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How long to chop a Tudor??? -Quote

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by moefuzz, Dec 27, 2012.

  1. moefuzz
    Joined: Jul 16, 2005
    Posts: 4,951


    Need to figure out how many hours to chop a 29ish Model A Tudor..

    I am an experienced fabricator and hotrod/car restorer with many cars published in magazines etc.
    but have never chopped a Tudor.

    Approximately how many hours for roof and windshield/garnish?
    I think I am heading toward a sloper roof with a an inch more cut from the front than the back which will give it a nice almost un-noticeable rake. Total chop in around 4 inches or so.


  2. porknbeaner
    Joined: Sep 12, 2003
    Posts: 41,308


    Most of the fellas figure a day to lower the lid and get it tacked on a square body like an A or a deuce. Then there is finish welding that can take quite a while and then grinding that takes about as long as thwe welding then the finish work to make it ready for paint. probably 40 or so hours all total.
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2012
  3. Have done many over the years.
    Porkand beaner is about right on the money
    Rough out in about 1 day, finished in prime about 35 -45 hrs
  4. themole
    Joined: Oct 5, 2011
    Posts: 40

    from So-Cal

    As an experienced fabricator you should know that there are too many variables for anyone to give you an estimate as to how long this job will take. The tools you use, the method you use, how much help you have, how fast you work, how good you weld are all unknown factors. When you throw in adding a rake to the roof, that tacks on a whole bunch of hours.

    A straight down chop, to the point of being tacked back together, can usually be done in a day. It usually takes another couple of days to finish weld and grind. Raking the roof means you need to make cuts at the upper back corners of the rear windows and at every pillar, both on the body and the doors, to keep them in alinement with the lower sections. Remember, you have to work the corners of the window openings so they look right. You're also going to have to have the side glass cut at an angle to match the slant of the roof line.

    If you're doing this for yourself, the amount of time shouldn't matter. Work on it till you get it the way you want. If you are estimating this job for a customer, depending on the above variables, I'd say figure for at least 2 to 3 week's worth of work.
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2012
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  5. moefuzz
    Joined: Jul 16, 2005
    Posts: 4,951


    Thanks guys, that's about what I was figuring...

    - 40 or 50 hours to start with a few more for finessing....

    I tend toward making welds disappear even on the back side so will roll out the diegrinder and rollocks for the finishing touch.

    The glass will be the easy part

    Thanks to all that replied


  6. Cirelli
    Joined: Apr 5, 2009
    Posts: 167

    1. H.A.M.B. Chapel

    The finish welding & cleanup is what takes time. With only one helper & myself, we started by welding in supports across the body to keep it from moving. We put in 4 supports, 2 diagonal from corner to corner & 2 across. Then used tape to mark the cuts, taped the doors shut, & sawed the top off with a sawsall at the top cut & lifted it off. Made the second cut & put the top back in place. Line up the B pillars first & tack in place, then the A pillars. Then move to the rear of the rear side glass, align & tack, then the back window. There will be a small buldge in the corners that you can relieve by cutting a vertical cut about 6 to 8 inches tall, then it will come together nice.

    The whole job was 4 hours from pulling into the shop to having the top tacked back on & the doors tacked up & working. All done but the finish welding in 4 hours. This was a 5" chop on a 29 Tudor.
  7. b-bob
    Joined: Nov 4, 2008
    Posts: 1,091


    I would like to add, that if you drop your cuts around the c-pillers to the bottom of the panel it will eliminate those verticle cuts to align the two halves back together.
    Makes for a cleaner job.

    Like Dick Dean once said on chopping an A sedan" if you need bondo screwed it up" I read that in an old Street rodder in the mid seventies how-to.
  8. Ironically you just posted this.
    Hung out @ Dick's 1 day (back in the 70's) and in less than 6 hrs saw him chop a 30 tudor.
    He was my inspiration back then.
    Went on to do many chops myself and during everyone of them I always thought back to that day.
  9. b-bob
    Joined: Nov 4, 2008
    Posts: 1,091


    That's cool, i too have chopped and filled a lot of them. I always remembered what he said too and tried my best not to screw it up.

    But in that article he found the middle of the crown in that panel and used the center of the crown to measure half of the chop amount to the top and the other half below. And it comes out good and without putting those verticle slits in it to get rid of the extra material.
    Dick Dean was my chopping hero, studied all those top chop articles in magazines that he did and went on to do a few Mercs. I just used what i learned from him and people thought I was the genius!
  10. Tinbasher
    Joined: Feb 13, 2007
    Posts: 274


    I would say 200 hours if your going to butt weld everything and finish it out nice so it doesn't take 5 gallons of filler. (Roof, posts, Inner granish mldgs.) What are you doing for the insert on the roof. A roof skin from a 70's Volare Wagon works well if your into ribs in the roof panel. You have to turn it around so the fronts at the back and fits like it was made for a "A"

    The Old Tinbasher
  11. chaos10meter
    Joined: Feb 21, 2007
    Posts: 2,191

    from PA.

    The window garnish's take the longest.

    I chopped my Merc. 9 years ago and still haven't finished the garnish's.
  12. 200 hours? Are you 4 real?
    Or do ya take lotsa coffee breaks and count that time also
    Last a-bone I did I billed the customer 55 hrs
    Used NO BONDO
    200 hrs @ $40 per is $8000
    Don't think you'll have em standin in line for you to do it

  13. porknbeaner
    Joined: Sep 12, 2003
    Posts: 41,308


    I don't plan on 200 hours to chop my '38 and they are a bitch to chop. :rolleyes:
  14. BIG-JIM
    Joined: Jun 13, 2009
    Posts: 1,367

    from CT

    200 hours? Your smoking crack. you do? Weld 1/8 of an inch then wait for it to reach ambient room temperature???
  15. Zookeeper
    Joined: Aug 30, 2006
    Posts: 1,041


    Laugh all you want, but back in the '70's Street Rodder mag had an article that showed Dick Dean chopping a '29 Tudor in one, 8 hour work day. I don't remember if he did the window mouldings, but it was welded, metal finished to perfection and looked done in 8 hours.
  16. Pewsplace
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 2,738


    A good quality chop of 3 inches or less on a Deuce tudor will run you about $4,000+ on the West Coast. If you figure $75 per hour then you are looking at 53 hours which isn't bad for a quality job. I have done my own and spent twice that many hours because I had not done one before. Experienced metal fabricators with the correct tools and skill can ready turn out the work.

    Having said that I paid $5,000 in 1986 to have Steve Davis chop my three window and it was in his shop for almost a year but the work was perfect inside and out.

    Do it yourself and take your time.
  17. msalamanca
    Joined: May 25, 2011
    Posts: 526


    The grinding is the time eater.

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