How does aircraft spruce roll up aluminum sheets

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way_up_noth

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Hey everyone

I have to move some sheets around and was wondering the technique used to roll up big sheets of aluminum
 

Angusnofangus

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Hey everyone

I have to move some sheets around and was wondering the technique used to roll up big sheets of aluminum
Obviously, the thicker the material the harder it is to roll and the rolls will be larger in diameter. I just always rolled them to whatever size seemed to be not too tight and secured it with Red Green's favourite fix-all, duct tape. Tape it in three or four places as one probably won't hold.
 

Chris In Marshfield

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Pop over to Home Depot sometime and check out the cart that they have for rolling up sheet goods like formica. Pretty nifty. For the life of me, I can't find a picture of one online or a video of it. I'll bet they have something similar.

Rough sketch of the end view of a plywood box with padded edges that the sheet goods ride on. Feed from the top and the sheet coils onto itself. Band it up, pull it out the end.
sheet_roller.png
Or maybe they just coil it by hand. But this approach would minimize the likelihood of kinking the sheet.
 

Victor Bravo

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Was just at Aircraft Spruce on Friday... they have a surplus of manpower in the warehouse there... so if they need three or four guys to roll one of the sheets up it's not a problem.

But for one person like you and me, it can get to be a lot harder and more embarrassing- "Like a monkey trying to **** a football" as one of my favorite flight instructors said.

What you can do is move the sheet to where the far edge of it is against a wall, or a heavy object. Put it on the ground with a piece of foam, fabric, carpet, cardboard, etc. under it. This makes it so it can't slide around and scratch the aluminum, or remove your Alclad layer..

Then you can lift up the near end and roll the sheet by yourself, pressing against the wall or whatever to keep control of it..

But before you start rolling the sheet, take a piece of string or twine and make a quick loop in one end, then run the free end through the loop, making a poor man's noose. Have this noose ready next to the wall or floor stop object. When it's set up in advance like that, you can slip your noose over the roll, pull it tight, and tie it off.

Then you can stand the roll up, move it around, and contact Red at the Possum Lodge Aerospace Engineering company for additional securing methods :)

If you want to make points for cleverness, you can tie another loop in the string and tape the string to the roll, and use that loop as a lifting handle.
 
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Pops

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At one time I maintained and overhauled the roller that rolled the large rolls of aluminum as it came off the mill.
Its really a very large version of what Chris drew but using power driven belts to guide the end. Also has a retractable center mandrel for the start. It runs in and out of position on railroad tracks.

When shipped rolled in a box, I cut a slot in the side of the box, (careful and don't scratch the aluminum) so I can pull the end of the alum out the slot and cut off the length I need. Like a wax-paper box.
 

way_up_noth

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Pop over to Home Depot sometime and check out the cart that they have for rolling up sheet goods like formica. Pretty nifty. For the life of me, I can't find a picture of one online or a video of it. I'll bet they have something similar.

Rough sketch of the end view of a plywood box with padded edges that the sheet goods ride on. Feed from the top and the sheet coils onto itself. Band it up, pull it out the end.
View attachment 98971
Or maybe they just coil it by hand. But this approach would minimize the likelihood of kinking the sheet.
Hi Chris

Thanks for the detailed explination.one of those mysteries of the universe finally revealed... I was wondering how they did it and not scratch it to hell or put folds and dings in it

I was wondering about your expedition project..you mentioned it was on hold... now that Bob has the Bearhawk 5...what are your thoughts ... you going to continue with your version or pick up a set of Bearhawk 5 plans...

There was a old Bearhawk forum you told me about last year ... but I can’t find the post to get the link... it was for off topic Bearhawk conversation ...I’d like to check it out
 

karmarepair

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.016 is easy, solo. .020 is challenging, depending on the temper .032 is pretty hairy, and .040 fehgedaboutit.
 

Chris In Marshfield

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Hi Chris

Thanks for the detailed explination.one of those mysteries of the universe finally revealed... I was wondering how they did it and not scratch it to hell or put folds and dings in it

I was wondering about your expedition project..you mentioned it was on hold... now that Bob has the Bearhawk 5...what are your thoughts ... you going to continue with your version or pick up a set of Bearhawk 5 plans...

There was a old Bearhawk forum you told me about last year ... but I can’t find the post to get the link... it was for off topic Bearhawk conversation ...I’d like to check it out
I would buy a BH5 kit in a heartbeat given the means. I probably won’t buy plans, though. I’ve known about that plane for a while, before plans were available. Since it hadn’t ever been built, and I hadn’t ever built a plane, Bob wouldn’t let me buy the plans (although he appreciated my interest and we talked a long time about it). Colin is the perfect person to build the first one. He’s a BH veteran!

The OT group is an email mailing list only. You can find them at bearhawkgroups.com and browse the archives. More BS, politics, and conspiracy theorists than airplane talk, but there are some talented aviators there. Just have to filter it out. Come equipped with tolerance.
 

Marc Bourget

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If you're rolling a sheet of aluminum, the first thing to do is cut about an 8" wide by 4' piece of cardboard, fold it in half lengthwise and put that on the leading edge of the end you're trying to fold. Avoids some nasty scratches, it does.
 
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