The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Bcap55, Nov 26, 2018.
Superb. Don't they sell a chopped body? Or were you more intetested in the experience?
I'm thinking the only thing "amateur" here is the simple fact that this is the first 32 3 window top that Bcap55 has chopped. I see some serious and top level metal working skills there. The bonus is that every time I check in on the thread I seem to pick up another simple but effective trick/solution for doing something just that much better on my own mods.
No chopped body from them
OK, website says they have them.
May have to check then. Maybe they will chop one for you. Can imagine they made dies to stamp a chopped car
I just visited their website and yes, they do offer a chopped '32 coupe shell. Of course it raises the price by $7500 so I'm sure they are chopping it by hand, so to speak, not stamping out a separate shell. It also makes chopping it yourself much more attractive.
Super nice workmanship, so glad you did not lean the A pillars back, and chose to stretch the roof line.
I love my Apex sander, I was lucky enough to get it at an auction for a bargain price. Most of the professional grade equipment in my shop was bought at auctions for a fraction of the price for brand new. It's the only way home shop guys can afford to have top quality tools. Always buy the best equipment you can afford if you plan on using them alot.
The chopped body option was not offered when I bought mine. I still wanted to do this myself to get a first hand idea on how it's done.
That is exactly what this thread is about. How someone who has never chopped a top works their way through all the steps needed to complete it.
The only other experience I have is restoring and modifying the 55 Belair in my avatar. That was a ten year project for me as a beginner. The metal work, although not extensive was very hard for me at first but it became easier as I got more experience. You can see build pics of it at the Picturetrail link below. I posted many how to threads on the work I did to the 55 at www.chevytalk.org and www.trifive.com . Search for threads started by bcap55.
They were waiting for you to post this how-to thread ;-)
First post was one week ago.....
I got out of order with the sail panel install. I actually did the door chop before that, so let's get back on track and see how that went.
Here are the cut lines (2 1/2") for the doors. I used photos in one of Flop's threads to help locate the best place to cut.
The doors were put back on and the chopped pieces tacked in place. I also made the door stretch cut at the top. Gonna have to make a fill piece to fill that gap. All the work on the door chop was done with the doors on the car, constantly checking to make the top door gap as even as possible.
Had to make some relief cuts to get the front and back edges lined up.
Gotta fill that gap on the door top. Make another press die and stamp out a piece? There is an easier way. The 2 1/2" piece that was cut out of the rear part of the door above the hinge has a profile very close to the outer skin of the door top. I used the outer skin of it to make a fill piece.
The fill pieces for the inner door structure looked simple enough, but turned out to be difficult to make. Thanks to Brookville or Henry Ford, every corner bend on the piece was a different radius. I had to make different radius dies for every corner to match the door. It was very hard to get each leg of the bends to match the door dimensions. Lot's of trial and error here. I made many pieces before I was able to get ones that fit.
The pieces still needed some adjustment when they were tacked in.
The lower fill piece.
Here is another tip I got from Flop's threads. This shows the long cut on the top of the door needed to pull the top edge out to match the rear part. Probably would have been upset that the top edges were out of line by this much if I didn't see Flop's fix first. Thanks Flop.
Lot's of welding on a door chop. Outer skins, inner structure some areas that are hard to reach. It's important to weld all cut seams to regain full strength of the door frame. Here is the finished product. Turned out good.
The door gaps turned out ok. There are still some door gap issues to address, some from the factory some from the chop. I'll deal with those at a later time.
I think that's enough for today. There is a lot of pics to study.
Next up I'll be moving on to filling the roof opening.
Thanks for looking.
Wher I used to work at, they sold the roof insert edges that were removed to make flush or filled inserts to folks removing filled roofs. ( man that was confusing to type)
Kinda funny to think about that
I wonder which is harder, filling a top or unfilling it.
I vote unfilling
Most I have seen were overlapped and sculpted with filler
Anything done the right way is harder................................................................
But more fulfilling...
Wow! You really are doing(did) a great job. I have learned much and appreciate you posting all this.
I’m always looking to learn more.
Gotta be proud to say you did it!
Pretty nice round welds in this photo. Are they spot welds hammered or just ground down that way?
Nice work , I like the idea of making tools to make the job easier .
I'd be very interested to learn exactly how you go about welding up those relief cuts made to achieve alignment. They look to be the width of a cut off wheel plus the amount added to get the alignment. Whilst not massive I could see a ton of welding rod and a huge weld pool with the attendant heat addition and all that that entails! It's certainly not like the typically required perfect fit up of a tig weld!! I'm thinking there's a trick to be had somewhere - is there?
I have a Brookville bodied project that's nearing stripdown for paint. I have a roof insert to install, but I'm flipping a coin now as to whether to work a chop into it or not! Thanks (a bunch!! ).
You are doing (did) a beautiful job on this. Did you consider starting with the doors first? I had thought about this over the years but never saw anyone do it this way. I figured that if it was practical, everybody would be doing it. Watching the Walden videos that Krylon32 linked to in post #7 above, I'm convinced that it makes sense to do it this way.
Not trying to take anything away from your work, just pointing out a major difference in procedure that might help another first time chopper.
Just so you don't have to look back:
I've never chopped one, the 31 in the barn will be the first I attempt. I would think it makes sense to do the doors last. Seems like it would be easier to make a door fit into an opening than change the opening to fit a door.
Making the the doors and top longer/wider than stock is sure the right way of doing this. Great documentation, thank you...
Did you watch the videos? Walden didn't say it was easier, just better. Most of these cars didn't match side to side and even the ones chopped professionally are many times not the same. He also says to do all the repairs first including fitting the doors. Make two perfect doors and fit the top back on.
Again, I'm not knocking anyone's work or procedure. But when I watched Walden do it, I became a believer.
@GearheadsQCE I did watch them, just wondering if doors last is more appropriate on the 31 I'll be doing than it is on a 32 or later with curved door openings. I guess I wasn't clear in questioning that.
Those are tack welds made with a mig welder. I always grind them down almost flush so that they are easier to fuse in with the finish weld.
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