How to Scupt Fender Flares
Sculpturing in metals about as difficult a task as can be found in the customizing art. It therefore should be tackled by the experienced customizer or a competent body shop such as the Alexander Brothers in Detroit.
The '52 Ford has an uninteresting slab-sided body and, in order to break up the monotony and to achieve a styling that is different, the Alexander Brothers designed a sculpted front fender wall. Using tubing to achieve the shape, they brazed these onto the cleaned panel surfaces, then cut out the original panels along the welded edges. Next, they took sheet metal, cut to a pattern taken from the area to be worked, and tolled the metal into a concave shape. This was then welded into place and a piece of extruded aluminum positioned inside the newly formed sculptured front fender wheel well. Result: An unusual modern appearance on a car which had probably been scheduled for the city dump because of its age.
After determining the shape of sculptured wheel well for the front fender, bend the tubing to weld to the side of paneling, using tube-bending tool or similar method to obtain the desired contour.
Tack-weld the shaped tubing onto the front fender and the forward section of the lower door panel, using braxing methods. In five or six places, the tubing is tack brazed to the side paneling. An inside curve filler probably will be necessary.
After the tubing has been completely welded, the inside fender and door panels are cut out along the bottom edge of tubing. Make a pattern out of cardboard of the cut-out panels so the a new piece of metal can be made to fit the fender well cavity. Transfer the pattern measurements onto a piece of 20-ga. metal, then cut out. Next, shape metal in roller to desired contour.
Weld the new inner panel into position, using normal braze-welding procedures. Grind welded surfaces smooth.
Next, cut the newly welded panel from bottom to top vertically along door hinge line; use an electric-powered cutting tool. Use a hacksaw to cut through attaching tube at the door hinge line. File smooth the rough-cut edges, using a vixen body file.
A new fender edge is then cut out of metal and aligned to fit the inside fender. This is then welded into position and cleaned. A small portable sandblasting outfit may be used to clean the metal; a vixen body file is used to work out low edges. All reworked metal surfaces are then tinned, wipped dry with clean cloth, and then leaded as necessary to shape contour.
After filing with a vixen body file, a buffer-disc grinder is used to smooth off to perfection all of the reworked areas. Apply #320 grit sandpaper to areas, then apply metal-prep, wax and grease remover, prior to painting with primer coat.
Concave fender well in its nearly finished state is dressed up further by insertion of fluted aluminum piece.
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