Metalworking again.

May 14th, 2017

I decided I should actually start trying to do something on the car again. This was partly motivated by some talk at work that we might actually be making a car for something there. No one has talked to me about it yet but I thought I better get my hand back in just in case!

I had borrowed the electric shears from work for another project (cutting up my old copper hot water cylinder) so while I had them home I also cut out a piece of 1.6 aluminium to make the boot lid. I then dusted off the English wheel (that’s had almost no use and jumped right in trying to remember how it all worked! I actually had to look back here to remember how I did it the first time (which was in 2013, these car projects do tale a while!).

This is the opening I have to cover.

IMG_0752_1 IMG_0751_1

I wheeled some shape into the panel then used the slip rollers to put some bends in it to fit the body. Not actually running the metal through the rollers, just using the top one as something to bend the metal over by hand. It’s not perfect yet but is getting there. It’s quite tricky without Joss to guide me!

IMG_0755_1 IMG_0670_1

I was a little rough I think and have some tracking lines in the panel but they don’t feel as bad as the look so they should file out. I am trying to match the curvature of the existing body as closely as possible.


It’s getting there. The next problem is how the hell do I transfer the shape of the opening to the inside of the panel so I can then add on the extra I need to wire the edge. The edge of this panel is wired with the wire on the bottom so it fits over the wired up edge on the body.

I was explaining it to someone at work and he suggested a piece of clear plastic I can put over the body and curve over it then I can trace the correct shape onto it. I then add on the extra for the wire and cut it out then I can lay that inside the boot lid and trace around it to get my cut line. I got hold of a scrap piece of plastic we use at work for vac forming. Will have to see how well that will work.


The plastic is quite thick but flexible. The other thing I got through work was the aluminium wire to wrap around. This is 3/16 inch armature wire that comes form a supplier up in Auckland. The sculptors at work use it apparently inside some of the sculpts the do. Work was ordering some so I was able to add on some for myself. They are quite good at letting us by materials and things through work to make use of the discounts we get.


I still need to rivet the clutch linings to the flywheel and clutch plate but should be able to do that soon then I can have the rotating engine bits balanced and I can finish off assembling the engine. I have a number for someone in Wellington who can do the balancing I need to contact.

Things are slowly proceeding on the Riley too. I am cleaning up parts and I finally got some details and photos of the missing front chassis brackets. I am going to 3D print some more mock ups of that and the head of engineering at work is keen to help me make them from plate. We can source the correct steel and he is a ticketed welder and he says the welded ones will be stronger than the original cast ones. I want to find out first what I need to do in terms of certifications and so on before I start making anything to make sure I do everything properly.


2 Responses to “Metalworking again.”

  1. Renaud in Brittany Says:

    Hi Simon,
    It’s good to see that you’re back to the cars.

  2. Christian Says:

    Yes, agreed ? always interesting to read your articles

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