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Miniature Bead Roller

Guy Gadois

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Guy Gadois

Many of the older cars and trucks stiffened some of the metal panels by rolling a bead onto the surface. This process added torsional strength as well as a decorative element. When I built the '29 Ford truck I could have used a bead roller but one of a small size was not available.


The scale model truck I am now fabricating (the oldest pickup) has clamshell fenders which do have the fender beads. Any how I decided to build a miniature beader (overall length is 6 inches). It is constucted of aluminum and cold rolled steel. I couldn't leave the body alone so I engine-turned it. My wife said "to pretty it up". Maybe that is the case but it is certainly not a manly description!


The third photo show applications of two of the dies I have made. One is the bead on a fender and the other is an offset lap joint used in soldering two pieces together with no visible seam showing (on the back side in the photo). The fourth photo shows how the dies shape the metal although the metal has already been shaped.


Cheers, Gadois





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Peter Jensen

Very nice in both design and workmanship.  Not only will be a useful tool in your work, but it should give you much pleasure every time you use it knowing that you constructed it yourself.

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Warren Barnard

beautiful, Enzo would be proud but then he'd want to know why you had it and weren't producing his cars with it, before sending the boys around to bring it home.


Thanks for showing us this lovely tool.



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Bill Hudson

Very respectful work, Arlen.  Right up to your high standards. I want one. Just don't see enough of your work.  It sure would be nice to see progress pictures of you pickup truck constructions when they happen.



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