Making engine shims.
I had to make some of the dreaded shims for one of my engines this weekend and started out like most people seem to do, cutting them out one at a time. After the first couple it dawned on me how to mass-produce them so I thought I’d share my method. Using a hacksaw, grinder & file, I made one thick master shim out of a piece of 3/32” Iron flat that I had on hand. Thicker would work also but It would be harder to make, thinner might not give enough support. My finished shim was 2” wide and 7/8” tall with a ˝” hole and the usual curves. I then cut a 2” X 12” strip from a 12” wide roll of aluminum flashing and then neatly Z folded it every 1” and lightly hammered each fold flat. Once Z folded I had a flat stack of 12 1”X 2” blank shims still connected together. Next I centered my master shim on top of the stack and tightly clamped it as close to the hole as possible onto a piece of wood and drilled the ˝” hole. I then unclamped the stack and put a ˝” bolt through the master shim and the Z folded stack and tightened it up. I put this assembly in the vise and used a hacksaw to rough-cut the big pieces of scrap off and finished up with a file, always making sure I was working towards the master shim for support. Since the stack was the same width as my master shim I only had to file the top and bottom. Once all the filing was done I removed the bolt and had 12 identical & individual shims. I was able to make two batches of 12 in about 5 minutes total. I stuck in some .001 brass with the second batch for some fine-tuning shims with no problem. Hope this is useful.