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Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
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PostPosted: January 19, 2015, 12:28 pm 
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More sheet metal work. I started making the side panels that fit in between the diagonal braces. These will be bolted on using tabs welded to the center line of the tubes. I bought a bunch of tabs from A&A manufacturing, (yeah, I know I cheated, but my time is worth a little bit). I made a little fixture to hold the tab in the center line of the tube to make it easier to weld on.
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I made some cardboard templates with about 1/16" - 1/8" gap between the tube and panel to prevent any future paint from scraping off. I guessed on the number of tabs to weld on and may need to add a couple more later if the .040in panel flexes too much. On most of the panels I used 4 tabs. For final assembly, I plan to use some 1/4in button head cap screws, plastic wahers, and nylock nuts on the inside.
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Slow work but tangible progress, unlike the wiring.

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PostPosted: January 19, 2015, 6:56 pm 
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Love it!! That looks really good.

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PostPosted: January 19, 2015, 10:32 pm 
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Wouldn't it have been simpler, faster, and whole lot less work to just skin the inside of the tubing?

You'd have also had a smoother side with fewer places to catch your skin on. Blood tends to make the insides slippery and it stinks after a while.

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Last edited by carguy123 on January 20, 2015, 11:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: January 20, 2015, 8:40 am 
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Beautiful job. Well done. :cheers:
If there is a concern of getting caught on protruding screws, just get a proper length screw that ends exactly flush with the nyloc ring. It will still provide strength and locking force, if done properly. I've done it inside an airplane cockpit with no issues. Aircraft Spruce has a good selection of many lengths of machine screws.

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PostPosted: January 20, 2015, 12:00 pm 
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Another option for bolts. Check out McMast-Carr for button head allen socket cap screws that are Stainless steel. If they are slightly to long you can trim them down and will not rust. Dave W


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PostPosted: January 20, 2015, 1:28 pm 
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I never thought about this. And I'm generally not a safety nut. However, n the case of an accident, those aluminum panels could extend inward, past the tube and become a sharp edge. A 1/2" hem, bent to the inside, might mitigate that sharp edge somewhat and add some panel stiffness. I know it is too late for that.

The idea of paneling the interior flush with the tubes would make a feature that would catch every stone and pebble. The panels would warp from the wedged gravel and never look the same after a day or two's driving.

All in all, it looks very nice.

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PostPosted: January 23, 2015, 5:30 pm 
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Thanks for the comments guys.
rx7locost wrote:
I never thought about this. And I'm generally not a safety nut. However, n the case of an accident, those aluminum panels could extend inward, past the tube and become a sharp edge. A 1/2" hem, bent to the inside, might mitigate that sharp edge somewhat and add some panel stiffness. I know it is too late for that.

I hadn't thought of this before but I'm not exactly sure what to do about, other then redoing the panels with a folded edge like you suggested. I'll admit putting the panels the way there are for my personal aesthetic reasons. I think showing off the tube frame structure looks pretty cool. I thought about not putting side panels in the cockpit area to really get the open feeling but didn't. This would of prevent any sharp panels edges getting pushed in and any bolts.

davew wrote:
Another option for bolts. Check out McMast-Carr for button head allen socket cap screws that are Stainless steel. If they are slightly to long you can trim them down and will not rust. Dave W

JL1 wrote:
I plan to use some 1/4in button head cap screws, plastic wahers, and nylock nuts on the inside.

I think we are talking about the same thing :wink:

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PostPosted: February 5, 2015, 11:43 am 
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More sheetmetal work, this time on the passenger footwell area. This proved to be the most difficult panel to make so far. I wanted to maximize the passenger foot room so I offset the front of the panel about 3-4in by putting a jog in the panel. That combined with being trapped between the inside transmission tunnel and the outside frame panel, proved challenging. I found the best method for me when trying to make my template of a constrained panel like this, is to make the cardboard template in two pieces that overlap in the middle. I can keep fitting and trimming along one edge until its right, hold it in place, fit and trim the other piece and then tape the two halves together where they overlap. I did this and when I made the aluminum panel, "almost" couldn't get it in position between the tubes.
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I made some flanges where this panel meets the floor, planning to bolt/rivet the two together. For the joint along the exterior panel, I plan to adhesive some angle flanges to the exterior panel and then bolt to the interior panel, allowing the exterior panel to still be removable. That's the plan at least. I need to investigate some aluminum adhesive for non-structural applications. I could use some 3M 08115 panel adhesive but might be overall for interior non-structural applications, maybe I'll get some and try it out. I also need something for securing the panels around the gauge cluster.

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PostPosted: February 6, 2015, 8:55 pm 
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Ooooh, very nice work!

I think I invented that "two piece template" process on the Slotus... But I didn't tell anybody because my stuff didn't look NEAR as good as yours. Well done!

:cheers:

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PostPosted: March 31, 2015, 11:53 am 
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More sheet metal work. I took some time (probably too long) and made a little storage bin in front of the shifter. I wanted to test my sheet metal skills and thought the storage space would come in handy. The first try was a failure but the second one came out pretty well.
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I gained enough confidence to take the plunge and start working on the scuttle. I made a cardboard template and then transferred to aluminum. I annealed the back edge to help create a folded edge. I made a little wooden tool to help fold over the same amount. I then bent the ends around my welding gas cylinder. It came out pretty well. I just need to figure out how I'm going to secure it and how to create the jog on the front edge where it meets the hood. Thinking about getting a bead roller for that.
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PostPosted: March 31, 2015, 6:00 pm 
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Nice metal work ! :cheers:

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PostPosted: March 31, 2015, 9:39 pm 
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Great metal work. Surely the little container it sort of useless because as soon as you accelerate everything will fall out as there is no lip. Surely it would have been better the other way so it was like a little bath. Either that or you could put a door on it.

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PostPosted: April 2, 2015, 10:36 pm 
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Can I send my scuttle skin template to you? Its really starting to come together and is looking good.

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PostPosted: June 21, 2016, 8:21 am 
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Looks so good! This thing is going to fly, my daily is a 01 s2000 and with that amount of weight savings its will be just plan fun!


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PostPosted: June 21, 2016, 11:31 am 
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Yeah, really nice sheet metal work.

I don't know if you are aware of the sheet metal hand too called a joddler (some call it a joggler), which is made for the purpose of making that join where one sheet must accept another, but be flush when put together. Here is one with the addition of a punch on the other end. Most do not have the punch.
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You can do the same with a bead roller, but it's much more expensive to buy. Of course, it's much more general too and you can do many other things as well. You're working with annealed aluminum, which is considerably softer than sheet steel, but be aware that the Harbor Freight bead roller (that's what most people, including me, get) is more of a kit for getting started, and you'll likely have to re-enforce it to do most steel work. There is a lot of info on the Internet and YouTube about modifying the HF bead roller, however. It wouldn't be a challenge for you.

Cheers,

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

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