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Old 01-22-2012, 02:27 PM
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building a wood-framed body from scratch?...

hey everyone.. im looking to build a car from scratch... its not exactly going to be a hot rod i guess.. but i guess in some form it will be...

anyway.. im looking to build it from scratch so im basically looking for body options.. i want a car with a body that can be fabricated without very expensive tools and design.. such as those with a wooden frame, i do a lot of carpentry and fabrication with wood, even moreso than metal so it would be nice to find a 30s era body i could make for this project

which cars have bodies that would be suitable to make from scratch?...

i like model A bodies and would love a model A sedan, but i know they didnt use wood for this.. is the metal structure beneath the sheet metal specially made on special tooling or is it something that can be fabricated?

as for the frame, a tube steel chassy will be made to the appropriate dimensions for whichever body i decide to go with, but i am looking for a sedan type...

well, thanks in advance to anyone thats willing to help
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Old 01-22-2012, 03:40 PM
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We have a lot of scratch built hot rods on this site... Here's a few that might give you some idea's..


Scratch Built Cars...(Home Made Rods)

Building your hot rod from scratch.

"The Scratch-Built Hot Rod" -- a new ebook by cboy

New Homemade Ratrod In The Making!!!

Building A Homemade C-cab !!!

The Roofus Special

This is just a few... Take a look around..
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Old 01-22-2012, 03:59 PM
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You can make an armature from square steel tubing and attach the body panels to that..that is not too hard and the square tube can be bent and curved as needed..one can even make a homemade die that will bend the tube..

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Old 01-22-2012, 04:36 PM
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I thought Model "A"s were still wood underneath....Changed when the 32 came out....Am I wrong?
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Old 01-22-2012, 05:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poncho62
I thought Model "A"s were still wood underneath....Changed when the 32 came out....Am I wrong?
Not sure but the wood frame with metal covering was a common deal in custom coach building up to the mid 30's. that system does not live well with modern power though..

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Old 01-22-2012, 07:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poncho62
I thought Model "A"s were still wood underneath....Changed when the 32 came out....Am I wrong?
Nope.

Check out Cboys e-book for a LOT of info.
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Old 01-23-2012, 12:02 AM
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i liked the second link that was posted, looked like someone made a wireframe of the body with tube steel then covered it in metal... if i could do that with a model A or a '32 sedan body i think that would be perfect...

question is, are there any available plans or blueprints i could go by to make those pieces for the body, or is it mostly just eyeing an origional and going from there?

if the blueprints/plans or dimensions of the body arent easily available, i guess i could find a 3D model of a model A or B online, convert that 3D model into a solid modeling program to scale up to full size, and design a metal frame to go underneath and go by that, but dimensions/blueprints from a real body would be better since in the back of my mind it would probably be more accurate
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Old 01-23-2012, 12:16 AM
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i guess when the body is sorted, im still going to have to find out how the hoods are shaped and fenders since i do intend to use fenders, but since the body i want to use will use a composite material, i could probably find fiberglass resproduction fenders online...

as for the "radiator" im going to use or buy the outline trim of the radiator itself, and then install a mesh to that so itll maintain the same look but act as an air intake to the engine instead

ive found some hubs for spoke wheels thatll fit various 5 or 6 bolt hub patterns, i was actually playing with the idea of using this with a large motorcycle rim to have spoked skinny wheels thatll match the axles, but i might use a solid reproduction rim from the era instead

as you can see im still in the brainstorming process, coming up with ideas and still thinking things through, so im up for suggestions on any of it, and if anyone could think of something more stylish while still being ever-day functional, im open to it

basically, im trying to design a daily driver out of this, so theres a good chance ill use a pre-existing frame and title from an appropriate sized ford truck to make licensing less difficult
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Old 01-23-2012, 03:32 AM
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The Ford truck frame isnt going to lend well to a early 30's vehicle. you could however, use enough of the original frame, engine, trans and rear end and emissions system to maintain the title from that vehicle. If anyone asked, you could just say the original truck rusted out, but you rebuilt it..

with a bit of work, you could move a '83-'97 Ford Ranger front crossmember forward to get the stance right, but then you will have to mount the engine behind it. with fenders and a hood it would be covered up, but otherwise, that wont look right
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Old 01-23-2012, 04:59 AM
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i was thinking about using a ranger frame.. pre 1987 though so i wouldnt have to worry about emissions or catalytic converters and such...

in this state i can apply for a custom VIN whether its a reused frame or not, or if i use a frame for a ranger i can just register it as a ranger since they go by the VIN of the frame, just seems easier to use the frame though

this will be a custom car based on 30s styling, but it wont really follow a hotrod formula as instead of using a V8, i may use a small 4 cylinder perkins turbodiesel for fuel economy.. might even go electric with a small diesel generator for the long trips.. something i can get insane fuel economy with for some fun traveling

anyway.. id actually prefer to make the body using a tube steel frame under the body panels, sort of a built-in hidden roll cage for safety but.. i guess id really need to find a set of schematics somewhere so i can be sure i get the exterior shape of the body right, as well as the size and positions of the windows and doors.. once i have the exterior dimensions in order, i can design the metal frame to go under it
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Old 01-23-2012, 01:40 PM
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hmm.. what sort of tools am i going to be needing for this?.. obviously it wouldnt hurt me to get a pipe/tube bender... if i make the body panels from sheet metal ill need a sheet roller, but ill probably go composite... i guess i could hand-sculp some sections of the body myself from a soft wood or foam to use as a mould for the composite materials... i guess theres really not much more to it than i thought...

umm, so any source of proper dimensions or am i better off finding another way to copy the contours?
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Old 01-24-2012, 07:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jason41987
hmm.. what sort of tools am i going to be needing for this?..
At the risk of sounding a bit pompous, Hotrodders.Com is a massive resource for scratch building cars and bodies. But I get the distinct impression you have not yet taken advantage of all the material that is right here at your fingertips, and made available for free by guys like New Interiors and many others. Randy provided you with a list of links way up in the second or third response to get you started...links which provide pretty clear discussion of many of the questions you have articulated in your subsequent posts.

You really don't need to reinvent the wheel. Even your question about the tools necessary to complete a job like this is dealt with in the links provided above. The guys here who have scratch built bodies are more than willing to share their knowledge and experience. But in all fairness, they do expect that you do your homework first and at a minimum read ALL the links provided by New Interiors from beginning to end, including the complete book which Hotrodders.Com has published on the subject of scratch building.

Obviously, after reading that material, you may have additional questions and other avenues you might want to pursue. And that is where our members can be most helpful. But in the meantime use the links you have been provided and also use the search function which is provided at the top of the page entering such terms as "scratch built hot rod" "hand fabricated body" etc. etc.

Don't get me wrong. We love to discuss new project ideas and to hear about what you have in mind. But it is also helpful if you show you have done some digging on your own and that you are, at a minimum, familiar with all of the scratch building documentation that this site has made available to you.

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Old 01-24-2012, 01:11 PM
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not pompous.. i have been reading those forums though.. not all at once since i dont have the time right now and there are a lot of them.. but i have been reading through them for information and scanning the internet for drawings and schematics... i believe i may have found some basic drawings to get started building a 3D model from dimensions, but i can foresee where im going to be needing input at

example is the radius of the back/side corners of the body, the radius of the curved back piece, and the section from the top to the back... with a lot of the other specifics im willing to use my own interpretations
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Old 01-24-2012, 02:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jason41987
... and there are a lot of them...
Yes, there are. In fact, Hotrodders.Com may have one of the best and most extensive collections of scratch built/hand fabrication resources on the web. So go crazy with what's already available here. And once you start building, be sure to share your experience (and photographs) with others on the site as well. That is how we all continue to get better at this.
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Old 01-24-2012, 03:06 PM
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im one of those people that when i start working on something i get absorbed by it and really dont quit until its done.. if i remember to take photos i will, but ill probably be too preoccupied
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