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Thread: Making aluminum interior panels (necessary tools?)

  1. #1

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    Making aluminum interior panels (necessary tools?)

    I am thinking about trying to make new aluminum interior panels, but am wondering if it is possible to make them well without expensive tools and a sheet metal brake? If the results will be lousy I will probably outsource the job.

    Also, I was going to go with 3003 H14 .020 aluminum, but is 2024 T3 bare .020 or another product better?

  2. #2
    mvivion's Avatar
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    Kydex.

    MTV
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  3. #3
    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Kydex is what I use.

    Used to always use 2024-t3 .020”

    Equipment varies. With kydex I just heat bend it over a pair of strait edges/square tube.




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    I second Kydex
    alot easier to work and way more durable, no paint process required,

    You’ll need a 36” brake, straight edge and razor knife. L side passenger throttle channel requires 48” bend but can be done in 2 pieces with 36” brake.
    MCS Mike has posted some great info on working with Kydex.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    found another photo, inexpensive light duty brake in the background:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Oliver; 10-16-2020 at 10:34 AM.
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  5. #5

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    Which "model number" of Kydex?

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    Nephew's doing Oratex for the interior. A good use for that stuff. Easy to glue, easy to shrink, no paint, no special tools, and there's nothing lighter except... nothing.

    If you choose to use Kydex add lots of tabs. It needs to be attached at closer spacing than aluminum or it'll rattle. Or watch Mike's videos for how to form ribs into the panels to stiffen them. A shear and break are still handy. Perhaps not required but you'd be happier with them than without.

    Kydex has lost market share to carbon fiber, whether doing your own or buying the pre-made panels from Carbon Concepts, carbon is lighter and stiffer. And itchier to work with!
    Last edited by stewartb; 10-16-2020 at 10:34 AM.

  8. #8

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    Thank you for the replies. Oliver, that Kydex looks great. Did you use it on the rear seat? In any case, I like that set up a lot-- I'd like to get rid of the old spring seat and go to a platform seat.

    If weight is a key factor, what is the best thickness of Kydex to go with?

  9. #9

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    I am telling my wife I need a 4 ft shear, 4 ft brake, roller, bead roller, and english wheel to do it right. That is my story and I am sticking to it.
    DENNY

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by DanP View Post

    If weight is a key factor, what is the best thickness of Kydex to go with?
    Kydex weighs half as much as aluminum. I posted the weights in an old thread about 10 years ago. I used .040 Kydex on sides and bailed on using it for a headliner because it was too flexible. MCS Mike uses .060 primarily, if memory serves. Forget about .028. It's to flimsy to be useful.
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  11. #11

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    .028”. Is great for covering small areas that don’t need rigidity in the panel..


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  12. #12

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    I have made only one set of aluminum interior panels and floor boards. A set of tin snips, dremel, and large table/bench are a basic start. I really liked the sheer, it worked on my poster board templates and aluminum. The brake was also very handy for making 90's and creases. So I would say sheer and brake would speed up the process substantially and it's a long process anyway for a first timer. The longer the sheer and brake the better.

  13. #13
    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    this is a nice machine, I have one, price is good, went up $200 since i bought mine decade or so ago...

    https://www.grizzly.com/products/Gri...-Machine/G0629

    the only problem with it is I cannot make it do long strait bends.... always have some bow in bend....

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by mike mcs repair View Post
    this is a nice machine, I have one, price is good, went up $200 since i bought mine decade or so ago...

    https://www.grizzly.com/products/Gri...-Machine/G0629

    the only problem with it is I cannot make it do long strait bends.... always have some bow in bend....
    On my wish list! I like that machine.
    Likes mike mcs repair liked this post

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oliver View Post
    I second Kydex
    alot easier to work and way more durable, no paint process required,

    You’ll need a 36” brake, straight edge and razor knife. L side passenger throttle channel requires 48” bend but can be done in 2 pieces with 36” brake.
    MCS Mike has posted some great info on working with Kydex.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	64F3C4FC-C395-488A-9220-8A20DAB33770.jpeg 
Views:	133 
Size:	231.4 KB 
ID:	51676

    found another photo, inexpensive light duty brake in the background:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	8D19964B-3706-486B-BEFA-24CDB227197E.jpeg 
Views:	143 
Size:	244.6 KB 
ID:	51677
    That is a GREAT looking interior!

    MTV
    Thanks Oliver thanked for this post

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by DanP View Post
    Thank you for the replies. Oliver, that Kydex looks great. Did you use it on the rear seat? In any case, I like that set up a lot-- I'd like to get rid of the old spring seat and go to a platform seat.

    If weight is a key factor, what is the best thickness of Kydex to go with?
    Dan,
    rear seat and storage area floor are .050 aluminum.
    carbon concepts under seat storage tray and airframes Safari seat.
    safari seat mounting tabs are visible at the corners of the access lid for under seat storage,
    im really happy with this setup, lightweight and versatile, safari seat is a good solution to replace original seat, and still pretty comfortable (I’m told)

    Re kydex: I think .040, and yes more mounting tabs helps securing everything.
    bend 90° angles where panels meet floor and secure panels to floor helps with panel stiffness as well as keeping dirt and crap out of belly.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Oliver; 10-16-2020 at 03:08 PM.
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