Roger Zimmermann

Construction of a Continental Mark II model, scale 1:12

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Thank you for all for your positive comments! The second valve cover is progressing slowly; I did a measure mistake by drilling the holes at each end too near from one side. Fortunately brass is a wonderful material and I could rescue the part by brazing a cap and drilling again. Oh! the error was not significant: 0.4 mm (0.016") but at this scale is almost catastrophic!

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Benefits of AACA Membership.

The second valve cover is ready. I'm glad it's over, I would not do a third one at any price!

Which is the best one? Both have imperfections; all in all, I would say the first one is a little bit better than the other one.

It's now time to have a look at the wheelcovers...

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Now that the valve covers are done, I'm beginning other covers: the wheelcovers. The cover itself will be done in 2 pieces: a small one, like a cheap hubcap and then the outer ring. Both will be welded together.

However, I have to do first the forms to press the brass. Here are the first step for the hubcap. One picture is showing the form almost ready, the form is ready on the second picture. The next step will be to do the negative form, also in brass.

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Now, it's the turn of the female form. It's the most difficult part of the tooling as it's almost impossible to measure and use "normal" tools. Most of the job is done with a hand held tool like shown on the picture. Of course, the tool is held with both hands (and with the minimal turning speed), but I my third hand was not available to held the camera!

The part is far from finished...

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Yesterday, I spent almost the whole afternoon to do the female form. When I had the impression I cannot improve it any more, I did a test with a small band of brass to see if the inside profile was more or less like the outer profile...I saw on the test part that a small rework was necessary, which was done this morning.

Then, the great moment: how will the brass do between both parts? Well, I'm satisfied with the results. And I'm happy about my decision to do the dish in two part: on the picture below, you can see the first hubcap; the metal on the outside diameter is full of wrinkles. If I had a form for the whole wheelcover, I would have the same wrinkles. As my dies are brass, the wrinkles would imprint the brass, rendering the dies useless as well as the covers.

Now, I can do the ouside tooling...

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Thanks for the updates, Roger.

Do you heat the brass before stamping it like that? Or is it soft enough to press without heat?

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Thanks for the updates, Roger.

Do you heat the brass before stamping it like that? Or is it soft enough to press without heat?

It depends of the quality of the brass. Some is hard, some is soft. I suppose this properties is coming from the mix between cooper, zinc and maybe other metals.

The brass I'm using now is of the soft quality; I tried to press it without heating and the process went well. The thickness is .2 mm (.008") The outer ring will be a little bit thicker, .3 mm. As I did for the Avanti wheelcovers, I will heat it, but I'm not yet that far!

By the way, I noted that you are living in the UK...I have a very international audience!

Edited by Roger Zimmermann
comment added (see edit history)

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By the way, I noted that you are living in the UK...I have a very international audience!

I know of at least 1 Australian following this. You must have unbelievable patience.

It's fantastic to be able to follow your progress.

Thanks for taking the time and effort to post.

Danny

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Wow, so many countries are looking over my shoulder! Thank you for your patience too, you will need it as I'm rather slow!

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Roger,

You have to know that there are a lot of people that find your skills highly interesting just by the number of views your threads gotten and I for one am amazed at the patients you have to scale/model and build these little pieces. It's still more impressive when you pull all these little pieces together into a wounderful piece of art. Keep up the great work. Scott...

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You got the whole world watching Roger. No pressure now:D Nice work my friend;)

Ah! Lou! Nice to see you here! Sorry for the trouble you got at the CLC forum; I don't understand this lack of flexibility. Why don't you publish here the restoration work you are doing on your '56 Biarritz?

I will have to rework the dies of the small hubcaps: if the first part went well, the other ones had inacceptable flaws...The wheelcovers will keep me busy for a long time!

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Roger,

You have to know that there are a lot of people that find your skills highly interesting just by the number of views your threads gotten...

Yes, Scott. I'm amazed at the number; what will be that number when a "real" part will be under work like the frame or engine or body? Fortunately, the cold months, which are not far away, are more productive as I'm less distracted by my own old cars requiring maintenance and nice weather which I enjoy as much as I can.

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Before I'm doing a new tool for the small hubcap (the center is not like it should), I did the dies for the outside parts. It went better than the forms for the hubcaps; it's simpler. This morning, I did the first sample with mixed results. However, after some rework, the form is acceptable.

The outer part is a little bit thicker: 0.3mm. To do the rework, I cemented it with a contact cement on one of the dies. With this unortodox method, I could turn the outside and inside diameter as well as eliminate a small wrinkle.

The last picture is showing the 2 parts pre-assembled. As more finish work is needed on both parts, it was just for fun.

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As the first try went well, I'm doing now the full serie of outer wheelcovers. As the picture is showing it, I have some plain sheet brass discs ready to be "stamped". On the left (and above), one prepared part; the hole in the middle prevents too much stress on the brass. In the middle, a "fresh" pressed brass part; you can see that the hole went larger. On the right, an almost finished part.

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Yesterday, I could assemble the first wheelcover with soft solder. The other ones are in the pipeline, they will probably be in the same shape at the end of the week.

My estimate is that I'm at the middle of the wheelcover's saga. The fins will be an heavy task. I have various ideas how to do them and how to install them on the dish (no, not with screws!); nothing is definitive right now.

One picture is with the flash, the other one without.

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Edited by Roger Zimmermann (see edit history)

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Amazing!

Will the finished model be painted and plated to achieve the correct colours or will you leave it as bare brass?

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Man, oh man! Those photos of the Toronado are awesome. The dashboard looks so like a real life-sized car, I can hardly believe it. If you were here I would give you a gold star.You ARE the man!!!!

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Thank you for the nice comments keiser31!

This morning, I got the news that I will have another Hydramatic transmission to repair, therefore I rushed a little bit and just finished the last assembly. You may ask if I'm doing a 6-wheeler? No, no, but it's always nice to have spares. Not a single wheelcover is so far perfect, I will have some choice to do when the car is ready.

And, what next? The fins? No, not yet: before I can start that last task, I have to do a device to assemble the covers on the wheels. Even by speaking politely with the wheelcovers, they will not jump at the wheels...

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Roger! I just checked out this thread and am amazed at your work. Wonderful! I never realized you did such precise work. I will be sure to follow it from this day on.

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Roger! I just checked out this thread and am amazed at your work. Wonderful! I never realized you did such precise work. I will be sure to follow it from this day on.

Thank you Paul! When the wheelcover will be finished, it will be more interesting; up to now, one does not really see what the end should be...

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Saturday, I got a 1958 Hydramatic to overhaul. Tomorrow, another '58 Hydramatic is coming for an overhaul; it will be the 5th Hydramatic transmission I'm overhauling this year...Plus an engine from a 1960 Cad which need some work. All these parallel activities are distracting me from the wheelcovers.

Finally, I found a reasonable solution for the fins. I will do slots on the wheelcovers; the fins will have a tail which will enter the slots. This method will simplify the assembly but will add some work to manufacture the fins; there is no free lunch as somebody said!

After trying to mill the slots on a test wheelcover, I realized that I needed better tools. Fortunately, some weeks ago I had a discussion with a Swiss member of our Cadillac Club. It happens that this man has a factory for dental tools. I could order from him some cutting discs covered with diamond.

This morning, I could do the slots to the first wheelcover. The wheelcover is held with contact cement on a modified die. The whole is installed on a divider tool; fortunately, I have a divider disc with 40 positions!

The third picture is showing a cover just removed from the form; there are still burrs which will be removed prior to the fins installation.

Only 5 to go!

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