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PHASE 3: Tunnel

It was time to lay out the tunnel.  I wanted to make the side pieces as one unit with the divide down the middle.  This would give more strength to the entire structure.

I will admit, it was the first time making a tunnel from 5051 .080" aluminum.  I did not get the first attempt correct.  I was off by less than an 1/8" inch, but the bottom rivets would not have seated properly.  So I did use 2 sheets of 4' X 8' aluminum.  At $76 a sheet, it was still a LOT less than buying one already made.

Here you can see the layout.  My next door neighbor builds custom lighting and neon business signs.  I help him out from time to time, so I do have some experience bending aluminum.  He has a press-break, so I can say that I did actually make it myself.  I cut it out with a jig saw and a metal blade on the rounded corners, and cut the long straight lines on my neighbors 12" Niagra sheer.

There is also a picture of the formed tunnel after I got it home.     


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