Thanks cboy, I know I don’t have to tell you
how long that took me and how many tools went flying across the garage in the process! I never would of thought something that looked so straightforward could be so time consuming.
I regret not reading up about how that should be done (if there is such info out there, Ron Covell might be able to help you but for me I wasn't able to find anything about FG hoods)) as it probably cost me a lot of wasted time so for flipper’s sake will write about how I would do it next time. I have no idea if this is the ‘right’ way to do it, I only know it would be better than my first muddled attempt. Hope you can make sense of it all and use some of the info. I wrote this to go in my journal so won’t be offended if you think it’s wrong. You probably know a lot more about this than I do so if you have another way I would be interested in reading about it.
I will write it as I constructed it i.e. using 2 separate pieces and fitting them separately. I know it seems more sensible to make the hood out of 1 piece then cut them out later. The hoods I have seen built in the 20’s and 30’s I do not think were made from one piece (they might even of been made from 4 pieces) – I do not know why, maybe they were too big and unwieldy. Maybe someone else reading this can add something.
First thing is to fix solidly in place the cowl and grill shell so it will never move and resign yourself to not moving it again. I say this because I thought it would be ‘clever’ if I kept the grill movable so I could keep my options open and move the grill to match the hood if necessary. This was a big mistake as there is no way you can move the grill to match the one side without it affecting the other or the top and I ended up chasing my tail for days. Mark out where the hinge will run and the cuts for the side panels on both the shell and the cowl once they are fixed in place and never waver from these points!
Then do the side pieces – make sure you leave enough material so the top edges where the hinge will run overlap each other. Once you have the rough curves done on your pieces then match the cowl curve and the grill shell curve at the same time – back and forth, back and forth a little cut at a time – this was the hardest part for me. My bends where already fixed in the piece but I am assuming you will be bending your panel and fitting it at the same time. You might find it easier (hah!) as mine was fiberglass and the curve is fixed at whatever I made the mold at, you will have some room for maneuver with metal. As I said make sure you make the long edge where you will be putting the center hinge at least an inch wider on both panels so both top pieces overlap each other past the point where the hinge will be going. You might also think about doing this on the very bottom of the panel.
Once you have the front and back curved edges fitting to your satisfaction on the cowl and grill shell make sure everything is clamped tight and make your long cuts (I used a jigsaw with a guide) cutting the overlapped edges at the same time, this ensures a nice straight cut on both sides that will match exactly. I wasn’t worried about the gap the cut produced as the hinge fits it nicely.
Or you could scribe a line and bend your overlapped edges at a 90 degree angle to itself as a place to put the hinge, this will also considerably stiffen the whole panel. This is how the original hand-made hoods that I have seen were done.
Leaving the overlaps on the panels frees you from thinking about the top and bottom edges so you can concentrate on the front and back curves, and then enables you to match the edges exactly once everything else is done.
Pretty straight forward right