Metal Dimples-Metal Tech for Hot Rodders

Author-Tom Carver

I was making this steel toolbox that will hang underneath the little door in the rear of the bed on my '32 Ford Pickup project and started thinking that the box is probably going to wind up holding a big puddle of water if it rains.  I remember seeing some dimpled drains in the floors and trunks of some old cars, so I thought of making a couple dimpled areas that I could drill small holes in so the water could have a place to drain out of easily.

I figured out this easy way to make dimples.  I put a stack of large washers with about a 1-1/2" ID hole in them in the center of my 12 ton hydraulic press, underneath the metal material I want to put the dimples in..

Then I pressed the dimples in using a big 2-1/2" trailer ball.  I used the side of the trailer ball because the top had a flat spot on it. It worked great!  It didn't warp the rest of the just made a nice, clean dimple.  The steel is 16 gauge, but it was real easy to press the dimple into it.

 I drilled a 3/16" hole in the center of both dimples for the water to drain out of.  The dimples kind of stiffen up the bottom of the box a little too.  The only tricky thing is making sure the ball stays centered over the big washers underneath.