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-   1958 To 1960 Squarebirds - General Technical Discussion (http://squarebirds.org/vbulletin/forumdisplay.php?f=14)
-   -   Bead Roller (http://squarebirds.org/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=9170)

keith 07-05-2010 11:19 PM

Bead Roller
5 Attachment(s)
I took some pictures of the a-arm panel I'm making and how I use a bead roller.

I first laid out what I wanted with a sharpie, a steel ruler and a plastic template of different circles. They also make the plastic templates with squares and ovals.

Now I'm ready to start. The dies I used are called step dies. They come in different depths. I think this one is a 1/8".

I want the bead to faintly appear and then get more pronounced as it goes along the outline and then slowly dissappear into the other side.

I start out making one light pass. The next pass I go down aways and crank a little bit more pressure and then start letting off as I get to the exit side. Then I do it one more time just a little farther down the outline and cranked up a little more.

When I first started out in the 80's I was using a bead roller I bought at a sheetmetal shop auction. It had a hand crank and it made it hard to do very long runs without help. I then bought a harbor freight bead roller in the late 90's. It was pretty flimsy., but with some beefing up it got me by.

2 years ago I bought the motorized Mitler Bro's. bead roller. The motor makes a big difference in the long runs.

In my next post I'll show another way I make beads.

keith 07-05-2010 11:32 PM

5 Attachment(s)
I work on a lot of field cars and most of the floor boards are gone when I get them.

I make all of my floor boards and I try to get them to look like factory, unless it is a hot rod and they want a different design or the floor is missing.

To be able to accomplish this I use a different method, most bead rollers do not have a big enough throat. So I use a pullmax machine. The one I have was made in the 50's and weighs about 2500 lbs..

The floor board is a '40 Ford coupe that I work on when I need a break from the bird. The only piece that was saved from the '40 is the drive shaft tunnel and the master cylinder filler opening. Everything else was pretty much gone.

keith 07-05-2010 11:38 PM

3 Attachment(s)
I took some pictures of the a-arm panel going through the bead roller putting the roll in it so it blends in to the inner fender. I think it looks better than a 90 degree bend.

This takes about 2 passes. The die is what they call a spoiler die. I don't know why, unless it is used to make spoilers on race cars.

tbird430 07-06-2010 11:15 AM


That's all I got right now. I'm speechless...


keith 07-06-2010 12:18 PM

2 Attachment(s)
This is just for fun bead rolling. Mitler Bro's makes a set of artist dies. They are real narrow so you can make tight turns.

A friend of mine lives in Oregan so I made him a Oregon Duck for his den.

My poor brother-in-law is a Kansas City Chief's fan(God help him) so I made him a KC arrowhead.

I put sign painters tape on the metal and then draw out my design with a pencil. Once I like it I go over it with a sharpie to make the lines show up better. I then use one of those surplus hospital adjustable tables and lay the piece on it and set down on a tall bar stool. I use one of those magnet base lights to light up my work area and then start following the lines, kind of like sewing.

keith 07-06-2010 12:21 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Here are the 2 pieces with paint added to high light the bead work. I like them better without the paint.

tbird430 07-06-2010 04:28 PM

Those are nice!! :)

Now your going to have us requesting 1958-59 & 1960 Thunderbird signs from you!! Haha!! :p

-Jon in TX.

keith 07-06-2010 04:40 PM


Originally Posted by tbird430 (Post 46969)
Those are nice!! :)

Now your going to have us requesting 1958-59 & 1960 Thunderbird signs from you!! Haha!! :p

-Jon in TX.


That's a good idea. Maybe there's away we could use them for a fund raiser for the site.

I'll draw one up and see how it looks and post it. May take a couple weeks.

tbird430 07-06-2010 05:22 PM

That would be so AWESOME Keith!!


Richard D. Hord 07-06-2010 05:38 PM

Hey Keith,
Man you are good with your hands! Keep up the good work and keep us posted. I'm just amazed by your work!!!
Richard D. Hord

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