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Old 05-01-2006, 05:18 PM
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chops & glass cutting

Hey guys, I'm looking into buying a '51 Chevy 2 door Styline Deluxe & in order to do so I'll have to sell my pride & joy to afford it...so I want to make sure its the right car for me. Its a good rust free body that doesn't "need" any body work, but I'd really like a chop. I don't have the fabrication skills to do it myself so I'll be hiring someone to do it...how pricey & difficult of a chop is this car? Looks like the glass is curved on the windshield & rear glass...so I know that makes a big difference.

A guy I was talking to at a show owns a hotrod shop & was telling me what to look for if I want to chop a car. He said he's chopped every style out there & can give me references, but they don't cut glass so I'll have to have a glass shop do that. He said that getting curved glass cut will be more expensive than the chop itself and he doesn't know anybody in the Atlanta area who can even do it.

So, basically here's my questions:
1) Can a chop even be done well on a '51 chev? Anybody have any references around Atlanta for me?
2) Whats a ballpark cost for top-notch work? Chop? Glass?
3) What else am I not thinking about? I'll openly admit...my knowledge of chopped & channeled work is "wow, that looks cool." Do I want to channel this thing too? Is the strength of the car compromised? Any safety concerns (other than visibility I'm sure)

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Old 05-01-2006, 06:04 PM
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Please don't ask what a chop costs, the info you get is is just useless. My 60 year old 2 bedroom 1 bath home on a little lot is "worth" $575,000, a bodyman in this area makes about $30.00 an hour plus full benifits. The shop rate around here is about $70.00 with mechanical at $90.00. The property that the shop I work at is propably worth three to four million dollars.

The price to chop a top here is not going to do you a bit of good. A better question would be, "Where can I get a top chopped in GA?"

Then call the shop and ask how much it is.

The front glass on that is no big deal, yes it is curved but no big deal. The back is tempered and for all practical purposes is impossible to cut. It will likely be left in original size and "Laid down" to fit the chop.

The side glass is all flat and most any shop can cut it for you out of new glass.

You DO NOT want some shop to chop the top and send you off looking for glass. The cutting and fitting of the glass is PART OF the top chop and the shop should handle it all.

Brian
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Old 05-01-2006, 06:52 PM
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I chopped my own truck and cut my own glass,and I'm no pro.

If a shop cant set you up with the glass,I wouldn't trust them to chop the top,as the windshield must be there when chopping to ensure a perfect fit.

I'll cut a windshield for a hundred bucks.
Same for the rear,side glass can be cut from saftey glass if it's flat,if it's curved,it can be made from lexan or plexiglass like mine are.
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Old 05-01-2006, 07:13 PM
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You're right...Where is a better question than how much. I take too long getting to my points, but my #1 question is

1) Can a chop even be done well on a '51 chev? Anybody have any references around Atlanta for me?

Then the follow up to that question is more along the lines of "If someone tells me he wants $500, should I run away screaming?" and "If someone tells me he wants $25,000, should I laugh at him and move on?" Which your right, can only be answered my someone in my region.

So slanting the back window is an option? I hadn't even thought of that before...sad I know...I guess I just haven't looked close enough. Time to dig through the galleries!!
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Old 05-01-2006, 07:39 PM
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I don't know what your particular car looks like. Is it a fastback or a coupe with a short roof line? Or is it a sedan with the longer/squarer roof?

Brian
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Old 05-01-2006, 07:47 PM
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I chopped the one in my Avitar myself.....But it is one of the simpler ones..all glass is flat...all four sides of the top are straight...so no leaning A pillars back or pie cuts or slopeing the rear or any of the tricky stuff involved. They get around $2500 to do one like mine around here. One that is more complicated like yours could easily be in the $5000-6000 range. The really expensive ones are the ones where the glass has to be custom made.
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Old 05-01-2006, 08:01 PM
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Its a coupe with a short roofline...I'm guessing that's bad news for the chop department too. I don't have a side or quarter angle pic right now but I'll be sure & snap a couple when I see the car live. All he emailed me are up close pictures to show the condition of everything. This is the best view I've got of the car right now, should at least give you an idea.



I think if I were to slant it forward, I'd no longer have a back seat...
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Old 05-01-2006, 08:11 PM
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I'd kind of like to do a chop similar to this one...



Big bucks I'm guessin?
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Old 05-02-2006, 05:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jim..
I chopped my own truck and cut my own glass,and I'm no pro.

If a shop cant set you up with the glass,I wouldn't trust them to chop the top,as the windshield must be there when chopping to ensure a perfect fit.

I'll cut a windshield for a hundred bucks.
Same for the rear,side glass can be cut from saftey glass if it's flat,if it's curved,it can be made from lexan or plexiglass like mine are.
If you where in SoCal i would have your chop my glass for my elcomino. Ed ke6bnl
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Old 05-02-2006, 07:19 AM
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Bill-e-bob,no one has mentioned it in this thread yet,but there is a book on chopping tops by Tex Smith,I would strongly reccomend it that you get one,it is very informative whether you plan on doing it yourself or have somone do it for you.
Looking at your pic,I would guess that wouldn't be a terribly hard one to do on a two door hardtop,the roof pillars don't slant outward much at the bottom,so maybe it could be lowered in one piece with the front pillars slanted back.
Some roofs must be cut in four pieces,then lowered and filler peices welded in afterwards,mine was done that way.
If you have room in the firewall,the windshield can be recessed down into it with no cutting required,but every person likes to do things in thier own way.
As somone mentioned in another thread,have the windshield done first if your cutting it,and test fit as you go,I didn't do this,and when the time came to install the glass,it didn't fit,the curvature of the roof line was a little out.
It took a lot of bending and refinishing to get it to fit,work that could have been avoided with a simple test fit here and there along the way.

Ed k6bnl,take your windshield to any good sandblaster,draw a line where you want it cut,mask off the bottom portion with a sheet of self adhesive rubber(called rubber stencil,available at any sign shop that does sandblasted signs),blast thru the outer layer till your thru to the plastic,flip it over and cut the inside with a glass cutter then snap outward,the plastic will hold it together,then cut the plastic and finsh the edges with a fine sanding disc.
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