making your own corrugated panels

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brit-in-bama
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making your own corrugated panels

Postby brit-in-bama » Tue Aug 28, 2018 10:04 pm

After looking around on the internet and in model shops, I was astounded by the cost of scale corrugated plastic, and it was way too thick to look convincing, yes I have seen some really good models of industrial buildings clad in it, but on close ups, the thickness of the panels is over the top, so I decided to have a go at making my own, I know I dont post often, but when I do I hope it is of help to some of you, even if yo dont copy it, I hope you can use it as inspiration and have a go!

so where to start, well, I was fumbling around in the electricians junk box in the workshop, and I came across a an old four pin electrical plug, its a 440volt type that we havnt used on our welders for a decade or more, we moved to 3 pins, years ago, but what struck me was how uniform the ribs were across the part you grip and twist into the socket, so I rummaged a bit more and found two more, I asked the sparky if he wanted them, no was his delightful answer, so off I went to measure and study them, and the upshot of this was that with a bit of work with a table saw I could make a pair of rollers, 2 inch in diameter and just less than 2 inches in length, and when placed opposite each other the ribs on the drums interlocked perfectly, the ribs when scaled down to 1/76, were to within a few microns of 3 inch ridge to ridge, or a 1/87 4inches rib to rib, so now I just had to mount them on something and roll some aluminium kitchen foil between them and I would have scale corrugated sheet!

first I mounted them is a bit of meccano to see how they ran together, and fed a piece of foil between them, it was good, but it stuck to the rollers, either top or bottom, and it was extremely difficult not to damage it, and getting it straight in the rollers was another problem, so off to the kitchen, a cup of tea and tube of ritz crackers, (always good to contemplate puzzles with tea and biscuits), so I decided to stick the foil to a piece of paper from the printer, I decided to use spray adhesive because its not water based so it wouldnt expand or be absorbed by the paper, I laid the kitchen foil shiny side up on a glass plate and then rolled it flat with a roller I made from an old printer feed roller, a bit of bar, and the handle off a broken paint roller, then sprayed the sheet of paper and placed one edge on the foil, then using the roller rolled it down onto the foil so there were no air bubbles in it, then I let it dry for a few minutes then cut it into strips as wide as the rollers of the plugs, and yes this worked better, it didnt stick to either roller, but it was hard to keep the right pressure and equal pressure the whole time.

So out came the box of meccano I bought off fleebay last year, and I made a frame and mounted the rollers in it, ran perfectly by hand, but it still wasnt even so I added a few springs to pull the top roller down onto the top of the bottom roller, now I could feed the strip and roll the top roller with my hand, and it worked, except that as before it was hard to keep it 90* to the rollers, so I had to make a paper guide, so a bit of styrene from an old for sale sign made a perfect feed guide and a collection plate.

Ok, it worked but it was very hard on my hand to drive the top roller, so out came the useful box, and I found the perfect drive system for it, a couple of years ago I was given a paper shredder to fix, but it was beyond repair, the paper cutters were just worn out, but the motor and gearbox worked just fine, 12volts as well. So with a bit more meccano and a bit of modifications I made a very powerful feed to the bottom roller, and fitted it to a piece of 12 x 8 plywood, then rebuilt the roller setup to use the gearbox output, now to test it!

It works exactly as it should, in fact it works better than I thought it would, well if you have stuck with me so far you deserve a few pictures for your patience, so here they are with a few comments.
this is the foil, 4 pin plug and spray adhesive I used to make the foil
DCP_3880.JPG

this is the foil stuck to the paper, with the roller I made.
DCP_3879.JPG

and here is thefront of the finished roller-press
DCP_3881.JPG

and here is the back with all its gubbins, the springs exert a force of about 4 lbs in total on the top roller.
DCP_3883.JPG

here is where I feed the tinfoil and paper strip,
DCP_3885.JPG

whilst the foil is still delicate its much more rigid than without the paper, as will be seen in the next post.

Anyone is free to copy and post this anywhere, so long as they include a link to this original post on this forum.
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Last edited by brit-in-bama on Wed Aug 29, 2018 7:13 pm, edited 5 times in total.

brit-in-bama
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Re: making your own corrugated panels

Postby brit-in-bama » Tue Aug 28, 2018 10:33 pm

ok so here it is in action
DCP_3887.JPG

and here is what It made
DCP_3871.JPG

and here it is on one of wordsworth railway buildings from mikem64, it was an engine shed but its now a warehouse for a trucking firm, its just stuck down with wood glue to the original card roof, only the damp here in alabama has made the old roof sag between the wood beams inside, and the vertical lines to infer they are small sheets was done with a sewing needle in a piece of 1/4 inch dowel, and just lightly scribed along a gully 16 mm apart. once that was done I made the ridge from the same sheet of foil-paper.I found it easier to glue the foil-paper on the roof overhanging both ends of the building and let the glue dry and then using a scalpel, carefully trim to the old roof,
DCP_3873.JPG

and this is one side of the roof, I lightly sprayed it with matt spray to take away the shine
DCP_3890.JPG

and this is the other side, with just the start of the weathering,
dcp_3891.jpg

as you can clearly see if you click on the photo to enlarge it, it is a much better scale, and not that hard to make, took me a couple of days to make the machine, and now I can make 11inch strips all day long.
I hope this is of interest, comments good or bad are welcomed as are any questions, maybe you can show me a better way?
and as usual anyone is free to copy and post this anywhere, so long as they include a link to this original post on this forum.

copyright © brit-in-bama 2018
Last edited by brit-in-bama on Wed Aug 29, 2018 7:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Mountain
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Re: making your own corrugated panels

Postby Mountain » Tue Aug 28, 2018 10:47 pm

That's excellent. 20 out of 10 for that. Is something I was thinking about before but have not gone ahead with as I've other projects as well. I wanted to make some but it was pending in my mind as to how.
I may end up with another method as I dont need perfection. I will re-read how you've done it as I've only glanced at it so far. :)

brit-in-bama
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Re: making your own corrugated panels

Postby brit-in-bama » Tue Aug 28, 2018 11:22 pm

Actually the rollers are not perfect and have dings and scratches all over them, after all they were fitted to welders in the welding shop, and then left in the junk box for a decade or more with lots of other junk, and if you look closely at the two strips you will see the imperfections, all I did was run my thumbnail along each grove to smooth them out a little, besides which the imperfections will probably hold more rust paint and give it a bit of texture.

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Re: making your own corrugated panels

Postby End2end » Tue Aug 28, 2018 11:33 pm

Funny enough I was reading an article earlier today out of an old Hornby collectors magazine about making corrugated iron sheeting using take away containers.
DSCF9563.JPG
DSCF9563.JPG (146.78 KiB) Viewed 1399 times

Not sure if you can find the article online (or read it via my picture) but if not I can flesh out the details for anyone if needs it.
Thanks
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brit-in-bama
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Re: making your own corrugated panels

Postby brit-in-bama » Wed Aug 29, 2018 3:39 am

new delivery :lol: , these were cut on my old regular guillotine, no deformation, or twisting. good thin bladed sharp scissors also work, or a sharp new blade in a chopper.
these pics give a better scale view, these were cut at 16mm wide (48") the figures are HO, I will use a few as replacement panels and repairs when I have rotted and rusted the roof, the rest I will leave on the pallet in the yard.
DCP_3900.JPG

DCP_3899.JPG

and for those wanting details,
DCP_3901.JPG

the paper and foil together are 4 thou thick
the width of the paper-foil is 35mm
the feed tray is 36mm wide inside to inside giving a 9ft panel for 8ft beam spans
the width of the paper grows by .5mm as it goes through the rollers
and it shortens by 1/4 in per foot because of the ripples
it doesnt matter if the ends of the strips are square,(but its less messing about afterwards) as long as it is in the paper guide, the ridges will be 90* to the strip.
I found that passing the same strip twice through it makes the ridges crisper, and it starts feeding the second time as the first ridge catches onto a ridge on one of the rollers,

Although its a 12v motor, it seems to work best at the slowest speed, about 2-3 volts, it is still strong because of the gear train, but its much easier to use, the strip travels a foot in about 10 seconds, so its 1inch per second. the paper-foil does slightly curl up as it comes out of the press, hence the tin plate guide on the back of the top roller to stop it going over the top and back in the press, but a gentle run through your finger will flatten it out

The black semi-circular block at the bottom left of the photo, are the extension pieces I cut off the original 4 pin plug, I cleaned them up and epoxied them together making sure the ridges line up, I use it to cut odd size panels it keeps me from crushing the foil as I cut them, its also useful for repairing any damaged panels by simply placing it on it and rubbing your nail or a cocktail stick or a smoothed down lolly stick inside the damaged grooves, this can be done on both sides to repair after cutting an odd shaped panel diagonally.

I have tried 4thou foil from a foil tray, but it was too thick and stiff and didnt get pushed deep enough into the grooves, and it was shiny on both sides, and didnt dull well with matt coat, so there you have it, enjoy.
brit-in-bama.

anyone is free to copy and post this anywhere, so long as they include a link to this original post on this forum.
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brit-in-bama
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Re: making your own corrugated panels

Postby brit-in-bama » Sat Sep 01, 2018 8:18 am

A quick update.
after a bit of weathering, first a helicopter view
DCP_3911.JPG

and a side view
DCP_3915.JPG

and the other side, the tar/mastic is simply black paint to outline fhe patches and repairs, and then using Isopropyl alcohol and a cotton buds to carefully clean the panel area of all the paint, far easier than masking, even if I was using a spray gun to weather it, and the replaced panels were simply cleaned between the scored marks made with a pin, (in a previous post)
DCP_3912.JPG

I also did the grease store (a tin shed), it was very easy to mark the back paper side with a sharp soft pencil and then cut it with scissors
DCP_3917.JPG

not bad for a first attempt at weathering this stuff, just ordinary acrylic water colours and a light dusting of "real" freshly made rust from our grinder dust. it may not be realistic rust but it is a good approximation of our roof on the lean-to at the back of the workshop, the panels seem to rust individually, must be how thick the galvanizing is on it.
DCP_3918.JPG

I hope this gives some of you a bit of inspiration, it was fun to do, and not really that hard to find the bits and modify them, I know I could have made the roller press entirely out of meccano, but I dont have much left after the other tools I have made from it, and funds are a bit short at the moment, so this is all shoestring stuff, happy modeling my friends.

as always anyone is free to copy and post this anywhere, so long as they include a link to this original post on this forum.
copyright © brit-in-bama 2018

BuffyMcBuffer
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Re: making your own corrugated panels

Postby BuffyMcBuffer » Sat Sep 01, 2018 9:31 pm

That just looks simply amazing!!! Another project on the to do list at some point.....

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Re: making your own corrugated panels

Postby Bufferstop » Sat Sep 01, 2018 10:56 pm

This is not a new suggestion, but I'll offer it here, your find was a bit of serendipity. I think this source of rollers was first suggested about twenty years ago, they are to be found as the handles of the sort of screwdrivers sold as "precision screwdrivers" in clear plastic box sets of five or six differing sizes. I've found that where ordinary kitchen foil isn't up to the job, "turkey foil" is that bit stronger. I think takeaway foil trays may be a bit thick for feeding through the rollers but it can be corrugated by laying it over the "too thick" plastic sheet and rolling it with a foam rubber roller.
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brit-in-bama
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Re: making your own corrugated panels

Postby brit-in-bama » Sun Sep 02, 2018 1:44 am

thanks bufferstop, it was a fortunate unexpected find when I wasnt looking for them, yes I had noticed the precision screwdrivers but they (over here anyway) are simply monkey-metal with mild steel tips, I use them on soft stuff, but I think the small diameter would make it hard to drive with the stuff I have to hand, after all I didnt set out to create this machine it just evolved, and besides the bigger the roller the easer it is to drive, I am not disparaging any other method of doing this, each to their own, but it does fulfill something I have been putting off because of the cost, and that is a model cement plant, yes I know walthers do one but its almost $100, there are other industrial buildings also that I want to make, which are not made, I can only use what I have to hand or find for nowt, and all the above parts I had, I guessed that someone had previously done this type of machine, but havnt found it, so I just did it, and now I can create as much as I want, you are right about the foil trays, they are not only thicker but they are a harder alloy so they hold their shape better, I have tried various types of foil in the machine, and I hate to say it but the kitchen foil-paper seems to work the best, it runs through the machine with minimal resistance, it hold its shape well, it is easy to work with, gentle on your hands, and cuts with scissors without deforming the cut edge, its also a doddle to glue to anything because its backed with paper, I didnt mind doing the odd piece with foil and computer ribbon tape, but it was a long process and hard on the fingers if I had to do even a small roof, it was also very flimsy, we dont use turkey foil here, no need, we have had this roll of foil for at least 4 years, and used about half of it, anyway the point of this post wasnt so much to show off my skills (although we all like to be appreciated) but more to inspire other to look around and see what they can use to make a similar or better way of making it at minimal cost, one thing I forgot to mention is that if you run a silver permanent maker around the sheet when cut, the paper edge just just disappears!

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Re: making your own corrugated panels

Postby Bufferstop » Sun Sep 02, 2018 4:31 pm

Yes all valid points, what we need now is for someone to identify a source of suitable rollers from something off the shelf. That's the problem with junk box finds, they are hard to replicate.
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brit-in-bama
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Re: making your own corrugated panels

Postby brit-in-bama » Sun Sep 02, 2018 9:42 pm

yes I fully agree, however thats not going to happen, I have spent hours and hours over the last couple of years looking for something even slightly close, so I think its time to consider an alternative approach.

I have watched plenty of 3D printers at work, and the SLA seem to be better suited to this project, if someone on here could produce a sleeve with the convolutions and make it so it wold be a push-fit onto a 2 inch dia machined nylon roller, (which belong to roller-track systems and real easy to find over here ) with a wall thick enough to be strong, it may be possible to print one of these machines as a set of parts, of course the motor and gears would add to the cost, but I am sure a hand cranked version would also be possible, similar to an old mangle on a washing machine, and if the sleeves are a good fit, and you can change them easily then any scale of grooves could be used depending on the scale you are working with. I dont know if anyone on here has access to a sla printer or how much it would cost in resin and time, but it would be interesting to know if anyone on here is up for trying. Taking it one step further, at one end perhaps the standard gear tooth depth/and width and pattern of a meccano small gear just less than the diameter of the sleeve would be an easy solution to motorizing it.

link to the 2" roller in the states, you must have something similar in the UK, probably metric though.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/2-Inch-Nylon-Roller-Wheel-Bearing-Guiding-Wheel-Flat-Belt-Idler-Machined/191887437292?_trkparms=aid%3D555017%26algo%3DPL.CASSINI%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20150817211758%26meid%3D6c94e3f1d46940748b262ef2c087fd22%26pid%3D100507%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D1%26%26itm%3D191887437292&_trksid=p2045573.c100507.m3226

BuffyMcBuffer
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Re: making your own corrugated panels

Postby BuffyMcBuffer » Sun Sep 02, 2018 10:57 pm

Sure do

Rubber roller, paint roller, glue roller are all good alternatives to start with

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Bufferstop
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Re: making your own corrugated panels

Postby Bufferstop » Sun Sep 02, 2018 11:14 pm

I'll take a trip round B&Q (UK DIY warehouse), see what rollers are readily available here, we may need US and Metric versions, don't want to end up with the Russian Metric inch problem.
The thickness of any shell is going to depend to a degree on the size of the corrugations as it will need a whole number around the circumference. I don't know if my software can do that automatically, but I know some software does. PLA should be firm enough for the rolling surface. Just a little challenge to add to the list of things I'm doing
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Re: making your own corrugated panels

Postby Pete » Wed Sep 05, 2018 8:00 am

You can pick up 2" rubber brayer rollers on ebay for a couple of quid. You can get them with plenty of clearance between the roller and frame, it would be far more robust than a decorating roll.

Fibreglass rollers might do the trick without any modification if you could find the right rib configuration

https://www.bodico.com/collections/fibe ... ng-rollers


I think this probably meets the catagory of a first world problem :wink:

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