DIY corrugated metal sheets: progress report

In our last episode, I posted about an alternative source to Campbell's for scale corrugated metal sheets, as well as a couple of DIY ideas for
making the stuff.
Well, based on what I saw here:
http://www.thewhistlepost.com/forums/craftsmans-bench/10765-ole-wagon-shop-3.html#post80947
I have successfully done a proof-of-concept test of this method.
Rather than the rather primitive use of one's fingers to impress the aluminum foil, I built a little rig, using the handles of two cheap (Chinese) jeweler's screwdrivers as crimping rollers. See a sketch of the rig here:
http://s786.photobucket.com/albums/yy147/bonezphoto/?action=view&current=Corrugatedmetalmaker.gif
To make it, I picked two expendable screwdrivers that seemed to have the same "pitch" of knurling on their handles. (They weren't even exactly the same size, but pretty close.) I removed the thumbrests from both by grinding off the attachment rivet. Then I built a little plywood and wood box, with carefully-cut holes in the sides to hold both screwdrivers placed together handle-to-handle so that the knurlings meshed. I cut two bands from sheet brass to act as hole inserts and bearings. Put the thing together, made a primitive crank from a piece of scrap metal, and voila! the thing actually made a very nice-looking strip of embossed tinfoil (aluminum foil). In fact, it looks *almost* as good as the Campbell's stuff!
Still a work in progress
1. I tried to find the heavy aluminum foil but no luck yet. Note to those interested in trying this: I bought some foil that was labeled "heavy duty", but it turned out to be about as thin as the regular stuff. Definitely too flimsy to use on structures, since it's so easy to crinkle and really hard to handle. I'm looking for the stuff that's about halfway between regular tinfoil and the aluminum sheet used in throwaway pie tins, etc. Anyone know where to get this stuff? I'm going to widen my search to other supermarkets.
2. My screwdrivers are pretty small. It would be better to use larger-diameter ones. These screwdrivers can be bought in sets for a buck at dollar stores, so I'm looking for a better set. The larger ones would probably also be longer, making it possible to make wider sheets. My rig makes sheets a little less than 2" wide, which is actually fine for most HO scale uses.
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http://www.thewhistlepost.com/forums/craftsmans-bench/10765-ole-wagon-shop-3.html#post80947
http://s786.photobucket.com/albums/yy147/bonezphoto/?action=view&current=Corrugatedmetalmaker.gif
That's great! I bought mine for a few bucks for O-Scale and it makes sheets that look better than anything I can buy and I didn't need to sacrifice screwdrivers.
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On 11/7/2010 11:43 PM Lobby Dosser spake thus:

You bought one? Really? I had no idea such things were available. Where? What kind was it? Are they available for HO? Details, pleeze.
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Yes, available for all scales. Get two as they are cheap and easier to turn out the stuff. Go on e-bay and search for "Corrugated metal making die". He sells them and I think makes them or has them made. I'm happy.

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On 11/9/2010 11:00 PM Lobby Dosser spake thus:

Ah, so. Like this: http://cgi.ebay.com/Corrugated-metal-making-die-Wide-HO-2-6-ribs-/360246127922
Nice and cheap, sure, and probably works OK for the regular (thin) tinfoil. I assume that's what you use?
But I want something better: a little crimping machine, like the prototype I made, that can impress thicker foil. That thin stuff is just too flimsy to handle.
Still, nice to know that there's a low-cost DIY solution out there.
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Should mention he does some nice modelling. See here:
http://www.allthingsmini.com/tomfassett/miningcamp/desk02.html

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