Had read something about an adjustable tool (as a flat row/series of small rods) for conforming to body contours. I believe it was a product offered by Eastwood, but haven't been able to locate or identify by name or description. It would be a helpful tool for making those contoured patch panels that don't seem to be available. Perhaps I've been looking in the wrong places?
Someone must know.
"Happy T-ing!" (Just fix it 'right' and make it work....)
Google search "contour gauge" you will find a bunch. They are very common for woodworking,
Those contour gauges are about 6" long, and the replacement area approaches 2' long. Doubtful to ever re-using the larger/costlier ones... Then question whether cost-efficiency would just suggest using a good body shop?
This is for 'Cranky', the '25 coupe... The patch piece I am looking to make is for the bottom body edge below the driver-side quarter window. (That's the contoured area behind the door connecting to the trunk/'turtle'. 3-4" high would do it.) If anyone has a simpler. or better solution, I am open to ideas. I've not identified any vendor available repair panels.
Marv, Are you familiar with the term, "flexible shape pattern" ?
A common innovation these days is to copy a surface contour by laying successive layers of strapping tape over a surface, then carefully peeling the tape up and using it for a 3 dimensional pattern as you make the new part.
I can't adequately describe the process here, but there are numerous videos on the internet. Just search "flexible shape pattern" and watch some of the videos. The process is really slick and requires purchasing nothing more than a roll of tape and some talcum powder to make your pattern.
By the way, if you don't have a sample pattern in good enough condition to copy, you can take the shape off the opposite side of the car and then just turn the pattern inside out.
Here is a short video that shows in general how to use a flexible shape pattern.
Thank you, Dick.
Can an old dog be taught new tricks? (I've got a lot to learn!)
'Expediency', when not having those tools and/or knowledge, might still suggest a reputable body shop?
(Just fix it 'right' and make it work....)
To paraphrase a post on the "Favorite things" thread today it was noted that special tools are nice, but ultimately it's up to the eye and hand that wields them.
If you've never tried "panel beating", you may be surprised how relatively easy it is to get gratifying results on a hardwood stump with a concave depression formed in it, a pear-shaped wooden mallet, and a square of black 16ga sheet steel. Wooden tools don't compress sheet iron, steel hammers and dollies do. An efficient torch to anneal the metal is handy. Trust your eye, devise some simple gauges to check your form and have fun !
These days I really don't know how much help the average body shop would be. The generation of craftsmen who knew what a slap-hammer was for, and could work metal died off over 20 years ago. New metal can't be worked; all they do nowadays is glue on new panels and replace plastic parts.
Send me a PM with the area you are trying to describe via a private email. I should have something or able to fabricate one quickly for you.
All the Best,
Hank in Tin-A-See