side panels on sand car

dannyfab

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I’m am struggling with the fact of making side panels for my car. I have tried to cut some pieces of aluminum with a nibbler but it doesn’t come out real straight. Has anyone ever tried to accomplish this with a nibbler or is it all done with a big shear to create the perfect straight lines. Another thing is the bitchn look of the panels contoured around the tube… How they do that???
 

WoodyW

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Bead roller with a tank roll or spoiler roll is what I use to radius the edges
 

dannyfab

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thanks for the respnses. I just dont want to screw up 300 dolllars worth of aluminum. Is it possable to radius the edges with a hammer or will I be waisting my time and money.
 

07FJRog

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thanks for the respnses. I just dont want to screw up 300 dolllars worth of aluminum. Is it possable to radius the edges with a hammer or will I be waisting my time and money.
you can, but I would practice on some smaller ones first and a little at a time.

I use electric shears for long pieces, works pretty well, you need a fairly steady hand to follow your line. I think you can get them at Harbor feight, but I use a milwaukee one.
 

RocketMan

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You can cut strait lines with most nibblers if you make a fence and clamp it to the piece to be cut.here's how


1.Get a sample piece of material to practice cutting strait lines
2.strait piece of material .08-.125 thick( depending on thikness of finished part andtype of nibbler)
3. get a couple small 'C' clamps
4. draw your line to be cut on the sample
5. clamp the strait edge aka "fence" on the line that you marked on your sample piece
6.use the nibbler to make a test cut pushing the nibbler lightly up againt the "fence" as you cut accross your workpiece (you will maybe need to do this a few times to get the feel for it) and you may note that the nibbler cut a 1/16 or so off to the side of your line so you may want to adjust for this and cut again
7. practice till your comfortable wth not F%$king up your $300 material and go for it.....
8. if the nibbler is a heavy duty type you can sometimes cut right through you fence so you may need to play with to get the fence thickness right!
 

dannyfab

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great info! I have a milwaukee nibler already so I will balls up and try it. I dont have a dimple die for the dzus fasteners what other option would work/look good to fasten the pannels on. I don't need them to ever come off so I was thinking of getting a big head flared pop rivet and going that route.
 

07FJRog

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great info! I have a milwaukee nibler already so I will balls up and try it. I dont have a dimple die for the dzus fasteners what other option would work/look good to fasten the pannels on. I don't need them to ever come off so I was thinking of getting a big head flared pop rivet and going that route.
dimple dies are like 20 bucks.
 

DBMETALWORX

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I prefer button head dzus, so you don't need to countersink.. Although i do have the flaring tool for this too. I TOO, USE A BEADER WITH A ROUND OVER DIE SET OR TANK ROLL, HAVE ALSO USED A RAWHIDE MALLET OR SLAPPER, TO RADIUS EDGES.. WHILE THE PANEL IS MOUNTED. SO FORMING THE SHEET AROUND THE TUBE. AS FOR STRAIGHT LINES, 2 HANDS AND SLOW. DONT FORCE THE SHEAR THROUGH. I ASSUME YOU'RE USING A DOUBLE CUT SHEAR, NOT ACTUALLY A NIBBLER, CUZ THERE IS DIFFERENCE, BEING THE NIBBLER HAS A PUNCH AND DIE.. THE SHEAR HAS A BLADE THAT WORKS LIKE SCISSORS, WHICH RUNS BETWEEN 2 STATIONARY BLADES. OH I ALSO PUT MY DZUS MOUNTING TABS NO MORE THAN 16" APART.
 

dannyfab

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Yeah it is actually a (double cut) shear from milwakee. Is there a thickness of material anyone has in mind that would be easy to cut with this tool and strong enough to not dent?
 

DBMETALWORX

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yeah it is actually a (double cut) shear from milwakee. Is there a thickness of material anyone has in mind that would be easy to cut with this tool and strong enough to not dent?
.063 3003 h14 is what i like best... 5052 h32 is an option too.. I think the 3003 is softer, being easier to cut, with what is most commonly an 18 ga shear .. So you will need good blades, cuz you're @ max thickness for your shear.. If it is indeed an 18 ga shear.. Hope this helps..
...db...
 

Samco Fab

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great info! I have a milwaukee nibler already so I will balls up and try it. I dont have a dimple die for the dzus fasteners what other option would work/look good to fasten the pannels on. I don't need them to ever come off so I was thinking of getting a big head flared pop rivet and going that route.
Dont drill into the tubes to pop rivet the pannels on, that would not be the right way to do it for a lot of reasons.

You can use dome headed Dzus tabs if you dont have a dimple tool. Are the Dzus tabs already welded to the chassis?

If you nibbled a wavy edge on a pannel, clamp a straight piece of angle iron to the wavy edge, and use a hand file or a sander to take the high spots off. It might take patience, but it will get the job done. Then debur the pannel with the file when you are done.
 

dannyfab

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I priced out the 5005 at $120 for a 4 by 8 sheet here in el cajon and I checked other places and they were all around the same. Definately not planning on drilling into the frame but thanks for looking out. I have not welded any dzus tabs on yet but will go check out the dome head dzus cuz I have'nt seen those types yet. I was curious if it was possible to take the wave out of a cut pannel so thanks for answering that and yeah I bet patients. I haven't used the shear a lot so I bet the blades are sharp. I have noticed on some practice pieces that one side gets a little ripped up from the pressure of the shear so I will hopefully remember to hide that side. Question of the day, should I bother trying to put a radius on the edges or just cut it to mount flat on the tube. If I was to try and radius the edges it would be with a rawhide mallit cuz I dont have the fancy machines. I got some pics up so you can see my project. I have made a templete of tape and construction paper so hopefully it transfers to the aluminum ok.
 

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DBMETALWORX

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Just make your panel a little larger than the center of the tube, and use the rawhide mallet. Use light overlapping blows, and work the length of a whole side @ a time. May take a couple passes. Just go slow.. Good luck....
 

Cameron

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Just make your panel a little larger than the center of the tube, and use the rawhide mallet. Use light overlapping blows, and work the length of a whole side @ a time. May take a couple passes. Just go slow.. Good luck....
This is how I did the panels on my 9 car. But I used a double ended plastic malet and used the soft end.
 

fathead

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This is how I did the panels on my 9 car. But I used a double ended plastic malet and used the soft end.
This what I used on my dash, worked great!
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=39528

And this type of Dzus, no flare needed just a bigger hole then regular dzus'.
http://www.offroad-engineering.com/seejdzfa.html

Good luck, trust me, if you have the time, you can do it. I could have done my side panels, but did not have the time.
 
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