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Old 07-22-2009, 04:24 AM   #15
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1975 31' Sovereign
1980 31' Excella II
Sprung Leak , North Carolina
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Originally Posted by AgPnut View Post
I'd love to hear more about your sheet metal experience--that's what I'm trying to gain. I've worked alot with aluminum (sounding rockets, airships, and lightweight structures), but my experience is limited to machining, welding, bending, and brazing.

In your experience have you ever done rolled edges (where a flap, say 1/4" or 1/2") is folded over flat to make a cleaner, stiffer, and safer (in terms of cuts) edge? I'd really like to learn how to do that without using a brake.
That would be known as a hem. Biggest issue with hemming aluminum is that it likes to crack or craze when folded over, especially in the thicker sheets. I have seen small hand tools that will deburr and put a small hook edge that will keep the front of the sheet from cutting you. I believe at one time AS used to put a small "extrusion" on the edge of the sheet to stiffen it. I looked like a bead. That will have been done on either a forming machine or possibly with a hand tool. I have an ECKO(sp) Bender that will roll a brake on anything it will fit on, especially useful on curved pieces. However it is not an inexpensive tool. IIRC I paid over $500 for the one I have.


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Old 07-22-2009, 04:31 AM   #16
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1971 27' Overlander
Central , Ohio
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Originally Posted by Aerowood View Post
I've done aircraft sheet metal since 1975. Everything you are proposing is doable but replacing the exterior skin with 3003 from the 2024-T3 is going to produce less then steller results. At a mimimun you should use the 6061-T6. The 3003 is so much softer then the TEMPERED 2024 that even with minor pressure, wear and tear, and the riveting process, the 3003 is going to dent, distort and generally look like S%#T in short order. save the untempered alloys for the belly skin etc. Folding the edge if metal over is called Hemming and really does require a brake to look professional. It cannot be done with 2024-T3 unless the aluminum is annealed first.
Aerowood - I have a minor repair to do around the steps on our 71. The original wrap material was 3004 .025. I found a "deal" on 3003 .032 at a local scrap yard that has aluminum coming out their ears ($38 for a 4 x 12 sheet). At some point two sections of side wrap will be replaced and, at that price, I'm planning to stock away enough to eventually replace the entire pan. Would you recommend anything different before I buy the rest of the stock..... Thanks

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Old 07-22-2009, 09:16 AM   #17
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1971 21' Globetrotter
Arvada , Colorado
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Sounds like a fantastic deal. Whish I were closer as I would race you to the dealer. I still need three 12's for my interior. The cheapest I can find it in the Denver area is 98 per sheet. I would not have any problem doing what you are planning. Go for it.

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