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Fear Commitment? Chop a Top! **UPDATE**

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by scottybaccus, Sep 17, 2006.

  1. scottybaccus
    Joined: Mar 13, 2006
    Posts: 4,106

    scottybaccus
    Member

    Well, I've been a little lazy the last couple of weeks. Maybe some feedback will help motivate me.

    If you've missed the previous run on my project, you can get up to speed here: http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=127505

    I did OK cutting everything and got the cab put back together after taking out 4 inches from the middle. Then I really agonized over cutting the roof. I don't know why. It's only metal and I can put it in or take it out as needed.

    Here's a couple of pics of the cut lines and the mock up after the longditudinal cut and the first fitting. I need to do a little more trimming to narrow the front a bit more, then I think I can tack the roof back together and make the lateral cut. I will be adding about 2 inches there, so it will go much more quickly. This has been the toughest part so far. I think the A pillars will be more frustrating, but fewer unknowns there. OH, those homemade panel clamps and clecos have saved my ass! Well worth the effort.

    Anyways, let me have it honest. I think the proportions are becoming clear and some didn't think it would work. How am I doing now?

    [​IMG]
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  2. erock805
    Joined: Jul 30, 2006
    Posts: 1,246

    erock805
    Member

    I like it...the shop is too damn clean though...seriously I especially like the front view.
     
  3. Slag Kustom
    Joined: May 10, 2004
    Posts: 4,312

    Slag Kustom
    Member

    looks good so far. But you would have been better off cutting the center out of the roof and finding another to weld in keeping the welding down to one seem just around the crown of the roof instead of 4 welds down the center. Either way its the same amount of weld but near the crown leaves less room for warping and keeps the welds far enough apart to continue welding side to side with out too much heat build up.
     
  4. scottybaccus
    Joined: Mar 13, 2006
    Posts: 4,106

    scottybaccus
    Member

    I know. I looked but the only donor I found is over priced just to get a top from. I have a line on another that I hope to get an A pillar from, but it's not a done deal yet. I'll just have to do the tin work if that's how it goes. I think I'll have to scrounge me up one of those shrinking disk and get busy.

    The only thing I've really found myself wishing I done different is the placement of the cuts on the A pillars. They twist outward noticably as they get tothe top of the windshield so i have a big job of blending them back together now. Once I clear that, I'm home free.

    Thanks for the support.

    Erock, I know it's too clean. I really have been slackin'!
     
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  5. scottybaccus
    Joined: Mar 13, 2006
    Posts: 4,106

    scottybaccus
    Member

    I haven't done much, but at least it's been meaningful progress today. Here's a few new shots with the final mock up on the chop. I will wind up with 1.75 inches to fill across the roof, but had a stroke of genius (I think) that will save me a lot of work on the rear corners. Usually, several vertical relief cuts would be necessary on the quarters to average the radius of the corners, the top being smaller than the bottom. I had already split the back of the cab when I narrowed it, and wasn't especially happy with the way it went back together. Part of this was due to existing damage and part was due to my poor welding. I've had a bit more practice now, so I decided to cut it back open and allow the excess material to move to the center as I aligned the corners with panel clamps. This is going to give me a beautiful blend from the roof down into the quarters without having to metal work several relief cuts. I'll have about 3/8 inch of overlap to take out of the center and then I'll weld it back up more carefully. As usual, all comments and questions welcome!
     

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  6. Plowboy
    Joined: Nov 8, 2002
    Posts: 4,255

    Plowboy
    Member

    Wow, you are a glutton for punishment. Ha Ha Ha That gives me some ideas on how to go about doing mine. Thanks for posting!

    I see you have an A frame under it, what are your plans for a bed?
     
  7. scottybaccus
    Joined: Mar 13, 2006
    Posts: 4,106

    scottybaccus
    Member

    I hope to have something more complete to post in the next couple of weeks. Thanks for the support.

    I need to work out some structural issues as I mount the fuel tank and add rails behind the A frame that will move the axle back about 14 inches. Depending on the frame structure I settle on, I will probably use a mid 30's bed design with a raised floor. Not sure which yet. A is a bit small, the 38 is a bit large. Probably a shortened 34-36 ford.
     
  8. Blownolds
    Joined: Mar 31, 2001
    Posts: 2,335

    Blownolds
    Member
    from So Cal

    I am REALLY having difficulty understanding how someone can avoid having two seams in each direction when they split and widen a piece of sheetmetal! Can you explain?
     
  9. You weld the majority of another roof on top, like filling in the cloth top on a 30s car. I'll post a sketch.
     
  10. scottybaccus
    Joined: Mar 13, 2006
    Posts: 4,106

    scottybaccus
    Member

    It's really the same amount of welding either way. The rough part of doing it across the center is controlling warpage so you dont have a wavy roof.
    I eliminated one weld seam when I narrowed the cab. I also think the the heavier metal used in these old Chevys resists warpage better. The panel clamps have been invaluable and there is no substitute for patience. It's critical that you keep hopping around and weld only a 1/4 inch at a time. I got a little carried away here and there. It's hard to quit when the bead starts laying down the way you want. I've paid some dues with the hammer and dolly. I think heat control is far more important than being concerned about the double seam. Stay tuned and I might actually finish this some day.
     
  11. lehr
    Joined: May 13, 2004
    Posts: 602

    lehr
    Member

    Man those panel clamps leave one hell of a gap dont they ?
     
  12. Have you painted the walls yet?
     
  13. scottybaccus
    Joined: Mar 13, 2006
    Posts: 4,106

    scottybaccus
    Member

    No, actually, they let you fit it as tight as if they weren't there. I haven't done the final fit and tack. I'll pull the pieces really tight before I weld. Once in a while, the clamps don't even want to come out.



    NO!, But I have been thinking about it. Every time Hot Rod TV does a segment on spiffing up your garage I have to jump on the Garage Journal and look for ideas. :)
     
  14. That panel clamp gap gave me an ideal, what about making a streacher clamp instead of a bolt clamp, sorta like you streach hack saw blades, for that matter you could impliment the use of old hack saw blades to be used for the conector and save on a little more trash. Anyhow, two c blocks a little deeper then the ends from an old hack saw, drilled to accomidate those bolt ends, then cut and drill an old blade to whatever length you need.
     
  15. Glad we got the priorities sorted out, now get back to the welding!
     

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