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Discussion Starter #1
I've made a couple of sheet metal panels for the interior of my car. They replace the rear seat area from the trunk. I specifically made 2 sections so I could incorporate a pinch weld in the center for added rigidity. These are 19 or 20 gauge steel.

I'm considering beading each of the panels as well but am concerned they will buckle if I do. I've watched lots of videos that say you will need to run the panel through a planishing hammer or english wheel, neither of which I have, to pre-stretch the metal before beading it.

I think these panels will ultimately be covered by carpet and possibly have speakers or a sub-woofer attached to them. I've even considered adding some additional structure like 1x1 steel tube or possibly fabricated sheet metal flange/channel behind them. The original piece just had a-lot of stiffening channels in it, if memory serves correctly. I don't want to create a problem for myself in the future by not doing something and I traditionally overbuild stuff to eliminate that possibility. I keep thinking these are potential "vibration" areas when driving the car.

Welcoming all input. Thanks.

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Kimmer, first of all, your workmanship is terrifc! I enjoy your build.
I have a Woodward Fab roller, (same as HF, nothing special) and like you, don't have a P hammer or E wheel. I've never had any trouble w/ warpage or distortion but I dont go crazy w/ the depth of my beads. I like the look of beads but more in your case I think you are going to want to avoid "drumming or "oil-canning". A bead will do that for you.
Ron Covell, "Professor Hammer" teaches this for a living and is very approachable. I'd send him an email, he responds quickly.
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Discussion Starter #4
Kimmer, first of all, your workmanship is terrifc! I enjoy your build.
I have a Woodward Fab roller, (same as HF, nothing special) and like you, don't have a P hammer or E wheel. I've never had any trouble w/ warpage or distortion but I dont go crazy w/ the depth of my beads. I like the look of beads but more in your case I think you are going to want to avoid "drumming or "oil-canning". A bead will do that for you.
Ron Covell, "Professor Hammer" teaches this for a living and is very approachable. I'd send him an email, he responds quickly.
[email protected]
Good call on Mr. Covell Alf. Great guy and he offered some helpful tips. Posting our conversation with his permission.


Hello Mr. Covell,

I'm building a 1974 Chevy Nova and have begun making the sheet metal for the back half of the car. I've been posting my progress on Steve's Nova Site. I recently posted some pictures of some panels I made asking if I should add some beads to stiffen them. A user named "Alf" suggested I reach out to you.

Attaching pictures to give you perspective. I have been hesitant to put any beads into them because I don't want to buckle them. I've read that the beads need to be pre-stretched and I don't have a wheel or planishing hammer currently. I did make them with a pinch flange in the center to help stiffen. They seem quite stiff but I certainly do not want them to rattle down the road. The material is 19G. Any advise is greatly appreciated. Thank you.
Kim,
I can tell that you are doing an exceptional job on your car!
There is some truth that putting beads on panels can in some cases cause distortion, but there are several factors involved. Since your panels are presumably hidden when the car is finished, even if you do get some minor distortion, it shouldn't be a problem - and there is no question that some beads will stiffen the panels.
In general, the wider and deeper the beads, and the thicker the metal, the more distortion you will get. 19-gauge metal is just the right thickness for many automotive panels. It's thin enough to be easily worked, and stiff enough to have the necessary strength for many applications. I've done a lot of beading on 19-gauge steel, with generally good results. If the beads are only ¼-inch wide, the distortion will be minimal. Also, you don't necessarily have to form the bead to the full depth that the dies allow. Even going 60% depth will add a lot of stiffness, and limit the amount of distortion you may get.
MOST of the distortion you get when beading is at the start and end of the bead. Often the middle will be fairly distortion-free. When putting a bead in a panel, the metal that is pushed up has to stretch, and that pulls on the flat metal next to it. At the end of the bead, the flat metal that has not been disturbed is affected by the 'pulled' metal next to the bead, and these imbalanced forces can cause some distortion in that localized area.
Another kind of distortion you may get is that the flat panels sometimes take on an arched shape along the length of the bead. In many cases, this can be reduced or eliminated by applying some downward (or upward) pressure on the panel (pushing it down toward the floor, or pulling it up) can minimize this issue. I like to bead with the female die on the top (primarily so I can follow a line with the edge of the groove on the die) and in this orientation, the metal is pressed down toward the floor. For larger, deeper beads, it may help to have someone on the back side pressing down also. Again, with a ¼-inch bead, it shouldn't be much of a problem, and I suggest you do some test pieces to get a feel for how all these variables work together.
It is true that pre-stretching the metal will reduce (or even eliminate) both of these problems - but even if you do, it's difficult to know (or even measure) how much pre stretching is required.
I hope this answers your questions, but write again if you have more.
Cheers,
Ron
 

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That's amazing that Ron Covell took the time for that lengthy response. I have watched his hour long demonstrations at the Trick Tools booth at SEMA the last 2 years and he is a wealth of knowledge.
 

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I had the pleasure to attend one of his(Ron Covell) metal forming workshops several years ago at Honest Charlie's Speedshop. If you ever get the opportunity to do so I highly recommend it. Back to your subject, if it were me I'd definitely put beads in it. You mentioned that you will likely put carpet over so not only will the beads cut down on the metal rattling and driving you nuts but it's the perfect place to practice bead rolling. Since it'll likely be covered if it has some minor imperfections nobody will ever know but you'll gain some valuable experience.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I tried a bead on a small filler piece earlier...Im actually embarrassed to even post a picture. It’s not nearly as easy as the pro’s make it look. Definitely need practice. Couple things I noticed:

1. I went over the bead (3/8” round I think) several times, increasing the pressure each pass. I wasn’t able to adequately match the previous passes and it made an unattractive bead. I think it would be better to make a single, clean pass.

2. The shape of the bead path needs to be well thought out. A closed loop with radius edges or open line end to end. I tried to terminate a closed loop at the bottom of a V-shape, with undesirable results. Beads can’t cross each other.

3. My “green” attempts at #1 and #2 above led to an excessively distorted panel. I had to wrestle with it and hammer some sections on a flat surface to flatten it out enough to weld it in.

4. I had my daughter working the handle and the economy roller I have flexed and walked. She struggled to keep a smooth, consistent feed rate. Especially when I had the die pressure too tight, which I definitely did on my final pass. The edges of the dies scored the edges of the bead.

Sadly, my daughter wasn’t impressed. I admit that I briefly hoped she would turn into the next Jamey Jordan. I’m using the piece anyways.


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Kimmer, I have a cheapo roller. We are fighting a couple of issues: The dies are low quality, Ron's have a polished face and better radius, I believe he even makes some of his own. Also, these low-cost rollers really flex when you try to make a deep bead......sounds like that happend to you. There are several videos on youtube showing how to reinforce the beam and limit the distortion.
The pros also have a motorized feed which I believe gives a lot better control.
I'm sure yours look better than mine......I'm not showing pictures either!
 

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Come on chickens.. Show us how It’s done.. lol..

We can’t just start off the first time out and and look like a pro.. A pro had to practice to become a skilled craftsmen.. When the master craftsmen does it he makes it look easy because he/she has had lots of practice..
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Come on chickens.. Show us how It’s done.. lol..

We can’t just start off the first time out and and look like a pro.. A pro had to practice to become a skilled craftsmen.. When the master craftsmen does it he makes it look easy because he/she has had lots of practice..
Alrighty then...let me have it with the “that looks like...” rips. I can take it.





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This is going to be behind the fender.. How many people will have the privilege of seeing it once the car is all together..? If you really feel it won’t let you sleep at night knowing it’s there you can always do it over..

Somethings require test runs in order to dial in your approach and technique..
 
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