What follows is a true story. The names have been changed to protect the inexperienced (me).
Below is an edited section from my original project post on the TorinoCobra forum. The welding practice/training sessions and posts below actually covered about a year of weekends and evenings. For reasons of simplicity, I have merged all the relevant postings into one posting here.
The first "live" welding I did. Our story begins:
Here's a look at a before pic and the initial mockup I did with clamps tonight. There are still some ridges on the lower part of the inner shell that are causing the jamb to lean in a little. There is a 1.25" gap between the door and the jamb and I still need to clean up the jamb sections.
There are more pics on the website at Jamb repair page 2
To dream the impossible dream...
Some sections of the lower half of the jamb face are rusted pretty bad and need to be replaced. Here are a couple of close-ups:
It took me a while to get the geometry stuff figured out on the bottom repair section. There are a lot of curves to deal with.
This is one is my third try. The bends are not as accurate as I would like them to be.
BTW, does anyone know if the jamb faces were stamped in 18- or 20-gauge? It looks a little thicker than the 22-gauge I am working with now but I didn't think to look for 20-gauge. I think I am going to try to find some 20-gauge for my piece of mind since it ties everything together.
Here is attempt number 4. I am still using what's left of the 22 ga. sheet I have to test my methods.
The bends are more accurate and I feel like I am almost there as far as my technique goes. I will try the forward section of the lower jamb on Saturday. Picked up a thicker 20 ga. sheet this week and I feel a lot better about that. I also got in some goodies from Eastwood that will make this a lot easier, especially the contour gauge. I used it to make a new template and it really made a big difference as far as accuracy.
I went ahead and welded the two pieces together to test my techniques. A few adjustments will need to be made but buy and large the welds were good.
This is a standalone shot of the piece after I had welded the two sections together. I also wanted to see if the location of the welds made sense from a finishing standpoint.
Here is another shot of the finished piece against the jamb face. At this point I am more concerned with the fabrication, welding, and finishing techniques of the basic shapes rather than exact accuracy.
Okay, the new jamb sections I was making weren't quite as accurate because of all the bends in
the bad piece so I decided I needed to make a jig/die to make the welding easier.
Then I realized I was wasting a lot of sheet metal and shielding gas so I decided to make a poster
board template since its properties are similar to those of sheet metal and it only costs a few bucks.
I also can work inside on a comfortable chair where it's not cold and dark.
So here is try #4. First the frontal shots:
On the pic below you can see a portion of the butt-ugly metal one I tried to make.
Now from the rear. If you think of a ship, the bow part has been the toughest to get right. This is
where the pillar section meets the rocker section and if I get the angle wrong then there will be
misalignment between the door and quarter panel.
I also had trouble getting the angles right at the bottom of the jamb plate. It was flat before
instead of swooping up at the "bow" like it does now.
This has been a long and frustrating project but now things are starting to fall into place. This thing is
starting to feel like an offspring or something.
Here's the finished piece in paper form:
It's hard to tell from this distance but it's a lot more accurate than any I have done thus far. Close enough now for me
to move back to metal. Feels like I'm looking at one of my chilluns on ultrasound, I guess.
Once I got the angles right on the last die I found the piece came out oversized, so I reduced the height on #5 by 1 cm. Here it is:
This weekend I have been either working on this pig or watching "LeMans" on VHS. Oh, the joy of RW and FF.
Finally got smart and started welding in the garage. Here's a few before/after pics.
Nice to be able to work at my own pace now without racing darkness and/or the rain.
Hopefully this piece will be finished this week.
Took a half day off today and replaced another section.
Savin' the curvy fun part for last.
Here's where I am at with the piece:
Got this piece from a Falcon in KY. Straight but it obviously has rust issues. The long edge between the arrows was almost rusted out, so I have had to repair/reshape that besides welding the patch in.
Gave myself the goal of not using filler because this area gets frequently slapped by the door and I don't want stuff flaking off down the road. Been filling and grinding so I can flare the seams out like you do for drywall.
However, that's tedious and time consuming and I am at the point where I am going to order some of that non-lead body solder from Eastwood while I repair the lower curved section. The complex curves and corrosion of the piece didn't really give me any butt-welding options, so I had to lap weld instead. Major PITA, but any other repair will be cake after this.
Made a little more progress the last day or so. Probably going to do the lower inside curved flange next.
The adjustment I made to the camera exposure setting makes the piece looks rusty but it's not.
Finished the patch for the curved section in the inset photo. You can also tell it by where the flange is a little wider than the rest of it.
I have worried about patching this part since I began. The curved patch section actually needed to be conical so I rolled the outer half with an English wheel. It was actually easier than some earlier patches because I knew what to do to make the metal spread out right. Made possible by a year's worth of head-banging.
Ground it down with an 1/8" shank conical grinding stone using a pneumatic die grinder. The stone is a lot more durable than most of the grinding wheels I have used so far. Luckily my worries about finishing this section didn't come to butt, either.And here is where our sad story ends. The short story is I thought the piece wouldn't warp on me because of all the complex curves and bends. So I never checked for fit as I went along. However, it had actually warped on me in 3 different directions and I decided to use another donor section after I got the pillar anchored to the rocker.
Hopefully this story will have a happy ending.
Lesson Learned: Fit as you go.