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Old 06-24-2017, 09:34 AM   #161
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Bending the 'F' Channel Aluminum

I bought aluminum extrusions in an 'F' shape from VTS to hold the wall panels, and bending them hasn't gone well. I'm using the old wall panels to bend the extrusions into shape, then heating them to annealing temperature so they'll hold the shape, but the problem is the rivet side of the extrusion bends a little further towards the center of the curve than the two fingers of the F. The effect is that one side of the extrusion is tight against the inner skin, but the rivet side won't suck up to the skin no matter how many rivets I use. On the curbside cabinet it won't be a problem, no one will ever see the problem because the bad side will be inside the cabinet. The wet bath is a problem, though, because both sides of the extrusion will be visible. I thought about caulking it with gray caulk, but that just feels like a coverup for poor workmanship. I'm not sure what to do...
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Old 06-24-2017, 10:44 AM   #162
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That F channel is a bear to get bent! I made a slotted die that helped
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Old 06-24-2017, 11:42 AM   #163
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Well, there you go

Quote:
Originally Posted by HiHoAgRV View Post
That F channel is a bear to get bent! I made a slotted die that helped
See? This is why you hang out here: you learn stuff. Off to make a die and a better bend. Thanks HiHo!
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Old 06-24-2017, 08:32 PM   #164
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DDickey View Post
It was so fast and easy I thought I was doing something wrong. Clamping it and bracing it is important, but that's easy to do. It's cost effective, efficient, and I really like working with it.
Good to hear, have had the same experiences with it!
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Old 06-24-2017, 08:34 PM   #165
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DDickey View Post
See? This is why you hang out here: you learn stuff. Off to make a die and a better bend. Thanks HiHo!
Would grinding a little material off the outside of the 90 corner help?
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Old 06-25-2017, 07:10 AM   #166
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Quote:
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Would grinding a little material off the outside of the 90 corner help?
That is my thought process also...When installing boat s/s rub rails we use to score the metal (part you did not see) and then work the bend. I do like the die concept.
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Old 06-25-2017, 07:42 AM   #167
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Grinding/Cutting

I'm not sure if grinding or cutting would help - it might. It's almost as if each side wants to bend at a different rate, the 'drop' in the F bending faster than the fingers. I'm going to try the die first and report back...
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Old 06-25-2017, 10:48 AM   #168
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DDickey View Post
I'm not sure if grinding or cutting would help - it might. It's almost as if each side wants to bend at a different rate, the 'drop' in the F bending faster than the fingers. I'm going to try the die first and report back...


Yup. The drop in the F makes the part twist as it bends. A pure U shape doesn't do that.

Even with the die its a pita but without a die all my efforts resulted in a wonky mess. Interestingly, in '61, the extrusion has a wing on both sides and it bends much straighter.
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Old 06-25-2017, 05:43 PM   #169
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I made the die

and it works. It's not perfect, but along with a torch, a rubber mallet, and a small sledge hammer I got the thing to bend without much of a twist. I'm thinking about pulling the ones I've already installed and re-doing them. I've done quality work on Lucy so far, and the details matter to me.

My trailer's original extrusions had a wing on both sides, and I bet that would be much easier to bend. VTS doesn't sell that shape, and I had already bought all the the F shape I needed from them before I knew how hard it was to bend or I would have searched for the other shape elsewhere. Bending and installing the wall extrusions has been one of the more difficult processes in rebuilding this trailer.
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Old 06-26-2017, 08:02 AM   #170
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Quote:
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My trailer's original extrusions had a wing on both sides, and I bet that would be much easier to bend.
What is a "wing" ?
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Old 06-26-2017, 09:58 AM   #171
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Extrusion Shapes

Quote:
Originally Posted by islandtrader View Post
What is a "wing" ?
Hey islandtrader,

It's the way we're describing the original extrusion. The original has 'wings' on both sides of the 1/4" channel. The extrusion VTS sells only has a wing on one side, making it similar to the letter F. When you try to bend the F shape it also wants to curl in the direction of the drop in the letter F. The symmetry of the original extrusion would make it easier to bend. If I had to do it all again, I'd buy extrusions in the original shape from some other supplier - they're not hard to find.
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Old 06-27-2017, 06:35 AM   #172
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Thanks, the only reason I can see for the F design on a flat surface you could make a cleaner looking finish (meaning not seeing rivets on the outside surface).
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Old 06-30-2017, 09:15 AM   #173
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More plumbing and bath

I had Custom Sheetmetal bend up a wall/cabinet piece out of 24ga 304 stainless. We took into account the 1/4" problem with the pan that I posted about awhile back and it's going to work perfect. The interior of the bathroom is going to be 304 stainless steel on all the walls, a Corian countertop and a teak floor to keep your feet dry since it's a wet bath.

I've also installed the 30 gallon fresh water tank and a new filler from VTS. The fresh water system is now 100% and tested, as is the drain system. I want to scab in the electric for my water heater so I can fire it up and see if my gravity hot water circulation system works. Gravity hot water circulation systems work best on two story buildings, so I'm not sure if the physics will allow my little system to work, we'll see. If there's not enough oomph to create circulation I'm going to add a push button pump and that will give me instant hot water.
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Old 07-01-2017, 07:57 AM   #174
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Some Buffing

I don't know...that water inlet looks like it needs a good buffing and polishing to keep up with the rest of the trailers shine

Everything is looking pretty tight. I know I'm about a year behind on where your at, however its kinda a nice to see how my trailer will "look" cause we have similar ideas.

The picture of the bath is great. As you know I'm mirroring yours: mine is CS and is behind the wheel well, yours is the opposite.
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Old 07-02-2017, 09:07 AM   #175
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Thanks islandtrader!

It wouldn't be looking near as good without your help on the front end cap! RE: filler neck - I'm actually thinking about pulling it back out and having it chromed. My dad used to tell me, 'if the chrome don't shine, the motor won't go.'

The bath has been complicated and slow going, but I want to get it right. Now I'm trying to figure out how to get 1/4" plywood clad with 24 gauge stainless steel to fit in the 1/4" F channel, hmmmmmmmmmmmmm
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Old 07-02-2017, 09:00 PM   #176
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DDickey View Post
It wouldn't be looking near as good without your help on the front end cap! RE: filler neck - I'm actually thinking about pulling it back out and having it chromed.
Thanks, and you have paid back with your help.

The water filler if aluminum can be polished out to look like chrome. Heck send my way I won't charge too much haha.
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Old 07-04-2017, 10:20 AM   #177
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Bending the F Channel

Tools Needed:
1. Jig
2. Sledge Hammer
5. rubber Mallet
6. Torch
7. Laser Thermometer
8. Work Surface
9. Blocks

Process:
Screw jig to work surface, clamp channel with block, heat, bend and hammer until you're happy with it.

Notes:
1. You need the thermometer to make sure you don't overheat the aluminum, or it'll melt. I heated to about 500F.
2. You really do need a sledge hammer, you have to knock the hell out of it to get it into the right shape.
3. The rubber mallet is for hitting areas that will show.
4. I made my jig fit the wall exactly, but the aluminum springs back a bit. Next time I'll make the jig with a slightly tighter radius than I need. Not a big deal
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Old 07-04-2017, 01:29 PM   #178
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Now THAT is cool!
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Old 07-05-2017, 12:47 PM   #179
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Thanks!

Thanks HiHo, it was your idea and it worked like a charm. It takes a lot of elbow grease, manipulation and patience, but once installed it looks great! I'll post a pic when I can get around to it
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Old 07-06-2017, 09:45 AM   #180
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The F channel difference

Here's the difference between bending with heat and a die, and bending by hand. The first pic is the die bent piece, and it's snugged up nicely agains the skin. The second piece is the hand bend channel, and you can see how the drop in the F wouldn't snug up against the skin because it was twisted. The other side of this channel looks great, and it's the side you'll see. The third pic is how I'm going to fix the two channels that I installed before I figured out how to do it, and that's to stuff them with putty. I'm OK with this only because they're inside the wardrobe/refrigerator cabinet and you'll never see them. They'll bug me for awhile and then I'll forget about them.
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