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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    British Columbia, Canada
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    Tip for making small panel patches

    I know there are lots of great fabricators and body guys on this site, none of which would ever need any advice from a guy like me, but I thought I would share a tip a discovered today,all because I was lazy the other day.

    This is for anyone who had a hole in a panel that they needed to fill in with more sheet metal. I'm sure a lot of us have sat there cutting and testing, cutting and testing until finally the filler piece is the right size. Sometimes it may take several attempts, but eventually we make it. Today I was doing some more work on smoothing my firewall now that I now I will be using a drive by wire throttle. I cut out the area I wanted to smooth and started looking at the hole I had to fill trying to figure out the best way to make a template. I happened to look over on the floor and saw a roll of masking tape that I was too lazy to pick up the other day and it gave me this idea.

    I thought of taking pics after I had the tape on, but you'll get the point.

    The area I wanted to fill in was the pedal holes to the left of the steering column hole.



    Once you have the hole cut, cover the entire hole with masking tape.



    I used an exacto knife to cut along the sides of the hole



    I then stuck the newly cut piece of tape to some sheet metal giving me my template



    If you cut it along the side of the tape, it will be the about the same size of the hole. Since I wanted to butt weld it, I cut a little smaller than the tape



    Take the tape off and you have your patch





    Tack it into place. The nice thing about trimming a bit smaller than the tape was it left me nice gap to fill in with weld



    Finish your welding



    And finally after some clean up



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
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    Midwest
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    That is a good trick. Saves time over cutting a piece of cardboard, trimming it, transferring the design to steel, trimming it, seeing that it doesn't fit, trimming more, then getting it right.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    That is a great tip. Thanks.
    1969 Camaro - LSA 6L90E AME sub/IRS
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
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    You know those moments in life when you see something and think, "geez I am such a spaz, why didn't I think of that?". I'm having one of those right now.

    Great idea man.

    Sticky material.
    True T.

    Whats new with Project 1/2-Trak?


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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Sharps Chapel, TN
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    937
    Looks good! great idea!
    Benjamin Kadron
    Sharps Chapel, TN

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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
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    Orlando, FL
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    I've done this myself, and it is a good way to transfer a "void" to a piece of sheetmetal. Nice writeup.

    One comment about putting a gap in the patch panel. You're right that it makes getting full penetration welding a lot easier, but it also puts stress on the patch and surrounding sheetmetal. When the weld is applied, the metal in the joint is liquid. As the joint solidifies, it shrinks, and pulls the metal edges closer together. In a firewall, it won't matter, but on exterior sheetmetal it will cause warping.

    jp
    John Parsons



    II Much Fabrication's Blog -- New products, Fabrication sequences, etc.

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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
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    So when filling for instance, a side marker light, you'd want the tightest fit possible between the patch panel and the fender?
    True T.

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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
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    Orlando, FL
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    Quote Originally Posted by True
    So when filling for instance, a side marker light, you'd want the tightest fit possible between the patch panel and the fender?
    Exactly. The welding is harder, since more heat is needed to get full penetration, which means you need to take more time when welding. Watch and make sure the metal edges stay lined up, take your time, and work in a methodical way. It will make a big difference in the amount of distortion you induce.

    jp
    John Parsons



    II Much Fabrication's Blog -- New products, Fabrication sequences, etc.

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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cary Illinois
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    25
    What a easy solution...i trim, fitup, and trim some more. Great idea!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Sugar Land, TX
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    122
    That's a great idea! Thanks for the tip.
    StephenL
    1967 Olds Cutlass Supreme

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    479
    Man, this is the best tip I have gotten in a long time. It came at the most opportune time too! I have been patching all the holes in my firewall for a smoother look, like the old electrical bulkhead, and the grommet holes and so forth. This tip works far better than any other way you could do it.

    Thanks for the tip scherp69 and thanks Pro-Touring.com!
    Alex Godsey
    Somerset, KY
    Pro Touring 67 GTO
    461 Pontiac Power

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
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    Rockford Illinois
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    Don't forget to buy one of those welding magnets with all of the angles on it. You use the magnet to hold the piece flush while you tack it in. These things are priceless and come in many sizes.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    Roseville
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  14. #14
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    Jan 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by camaro2nv View Post
    Awsome little tool I use them all the time.

    Greg
    Used to be known as tonner

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Near Dayton, OH
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    547
    Quote Originally Posted by camaro2nv View Post
    I have set of those and they work really well. Bought them from Eastwood. However, after seeing that my local Harbor Freight sells the same dumb things for $5 I'll never spend the ridiculous $30 that Eastwood wants for them. Especially when you get 8 instead of just 4.
    Andrew
    1987 Olds Cutlass Supreme FE3X Clone
    EFI455/T56/9" w/ 4.30 gears
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigBlockOlds View Post
    Harbor Freight Eastwood.
    exactly
    67 Camaro convertible (Jinx)

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigBlockOlds View Post
    I have set of those and they work really well. Bought them from Eastwood. However, after seeing that my local Harbor Freight sells the same dumb things for $5 I'll never spend the ridiculous $30 that Eastwood wants for them. Especially when you get 8 instead of just 4.
    Do you happen to know what the HB product number is or what name Harbor Freight gives these doodads....didn't see them on their site while searching
    1970 RS/SS350 139K on the clock:
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  18. #18
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    Sep 2004
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    Near Dayton, OH
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    I haven't been able to find them on their website either. I just happened to see they carry them in their retail store once when I was in there.
    Andrew
    1987 Olds Cutlass Supreme FE3X Clone
    EFI455/T56/9" w/ 4.30 gears
    __________________________________________________ __


  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    40
    I have lots of panels like this can you come do em for me .... ;)
    69 SS396 Camino 540 FAST EFI BBC
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  20. #20
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    Mar 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Wright View Post
    Do you happen to know what the HB product number is or what name Harbor Freight gives these doodads....didn't see them on their site while searching
    I was just at HF the other day and I seen them in the welding section. Plenty in stock.
    67 Camaro convertible (Jinx)

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