Today was the big day to bend the front “hood”, in quotes because of course there’s no engine up there. “Boot” maybe? Anyway, it went okay; 0.040″ 3003 is about as thick as I’d want to go free-hand. As you can see I made due with what I had as far as bending tools go, a welding bottle, several heavy cardboard tubes, and I-beams.
It came out okay but the real work lies ahead, very carefully determining where the final trim cuts go. There’ll be 1/8″ rubber padding along the cowl and down the sides, and there’ll be locking pins that’ll apply some tension. There’ll be tubes or angle material down the sides; it’s just too critical to risk bending the hood material itself and having it off by “just a bit.” As you may recall, I chose to have the front pivot forward, so it’ll be permanently attached to the nose. Since it’s such a visible component, it requires care in getting all the edges to line up and that the hood/boot/whatever doesn’t bow, or worse, flap at higher speed. Regardless, psychologically it’s a big step forward.