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All tank parts dimpled

As luck would have it, I found myself back in the shed twice in the same day. A rare and joyous event nowadays. So to make the most of the opportunity, I decided I was going to try and dimple everything that needed it in a single session.

I set up my C-frame in between my two benches and dimpled the skins. I only dimpled the holes that I wouldn’t be able to reach with the squeezer.

Dimpling the tank skins

I then set up my pneumatic squeezer and went about dimpling all the holes near the edge of the skins. The squeezer is much easier and faster.

Dimpling the skin edges

I then set up the squeezer in the vice (because it is heavy) and dimpled the tank stiffeners and most of the holes on the ribs. I coulnd’t quite do all of them as the vice or bench were getting in the way. I then removed the squeezer from the vice and dimpled the remaining holes.

Dimpling the tank ribs

It was about this stage that I was in “auto-pilot”. The iPod was cranked, grab the next piece, dimple, put aside, grab the next piece, dimple, put aside … These periods are easy to make a mistake, which is exactly what happened. In my enthusiasm to dimple, I ended up starting to dimple the tank baffle flange, which you’re not supposed to do.

Uh ho!

Fortunately I had only dimpled a few holes before I picked up that something was wrong. The thing that snapped me out of auto pilot was tha dimple die slightly clashing with the web-flange bend. It wasn’t major, but it was enough for me to double-check with the plans and subsequently find out my mistake. I fixed the problem using my squeezer. Using some flat dies and a pressure of about 50 psi, I carefully squeezed each dimple so that is became flat again.

No more dimples

I finished up by dimpling the screw holes on my C-frame. After testing a few different dies and methods on some scrap, I found that using my #8 dimple die set on the C-frame worked the best. Here are both tanks skins all dimpled.

Dimpled tank skins

I was getting called in for dinner just as I was finishing with the skins. Perfect timing! All tank parts are now dimpled. Next I will need to break all the edges on the skins and baffle plates.

Build time 4 hours.


About gstrack

Husband and father of 2. Control & Instrumentation Engineer. Flying nut. Gadget geek.


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