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Louvers for an Austin Healey

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  • Louvers for an Austin Healey

    Had a visitor in the shop yesterday, collaborating with Cody Walls of Traditional Metalcraft (Milton, DE) on adding some louvers to an Austin Healey project he has in his shop. We got the bonnet done yesterday, and I had to modify my radius fixture for the boot as it had too much crown to simply louver while flat. So that is yet to come.

    Time lapse:

    Collaborating with Cody Walls..... punching some Bonnet louvers

    Modifying our radius fixture for louvering the boot:

    Collaborating with Cody Walls, getting our fixtures ready for punching louvers in the boot. There is too much crown to simply use the linear slide, we also ...

    Here's pictures of the project car in Cody's shop for reference. Photo credit Traditional Metalcraft. Follow the progress on his build @eastcoastchanneljob on IG or Traditional Metalcraft on FB. This car is sporting a Honda S2000 drivetrain, should be a handful..

  • #2
    Looks great.

    if you're willing, could you please post a pic of your louver tooling in this thread when you have time? That's one of the tools sets I would like to make & have for my Gairu and yours doesn't look too complicated. TIA


    • #3
      Clint, the bottom portion of the tool is the hard part... Click image for larger version

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      • cliffrod
        cliffrod commented
        Editing a comment
        Oh well, I figured you had outsmarted the system one more time... Guess there are no short cuts this time. Thanks, man.

    • #4
      Nice job Robert !
      Peter T.


      • #5
        Thanks Peter!!

        Cody set the hood (bonnet) on the Austin Healey to get a look see on the louvers....

        …..and this past Tuesday he came back to the shop so we could finish up the louvers in the trunk lid (boot). I must say this was the most involved and challenging louver job we have done so far. The trunk lid has a lot of crown, and with a 6” rise in the center, we needed to use the rotation fixture ala Mini Cooper wheel hub. We added to this a hinge mechanism to allow rotation up and down. The limits of the machine's throat height and high crown also meant we'd have to punch half the louvers from back end first, then rotate the lid and tooling and approach the rest from the front end. Now given the extreme flex/twist that the .050 aluminum is prone to, we needed to make sure the cut pattern would be parallel to the last set at the point we rotated from front to back. This required some "gusset" straps clamped in place to limit the twist.

        Before this was added, any twist of the panel would change the outer limits of the cut +/- 1/4". Here's the wheel hub arrangement along with the hinges for up and down adjustment. We needed adjustments along 3 different axis to be able keep all the louvers running true and parallel.

        ….and we're off....

        At this point we were 4 hours in to measuring, clamping, test run (drag the cutter against the panel to scribe the location), rotate 180 front to back, and test the pattern again, just to get to where we could start cutting. …..and another 4 hours to go before we finished. All told, with the time Vince and I spent Saturday working out clamping methods and other details, the layout was approx 4 times that of what it took to do the actual cutting.

        ….and the time lapse video of the process..

        Yesterday Cody sent me pictures of the trunk lid installed.. These louvers really change the attitude of the car... Badass....


        • #6
          Man, I love a 100/4. That trapezoid grill opening is one of my favorite styling details of all time.

          The louver work is very impressive, Robert. What I like and respect most is how the jigging and fixturing represents your ability to conceive and accurately work in three dimensions while addressing the necessary articulation between the job and the equipment. Thinking about it is one thing, Doing it- especially doing it right in one shot without scrapping the real parts- proves it. Very, very cool.

          Thanks for sharing so much.