View Full Version : How would you make this panel?
I would be interested in knowing how you guys would go about making a windscreen (wind shield) surround panel from scratch, working only from a new donor screen, ie no original vehicle to take any kind of pattern from, and a new screen that you don’t want to trash with the process you employ.
The screen most suited for my needs is a type 2 VW bus one,that has a considerable amount of curve in it.
I intend to bond in the screen, not use the original rubber, so the surrounding panel will overlap the edges of the screen 1/2’’ or so all round.
Assume that the outer edges of the panel to be made, that’s the edge attaching to the A pillars, scuttle and roof front will end in a straight line in one plain.
My best idea is to make a wooden hammer form built up on some braced up 3’4’’ ply.
On top of the ply, use some thick timber, and start by carving the line A-B to match the curve on the bottom of the screen, then screw on a fillet that matches that curve, the hatched part on the drawing, that will form the ‘lip’ inside the screen.
Basically then work my way around the other three sides in the same way, carving the outer shape I require as I go.
How would you do it?
05-03-2010, 09:17 PM
I would make up several sections of 19 or 20 gage 1 inch angle channel then start contour forming them using my shrinker & stretcher. It is fairly quick & not to complicated to do this way.
Hi Danny,thanks for your reply.
I thought of doing it that way, the problem as I see it is then keeping the result to shape as you make and weld on the rest of the panel around it. Surely you would need to keep it on the screen,which would then be hard not to trash, or make up some other kind of suport to stop the whole thing ending up completely out of shape.
I could see me ending up making something nearly as time consuming as the hammer form to perform this function, and ending up with a whole load more welded seams that to metal finish would take as many, or more man hours overall.
Me? I would find a junked VW and grab my reciprocating saw :twisted:
05-04-2010, 10:33 AM
Only problem with that Chris is here in the uk any junked vw bus would be totally rotten around the bottom of the windscreen , they are in fairly short supply these days , you'd be amazed at the money scrapper's fetch and the lenght's people go to to restore them.
Cheers Chris Bspoke
05-04-2010, 11:13 AM
Hi Kit, I think I would be inclined to agree with Danny, Make the screen surround in manageable sections and mark,cut and weld one section at a time. you should be able to keep everything as it should be this way.
OK, so looking at the picture above,the white section of the body work, what sequence would you employ to form the box section at the base of the screen with that curve?
Pre shape the main curve in sections, form the screen rebate lips with tipping dies on the bead roller once the curve is in the sheet, do the outer skin in one piece, or weld the screen lip on?
05-04-2010, 11:57 AM
I agree. Make cardboard templates and "shape" the sections in a bead roller and weld together ( guess you will have a joggle to glue the windshield into, to make it flush with the steel)
05-04-2010, 06:39 PM
Are there any others around that you can use to make a pattern? maybe you could even make a buck the way Randy shows in this thread:
I have a 1985 Vanagon. Those vans are sure unique to drive! I enjoy mine immensely!
This company has the lower windshield panel for sale. I have dealt with them before, very accommodating.
You might find somebody on your side of the Atlantic that could supply you with parts. VWs seem to have a lot of aftermarket parts suppliers. Save you metalshaping time for parts that are NLA (no longer available).
That is certainly an impresive buck on Randy's thread, I take on board the advise given so far, my view point is to look at the man hours that are needed overall with an eye to previous experiance of making up panels from sections ending up needing serious amounts of ongoing corrections.
I don't doubt that some one of the skills shown here could make this panel without a buck, and I see the merit in the bondo buck and flexible pattern route, I've not ever gone down the hammer form route before but seeing that this panel is full width on the vehicle, very full of curves but not much panel overall area and needs to be precision built I can see me ending up with a load of wobbles once the thing is welded up, that's why I'm thinking form and clamp the sections to the hammerform as I weld it up. Overall, I suspect there wouldn't be any more man hours then the other routes, given the control of distortion I think (never done it) this would provide reducing the metal finishing needed.
There is also the aspect of the time involved and the acuracy of actually forming the section shapes and getting them to match up, in my mind the hammer form scores here to.
Maybe a combination of the methods is the way to go, the hammerform for the most curved bottom corners.
Thanks but the point of the exercise is to make something I presently consider beyond my skills, I'm not interested in buying something.
Kit, it sure sounds like you want to build a hammerform. Why not give it a try then? I'm sure it will work. If all else fails you can then venture into the advise of the others.
05-05-2010, 06:14 AM
Isn't this going to be built in aluminum? Why not go ahead and purchase the glass screen and make a bondo buck using the glass as your pattern. This way you can adjust your buck/frame contours where they will work in your favor, since this wind screen isn't going back into a VW.
(I finally got back on MM)
05-05-2010, 06:36 AM
Perhaps a little more information would be helpful.
What material are you planning to use?
If it's not being used on a VW bus, then is it a scratch built vehicle, art, what??
05-05-2010, 10:20 AM
I have been waiting for more info too. As Randy said we need to know what your doing. Just repairing a original? A stand alone windsheild?
Anyway if you have an inner structure that fits the glass then you build the outer skin from that.
If no inner structure then you have to make that first. This is made to fit the glass. which is much eaiser to make fit the glass for it is mostly all just cutting and bending sheet metal.
Then the skin can be made to fit on it.
I wouldn’t say I ‘want’ to build a hammerform, there’s just a little man sitting on my shoulder telling me ‘your trying to run before you can walk’, it is just so easy to shift the problem down the line, rather then address it with your first hit.
This is a scratch built body, using a stock screen. The screen spec has turned out to be the biggest issue and has stopped the entire project, there is just no way around having to use a screen with the right kite marks stamped on it if you want to register a new build here now, it has really compromised the whole project, still, we are all in favour of legislation.
From what has been contributed so far it occurred to me today whilst my body but not mind was at work that a really useful approach would be this.
Build a 1’’ X 1/8th’’ish strip steel, jig off the screen in the same sort of way as Randy’s bondo buck is constructed, I have drawn this schematically leaving out the majority of the structure, this would be the same outside dimensions as the screen.
This could serve two purposes,
1. It would be really useful as a definition of the screen at the buck stage that could be easily repositioned and held in place for those all important stand back and look at it stages.
2. It would act as a construction jig and be strong enough to use to clamp the fabricated sections together for the welding.
This would be a good solution to the definition of the screen surrounds shape at the outer edges, away from the screen. Once these where determined a second outer jig could be welded to it to define these and produce a good strong jig with inner and outer defined.
Crossed posts with you there Richard. Yes that makes complete sence,start with the inner structure, thanks.
05-06-2010, 02:18 AM
Well, I can't see the pics but is this for the roadster that was in CC recently? Even if it is not, what about Saab screens? Possibly the curviest screen out there and can be trimmed to shape. I can get these and the surrounding steel quite easily as there is a Saab specialist just down the road from me.
How do I sort the pics issue?
05-06-2010, 07:12 AM
Well, if you are building a body from scratch and you just need one window frame- buy one from the US or Brazil - cut one out of a bus and have it shipped.
If you want to make parts and you want to build a hammer form then I think you should probably use Kirksite or another strong binding agent. But no matter what you do it will be more work than it would be worth. (in my opinion)
If you want to make repair sections, they could be made in a pull max and a shrinker and a bead roller or small hammer form.
you can find the parts at http://www.thesamba.com/vw/
Thanks for the replies so far.
Rather then looking at the end result of the project and seeing that as the point of the exercise, I am interested in the construction. Learning. I therefore have no interest at all in buying panels. This is leisure, that’s the bit that floats my boat.
The reason I’m asking the question is because I see the screen as the largest fixed entity, it’s shape and position being fundamental to the whole look of the end result, therefore that’s what I’ve chosen to be the starting point.
It is one of those situations where even when you have a clear idea of what you are aiming for you still have an infinite amount of other variables. In a way it doesn’t matter which screen it is, or what the project is, it’s about how to construct this component and go about defining a start point that will perform the required function, but leave everything else as open to change as possible, stuff like the exact position and shape of the quarter lights that will form the back edge of the A pillar parts of this panel, likewise the roof line. Yes I could build the whole thing as a buck first, but I’d rather start with the known fixed components like the screen as a placeable chunk.
Most people who have tried it will know that you really need to see it and tweek the shape around to get it right, rather then just build something from a paper design and expect it to work first time.
Richards comments about starting with the inner panels would fit this well. I hadn’t thought about it that way. It would be easy to build a front half only of the A pillar inner sections, that would for fill the function without the need for the all important shape defining outer, and then come back to building the rear half, and outer when other factors make the shape required more defined, it isn’t going to matter if there is a seam on the inside of the A pillar, that’s going to be upholstered anyway, it would be something that would bug me if I put it on the outside.
That’s why I am interested in how other people would go about it, to get some idea of the best route in for this project.
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