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lightweight vent panel scratch build( I hope )


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So vent panel on my series 3 lightweight is shot, has no vents in it as I welded in a piece of 2 mm steel donkeys ago I can bodge it enough for its next MOT but looking to make a new one So my question is would 3mm aluminium be strong enough Regards Stephen

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Of course your right it will patch up but i'd like to take it to the next level and get the vents back in etc but I,m not prepared to pay £600 for the pleasure I'm thinking aluminium because I'm hoping to form the recesses for the vent flaps without resorting to welding also I need to make a 65" folder to assist with the two longest folds regards Stephen 

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I did consider 2mm just thought 3 mm would be belts and braces so to speak and I guess with 2 or 3mm the vent panel area will need anealing a couple of times with work hardening in the bashing process, also I will be making steel formers to bash around regards Stephen

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I could but I'm stubborn and from my point of view the long folds are the easiest part they could be done in the vice with angle iron a couple of clamps and a hammer if necessary but if I make a folder I will be able to fold wings and rear body sections as well regards Stephen

 

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2 hours ago, De Ranged said:

I'd be keen to see your dies for this.... alloy is fun stuff to form 

 

I have yet to make dies undecided at the moment as to whether to make dies for my press or hammer form but whatever I do will be posted up on here regards Stephen

 

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So no progress with the folder because I decided to see if I could form the vent panel flap recesses queue a lot of work today  started by making the formers to mould the aluminium around ( Bowie 69 should have listened to you 2mm would have been easier )

Cut recesses out of 5" x 1/2" flat bar all I had available and made up these, wish that could happen as quick as I can write it.

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Next I prepared a bit of 3mm ( stupid boy ) aluminium 

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Then clamped it all together and started to hammer form the first part of recess

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out of one set of formers you can see where the aluminium is starting to split a wee bit although nothing that cannot be sorted with the tig

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centre piece clamped in to make final hammer form

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And finished article 

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last picture below shows panel laid flat not much distortion at all and I would say once clamped in folder and given final bends everything should be ticketyboo so I recon that's the hardest part of the build it will still be a bit of a faff on but I reckon I can now make the whole panel reasonably easily regards Stephen 

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I am seriously impressed. I'd thought I'd doing exactly that, in steel, once upon a time, but gave up as it was too much work.

Plus you can now get the right profile in steel.

 

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1 hour ago, FridgeFreezer said:

That's brilliant, and I laughed at the source material :lol:

Cheers John source material for test is part of a road traffic sign, scrap man used to get them from council lads when scrappies paid cash but not so much now as I've said before my scrappy has a buy out price as well as a buy in price that said I've got a piece of 3mm x 2000 mm x 250mm new alloy sheet coming for build regards Stephen

Edited by Stellaghost
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17 minutes ago, Gazzar said:

I am seriously impressed. I'd thought I'd doing exactly that, in steel, once upon a time, but gave up as it was too much work.

Plus you can now get the right profile in steel.

 

Thanks Gazzar your right about the work took me a solid 7 hours from starting making the formers to completing the test piece who knows if it turns out ok I may look at making an alloy bulkhead regards Stephen 

Edited by Stellaghost
Predictive pain
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I wonder if, in an ideal world, you'd have a large press to whack the shape in and if you didn't pre-cut the hole the metal wouldn't split/tear?

I know the serious presses they use a bit of lubricant on the surface when doing stuff like that, keeps the metal flowing rather than catching... if you're going into bulkhead production I suspect a fair few people here would be interested given the high cost and variable quality of the stuff on the market.

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Managed a bit more on folder today welded feet on so I can bolt it to my bench also welded some bracing in on folding channel 

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Lifted blade into position which is crazy heavy so I could see where centre line is

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Gave mag drill a bit of a workout 

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Then trial fitted tightening / folder sliding bolt ( 36mm screwed rod )

Made a bit of an oversight here I dont have a 56mm open ended spanner guess what's on my shopping list 

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Bottom nut will be welded in place

Then put spring and slider on

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Last picture showing spring fully compressed  the idea being when I fit blade the spring should return to normal state and lift blade above workpiece to slide material in and out also need to make everything dismantleable so it ca be packed away when not in use regards Stephen 

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So curiosity got the better of me started making formers to use in the press only problem being my mill is too small for the size plate I'm using so recess will need to be made in 4 separate  tries

Kicked off with some 30mm plate and cleaned up and polished one side

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Then started milling recess

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Still at it a while later .5mm cuts and 18mm depth you get the picture

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Moved position to lengthen the recess 

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And finally one half of the total recess done went over the line a wee bit but compensated for it at the other end will carry on tomorrow regards Stephen 

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Edited by Stellaghost
Addition
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Well that's the bottom section of former machined just need to polish up a bit to reduce friction and round the sharp edges off to encourage alloy to slide past

Setting up square with the TDI ( oops should have been dti )for the last section

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Done regards Stephen 20200926_111610.thumb.jpg.e47bc793dea0805303f5b96a506d0693.jpg

Edited by Stellaghost
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