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Chopped top and curved glass. Where? How?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Ebbsspeed, Sep 5, 2008.

  1. Ebbsspeed
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    Ebbsspeed
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Just curious, when you chop the top on a car with a curved windshield, or rear window, where do you come up with the glass to fit? Do you just have the original glass cut down to fit? Seems like in some cases this wouldn't work, if the curve changes from top to bottom. Do you cut the glass first, then chop to fit? This doesn't seem to be the case, 'cause on any of the "chop how to's" I don't think I've ever seen the glass as part of the photos. Or are there place$ that cu$tom bend gla$$?
  2. dannyego
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    dannyego Member

    You have the original glass cut down, or you by new glass and have it cut or sandblasted down. You can cut it before or after. Most people reccomend after. Most places have a 70% cut rate. Meaning you might buy a couple of windshields before you get one cut that doesnt break.
  3. Algon
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    Algon
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    In some cases you drop the glass into a channel and in spite of the how to articles, it is always a good idea to reference the glass before any cutting takes place instead of crossing your fingers after the fact. Custom glass can be made from patterns you provide but it is expensive.

    We did a custom curved windshield pattern for a kit rod series that I don't remember the exact cost of but it was around $1,000 for the first one. A custom 56 Nomad was to have one piece quarter windows but after the best price we could get was $3,000 a pair the owner backed out. You'll have to do some searching but they are out there, and you may find a better deal. Making a simple fiberglass or steel mock up will save you some cash...
  4. jonzcustomshop
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    jonzcustomshop Member

    I am doing a 61 chev pickup. I thought at first that I would cut the glass, and then cut the top to the glass(after a ton of research on here, that seemed the way to go),however you need to have the top cut down to know where to cut the glass....
    On this windshield it looks like I will take material off the bottom corners, the back uprights, and across the top.
    So I am cutting the top, tacking it on, then cutting and fitting the windshield: then if the top needs to move I will break the tacks,and move it to fit.

    I asked john d'agostino at as show once, and he said they have thier windshields custom made in sweden-he did not say how much $$$$$ though.
    I called Gary Howard ,and asked how he did the windshield on the chopped 60 hardtop he did. He had sanded the glass with a sander/grinder -real slow...
    He mentioned something that seemed like a good idea, he layered the windshield with fiberglass, and then took that fiberglass mold and cut it to fit the windshield frame. then he put it back on the windshield to see where it needed to be cut.
    Almost everywhere that I have looked says that sandblasting is the way to go to cut the glass -least chance of breakage.
    check this link out: http://www.cadvision.com/blanchas/54pontiac/windshield.html

    ...and the rear, since they are tempered , they can't be cut, either sink the window into the roof or package tray, or redo the whole rear opening to accept the original size window.
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  5. Mr48chev
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    Mr48chev
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    There are two or three chopped rigs with curved windshields here in the valley that have changed hands several times when the owner at the time gave up trying to get a windshield installed.
    If you do chop it, do you homework so that the chop is done right so you can get a windshield cut and installed.

    You might be money ahead to haul the car to a shop that has a lot of experience in chopping similar rigs. Spendy but no more spendy than buying several windshields if you didn't get the chop right yourself.
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2008
  6. mikes51
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    san jose, ca

    mikes51 Member

    I believe that. There are two types of projects most knowledgeable people would not touch with a ten foot pole. One would be a curved windshield chopped car with no glass. Second would be a car with no title.
  7. jonzcustomshop
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    jonzcustomshop Member

    oz customs here is confident about cutting down windshields, I ran across a post about it by him a while back.
  8. old beet
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    old beet Member

    Best to get a junk windshield to aid while chopping. Cracked is fine if it dosen't loose its shape. Then you can be sure a W/S can be cut to fit. I have cut over 50 thru the years, and yes they break, sometimes with no reason. Tempered glass like back lites CANNOT be cut, but usually lay down fine! Cuttin glass for over 40 years!!.............OLDBEET
  9. chopolds
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    chopolds Member
    1. Kustom Painters

    Been chopping cars for over 30 years. Cut my first windshield (55 Olds) back in 83. You have to cut them down, or else have a custom glass made, I've heard from 3000 to over 20,000, depending on size and complexity.
    I chop, then cut the glass...because I know what I have to do to keep the glass fitting correctly. A lot of guys don't, that's why you see cars with plexi windshield (horrors!). Also, there are some cars, because the shape of the windshield demands it....say a 59 Chevy....where you have to do the glass first, and/or reshape the windshield opening the fit the new shape of the glass.
    If you drop the glass into a channel (which I think is cheating, and doesn't work well if the car is "in the weather") the top of the windshield may not fit into the opening correctly.
    In the case of the Kopper Kart, Barris did this, and then had to extend out the pinchwelds to meet the glass edge. This resulted in an odd look around the windshield, which he covered with perforated metal, and weird "L" shaped metal covers at the A pillars. While this may have been OK in the 50's, I think with today's knowledge and equipment, it is unnecessary.
  10. NiteOwlChris
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    NiteOwlChris Member

    some companies are making safety glass replcaements for the tempered orignals, I got a rear for my 54 chevy to be cut, I went through one rear window and 4 fronts. glass is expensive, and the price adds up because shipping glass costs an arm and a leg.
  11. jonzcustomshop
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    jonzcustomshop Member

    chopolds- do you have a close up shot of that? I have always wondered what was going on with that windshield frame.

    I recall some old customs from the 50's that were just shown with the broken windshield.
    1 is a 57 chev 4 dr hdtp that was pictured in andy southards book customs of the 50's, it had a hairline crack on the driver side that is in every picture that I have seen of it. It had a 57 olds rear window grafted on the back.

    the other is a chopped and sectioned 58 belair by darryl starbird. it has some wierd pinstriping on the drivers side of the windshield, and I am not sure, but I guess that it is there to cover up a crack.

    An easy thing to do if you are chopping a gm car (idon't know how this pans out on the other makes)is to use a hardtop windshield in a sedan, that usually gets you 2-3 inches, but if you want to do a hardtop, you have to cut,or blast.
  12. PhatCaddy
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    PhatCaddy Member

    HEY MIKE!!!! Just kidding. So thats why you never bought the Caddy? It was the biggest headache though. Mike is 100% right. I knew that going into my project. Glad thats over.

    Also if you are looking this far away, Tri-Valley Glass in Livermore CA did mine, the first time. The cut only. I installed.

    I installed and give ALL the credit to "CHOPOLDS". If you look up an old thread, about 18 months ago, he gave me a list of things to do, I followed all of them, installed my glass and my windshield has been fine since then.

    Brian
  13. PhatCaddy
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    PhatCaddy Member

    Here is a before with the original glass and an after.

    Brian

    Attached Files:

  14. mikes51
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    mikes51 Member

    Looks good Brian! You're one of the few who have figured out how to do that.
  15. jonzcustomshop
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    jonzcustomshop Member

    phat caddy I would like to see a closer pic of the fillerpanel...
    that might be something that I have to do on my chevy truck chop
  16. vein
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    Taking aim in Tacoma

    vein Member

    there is a guy here in washington. He has a 53 ford with the rear curved glass. and I asked him how he cut his glass and he told me that is was lexan. It is a real nice looking customline. He went on to tell me that a company here in tacoma specializes in plastic, and lexan. He took his rear window in and they formed it the rear window. It wasn't all skratched up like people say it does. I swear it looked like glass and it looked really nice.
  17. sickboy713
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    oildale

    sickboy713 Member

    had tri valley glass in livermore do mine. 2 windshields (first one broke but was 52 years old, 2nd one was brand new). they got it in and it wasn't cheap but what do ya do. the car was worthless with out it.

    [​IMG]
  18. PhatCaddy
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    PhatCaddy Member

    Thanks Mike. A lot of HAMB help.................

    Brian
  19. twochops
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    twochops Member

    When I chopped the top on my 57 Buick I did what chopolds
    calls cheating and sunked the glass.The photo shows the
    filler piece that I made for the lower corner.
    TwoChops
    P.S.it doesn't leak.

    Attached Files:

  20. chopolds
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    chopolds Member
    1. Kustom Painters

  21. PhatCaddy
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    San Jose, CA

    PhatCaddy Member

  22. twochops
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    twochops Member

    PlatCaddy--Whats the plan for door glass,are you going to have
    working vents and side glass? or?
    T.C.
  23. LOW LID DUDE
    Joined:
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    Colorado

    LOW LID DUDE Member

    I have chopped over 30 tops .I have had the best luck chopping windshields with a heavy duty (water) sand blaster. Mark your cut location and DUCT tape the hell out of it with lots of layers.Make sure you protect the entire glass inside and out.When you get to the plastic in between the glass cut a stripe out so the blaster can continue. The water keeps it cool. Also I have cut curved windshield glass with ( of all things ) a ROTO ZIP ,ceramic bits and lots of water! Sounds like bs but its not.I cut my 70 Elcamino's 4 inches,One cut. I made a wooden buck to support it from the inside,duct taped it to the glass top and bottom,left room at cut line for clearance .You must support it or the piece your cutting off will flex and break before you get all the way across.Just practice on a old windshield before you start .WATER ,WATER is important so not to get it too hot at the cut. I have someone constantly squirt bottle it as I go. I actually cut a 3 inch square hole out of the (center)of my practice ws without any cracks. Just take your time and don't force it,let the tool cut. Rick
  24. Bloody Hell
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    Spring, TX

    Bloody Hell Member

    I have ZERO experience, but was told that a guy took his windshield to a shop with a water jet. It was a five angle water jet, not the flat bed type.

    I hope it helps.
  25. PhatCaddy
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    San Jose, CA

    PhatCaddy Member

    Actually you are only the fourth guy who has asked me that. Door glass is in there somewhere. I started working on them a couple months ago but then I bought my '40 so I have been distracted. Probably will do them when I bring the car back in a few years, with a sound system, etc

    I got my '40 on my mind.

    Brian
  26. PhatCaddy
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    PhatCaddy Member

    Tri-Vally Glass used a water jet for the top of mine. O thing they sanded the sides to make it lay back first.

    brian
  27. spooin123
    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2011
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    ct.

    spooin123 Member

    Name is art have a 57 buick looking to chop top the way you did as air ride and 61 chrysler head lights pictures any help you can give, em arthurlombardi@ymail,com

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