Fabricated Hot Rod Door

Hot Rod Fabricated Door

My fabricated Hot Rod door is not going to be easy. Especially for me.

When your day to day job requires staring at a computer screen with the only manual task involving boiling a kettle, cutting up flat steel sheet and making it into a 1930’s Hot Rod is somewhat of a challenge. I’m therefore, taking bite sized chunks.

When I say flat steel, I’m mean full sheets of steel that have been rolled up to fit in the back of my hatchback, then crudely straightened out against a wall.

Fabricated Hot Rod

The first item I want to get exactly the same on one side to the the other is the location of the hinge pins. To do this I need the bulkhead and the door jams in place.

I used 1/8″ swage rollers in my motorized bead rollers to off-set the joins, all held in place with 1/8″ Clecos.

Bead Roller

I’m oxy/acetylene welding most bits together as too much MIG puts me in hospital. In comparison gas welding does leave very little weld to tidy up, however, it does put a lot of heat into the metal that can take a while to re-straighten. It also means if I weld more than 1/2″ in one go, I might as well throw everything away and start over.

There are those out there that know all this already, but for me I’m learning as I go. Although I’ll be OK with the odd skim of filler, part of me wants a hand crafted masterpiece.

There’s a lot of shapes going on here and working out whether the door will foul during opening isn’t too easy. Therefore, once this side is done, before making it’s driver’s side twin, I’m going the mock up the front edge of the door too. There’s no point in making two, if the first needs re-starting.

Hot Rod Door Jam

I’ve only got a 60cm sheet metal folder and it’s in need of some reinforcement, so long sections are a pain. Because of this, I’ll need to make some sections out of multiple pieces. Making the flange that the front wing bolts to in one piece is impossible, so I’ll be making it out of at least five.

The wireframe got quite bent during the workshop move, so I’m only using it as a guide. To get the curves, I’m using long bits of string and a pen to draw radii, plus other round things around the workshop. Once I have a nice curve, I use a deep throat shrinker/stretcher to form the steel.

Hot Rod Door Jam

Hopefully, in a couple of years I’ll look back at these first attempts and think ‘Remember when I was useless at metalwork?’

The brother in law, is quite a talented guy, so if I get in a mess, which I will, no doubt I’ll be bugging him for tips. See here: http://www.metalmeet.com/forum/showthread.php?t=10681

Once I have the hinges mounted, I’ll start it’s twin. Considering I’m a little useless at this, I’m actually enjoying it.


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