Making a new 1938 Chevrolet truck fender from scratch New project to show you, but this time not for a customer but made as a display item to showcase our skills for a car show in downtown Denver, Creme de la Chrome Rocky Mountain Auto Show. Since we have the 1938 Chevrolet truck project for Pepsi at the shop still in bare metal, it was the perfect opportunity to use one of the front fenders as a pattern to aid the build of a fresh handcrafted new one. Especially as reproductions are only available in fiberglass and originals are pretty much impossible to find. We chose the front fender because of its complexity and detail in comparison to the rear. Our objective was to show if we can make this fender, we can make you any panel whether its a reproduction of an original or a custom ‘one-off’ panel unique to your vehicle. Checkout the stages below of how the fender was built to completion. Here’s our Pepsi truck project and the left hand front fender that we are going to replicate. The body of the fender is divided into 4 sections (24″x30″) because the fender has a tremendous amount of shape. Expecting the material to stretch that far from one single sheet of metal would be too much to ask versus a blank production pressing from the factory. It’s also more economical time-wise for the project to create it in sections. This is No.1 of the 4 main body sections made and offered up to the original Chevrolet fender for profile and shape accuracy. As you can see we are about 90% there on fit, with just a little more stretching to go. Final shaping achieved with the combination of a plannishing hammer and defining with the English Wheel. Sections and shape progressing as we TIG weld them together once. The rear section of the fender, a little trickier due to the style line crease running from the base. Now that the 4 sections are together and metal finished, we advance onto the reverse curvature shapes. A close up of the metal finishing applied to the TIG welds. After patterning up from the original fender, we begin making the spine of the fender that bolts to the truck. Lower front section shown that tails out over the frame horn. The electric powered bead roller by Baileigh used to recreate the 45 degrees step in the wheel arch opening. Interior shot of the fender showing uniform weld joints and the 45 degrees step in preparation for the factory wired edge. ‘Knocking’ over the edge for the first stage of the wired edge process. Wired edge completed, just like from the factory! Overall view of the the fender interior to show the break down stages. Area shown is bolted to the lower cab. Although hidden, it’s important this detail is crisp and correct. Completed and displayed at this years Creme de la Chrome Rocky Mountain Auto Show. Sand bag and wooden mallet with a sheet metal blank represent the beginnings of the fender. And finally a view from the rear and of our neighbors at the show. 5 Responses joeaverage21 February 24, 2014 VERY nice work!!! Just read through the VW 15DD conversion on TheSamba. I am so curious about how you made the complex curves of the die for the VW rear window. Did you use a CNC machine for that part? On this fender for the portion under the cab – did you make a mold to hammer the steel into shape or did you just do it with dies and steel as hammer-breaking edge? I’m working my way through a ground up restoration on a ’78 VW Westy plus a Corvair engine transplant (a careful install that can be reversed easily later if I want). A pretty easy resto job – mostly cleaning and painting. A few patches need to be made and welded in – great beginner stuff – just flat steel patches that don’t show anyhow. Lots of new skills for me in the right doses to learn with. Anyhow, I was reading and learning from what you have shown here. You are a teacher and inspiration. Thank you. valerietms February 25, 2014 For the VW jig I made that with a bandsaw and TIG welding. I wish I had access to a CNC machine, I could do a lot of damage! For this fender, all I used was cardboard templates and then shaped it all by hand. Good luck on your resto – sounds nice! Thanks for reading. joeaverage21 March 19, 2014 Thank you. My imagination is racing… Oh the things I could imagine building with those skills. 😉 Kevin Hockman March 6, 2016 I was wondering how hard it would be to make a grand piano shape? If this were feasible, might I find someone who might fabricate such a thing? Jack November 29, 2016 Interesting, It appears that the original left fender is being used as a pattern? If this is the case then the new fender is larger than the original. Isn’t that the reason that wooden bucks are made? If you continue to use an original fender as a template it will always be too big. I’m sure when comparing both fenders on the car one is larger than the other because no wooden buck was made with original dimensions. All that time spent for a larger fender on one side than the other…. shame….