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October 22, 2003
This page will constantly be under construction, as will the Rod !!!
Both doors needed the bottom half of the outside skin replaced, due to rust and damage.
I made new skins by rolling a crown into pieces of metal on an English wheel, at night school. Lacking access to this machine, a suitable skin can be made from a selected piece off a wrecked car. Often older cars have a suitable roof section or even a door, such as a VW beetle, can be used.
The original skin was carefully removed by grinding off the edge and then cutting with a jig saw just below the swage line. The swage line will tend to help keep the fitting of the new skin from distorting due to the welding process.
The new skin had the edges folded at 90 degrees and the bottom has a new swage line added and the bottom edge also folded inwards. This could be done by careful work on a simple folding machine or even using pieces of steel clamped across the skin and the metal formed over it. I had access to a swaging roller machine though.
Then, the skin was fitted upto the door and carefully marked to make it but up against the cut line, where the original skin was removed. Its very important to make this cut with little or no gaps, if a successful weld is to take place. I used a TIG to do the welds, only welding about 20mm at a time then letting it cool. I alternated from place to place also. I got little distortion but it does still need a bit of hammer and dolly work.
After the welding, the edges are folded over the door frame using a hammer and flat dolly.
Start of new skin & swage at bottom