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WHAT TOOLS ARE NEEDED TO CHOP A 1951 CHEVY SEDAN 2 DR.?AND WHAT GAUGE OF SHEET METAL WILL I NEED TO USE? <img src="graemlins/crash.gif" border="0" alt="[crash]" /> :confused: <img src="graemlins/pimp.gif" border="0" alt="[pimp]" /> <img src="graemlins/boxing.gif" border="0" alt="[boxing]" />

[ March 22, 2003: Message edited by: WHTwall51 ]</p>
 

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MIG welder
Sawz-all, plasma cutter or cutting wheel with many blades, or and air saw.
Hammers & dollies
Measuring tape, calipers, rulers
A roll of string
A level
Your brain
Various filler tools and shapers and a spray gun.

Use the caliper to match the guage of steel already being used in the top. You will be removing more than you will be adding, but use the caliper match the steel and never cut a pillar straight through and ALWAYS fit the metal to the glass, not vise versa.

Also limit your use with the caps lock button, its highly annoying.


HK

[ March 22, 2003: Message edited by: Halloweenking ]</p>
 

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The most important tool is your brain. That will help you to choose a pleasing cut which actually accentuates the cars styling and/or lines without making it look like a refugee from the bottom of a four car stack at the junkyard. Severely chopping a car not only usually looks bad but it destroys another car since they rarely get finished when all the inconvenient stuff surfaces like lack of outward sideward and rearward vision and so on. It is a lot easier to chop a top than to unchop one.
Chalk one up for HK!
 

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HK...what do you mean don't cut straight through a pillar? I have a 38 chevy pickup that NEEEEDS to be chopped, and I was hoping to just lob straight through the windshield pillar. Were you saying on Coupes dont go through the REAR pillar straight? I've never done this before, but, 'have plasma-cutter, will chop'

The 'hopper
 

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Hopper, what I meant by not cutting straight through, is not cutting straight through!

If you cut a pillar straight through you will create a weak spot when you go back to weld it up. Think of your leg, If I punched you in your thigh you'd probly get a hell of a charlie horse, but if I punch you in your knee you wouldn't be to happy. It only take 5 lbs of pressure to break a joint. By cutting a straight line through a pillar you severely lower structural stability. The pillar when welded back together will be weak in that line because theres nothing to support it anywhere that weld is. You could weld it back up and 5 hours later take an axe to the pillar and it will take that pillar apart like you put it together will your kids play-doh. When cutting a pillar cut in say 1" down 1" and out 1", in this type of cut you can restor a bit of structurall integrity. If you cut in this patter on each side of the pillar (not a must, but I do it) you won't have a weak spot like a straight cut. You will have an irradic pattern that will support each weld on each side from any kind of impact. If you take a picture of your truck I will show you graphically how to do this. If you take a few pictures I will show you exactly how to do your entire truck.

Also always remember when using a plasma cutter to wear eye protection expecially when cutting through double layer sheetmetal, it has a rendency to spit back in your face.

HK
 
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