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Old 07-17-2014, 02:17 PM   #1
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Has anyone actually made their own banana wraps?

I'm in the midst of a complete overhaul of a 1960 Overlander and am wrestling with the banana wraps. The entire rest of the belly pan and side wraps are done, but I'm having issues with the corners. The original belly pan had fiberglass insulation and thus, the corners just pulled up and folded around the c channel without any radius or anything. I've replaced the insulation with rigid blue foam, and now I need some sort of radius. Has anyone actually made their own banana wraps? I've been playing with an English wheel, but with only limited success...any suggestions are much appreciated. I'm not sure the plastic ones from inland rv or elsewhere will fit my older corners. Thoughts?

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Cheers,
West
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Old 07-17-2014, 02:55 PM   #2
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I thought the corners on those older trailers did not have a wrap as such. They were hand made by cutting tabs or petals to form the corners. I thought the angle was much sharper where the skin meets the bottom of the trailer. If you can make a wrap with that wheel you will be a hero to many.

Perry
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Old 07-17-2014, 03:04 PM   #3
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That's the tricky part Perry. The original corners were just as you described, however I added more insulation and rigid insulation instead of fiberglass, thus I need some sort of radius. Seeing as the English wheel was cheaper than just one new plastic corner, I figured I might as well give it a shot. It's definitely proving to be harder than it would first appear...still have yet to try the sandbag and hammer method though...we'll see what happens.
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Old 07-17-2014, 03:09 PM   #4
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Making stuff on the English wheel is an art. If you have time try to find a local expert to learn from, you might be able to make it look like a multi-panel corner on an old Airstream. You would have lots of seams to deal with. It would have that vintage look to it.

Perry
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Old 07-17-2014, 03:13 PM   #5
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You might contact Frank Yensan--I believe I saw a thread a while back where he spelled out how the bellypan wraps up to form the front on a trailer of approximately your vintage. Then again, it may be too late to go that route, as it looks like you have a configuration that looks a lot more like how it was done in the 70's (ie., requiring the banana wraps as separate parts).

Anyway, for making your own wraps, I would guess you should start out with something pretty thick, like .08", and also very soft. You would likely have better luck with a planishing hammer setup, and then you can use the english wheel to smooth it once it is shaped. I too have experimented using a large english wheel, but found pretty quickly that I couldn't get a curve as tight as I needed on a wrap. I did use my wheel to rework/smooth dents out of some wraps, and it did a fine job.

good luck!
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Old 07-17-2014, 03:19 PM   #6
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hmmn. I did much the same with the insulation below floor on my '61, I think if you take a course file to the foam and get it shaped more like the original belly pan it would be simplest. From there the original pan had a curved cut in it which allows it to contort itself quite well. Still not a compound curve but looks like it from afar. I have worked with an English wheel in aviation and what you are aiming for shouldn't be too difficult and from the picture you're almost there.
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Old 07-17-2014, 03:54 PM   #7
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You could probably get something like a piece of copper pipe and bend it around that corner to use a a gage so you know about when you have the right curve.

Perry
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Old 07-17-2014, 03:59 PM   #8
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West,
They can be made because I have made them for mid to late sixties trailers; However, your trailer did not have belly wraps! I see in your picture what you are trying to do but it's not the correct path.
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Old 07-17-2014, 06:03 PM   #9
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I realize that my trailer didn't have them to begin with, however without removing a whole lot of the insulation and quite a bit of the belly wrap that's already in place, I don't see how it would be doable to go without a banana wrap. I suppose if I were to use a piece of aluminum that was the right flat shape and size it might work out a bit better, I've only been practicing on scraps, as that's all I have left over from the belly pan, and I'd rather not wreck perfectly good sheets of aluminum practicing.

Cheers,
West
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