Sheet Metal Fabrication: Techniques and Tips for Beginners and Pros

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Overview

In our mechanized day of mass production, the craft of hand-forming sheet metal into compound curves and dashing fins and fenders is fast becoming a lost art. Eddie Paul is a master at sheet metal fabrication (among other accomplishments), and in this book he gives readers the means to mold their own sheet metal creations. Paul’s engagingly written book talks about the necessary tools and how to use them; how to choose, prepare and work with the right material; how to make forms and mock-ups, and much more....

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Overview

In our mechanized day of mass production, the craft of hand-forming sheet metal into compound curves and dashing fins and fenders is fast becoming a lost art. Eddie Paul is a master at sheet metal fabrication (among other accomplishments), and in this book he gives readers the means to mold their own sheet metal creations. Paul’s engagingly written book talks about the necessary tools and how to use them; how to choose, prepare and work with the right material; how to make forms and mock-ups, and much more. Whether you want to mold a fender for a custom car or just learn about this intriguing process, Sheet Metal Fabrication is a thoroughly readable reference book and guide, and a uniquely valuable resource.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780760327944
  • Publisher: Motorbooks
  • Publication date: 3/15/2008
  • Series: Motorbooks Workshop Series
  • Edition description: First
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 683,239
  • Product dimensions: 8.25 (w) x 10.62 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Beginning as a self-taught welder, painter, metal fabricator, and machinist, Eddie Paul has gone from customizer to creator, designer to inventor. He has built all manner of outrageous mechanical contraptions for the entertainment industry as well as more than 50 cars for movies like Grease, ET, and The Fast and the Furious. His company, which performs an array of engineering, design, and manufacturing services, has served clients as diverse as the Department of Defense, Boeing, and Rockwell. He lives in El Segundo, California.

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Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Introduction

1.                  Metal Fundamentals

·                    Know your metal

·                    Size and thickness

·                    Metal shrinking and stretching

·                    Hardening and softening metal

2.                  Pattern Making

·                    Mocking up in wood, wire, cardboard, and paper

·                    Metal selection–what works and what doesn’t

3.                  Hammer Forming

·                    Shaping over 3-D patterns

4.                  Metal-working Tools and How To Use Them

·                    Basic Hand tools

·                    Advanced Power tools

·                    Planishing Hammer

·                    The English Wheel

·                    Shrinkers and Stretchers

5.                  Lathes, Milling and Welding Machines

6.                  Cut, Bend and Shape

7.                  Metal Finishing – The shape is there, now to make it look perfect and get it ready to paint.

8.                  Metal Treatments and Coatings

9.                  Tube Fabrication

10.             Sheet Metal Projects

·                    Motorcycle gas tank from start to finish

·                    Brackets

·                    Autobody patch panels

11.             Training aids

12.             Source Guide

 

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Introduction

I recently attended a tool show and went over to the body and fender section to be "blown away" by the new body and fender hammers. Who would ever have thought they could make a body hammer with a small red stripe around its wooden handle, or that the metal heads could be chrome plated? Hey! Look at the new dollies--they now come in a cardboard box and, boy, are they shiny!

I am, of course, using absurdity to make a point. The point is we have gone from horses and buggies to rockets, vacuum tubes to microchips, and from walking around looking up at the sky to flying a rocket into outer space. However, during this technological evolution, the methods and tools used for shaping metal have changed little. To repair a dent, you still use a hammer on one side of the metal and hold a dolly on the back side and tap until the dent is gone. Or, if you are forming a new piece of metal for a project, you still tap away until the shape is the way you want it to be. Forming metal this way takes many hours, but it is still the way everyone does it.

Metal shaping is a long and laborious task involving a lot of old technology. The skilled craftsman has learned how to swing the hammer and hold the dolly to get the results they need. This art has been handed down through many generations of metal smiths.

Take my family. My grandfather worked as a fabricator of locomotive boilers for the railroads. One of my uncles helped build giant steel submarines during the Second World War, and another worked building war ships. My dad owned and operated a few companies, one of which was a sheet metal shop, another a thread rolling business and a third that manufactured pipe. When my mom wasyoung, she helped build aircraft. So, you might say metal is in my blood. In fact, on my moms side of the family we have the Studebakers. Yep, those Studebakers. My mom's father was a top notch machinist who built and used his own lathes and mills; her brother is an automotive writer. For the last 40 years, I've earned a living working with metal.

The plain and simple fact of the matter is that since even before my grandfather's time, the art of metal working has changed little.

I, and many others, have invented and built lots of tools that make metal shaping easier, but there has been no real change in the process of shaping of metal. Metal is one of those things that has gone about as far up the evolutionary latter as it can, and it still involves a lot of labor. The very fact that it is not a lazy person's occupation is what attracts me to it.

Unlike things made of plastic or wood, an item made out of metal demands respect. Steel represents strength and power, and forming steel represents control over that strength and power.

The ability to make metal bend or grow or even be reduced in size or do what you want it to do, gives you a feeling of power and satisfaction like nothing else. Metal, for all intents and purposes is eternal. Wood, on the other hand, will be eaten by termites or rotted by the sun within your lifetime. Most covered wagons are long gone, their wooden structures having rotted away in the desert, only their steel rims and other metal parts surviving. Metal will not last forever, but most of it will outlast us. Anyone with a circular saw and a hammer can make a table, but to heat and form metal peices, weld them together into one, and grind it to a smooth flat finish, now that takes skill . . . and of course a lot of really, really old tools--old, rusty tools made out of metal.
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2012

    This has top be one of THEE worst books on fabrication ever writ

    This has top be one of THEE worst books on fabrication ever written. The photo of that gross fender on the cover should have been my warning.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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