Annealing, first attempt...need critique.

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Annealing, first attempt...need critique.

Postby cracker39 » Sat Jun 24, 2006 9:28 am

I made my first test of annealing. First, I sooted and heated a 6" strip of alum trim (3/4" x 1") to test for amount of heating. I think I heated it too much, but not sure. The inside surface started to get a rough appearance and it "drooped" a little. I thought...too much heat? A longer piece on a flat surface would not droop though.

Then, I cut a longer piece to try heating and forming to the curve that I cut from a piece of 2x6 to the shape of my front roof curve, the tightest radius on the trailer. I sooted up the piece and applied the heat. The picture below shows the results. First, after bending it, I removed it and took a piecture of the amount of soot I had left after heating. Is that leaving too much soot from not enough heating? The first test strip had a little soot left, but not that much.

Then, I have two pictures of the piece on the test form. The curve is not as smooth as I would have liked, but it works OK. Maybe with more heating, it would have bent more smoothly?

At the right, is a picture of the piece from the bottom, showing the edge of the part that was flattened into the side curve. It looks straight enough. I cleaned most of the leftover soot off with acetone before taking the picture.

Any comments or suggestions for improving my technique?

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Postby cracker39 » Sat Jun 24, 2006 9:30 am

PS: After forming my longer piece for the roof, I'll remove, clean, prime, and paint it white before putting it back on. I've already cleaned, primed, and painted stainless screws white to use.
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Postby Sonetpro » Sat Jun 24, 2006 9:35 am

Dale it looks like you are sooting it too heavy. All you need is a light soot. If you contiually move the aluminum through the candle flame it will put a light soot on it. Then when you are annealing it will disappear like frost off your car window when the defroster is on.
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Postby cracker39 » Sat Jun 24, 2006 9:56 am

Thanks, Steve. Yeah, I did put it on heavy. I may try another sample piece before I go for it. I'll also wait for more comments to see if I can pick up any other ideas.
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Postby Yahnozha » Sat Jun 24, 2006 10:23 am

You guys ever thought of using a shrinking hammer to make the aluminium angle curve? It would definaly ding up the aluminium, but nothing a little sandpaper and elbow grease couldnt get out. Oh, and dont get the twisting style of shrinking hammer, those wouldnt work for this purpose.

A quick .mov of the process using one of eastwoods trick tools.

http://media.eastwood.com/Shrinker-stretcher.mov
P@ = Pat, yep that simple
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Postby Chris C » Sat Jun 24, 2006 10:48 am

(Off-topic here, but can someone tell me why most of the movies people post links for come through my computer sounding like they are talking through a bubble machine?) If you can help me, send me a PM, I do NOT want to hijack this thread!!!!!
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Postby cracker39 » Sat Jun 24, 2006 10:52 am

Chris C wrote:I do NOT want to hijack this thread!!!!!


Sorry, Chris, but you just did.... :lol:

(But, I don't mind. I do it all the time) 8)
Dale

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Postby cracker39 » Sat Jun 24, 2006 11:25 am

Luckily, I had enough extra teim formed for 90 degrees to make another practice run and still have enough to do the job if I don't screw it up.

I cut another piece, a little longer than the other one. I drilled the holes closer together for mounting (3" rather than 4"). I put the soot on lighter, but still covering pretty good, and heated until there were only tiny traces of it left, keeping the flame moving constantly over about a 6" area at a time. I'm letting it cool so I can work with it. I think the holes closer together will help it form better to the curvature of the roof. I'll space them out to 4" when it gets to less curve.
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Postby madjack » Sat Jun 24, 2006 11:40 am

Dale, I found that the lightest amt of soot you can apply is best, almost as if it wasn't there...I also found that it wasn't necessary to soot the entire piece, just a line along one of the legs...and it should disappear just like Sonnet said, leaving very little to nothing behind...once properly annealed it won't matter how much more heat you apply, it won't bend any easier...just blister, scorch and melt....back when I first started learning this technique, I purposely destoyed some trim just to see what happened.

Bending/forming techniques...of course I had the advantage of 2 sets of hands so while one of us pulled a slight pressure on the piece to be bent the other used a hammer and dolly to do the actual bending, tapping it into place while pull pressure was applied....one or two sets of hands, this is the point to be paitient and go slowly...onna tighter radius, the piece will want to twist...it is important to take care of this as you go or it effect will magnify...the hammer and dolly work well here...

P@...I have looked at shrinkers and while I wouldn't want to use one on a piece that shows, there are some places such as the inner curve of the door jamb that are covered with trimseal that it would work on...(on our TD that is)...also the tool cost is more than 300 bucks...just can't afford the expense right now but damn, I do want one....
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Postby cracker39 » Sat Jun 24, 2006 11:50 am

By Jove, Jack I think I've got it. I didn't go for looks here, I used a regular ball pein hammer, not my soft face mallet, and there are very few hammer marks to see. With the closer holes, I broght the top down first, screwed to the top of the form. Then, I started hammering the sides flat and put in only one side screw at the start. I didn't put in any others as it lay flat without them. This time, I just used regular screws for the test...no sense in messing up my stainless pan head ones here. It looks much better than my first attempt. I think I'm qualified to do the job on the trailer now if I just don't get in a rush and mess it up. Remember, this trim will be primed and painted white with screws painted to match.

Image

BTW. For paintong screw heads. Take a piece of 2x4, and drill a bunch of holes about 1/8" shallower than the length of the screws, and just a bit larger in diameter. Drop the screws in the holes to hold them upright to spray the heads with primer and paint. No mess, all painted at one time prior to installing them.
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Postby cracker39 » Sat Jun 24, 2006 11:57 am

Here are my 3/4" and 1" stainless screws after painting.

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Postby cracker39 » Sat Jun 24, 2006 12:00 pm

OK...one more post. I know I'm acting like a kid who just had his training wheels taked off the bike and managed to keep it upright. But, for me, this is a major accomplishment. I've learned another skill.
:)
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Postby madjack » Sat Jun 24, 2006 12:03 pm

...good deal Dale...a little practice and paitience goes a looooooong way here...don't forget to put some sealer in/on your screw holes...while I would prefer something like Sikaflex 225 in white, regular painters caulk would probably do the job just fine...
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Postby madjack » Sat Jun 24, 2006 12:06 pm

...learning a new skill is one of the great things about building new projects (for me anyway). When we realized that we had the techniques nailed down tight, we felt the same way...woohoo as Julie sez :D .....
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Postby Sonetpro » Sat Jun 24, 2006 12:39 pm

:applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause:
Just as the hatch. More intimidating than it is difficult. Just takes some practice.
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