DIY Safari Frames Part 2
If you follow my blog or have read my previous article DIY Safari frames you're probably aware that I have been trying to roll a curve in aluminium extrusion so that I can make up my own rear safari window for the Lowlight.
Last week the fruits of my labor ended up splitting the aluminium but after doing some pondering this week I realised that the extruded profile was not being supported correctly. The dies that I had made left the edge of the aluminium un-supported which resulted in the profile splitting.
After marginal success last weekend I set to work making a new set of dies for the rounded profile aluminium that I had purchased with the hope of making up a windscreen frame for my 356 speedster. Putting my new-found knowledge to work I made up a new set of dies that incorporated a lip to support the edge of the profile.
I also turned down a set of lower dies that followed the outside profile of the extrusion, I did this for both round and square profiles...
...and then cut them to length on the power hacksaw
The dies needed to have a keyway added which I did by hand with a file. This would have been much quicker and easier with a broach but as I do not have one I had to do it the old school way.
The results are a set of round and a set of square dies.
Obviously the first test I did was to try and roll a section of the square profile extrusions and see if the issue I previously experienced had been fixed.
The channel rolled into a nice tight curve with no distortion or splitting issues.
In fact I was able to roll both profile extrusions into very tight curves with no distortion at all.
As a proof of concept the dies worked really well. I made some small changes to remove all sharp edges as I found that the aluminium was getting scored a little. Ideally I need to get the dies polished to remove any imperfections as there is a bit of an imprint left by the die in the part.
I'm really pleased with the results. The bends are small enough to be able to make both front and rear safaris and there is no distortion. Next up I need to work out how to mount everything up.