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32 Nash 1063 convertible sedan


F&J
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Looking around locally for thin brass or copper, but can't find any yet. I will test run the die with thin aluminum that I do have here.

Just a thought on a potential copper source, I used copper valleys when I did my roof of my house and the stock was pretty wide and not all that thick. That being said you might want to at least check a local roofing/building supply house, you never know what you'll find. Scott...

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Just a thought on a potential copper source, I used copper valleys when I did my roof of my house and the stock was pretty wide and not all that thick. That being said you might want to at least check a local roofing/building supply house, you never know what you'll find. Scott...

I did go to Home Depot yesterday, and they had 2 thicknesses of 8" wide copper on a roll. (they keep it in a locked box! $$) The first was $40 a roll but was almost as thin as aluminum foil. The other roll they did not open for me to check the thickness, because it was $140+ a roll. I only need 4 feet, so if I can't find thin brass, I need to find a roofer that has scrap leftovers.

The copper skin should fit tight enough against the steel hubcap shell to prevent denting it when the cap gets installed on the wheel. If I do find out that there are some voids between the skin and shell, I could add a thin layer of RTV or construction adheshive between the two, before I crimp the skin on.

Since I am not sure if I can get sharp creases in brass, the copper is so much softer, and that should press better. I still would like to try the brass first, if I can find some.

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I did go to Home Depot yesterday, and they had 2 thicknesses of 8" wide copper on a roll. (they keep it in a locked box! $$) The first was $40 a roll but was almost as thin as aluminum foil. The other roll they did not open for me to check the thickness, because it was $140+ a roll. I only need 4 feet, so if I can't find thin brass, I need to find a roofer that has scrap leftovers.

The copper skin should fit tight enough against the steel hubcap shell to prevent denting it when the cap gets installed on the wheel. If I do find out that there are some voids between the skin and shell, I could add a thin layer of RTV or construction adheshive between the two, before I crimp the skin on.

Since I am not sure if I can get sharp creases in brass, the copper is so much softer, and that should press better. I still would like to try the brass first, if I can find some.

Try going to your local scrap metal dealer. We have one here and the guy saves the good stuff to resell.

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hello i run a body shop in so calif,one of my customers is a mechanical engineer,i talked with him about a die to restamp the centers of my devaux hubcaps, he said he could build a die from epoxy both male and female,at a very inexpensive cost,all thats needed would be a good center to copy,maybe you can look into some epoxy suppliers to the tool & die industry and find out more,he said the material would have to be annealed brass and the die would stamp about 20 caps on a arbor press before needing to be changed,if you need more info let me know ill see what i can find out from him, dave

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hello i run a body shop in so calif,one of my customers is a mechanical engineer,i talked with him about a die to restamp the centers of my devaux hubcaps, he said he could build a die from epoxy both male and female,at a very inexpensive cost,all thats needed would be a good center to copy,maybe you can look into some epoxy suppliers to the tool & die industry and find out more,he said the material would have to be annealed brass and the die would stamp about 20 caps on a arbor press before needing to be changed,if you need more info let me know ill see what i can find out from him, dave

Hi Dave, thanks for the reply.(I need any input I can get) When you said "a good center", do you mean just the NASH emblem? or the whole hubcap?

I sure could use a couple of answers from your friend on material & thickness....but let me run through what my plan is for the center NASH medallion;

Now that I have the basic shape of the entire cap and it's raised rings, I need to "do" the emblem. My first plan was to make a poured aluminum die right over the best center I have. It would be poured into a 2" diameter ring that sits on the hubcap and acts like a dam, to form a thick round die.

Then I was going to "tin" the center of a pressed skin, and melt body solder into that aluminum die, and set the skin on top of the pool of lead.

But, I may have a better idea, if I only knew if/what the "desired thickness" of brass or soft copper could form into the reverse side of the original emblem, using "hydroforming".

I want to hydroform the skin itself, to avoid making a male die to match the die I now have. I can't accurately machine it to come close to a perfect fit, with what I have for tooling.

The back side of these Nash emblems shows the exact same sharp details as the front does. Very sharp details. I am planning on cutting out my best center to include the nearest ring. I will mill out the basic "pointed rectangle"outline of the emblem, into my die. Then this 2" circle will sit/lock right into that inner ring, to keep it aligned. I will add a little epoxy under the emblem to rule out any voids that will crush during hydroforming.

So my questions are: What sort of PSI is needed vs. material thickness and hardness? I found an excellent copper comparision website, and I am thinking .010 or .016. They list the alloy as very soft,and annealed. I have not looked into brass yet, as I assume it must be "harder" and won't hydroform into the details of the emblem? LINK: Copper Sheet Thickness Guide They even have a short video of each thickness being handled and cut, etc...which is helpful.

Going so thin on copper could be a problem if not for the original hubcap bases. I will have to epoxy inbetween the skin and base, to eliminate voids that would easily dent, just by pushing the cap onto the wheel. The thin stock, being so soft, just might get some decent detail on the emblem....but I don't know what PSI. I have a hyd gauge I will hook up that will go to 3000.

By the way, a few years ago, I spotted a mint NOS Devaux wire wheel cap on ebay...it was a real looker :)

Edited by F&J (see edit history)
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Well, I have been thinking about Daves post for the last hour since I replied to his ideas... maybe it's time for a Plan C

... I may go with a modified version of what he said about using 2 dies for the center. I don't have machinst epoxy, but I can melt aluminum in my indoor wood furnace in the shop, that actually heats the house. (that came from the scrapyard, too):rolleyes:

I could pour 2 aluminum molds, one for the front, and one for the back of the best emblem. If I can do that, then those original die impressions that Nash used, were sized for .0217 brass. The correct thickness must be used, as if it was too thin, the emblem would not be as sharp in detail, and if the material was too thick, the dies would crowd each other and be damaged. So, now I'd be able to use thicker copper, or even brass.

The only critical job is getting perfect die alignment. I have two ideas. One is that I have a very accurate large machinist vice and the jaws line up perfectly, and I could pre-index the die halves to each jaw. Or, I also have a horizontal milling machine that also could be used as a press, once I index the dies to it.

Funny that I had planned on cutting into my die this morning, for plan B, but I wanted to help my son get his commercial snow-plow truck ready for the so called "biggest blizzard of all time". Glad I did that instead :) . He has quite a few customers, so that task took precedence over my project.

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i must have had brain freeze when i thought about making new skins for my devaux hubcaps,i was looking for a place to spin the blanks,i never thought about a stamping die,my caps are a little different than yours not as flat mine are more rounded,i will call the engineer on monday and see if he can give me any info on the epoxy used in stamping the emblem,i love watching and talking on the forum and seeing how a lot of people smarter than i figure out the different ways to accomplish the same goals,thanks for the enlightment dave

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i must have had brain freeze when i thought about making new skins for my devaux hubcaps,i was looking for a place to spin the blanks,i never thought about a stamping die,my caps are a little different than yours not as flat mine are more rounded,i will call the engineer on monday and see if he can give me any info on the epoxy used in stamping the emblem,i love watching and talking on the forum and seeing how a lot of people smarter than i figure out the different ways to accomplish the same goals,thanks for the enlightment dave

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Hi, That's me. We made that work, and I can send you photos of how it turned out, but I might be able to help you another way too. Send me an email and I will give you my phone number. Dave packard12s@hotmail.com

Hi Dave, If I'm not mistaken, I think it was you who told me about salvaging emblems from the old skins?..that was 2-3 years ago.
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My first attempt at casting a die to stamp the Nash emblem....was an epic failure,

Melting the aluminum scraps was easier that I thought; I used a cast iron melting pot inside my indoor wood boiler that is in the shop...(it heats the house 100' away.)

Next, I had the center cut out of a brass hubcap skin with the emblem, placed in a 2" slice of the top part of a small soup can. The emblem sat snugly on the lip of what was the top of the can. That setup sat in a slightly larger can that had worn out sandblast sand in the bottom, to keep the aluminum from leaking out of my first can.

I even looked up melt temperatures of aluminum and brass before I started. The brass was 200 to 300 higher melt point I think.

Well, I guess I had the aluminum way too hot because it partially melted the brass part. As it melted the brass, that gave off gasses that caused voids in the aluminum emblem...so I can't save it.

I ruined an emblem that I had straightened and removed dents from, and I don't want to keep ruining more of these. I may try zinc? That melt chart showed zinc was much lower melt point. I want to find out what Solex carbs are made from; are they die cast zinc, or aluminum alloy? I have a bunch that I can melt.

The only other plan is to use an emblem from the 2 NORS caps I have. These are steel, and will not melt, but they don't have the word NASH.

Dave M has 3 spare used hubcaps, but I need to find out if I can even make the skins first. I will keep trying..

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Here is my 2nd attempt at casting the emblem die. I decided to use a full hubcap skin, but with a much smaller container to hold less hot metal.

The container is very thick brass, and shallow. I figured it would act like a heat sink to keep the brass skin from overheating. I packed wet sand around it to keep the molten metal from leaking out at the bottom.

I cut up and melted a VW Solex carb, and it might be zinc because it melts quicker. I also used a thin strip of the hubcap skin that I had from trimming the other emblem yesterday, and I stuck that in the molten metal and it did not melt. (middle pic)

So I did the pour, let it cool, and saw that the surface of the castem emblem die was messed up. That happened because the skin was sitting on a layer of wet sand, which cooled the old hubcap skin too much.

3rd attempt coming next post..

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3rd try was a charm. I did not use wet sand under the hubcap skin. The casting came out way better, so then I did the opposite die casting from the other side of the skin.

Now that I had a male and a female die, I tried sample pressings on super thin soda can aluminum, and a bottom of a thicker tin can.

The soda can metal wrinkled badly at the edges because it is junk alloy and too thin. The steel can lid did not buckle.

The reason that the emblem did not get a full pressing, is that the die metal beyond the edges of the Nash emblem must have casted slightly different, as the old hubcap skin warped a bit during the 3 pours. So, all I need to do is file down all the edges beyond the emblem shape, and then the two dies should fit together tightly.

Still trying to decide what thickness of copper to order. If I go with the .022, it may be too thick to get sharp details on the main skin decorative rings, when I use hydroforming. If I go with .016, it may tear during hydroforming, at the outer edges where there will be a 90 degree stepped edge, that will later be the rolled-crimped edge.

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Well John, anything is possible I guess... I was just looking at a 32 Dodge cap today, and saw how big the DB logo is. A big logo leaves less room for errors like a weak strike, or details that are not sharp enough.

My logos are really small, and the only ones that will get looked at are on the sidemounts.

This afternoon, I tried different materials and thicknesses, while hand filing the dies to get a good strike with good details.

Here is a pic of: a tin can bottom, 2 pieces of soda can, a piece of brass NOS bearing shim stock in .016", and on the far right, a piece of aluminum rain gutter connector about .020" I think.

The aluminum die castings shrink when cooling, so I needed to find out roughly what thickness of metal could work in the dies. That brass was just too hard, maybe I should have annealed it first, by heating and dropping it in cold water. Forgot to do that.

Anyways, I still could not get good details on the "fish scale" motif that Nash used on many decorative parts like this. So, I tried a different version of hydroforming, because the soda can was way too thin to get pressed correctly. The dies would interfere with each other before it could press the fish scales.

One form of hydroforming I read about, was to use a female die, with a piece of firm rubber to act as the male die. If enough mechanical pressing force is applied, the rubber acts like a liquid they said, and will push into all the details of the female die. Instead of trying rubber, I only needed "something" to act as a flexible filler between the rear die and the part, to make up the correct thickness. I used a smaller inset piece of wet cardboard. It is laying on the left side, on top of the can lid. That did the trick, with the dies in a 12 ton press. The fish scales came out really nice on one part. Just a little more die filing, and it should be perfect.

I need to order some copper and hope I choose the right stuff.

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am watching and learning, dave
Me too .. :) I don't know if this hubcap project will work out, or not, but it is not as stressful as that glove box job. I had so much time invested, and it could have gone real bad at any point, and then need to scrap it.

A few days ago I moved several cars and lots of stuff, to get the Nash closer to the work area. It was too buried to even try the glovebox fitting.

As you know, many parts that are handmade usually need some major adjustments to actually fit. I made the cover and mounting bracket midweek, then copied the holes from the original lid, for the new lid and hinge. It only uses 2 machine screws to hold it onto the dash. I just put them in, and could not believe that it did not need adjusting, or any holes needed filing. It latched perfectly, and when left open, the design shape of the hinge, holds the lid at 90 degrees, so it does not droop or scratch the lower edge of the dash. See pics.

The Nash was supposed to end up in the work bay, but the Ford ended up there. That car is almost finished, just needs mudwork on the front fenders, and the final block sanding..then some wiring and a few details. I could finish it in maybe 6-8 weeks, if I don't do customer work. I have not had an early pre-war car on the road since 1991. So, I may finish that car before doing much more on the Nash.

The Ford was beyond saving; I never should have tried. It was just a junk shell which used to be a 5W coupe. They tried to make a roadster with suicide doors, but it was all crooked, and nothing fit. I made it into a cabriolet with roll up windows. Most of the doors are homebuilt, as well as the top. It's not a street rod, it is a period hotrod, 1960 syle Autorama type build...white tuck/roll, white firewall, white vinyl Carson style top, and padded white running boards. It's early Olds drivetrain.

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This morning I had to decide what thickness of copper to order today. I used the Basic Copper website to study the videos again, and ordered the .016" annealed copper in 18"x 24" size. That will only give me 6 pieces, but the next roll size was too much.

I am using copper for 2 reasons. The softness should give me a better chance with the hydraulic pressure forming, compared to brass. Also, it's softness should work better with the seal system I dreamed up last week.

I am trying to use the same type of fluid seal as a common brake fitting has. Pic shows a brass fitting with those bullseye ridges that seal against a copper washer.

So I mounted the outer plate on the lathe to cut some sealing rings. I ended up with 2 raised ridges, but not sharp enough to cut the thin copper. These rings will need to hold the copper edges from getting pulled inwards as the hydraulic pressure starts to form the skin. They also need to give a good seal for whatever hydraulic pressure I apply.

I then used an old calendar page that was .013 thick to see if pressing the plates together, would show a even seal mark. If you look close the dual rings show on one half of the circle, the other half shows only one ring contact. It hopefully will seal on both rings when I use the 8 bolts.

I am trying to figure the odds for this whole project, but I have no idea what to expect.

Because I will not have extra copper, I won't be able to unbolt the die to see how the job is going. I would never be able to get that copper to fit back into those grooves, if it needed more pressure. So my plan is to locate the 3/8" NPT threaded holes for the pressure inlet and pressure gauge, right over critical areas. Then I can take both fittings out and look in there to see if the die has pressed enough detail yet.

The Basic Copper company really has their act together, as I rec'd an email with a tracking number 2.5 hours after I ordered. 3 day priority mail, so it should be here quickly.

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Is anyone here an engineer? :)

I am trying to finish the die work so I can start using it when the copper gets here.

I tested an old Simplex hydraulic pump today. It easily went past the 3000 limit on the pressure gauge.

So I took the 3000 pound figure to do some math on how much spreading force would be on a 7.25" diameter die. I came up with 40 sq inches. So 40 x 3000 = 120,000 pounds, or 60 tons.

Next I tried to google the bolt capacity. 8 bolts at roughly 5000 each = 40,000

If I drill for 16 bolts I will be at 80,000. That would limit my hyd pressure to 2000 PSI, right?

The real problem is that I can't find pressure specs for hydroforming .016" copper into a die, and worse yet, the info I did find, said that much more pressure is needed for inside radius bends. But I can't even find a base figure as to how much pressure it takes to do any forming.

What would you guys try at this point? If you can see in the pic of the backer plate for the die; I drilled/tapped two holes for the pressure inlet and the gauge. These are right over areas that I want to be able to see if anything has formed enough. Should I try the 8 bolts at 1000 PSI first? or what?

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I thought it over this morning, and decided to soup up the die to handle 3000 PSI, which gives roughly 120,000 (60 tons) spreading force on the die pieces and bolts.

Home Depot is not the place to buy bolts. They had garbage quality on the 5/16" x 2" with no grade marking. They did have a small tray of grade 8, but only stocked 3 bolts at $1.39 ea.

Tractor Supply was the place. Bolts sold by the pound. Grades 2, 5, 8. Grade 8 was $4.69 LB, so 20 G8 bolts and 20 G8 nuts were $5.74 inc tax.

I ended up with 24 holes on the die plates. 4 of these are different because the main female plate was threaded on 4 holes to hold it in the lathe. I need to keep those threads in case the die needs to go back on the lathe in the exact same indexing.

I did go to the scrap yard first, to get one more 8.5" dia x 1/2" thick plate. This is now bolted on the back side of the female die to support it where it was machined so thin towards the center.

I don't know what the plates can take before they bow a little, but I will keep an eye on it as I start with the pressure.

The copper did not arrive today, so maybe tommorrow I can try.

I think I should do one more post today to explain the part about hydroforming, where it said an "inside" radius needs way more pressure than an "outside" radius. I did a search right now on google for "hydroforming hubcap skins brass copper" and this thread is at the very top. So anyone that tries to find out if this can be done, will see what went wrong, and what it turned out like.

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The confusing part of hydroforming info, was that the inside bends don't form as easily as outside bends.

The best way to describe it, is taking a baloon, and pushing it into a box. As you push it it, the baloons pressure pushes equally on the exact center of each of the 4 sides, as well as the center of the bottom. There is pressure at these centers, but the baloon has not even gotten close to the "inside" corners.

If the baloon is a bit bigger than the box and overhangs the top sharp edges of the box, the baloon will have sharp corner shapes where it is touching those "outer" corners/edges. But the inside corners are still not even touching yet. this is what they mean about needing a lot more air or hydraulic pressure to force the baloon into those inside corners.

My sketch below shows the hubcap skin in red and the die in black. Those circlular rings on the Nash caps do have sharp bends on what are the outside bends of the die, but they do not have very sharp bends at what are the inside bends of the die. So I think the rings will work OK.

The one worry spot is at the outer edge of the skin, where I am making a 3/16" long 90 degree lip that will be trimmed later, and then this will be the crimped edge that holds the skin on. (that little extra 2nd 90 horizontal lip on the far left is the excess copper that is the part that seals the pressure, it will get trimmed off completely)

I am thinking that deep 90 bend is where the most of the stretching will be on the copper, and I don't know how far a piece of .016 soft copper can be stretched before tearing.

The reason it must be the stetch point, is that when I put the flat copper inside and start the pressure, the copper will behave like a baloon. It will first easily touch at the center, and as the pressure goes higher, the copper will start to hit the die farther outwards. The very last place it will contact, is that deep 90 degree lip. This is where it may go bad, and rip.

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hello f&j is the copper that much softer than annealed brass,i would think the brass would be soft like the copper only alot cheaper,not speaking from experience just a question,i plan on building the devaux skins so im watching and learning not trying to offend,i thought about the skins and thought about a hardwood die but i guess that the wood wouldnt take the extreme pressure needed, again just trying to learn from the master,i originally thought about having the skins spun until watching you perform your magic,the die is definately a wiser choice, thanks dave

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Dave, I used a version of what you said about the epoxy male and female dies for the emblem. That was a good bit of wake up for me. My idea on applying an emblem by using a casted female die filled with body solder was a recipe for trouble.

I keep forgetting to anneal the .016 brass shim stock. I will try to do that in the AM. It's really tough stuff the way it is. The other fear I had about brass; I just did not think it would be easy to do the edge crimping onto the old shell? I felt it would not conform too well, meaning that as you roll it's edge over the shell, and then "under" a bit, you'd be actually cold shrinking that final edge. I can cold shrink steel, but the brass seems pretty tough. (every old hubcap I have ever looked at, had the brass skin plated BEFORE the skin was crimped!, they must have used some serious but fast, machine?)

I forgot in my posts, to say that I will have an original NASH brass center inside my die. The reason for that, is I hope the 3000 PSI will give some sort of emblem showing, but faint, or lightly stamped. Then, I can take those 2 zinc dies and place them on both sides of the pressed skin, to "feel" when they drop into the correct spot. It's the only way I think I can align the zinc dies.

One more interesting tidbit I calculated with 3000 PSI and the 60 ton deal. If you calculate 3000 PSI down to what "area" is on just one letter of the word NASH.... That letter is about 1/8 sq. inches. I did the math correctly I think, and I got 50 pounds of "force" on that 1/8" square...despite the main 3000 PSI.

So, trying to figure if a letter will press at 3000 PSI; I thought of an example.. Let's say you had a pencil with a 1/8" square eraser on it. Now take the eraser part and set it on the .016 copper, directly over a single letter. Now somehow find a way to place a 50 LB object pushing down on the pencil/eraser. Would that make a faint impression of the letter, or? I just don't know yet.

Edited by F&J (see edit history)
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Cannot wait to see how that "stamping" looks when done. That "tearing" that you speak of happens on the DB caps that I have. All around the crisp center circle, the caps split at that 90 degree bend.

Can't wait, eh? Well, the more I think tonight, the more I think about some failure place that I have overlooked.

I still think the big problem will be that 90 degree bend at the very outside of the skin.

Matter of fact I was trying to think of a way to fix it, if the 3000 psi did not give enough of a bend radius there. I just have not come up with a easy way to fix that. i thought about leaving the skin in the female part of the die, then machine a 7-1/4" ring to press down with the press. But I'd bet that will ruin that edge because the copper is so soft.

I just will have to give it a try. But I don't have any other ideas on how to make a skin, so if this fails bigtime, I don't know what I can come up with.

I also keep forgetting to say that i need to drill at least one tiny air-escape hole on the female die. There will be air trapped in there if I don't. I think the best spot is at the 90 bend, but that is where the metal is so work hardened, I don't know if a drillbit will do it. I can start the lathe, and put a new USA quality file on that metal, and watch the file tip wear right down!

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Too bad we are so far apart. I would like to be there to help work this out. It's my kind of puzzle. I have thought about doing mine for a loooong time....among other rare parts for the '31 DBs.

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He,he...I don't have a "real" bead roller. It is an old stove pipe crimper that I make die wheels for..

The copper did not show up by normal mail delivery hour, and at mid afternoon I went to see if they left a note in my mailbox to pick it up at the post office. Instead, I found the box on the front steps...they always drop boxes at my shop out back.

So while I was waiting for the epoxy to set up that holds an original emblem into the big die, I tried pressing the zinc dies with a scrap of the new copper. Putting it in the vice was a big letdown. Then I tried the wet cardboard filler in the vice, still terrible. Then rewet the cardboard and put it in the press and went way more pressure than I use on other jobs. It just is not working...not even the brass that I annealed this morning.

I quit before trying to press the skin with the hyd pump, because I need to think a bit. I really lost all confidence in the hydroforming at 3000 psi. However, I will try it later tonight I think, because I already cut one copper circle, so what am I losing by trying it. I honestly think there just won't be enough pressure to get good details on the rings, and I'd bet the outer edge will be a total fail (if it does not tear first).

Pic is huge to show details, or lack of, on brass on the left, then middle is copper, and far right is that super thin soda can I did before. The dies must be binding, and now binding even worse with thicker material. The brass emblem must have warped differently each time I casted a die half, so they don't conform in every spot. Epoxy dies would eliminate the warping.

I can test the die warp by putting RTV sealer between the dies, let it cure overnight, then take out the RTV "emblem" and cut it in half to see if it has uniform thickness...but I know it won't.

If I ever get the skins pressed OK, I will try using the zinc male die, and put a skin back into the big die, and put it in the press. It hopefully will strike better by using that original emblem in the center of the big die.

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I am at it. I went slowly to 1000 psi, let it sit, and saw a very small drip on the side near one of the 4 black bolts. I backed off the pressure to zero and retightened that bolt and the two grade 8's on either side of it.

Started slowly back up towards 1000 again and noticed that about 4 inches away from that first weep, that a 3" area was weeping more that the first one did....and at only 800 psi.

Backed off to zero, got a longer ratchet and tightened all the bolts this time, and a bit tighter than I did at first. I have not tried it since. I need to think.

So, I took the 2 fittings out, drained the oil, and looked inside. I was surprised to see the beads are forming pretty good. The outside bends probably show a nice sharp line from the face/outer side of the skin, but the radii are a bit weak.

The shocker was that the outside edge that I worried about not being able to form that "step", had formed just fine, and without tearing (so far).

Something odd about the backround surface near the innermost ring; (meaning the area of the skin that is painted black, between each ring) I don't know if air was trapped, or ? The metal has a very slight bulge. Tried to do a sketch below. The pic looking into the holes is huge, so maybe you can see that bulge deal.

I stopped so I can figure out how to prevent more leaks. I suppose I could add some sort of filler material..to act like a sealer. I could put anything in there, because it won't hurt the copper. Maybe very fine sawdust? I could mix it with oil first, then fill the die.

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I had time to figure out why the sealing rings are failing to seal.

The outer plate is not strong enough. It was 1/2" thick before I machined most of one surface to get the 2 raised sealing rings. So, it may be closer to 7/16" thick now.

What is going wrong is that the outer plate is acting like a balloon, and bulging up anywhere inside the bolt circle. So, the sealing rings are relaxing their grip on the copper. The inner ring probably looses all it's seal first, due to the crown that forms on that plate as the pressure increases.

Best thing to do is get to the scrapyard before noon and get one more 1/2" plate to beef it up, then go get 1/2" longer bolts at Tractor Supply....total cost is less than $10, but I am getting bored with drilling holes :) I may do it Monday if I am forced to.

Today I want to see if I can find a temporary fix. I will fill the die with sticky chainsaw bar oil. Then I will put the die stack in my 12 ton press, pushing dead center. The hyd die pressure will surely cause the cheapie press to "stretch" or give a little, but maybe I can get this first skin to work for today. I've got 2 hours to decide on that, or go get another plate before they close. :)

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I put the die in the press, and kept tightening the bolts as I tried going higher PSI. I know it held at least 1700 at one point before I saw a leak, but after another retighten, new leaks kept forming past 1500. It will hold 1500 without pumping, even if it leaks a lot at 1700 while trying to go higher.

The pics are huge to see better. The outside radii are sharp, but the inside ones are too weak. Gets confusing talking "inside" vs. "outside" because what was the outside radius of the die, now becomes the inside radius of a formed skin.

The center is all buckled because I apparently did not use enough epoxy under that brass insert. There were voids under the brass, which allowed the brass to crush.

The crown came out way better than I thought was possible; it seems to be enough crown to fit over the old hubcap shell. I can't believe how strong the copper is now, with a crown. Very strong. It was so flimsy as a flat sheet, that you can barely cut it, or hang on to it, without making creases.

I took the die apart as I thought I saw oil coming out one of the air bleed holes. I thought the copper ripped, so I knew I had to look. I also knew that once this skin was removed from the die, it can't go back in, due to misalignment. The copper did not tear.

On the pic of the skin that is a bit darker, (middle pic) you might be able to see why the seal gives up beyond 1500. There is a permanent misalignment of the drilled dies. One sealing ring trails off, and goes into the oil area. So, it was sealing with one ring only.

It may still seal better with another 1/2" backer plate, which I did go get this morning. So, if I feel like getting longer bolts, I can try another skin, to see if I can get to 2500 or 3000. I will fix that crushed brass die, too.

Any suggestions welcomed.

How long should I keep trying? ...<!-- google_ad_section_end -->

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As long as you are having FUN.
I will see how long it is "fun".;)

I had time to think about why the die seal leaks above 1600-1700 while pumping the jack handle, but then stops leaking at 1500 even if you don't touch the pump.

It must be the outer 1/2" plate (actually closer to 7/16" now), flexing off of the sealing area. So I will go get 1/2" longer bolts today and get busy drilling. That will bring the cover thickness to 15/16" or about an inch.

I worked a bit on the first skin that got mangled. The copper is very easy to reshape and shrink the stretched areas in the center. I also went back to using the 2 zinc dies in the press, with trying wet cardboard again, then 2 layers of wet cardboard, then very thick inner tube rubber about 1/8" thick. Got more detail each try, so I may find a way to get it real sharp, and finish the dented area better.

Pics hopefully show that the copper skin really does not have enough crown. Not much I can do about that because the outer 2" of the female die is just so hardened, and impossible to cut any deeper with what I have.<!-- google_ad_section_end -->

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Edited by F&J (see edit history)
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I just love to follow these type of posts. The shear determination to use one's talents and ideas to reproduce parts to restore these old treasures. Not everyone has access or the ability to follow these things through without great cost. I needed 6 hubcaps for my 1930 DeSoto CK (Canadian) with 18" wires. A friend of mine with great programming skills and a CNC milling machine, made a 3 dimensional drawing of the cap and machined a set for me complete with the "De" logo.

It started out as an aluminum puck 6 1/2" x 2 1/2" and after 40,000 passes (yes 40,000) came out as a hubcap perfectly resembling the original. One more step is the chrome plater, and then I'm done. I know it is not made exactly like the original, but it is a great option, using modern technology. Now I will have to find something else to ponder on in my sleep

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Originally Posted by ckowner viewpost-right.png I just love to follow these type of posts. The shear determination to use one's talents and ideas to reproduce parts to restore these old treasures. Not everyone has access or the ability to follow these things through without great cost. I needed 6 hubcaps for my 1930 DeSoto CK (Canadian) with 18" wires. A friend of mine with great programming skills and a CNC milling machine, made a 3 dimensional drawing of the cap and machined a set for me complete with the "De" logo.

It started out as an aluminum puck 6 1/2" x 2 1/2" and after 40,000 passes (yes 40,000) came out as a hubcap perfectly resembling the original. One more step is the chrome plater, and then I'm done. I know it is not made exactly like the original, but it is a great option, using modern technology. Now I will have to find something else to ponder on in my sleep

I started in the "stock" antique cars a bit over 40 years ago with a 29 DeSoto K. A friend told me about a swapmeet called Hershey. I went there looking for a drivers rear roadster fender....and found a NOS one for $50. Back when it was just one field and we all had time to look in each box under someones table, I found my first NOS early K wire hubcap which is heavywall brass. It was a dollar. (These are small and look exactly like 28-29 Plymouth caps, except for the letter). Over the next few years there, I managed to find 5 more NOS caps for my sidemounted car. 3 at one table was my best find; $35 each I think. I miss not having an early Mopar.

Ok, yesterday I put the main die back in the lathe. I figured that if I can drill perimeter holes at slow speeds, why can't I cut more crown with a super slow lathe speed. I engaged the "back gears" which are mostly used for cutting threads really slow. It did cut, but that outer ring was so hardened, that the bit was "chipping" flakes off, rather than cutting normal. So I am using some filler and highbuild primer to smooth it out. I also cut the ring grooves sharper on the inside radius, but i don't know if that will help.

I did get all the holes drilled in the new reinforcement plate, and will get bolts today, and maybe by evening, I can try another skin.

Best thing that happened, was that it almost looked like there was enough material in the copper sheet, to get 6 more skins. I traced the damaged skin on a stack of 6 pages of a magazine, and cut 6 at once. I laid them out on the sheet in different patterns, and I can get 6. Not possible on a 18x24 sheet, so I measured it. They cut it to 29-3/8". I think they give extra because the way they roll it tightly for packaging, their tools leave a nasty kink at one end. I believe the die pressure will fix that.<!-- google_ad_section_end -->

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Edited by F&J (see edit history)
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All that effort of the new reinforcement plate, only went to 2000 PSI before a slight leak at the back. I checked/retightened those bolts, and then went somewhat higher, before the front started leaking a bit more.

Before I got to 2000, I could hear the oil in the bottle jack bypassing, and I figured it would. I was up to at least 80,000 spreading pressure on the dies. The weakest link will move, and move it did...With pressure released at zero, the top die plates are now permanently bowed up at least 1/16".

Need to think :) I left it in the press, in case I want to try a 30 ton jack in that wimpy press. Not sure if the frame will take it, or if it will just stretch it. I am sure the frame will at least deflect, but maybe it could get me to 2500 PSI ? That would be 100,000 pounds on the die spreading force. Yikes.

I backed the pressure off to 1200 in the pic, it will hold all day at 1800 right now. It was holding at 2000 on the first try. The rag is there to try to deflect the pushing blocks, if they slipped. If they hit me, the rag will help slow the bleeding :rolleyes:

I suppose I should remove the fittings to see if the radius looks sharper, but I will wait and think some more.

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