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Attached are two photos of damage incurred during shipping.  The time and circumstances between delivery and opening the package leave me with no recourse but to attempt to fix this on my own.2021-01-12 14.30.272021-01-12 14.30.39

My plan is to use a contour gauge to trace the positive and negative contours of the front of the cab onto two blocks of wood to create top and bottom forms of the roof curve and the sandwich the rear edge of the cab between the forms and slowly tightening with "C" clamps.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.


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Last edited by coach joe
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Your clamp idea is worth trying. I have "fixed" this kind of damage a couple of times. Can be done. I have generally approached it with pliers/Vice-Grips, gently, slowly. Gentle tapping can be used, also. Some like to heat the metal with a torch; it does help, I imagine, but I have not tried it.

If it breaks, brass and epoxy become your best route; add a brass shelf and "rebuild" the broken area.

Don't expect perfection - I am sure that you do not - as it is essentially impossible and sometimes that "just one more tap/squeeze..." can be one too many.  You are going to have to address the surface scars anyway, with epoxy or filler and files or some such.

Last edited by D500

Coach, your plan is solid, and that’s what a lot of us do to make this repair,.....use hardwood, not pine or birch, those soft woods will just conform to the dent,.....cut your forms with flat ends, so a sturdy C clamp can do the work,....I use a little heat on stubborn offenders, ......that works magic,.....just warming the work piece works, need to blister paint, .....small butane torch, or map gas bottle is fine,...heat from the underside, this way if you do need to touch up, it’s concealed to the inside of the cab area,....


I also use the wood clamp method but rather than cut your blocks in the exact finish contour, use a slightly larger radius. The metal will spring back some unless you actually melt it. I have used both a high temp (800F) heat gun and a propane torch held some distance away and moving back and forth constantly. Heat it , bend a bit, heat, bend, heat bend a little at time. Straightening the deflectors will be the hard part to get right. You may have to grab them with smooth jaw pliers and get it pretty hot.


Last edited by Norton

Thanks for all the replies so far.  Pat it's good to know that what I planned to do is what you would do.  Thanks for the tip about the hardwood.  Norton your advice is sound however not knowing what that larger radius should be and as D500 said, I'm not expecting perfection I'll proceed as planned with the addition of some heat.

I'm not in a rush so it will be interesting to see if anyone else chimes in with something different.

To add a bit of color on the “take your time” comments: after perusing every thread on this forum I could find (lots) I settled on the wood block method. Have used it twice with near perfect result.  See photo for my setup and note the two screws.  Once snugged up I tightened those screws literally no more than a half turn twice a day. Repairing a 75 degree corner bend on a postwar 2034 it took almost a month total.  I started bending to a 3.5 diameter arc first (which I read was the arc size Lionel used) and once I got there I went to a larger arc of 4 3/8 and just spot bent the corner only. The only heat involved was warming the whole shell on the hot Texas summer sun. I used hole saws chucked in a drill press to cut the arcs.

I read everything posted here related to postwar stuff and it is amazing what one can learn.  Thanks.


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So the time has come to try to straighten out this roof.IMG_0024So, I used a contour gauge to transfer the curve of the roof to a piece of 1 x 3 oak.  Using hardwood as suggested by harmonyards.  The first attempt at cutting out the pattern did go well so a second pattern had to be made.IMG_0033IMG_0035Pretty good using a jig saw.  I had to use a rasp to round out the straighter area on the lower right.  Then using two 4" C clamps  to mount the forms and apply some pressure.IMG_0036IMG_0038IMG_0041You can see from the second photo the top and bottom don't line up perfectly because of the overhang of the roof and the deflectors on the trailing edge.  Now for the hard part, the squeeze with patience.  I think 1/4 turn per day using a heat gun prior to tightening.


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So today was the unveiling.  I went from this2021-01-12 14.30.27to thisIMG_0052IMG_0053

From this2021-01-12 14.30.39to thisIMG_0056I think it came out pretty good.  The deflector is a little chewed up but I don't think there is anything I can do about that. I did touch up the chipped paint with a Sharpie.  The only thing I was considering was turning my form around and pressing again.

IMG_0054Due to my poor skills using the jig saw the curve of my form is not perfectly symmetrical but made up of several arcs of different radii.  The left side a little more shallow and the right side a little deeper.  This is the way it was originally used.  I wonder if I turn it around with the shallower curve on the right and the deeper curve on the left if the final result may be even better than what I have now.  Any thoughts would be appreciated.


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Last edited by coach joe

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