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  #16 (permalink)  
Old 02-04-2005, 09:15 PM
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I need some ideas on replacing all the wood too. The best I can come up with is using thin walled square tube and either cut or bend it to match the shape of the panel I'm reinforcing. But then how do I attach it? Drill holes all the way through both sides and plug weld it on? should we just start with flat stock, form it to fit, then weld on bent tube to that for strength. On my prject I need to replace wood everywhere. The body is mounted to the frame by wood, all I have are door skins, there are wood supports throughout the roof, the windshield frame is all supported by wood, wood everywhere. Its going to be a large undertaking.
thanks

Gary

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  #17 (permalink)  
Old 02-04-2005, 10:05 PM
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We replaced all the wood in my brothers 22 Buick Roadster. What we did was to use square tubing mostly. We made a template of off the body where it would be located. We then cut one side of the tube to that template. On the roadster the body is so short vertically we just left the tubing straight on the inside. We boxed in the tube where it was cut and then welded it to other pieces of the tubing structure with only a tack here and there to the body it's self. On many parts like the bottom of the doors for instance, we left the tube straight, being it was hidden behind the body skin anyway. If it didn't match perfectly with the actual skin, you would never know. The strength would still be there. After all the structure was welded together it formed a sort of "roll cage". We used the actual nail holes in the body panels where it was nailed to the wood to plug weld the skin to the structure. In the roadster body EVERY single part of the stucture was fabed by my brother and I. There is literally no structure what so ever in those old GM open car bodies. No floor, not even a thicker metal around the bottom. The skin of the body simply had a 1/2" fold at the bottom that was nailed to the wood floor! The door skins were only SKINS with a 1/2" lip around the edge to nail it to the wood.

If you take one piece at a time, don't look at it as a huge project, just one piece at a time, you will get it done.

I worked on a 35 Chevy sedan once where the guy had replaced all the wood with perfect copies of each wood piece. He made these hollow pieces out of 1/16" or maye 3/32" flat stock all tigged together. They had lightening holes with chamfered edges. It was a friggin work of art. But after all the interior trim is installed all that art work is hidden. My brothers car isn't that beautiful under the upholstery but it looks darn good. I really think the trick is to not try to copy the wood, just do what makes sense to replace the structure.

I will dig up some photos to post. Here is the finished product.
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Old 02-05-2005, 07:20 AM
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On replacing wood...

My advice on replacing wood is to not get too carried away. MARTINSR makes a good point by noting that it ALL (except the sills) gets covered up. If wood will do the job structurally I see no need to replace it. On my '36 (the last year they used wood) I replaced all the wood in the doors, and the wood around the trunk opening. Everywhere else I (1) used the original wood (2) fab'd a new design out of wood, or (3) purchased new wood. There are no nails in my car... replaced them with brass inserts/machine screws or sheet metal or wood screws.
The wood over the doors and around the rear window was like new. Fab'd a new design around the port windows using plywood. Purchased new b-pillar wood. Built my own sills out of some real nice hardwood purchased locally.
I believe the only really critical wood replacement is the doors. Every single rod I have personally seen, that retained the door wood has problems, hard to open/close, sags, etc. I did not use any tube steel in my doors but used a 'stress panel' design. The inner door is made up of 3 panels, the 2 top ones are removeable, the lower one was welded in place.
I also believe there may be some sound deadening properties with wood, particularly the sills and b-pillars. You can view some of what I did here...

http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/bikeop...=ae25&.src=ph&
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Old 02-05-2005, 09:48 AM
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thanks guys, as far as keeping any wood, I just don't think it would hold up to extended 80 mph driving over a few years. I want to replace it all. I like the idea of the flat stock welded together with lightening holes, it probably would look like the skeleton of an old airplane, might be a good enough interior until I get around to filling it in. I really like the all mechanical look with everything made of some sort of metal. Guess I'll just go out and tear into it. Thanks agian, any detailed pictures would be appreciated.

Gary
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Old 02-05-2005, 10:12 AM
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Making body bracing

One can use square tube for this..a gentle curve can be made by using a hyd press and making a curving die..this will put in a gnetle sweep by pressing and moving the tube back and forth..

Bigger sweep (more curve) saw kerf the tube with a hack saw and bend it to suit and weld the kerfs shut..

Tight curves can be made by taking out a pie shaped segment and bending the shape and then welding the cuts shut..

0.60 wall tube in the sizes needed is readily available..

one just needs to either skip weld the body panels on or plug weld through the existing holes left by the old fasteners..

Takes some fiddling to get the right shape..

another thing to do is use a bit larger tube and cut the sweep into the tube..this makes a three sided piece and gives a good result as well..if you have a power hack that can be used in the vertical position this makes this job a lot easier..

Haaving a moaning chair to set and think a bit before cutting helps as well..

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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 02-05-2005, 11:48 AM
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gahi,
Quote:
Originally posted by gahi
as far as keeping any wood, I just don't think it would hold up to extended 80 mph driving over a few years... would look like the skeleton of an old airplane..."
I don't want to sound like an advocate for the wood industry, and I fully support any rodder's decision to build his project anyway he wants to, but since you bring up the subjects of airplanes, read the following taken from a homebuilt aircraft publication I have...
."Wood is the oldest aircraft structural material, but has a poor public acceptance. The strength-to-weight ratio and fatigue resistance of wood is excellent, the problem is simply its susceptibility to rot. Properly protected and stored, a wooden airframe will last decades. But if not cared for, it will be destroyed in a few short years.".

A good example, in my case was the sills. More than half of the surface was exposed to the open road for a half century, there was no sign of any preservative left, and they were still 100% structurally sound.
The ONLY reason I advocate keeping some of the wood is because it saves a tremendous amount of time and effort.
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Old 02-05-2005, 03:08 PM
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LOL, I have been IN planes with wood structure flying faster than 80 MPH and the planes were sixty to eighty years old!

No, the wood works, if it is there. If you have to make it, it depends on what you are good at,wood or metal. I myself will use metal.
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Old 02-05-2005, 04:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by MARTINSR
...it depends on what you are good at,wood or metal...
Well, not quite... There are a few guys around the country that make a lota wood parts. i.e., I got my b-pillar wood from one. The b-pillar wood on a '36 is full of all kinds of weird shapes and angles. This part would have a 'high degree of difficulty' rating if it were to be re-produced outa wood or metal. It was relatively cheap just to purchase and installed these high quality hardwood store-bought wooden ones, and a whole lot faster.
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Old 02-05-2005, 09:52 PM
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you guys make a good point about the wood in old aircraft. I was out in the garage contemplating and I looked rellay close at all of the wood. It seems like alot of it was there just to hold the interior. the car is a 28 Hupmobile, there is about 1-1/2 in thick wood on top of the frame that the wood that supports the body is mounted to. much of it is missing and the rest is pretty rotten. My plan now is to take 1x2 or 2x2 tubing and make templates of the wood to trace onto the steel. then cut the tube leaving the flat surface to box it back in, kind of like taking a pie shape out of the ends. for the roof I'll bend the tube to the right radius. I may leave most of the wood that only supports the interior, if its in good shape. Otherwise its getting the axe.
thanks

Gary
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  #25 (permalink)  
Old 02-05-2005, 10:42 PM
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Those wood pieces that the upholstery attaches are called "tack strips". Most cars of the time had them. Just an FYI
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  #26 (permalink)  
Old 02-25-2005, 07:59 PM
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Fellows don't let wood scare you. It will hold up to what you are planning. Over the years i have reconstructed many wooden frames and I am currently working on a 1923 Moon that has a complete wooden frame. I use styrofoam panels (glueing together insulations sheets) and an old electric carving knife to make mockups. It is cheap and easy to work with and if you screw up you can just glue it back together. Once you have a pattern you can make the part or have some one else make it up for you. The pattern is the important part. Regarding tack strips I use modern plastic material designed for modern convertible tops. I have used this material on my last three cars and they work great. You can use a staple gun instead of tacks with this material.
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