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Old 01-29-2006, 06:05 PM
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Wanting To Chop

well, im 16. ive got this 54 chevrolet 2 door coupe with the wraparound back glass. ive already lowered it and all that, but i have no idea where to start to "chop" it. ive always liked the chopped look, but where do i begin? also how much chop is to much when chopping a roof. and what about the glass?

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Old 01-29-2006, 06:18 PM
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I hate ta tell ya this kid,but don't even start,at least not yet.
It's such a humongous job that you may loose interest in it before it is finshed,build your whole rod and drive it for a while,have some fun,the 54's look really cool anyway.
then decide if you really want a chop.
but if you do there is nowhere better to start than here.
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Old 01-29-2006, 08:32 PM
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Zack, here I am at 16 in 1974 chopping my truck (still own it). Yes you can do it,but it is a SERIOUSLY STEEP learning curve. It took me 1.5 years to get it done in primer. And chopping that truck is a HECK OF A LOT easier than your car. It is VERY overwhelming to most 16 year olds. The back glass can't be cut, it is tempered. You have to lay it down or sink it into the body under the package tray (that sucks). I HIGHLY recommend to follow the last posts advice, wait, wait a good long time. Enjoy having the coolest car at school before trying to make it the coolest car in town.

Buy "How to chop tops" by Tex Smith and read it a few times. Search the net for a good photo essay on chopping THAT car not just a chop on another car. You should be able to find them, a zillion of those cars have been chopped. If you want to see the most beautiful in my opinion Google the names "Cole Foster" and "Salinas Boyz" Cole made a stunning custom 53-54 Chevy with the most artful, stunning top chop ever.

Brian

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Old 01-30-2006, 07:34 PM
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Thank Y'all for the opinions and helpful information. The 54 I want to model mine after is Jesse James 54. His has got a good look, not to customed out and looks like a pretty stock body with a few other mods.
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Old 01-30-2006, 08:01 PM
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Hey Zack....the book "How to Chop Tops" by Tex Smith is very good place to start.It actual has a segment on the 49-54 Chevy.With that said.....DON'T DO IT!!!!!!I have a buddy that started chopping his really nice 54 Chevy,that was 3 years ago.He got the top off.......and we're still waiting on the rest.He cut the top wrong right off the bat,and ruined his car.Its still waiting on a roof.Not to put down your skills,but my buddy was several years older with alot of tools,and well.....like I said....still no top.The car on Monster G arage was a nice car,that a bunch of guys threw together in a few days,full of bondo and shoty work.Take my advice and leave the car stock hight and lower it front and read.....it will be *****IN!!!!
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Old 01-30-2006, 08:19 PM
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MARTINSR I never get tired of seeing those pants
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Old 01-30-2006, 09:11 PM
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Those were good times my friend, good times. That was in a stable that we built for horses. After the last one died, my brother cut the wall into doors and it became a garage. It was still in the country before this area became a friggin immigrant campground. That ranch is now covered with houses only a few feet apart.

Back when that photo was taken, I could go out back with my 22 and shoot cans. Now, hell, you would be shot by the swat team.

My late dad called that ranch and those times, "Shangrala".

Brian
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Old 01-31-2006, 08:15 AM
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Martinsr,chopping a top at 16 is really impressive.

Just wondering,back in 74,what did you use for the welding?

I used a stick welder and a torch on mine.

Did you have a mig or wire feed back then ?
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Old 01-31-2006, 08:47 AM
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Oh my God it was all gas welding. I still love to gas weld, you can really do some beautiful work (not that I did at 16).

The photo in the lower right I have the torch in my left hand and a hammer in the right, heating and pounding in a high spot, classic how not to do it. I bought that torch with paper route money at Sears. It is my favorite torch to this day. The thing wouldn't hold up around a shop with a bunch of guys like a Victor would but it has held up for me pretty well. The butt is mostly aluminum! It is made from an aluminum tube handle with brass tubing running thru the middle. It is very light, the first time I picked up a soild brass Victor I couldn't believe how heavy it was.

I didn't even know what a MIG was until about '79. Went to work at a full on restoration shop they had a Millermatic, awsome tool.

Never used a stick in my life. Any heavy metal welding on my truck was done by my brother he knew stick.


Brian

Last edited by MARTINSR; 01-31-2006 at 08:52 AM.
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