]

Attachment:
File comment: Angle from scuttle top to rear boot. I don't think it works well.
DSC04302.JPG
DSC04302.JPG [ 140.59 KiB | Viewed 1155 times ]


Here's the scuttle mounted directly to the upper chassis rail:
Attachment:
File comment: Traditional height.
DSC04304.JPG
DSC04304.JPG [ 142.07 KiB | Viewed 1155 times ]

Attachment:
File comment: Traditional height.
DSC04306.JPG
DSC04306.JPG [ 147.59 KiB | Viewed 1155 times ]

Attachment:
File comment: Traditional height.
DSC04307.JPG
DSC04307.JPG [ 144.9 KiB | Viewed 1155 times ]


Long story short, I think even that 1" will make the scuttle look too bulky. What do you think?

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: June 13, 2018, 12:31 pm 
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Agree, it looks bulkier with the 1" extension. However, if that enables you to fit the engine with a clean bonnet, I would do that over having a bulgy bonnet.

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