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Wire Rolled Edges

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  • Wire Rolled Edges

    I am working a cooling tank and would like to put a rolled edge at the open end. I would like to duplicate or come close to an edge like that of a galvanized steel bucket. Has anyone done this, or know how it is done? I have looked at an old example and found that the steel is rolled around thick wire that goes around the circumference at the opening, but have no idea how it it done.


  • #2
    For a one-time job like this I would have a sheet metal shop do it. Otherwise you will need a sheet metal "wiring machine" and a "setting down machine", some instruction and a lot of practice to get a good looking job.
    The process involves forming a groove inserting the correct size wire and closing the groove.


    • #3
      I use 1/8 welding rod and a 5/16" tip. It can be done by hand but you'll need a wedge tool (placed against the wire as you tap the edge over) and a way to turn (tip) and edge. Before I had machines, I used the edge of a bench to tip the edge.

      You tip a soft edge first to 90 degrees. Use your wedge tool to tip the edge to about 135 degrees then place your wire. Hold the wire in place with the wedge tool as you tap the edge over. I still have and use my wedge tool for body work and other forming so making one is useful.

      If you were closer, we could have it done in 15 minutes. Practice on some small pieces. If you use a brass, copper or lead hammer, it'll help keep from making marks in the sheet.


      • #4
        If you are starting with a cylinder that is already formed the machine to use is a bead roller with a couple so sets of dies. One die will roll the edge for the wire to fit into and the other closes the metal around the wire.

        If you are starting with a flat sheet you can bend the edge up and put the wire aganist the lip and close the lip over the wire. Then form the cylinder in a set of slip rolls.

        This is not an easy job without the right tools if you want it to look really nice.

        Like CCWKen said if you were closer we could do it in a few minutes.

        Pictures of beading machine and dies.



        • #5
          Thanks for the info. I tried a little experimenting in some 22ga. galvanized. The tank is an old well pump pressure tank with one end cut off. It is 11" in dia. and about .040 thick steel.

          CCW, When you say,"I use 1/8" welding rod and a 5/16" tip" are you using the 1/8" welding rod inside the loop on the sheet metal? Is the "tip" the amount of sheet it will take to wrap around the welding rod?
          Does the wire have to be tight in the sheet steel wrap?

          I am thinking the wire is not only for edge strength, but keeping the sheet from coming back in on itself during the bending process.



          • #6
            <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">CCW, When you say,"I use 1/8" welding rod and a 5/16" tip" are you using the 1/8" welding rod inside the loop on the sheet metal? Is the "tip" the amount of sheet it will take to wrap around the welding rod?
            Does the wire have to be tight in the sheet steel wrap?</font>
            Yes. Yes. Yes. You could use any 1/8" wire. I use welding rod because it's strong, copper coated and I had a "ton" of it given to me. The wire goes inside the roll. For 1/8" wire, a 5/16 tip should cover the wire and close tight for 20-18ga. For your 19ga., you may want to add about .020 to the 5/16" tip.

            The wire edge does add strength and it serves as a cosmetic termination too. You could also just tip the edge and hammer it near flat. (Leave a slight rounded edge.) That may be easier to do with your 19ga. if all you have is hand tools.


            • #7
              Here's tiping a straight edge without "power tools". This visor didn't have a wire, just a turned over edge. It still makes a nice finished edge.

              Here's the wedge in use.

              Here's the near finished visor.

              This shows rolling a step into the visor.

              Here's the visor mounted.


              • #8
                CCWKen, nice work. Did you do the Model A? Love the color.



                • #9
                  I have made a tool out of 1/8'' strap. Radius the end and put a slot the width of your sheet and the depth of the total amount to be rolled. Start bending with it at one end and worked all the way across bending just a little with each pass. Once its alittle past 90* then start the wire at one end and use a hammer and dolly to form over it.


                  • #10
                    A simple little tool described by Guy Lautard in one of his books, consists of a block of metal (maybe 3/4" thick, say about 1 X 3 or 4" long). Drill and ream, and (preferably)lap smooth, a hole thru the thickness, near one end that corresponds to the size of bead desired. Then saw a slit from one edge to enter the hole on a tangent. The slit should be just wide enough to permit entry of the sheet metal.

                    To use it, just slip the slit over the edge of the sheet, and tap with a hammer to make the sheet curl around the hole. Continue this process as you slide the tool along the edge.

                    Of course with a closed circle you'll have to remove the tool and finish the last inch or so some other way, or you'd trap the tool on the rolled edge.
                    Lynn (Huntsville, AL)


                    • #11
                      Yes, I did the 31 nearly two years ago. The hood center, visor, steel roof, floor board, rear seat riser and rear T-strips were all hand made. Major fixes to the rear fenders, rear center panel and subframe. Everything is steel except the front fenders.


                      • #12
                        That is one sweet ride beautiful car. You do really nice work.



                        • #13
                          I made a tool like the Guy Lautard description, sort of. I once saw a boiler tube beader and combined it with a hinge maker, but mine has a removable section. Made from 01 oil hardening.

                          Then made a shank to adapt it to my air hammer.

                          It was working very well. Here I have the wire ready to be worked in.

                          I got about one more pass around the tank when the former cracked.

                          A half of a rolled edge is better than none in this case. Fortunately the bead was rolled around fairly even and it looks decent. A light filing and a little emory cloth and it will be ready for paint.

                          Hope all the pictures made it, thanks for all the input.

                          [This message has been edited by PolskiFran (edited 07-04-2005).]