Dave Sosnoski and I have been discussing this topic in another thread. I think this is an important enough topic to warrant its own thread.
Often a pre-1926 door is rotted at the bottom and needs a repair panel similar to this one:
Using a reciprocating hammer similar to this one:
we can make a patch. Dave's hammer is a Pullmax, made to shear very thick steel. Mine is a much smaller home made unit intended to be used for shaping and shrinking sheet metal. The story continues below.
My first step was to construct a die to round over the door edge like this one-
Note the die has a stop built into it, so I can cut the material oversize, and use the edge of the cut material to guide the piece through the die. That way I can closely control the location of the bend. Keep in mind that I am not trying to make the piece in one pass. I will adjust the lower die until the upper die is just making contact with the metal, then raise the lower die about 0.060 inch at a time until I am done forming the part.
This is an example of the part at the end of this operation. The edge is rolled over, but the bead is not formed.
The part is not as wide as the door, but it is extremely difficult to tip that much metal, so the final patch will be in two pieces, an 'external' piece and a 'door frame' piece.
A second die is needed to form the bead around the edge of the door
As you can see, the bead is being pushed down, so the repair panel is upside down for this operation.
This is what a patch panel looks like:
This is what the finished product looks like:
and from the bottom:
The repair required almost no filler prior to painting.
There are a number of ways this patch could have been made, this is the way that worked for me!
By the way, material was 18 gauge cold rolled steel.
Next project? Both quarters for a 1927 touring car. I have both bucks built, and one quarter is just about done.
The prior 'finished product' was taken before I was done.
This was as ready to hang back on the car:
I bet that is rewarding, getting something like that back into shape.
Nice. It's great to have to tools to be able to do this stuff. I'll have to document the process of making a door from scratch and post it so people can see the process.
Good job, Ron - I'm about to fabricate a skin for the LH door of my 1917 T, but I borrowed a bead roller to fashion the ridge.
I'll do the same as you though, with the 90 degree lip around the bottom, ie weld on a strip of sheet metal.
I have the same "Bead roller" and two doors to make. I have made one door (but the shape was not quite correct) and have repaired a couple of others (much the same shape patch as Ron's door above).
Please take plenty of pictures and post them for us to see. I am particularly interested in what wheels you use.
I still have the bead roller I built many years ago. What I have found is that the dies are time consuming and expensive to make, and you must make the full impression in one pass, because it is extremely difficult to duplicate your bead location if you make an extra pass to make the bead deeper. It also seems to leave a more distorted piece when you are done than the Pullmax produces.
Thanks Ron - I appreciate other folks experiences. I haven't yet gone any further with the bead roller other than to test its bead producing qualities in a scrap piece of tin, but I can understand the difficulty involved in a second or third pass over the same bead.
I have done quite a bit of work with a bead roller (making fenders and such). I have found a shrinker-stretcher to be a really useful addition and they are reasonably priced
This is a slightly off-topic, but related question. How do you prepare the original metal for painting. Do you media-blast, wire-brush, use metal-etch, or what? What was the condition of the door when you started: rusty, original-paint, etc?
As I recall the door was fairly rusty. I cleaned the rust off with 3 inch diameter 3M coarse scotchbrite pads on a high speed die grinder, then treated with PPG metal etch prior to priming with PPG epoxy primer.
I have always wanted tools like that. I have made a number of patch panels and even a few entire body sections. But I have always done it the old fashioned way. Hammers, dollies, wooden forms I make myself, and a lot of tough work. Mine don't come out as nice as your examples did. But if you are stubborn enough, and creative enough, you can do it.
It sometimes does help that I ended up with my grandfather's tinsmith's anvils. 45 years after he passed on, I still enjoy working with him when I use some of his tools.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2