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Straightliner59

Louvers. Possible solution?

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It sometimes happens, while sitting at the bench, an idea dawns on you that may provide a solution to a problem that has long nagged at you. This afternoon, I had one of those ideas regarding creating realistic louvers for a model car. I used a 1/4" chisel (which will work fine, if I decide to use this technique on my Indy car. A 1/8" chisel would be a better option, for 1/25 scale models), and some de-plasticized aluminum flashing that I annealed. I eased the corners of the chisel bit, to attempt to create a more rounded end on the louvers. Once the sheet was annealed, firm pressure, on a cutting mat, provided enough force to push the bit through it. As is the case, here, generally, when I try out stuff, like this, I don't concern myself with measurements, etc. I simply want to see if the method is workable and feasible. I have a couple of ideas that will refine this, further, and perhaps lead something doable, without a press, and a die (although, at some point, I may attempt to make one). Thoughts?

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Great idea that looks very promising, and I'm sure with a few more shots at it you'll get them even now you have proof of concept. I'm thinking out loud here but making a backing part for the other side would help with the consistancy. Maybe if you tap the chisel into an alu block or some hard wood. I saw a program where Gene Winfield described how to get them to go around corners/edges evenly too that was putting a point in the centre of the louvres so when you bend the metal they stay true to those on the flat parts and I think your method would work for that too.

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11 minutes ago, stitchdup said:

Great idea that looks very promising, and I'm sure with a few more shots at it you'll get them even now you have proof of concept. I'm thinking out loud here but making a backing part for the other side would help with the consistancy. Maybe if you tap the chisel into an alu block or some hard wood. I saw a program where Gene Winfield described how to get them to go around corners/edges evenly too that was putting a point in the centre of the louvres so when you bend the metal they stay true to those on the flat parts and I think your method would work for that too.

Thank you, Leslie! Per your suggestion, I tried it on a piece of laminated bamboo. The firmer surface made for a cleaner cut and bend. A bit more experimentation, and I may give it a try, on the hood of the Indy car. There are still a couple of more things I want to try, before I go for a final!

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The biggest problem seems to be alignment. I wonder if it would be possible to have to have properly aligned louvers cut into a harder surface and place it under your panel , secure the aluminum sheet on top, then punch down into those preformed openings with your tool. God luck with what ever you do and be sure to keep us up dated with your progress,

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Cutting louvers freehand and ensuring that they are both spaced and aligned properly will be extremely difficult.

To do this properly will require a shaped punch tool to be mounted into a drill press and be able to lock the spindle. Then a bottom tool with an adjustable guide rail to align the part for louver forming. The bottom tool will need to be designed in such a way that the louvers can self space when each punched louver is drawn back against it. All a bit complicated, but accurate louver punching needs the sort of accuracy that only a shaped punch and jig will allow. Unfortunately this is going into the realms of miniature engineering. Basically, Daniel has got the right idea with regard to the principle of actually punching louvers. The problems arise with needing consistent spacing, consistent depth and accurate alignment.

Edited by Bugatti Fan

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Since I finally solved this whole dilemma on Wednesday, I thought I would post some pictures of what I did, and the results. I am very, very happy with these! I bumped  this, because there may be folks interested, who haven't seen my "Indy" car thread. The metal is aluminum step flashing. Any questions or comments, fire away!

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When only a proper tool will do you have to become a toolmaker.  Well done. ?

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Oh man, the first attempt I was like “meh, kinda worked” and the second attempt I was like “WOW, check THAT out!!!!!!!!”

Really impressive!

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Admire the perseverance and progress.  My experience with roof flashing, it breaks when bent, so the anneal process reduces that?

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2 hours ago, 89AKurt said:

Admire the perseverance and progress.  My experience with roof flashing, it breaks when bent, so the anneal process reduces that?

Actually, Kurt, I discovered that this method works best (makes cleaner, crisper cuts) prior to annealing the metal. It absolutely must be annealed, however, when creating complex curves, because, then, like you say, it's too brittle, maybe rigid is a better term. Then, if it doesn't break, it tends to fold, rather than curve, if that makes sense. I really love working with the stuff!

 

4 hours ago, Flat32 said:

When only a proper tool will do you have to become a toolmaker.  Well done. ?

Thank you, Ray! It is true. As I worked toward this solution, each attempt got closer and closer to an actual die press. I reckon if it works 1:1, then, it should work, in scale. ?

3 hours ago, CabDriver said:

Oh man, the first attempt I was like “meh, kinda worked” and the second attempt I was like “WOW, check THAT out!!!!!!!!”

Really impressive!

That "meh" is what got me here! ?

Thank you, everyone! I'm pretty proud of those!

 

4 hours ago, Bainford said:

Nice looking louvers. Interesting approach.

Thank you, Trevor. Since that's pretty much how they're done, in the "real world", I guess it must be the best way! ?

 

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wow ,a truly nice build. your louvers are awesome.i am in the planing stage of making a jig to roll curved louvers or louvers of various lengths. your machine is very cool and surely does a great job.

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1 hour ago, charlie libby said:

wow ,a truly nice build. your louvers are awesome.i am in the planing stage of making a jig to roll curved louvers or louvers of various lengths. your machine is very cool and surely does a great job.

Thank you, very much, Charlie! It's probably easier, in these smaller scales, than it is, for you! Still, the process should be similar.

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Absolutely outstanding.

Real open lovers add immeasurably to the realism of any model.

What you've done is to duplicate in scale the exact technique and tooling used in the real world, as you noted above.

You must be channeling Gerald Wingrove. :D

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On 11/30/2020 at 3:40 PM, Straightliner59 said:

Well, one can dream, I reckon!

Great job Daniel, when I saw your original post, I immediately thought that you have the "male" part of the punch figured out.  Now you need a "female" half of the die to form the cut louver.  You must have looked up and saw what a full sized louver press and its dies looked like because you nailed it.   This could be accomplished with a small arbor press, (the rack and pinion kind not the hydraulic press kind).  Even an old drill press could do the job, I say old because the pressure of punching through even the thinnest aluminum or tin is going to be enough to stress the bearings or likely bushings if its a Chinese drill press and throw the accuracy out the window for drilling even a straight hole.

Now, that you've figured out how to punch your own louvers, look up some more information on full sized louver pressing to make sure you get them laid out before you punch them by eyeball.  Most of the articles that I've seen highlighting the process in magazines show the process and measurements to center the louvers so they are in perfect spacing.

You know, if you get this down you might be able to sell louvered flat panels that could be cut and placed onto a models flat panel...  Just a thought.

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Thank you, Skip.  I plan to get a small arbor press, as soon as funds allow. At least that way, I won't have to take the Dremel drill press apart, every time I want to punch some louvers! I knew how 1:1 louvers  were punched, I just finally gave up on trying to find a shortcut!

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Great thread Daniel,  I admire your solution AND as well your persistence to figure out a solution.   They look fantastic sir.   cheers, tim

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3 hours ago, Codi said:

Great thread Daniel,  I admire your solution AND as well your persistence to figure out a solution.   They look fantastic sir.   cheers, tim

Thank you, Tim. As you are aware, persistence is often the only thing that sees us through. I appreciate your comments, sir!

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Wow much more realistic than the ones I was gonna suggest from Archer 

Well done

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I have no doubt that you could sell these louvers. sell them in strips of varying lengths and let the buyer install them wherever they want.

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On 12/2/2020 at 4:33 AM, Skip said:

You know, if you get this down you might be able to sell louvered flat panels that could be cut and placed onto a models flat panel...  Just a thought.

Absolutely. Although limited to one size louver, a row of open, aligned, accurate louvers would be more than welcome. Make it a few parallel rows for something like a trunk lid, with extra material on all sides, and you will have many serious builders' attention.

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