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Making my own Roadster top need help and pictures

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by HOTRODSWE, Mar 29, 2011.

  1. HOTRODSWE
    Joined: Aug 13, 2003
    Posts: 313

    HOTRODSWE
    Member

    Hi all
    I,m at start of my roadster top build for my 32 Ford, the plan is to make a copy of the Rolling Bones roadster top. I have done some investigation, but need a ton of advice to pull this thru. I have never made any tops before, and did just buy an old sewing machine.:rolleyes:
    Anyone with advices would be helpfull, and I need close up photos of standard roadster tops, the seams, details around edges and so on.


    I,m going to a car show next weekend, so I need to finish this during this weekend, Help:eek:
     
  2. check out the tech week thread form last week by mr42 should give you some direction
     
  3. HOTRODSWE
    Joined: Aug 13, 2003
    Posts: 313

    HOTRODSWE
    Member

    I,ve got some photos from Mr42 and they will be usefull, but I need more from a stock top
     
  4. model.A.keith
    Joined: Mar 19, 2007
    Posts: 6,279

    model.A.keith
    Member


  5. AssGasket
    Joined: Apr 19, 2002
    Posts: 402

    AssGasket
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Quick question: are you asking about making the fabric part only,, or the top irons as well...???
     
  6. HOTRODSWE
    Joined: Aug 13, 2003
    Posts: 313

    HOTRODSWE
    Member

    I,ve got top irons from Lebaron, that I,m going to use, but I need photos of these setup aswell, as I,m going to shorten and modifiy them
     
  7. HOTRODSWE
    Joined: Aug 13, 2003
    Posts: 313

    HOTRODSWE
    Member

  8. Blue One
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 10,931

    Blue One
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Alberta

  9. HOTRODSWE
    Joined: Aug 13, 2003
    Posts: 313

    HOTRODSWE
    Member

  10. AssGasket
    Joined: Apr 19, 2002
    Posts: 402

    AssGasket
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Get some good quality canvas and waterproof it.... You will need an industrial-grade sewing machine for best results.........

    Keep shrinkage in mind.......
     
  11. HOTRODSWE
    Joined: Aug 13, 2003
    Posts: 313

    HOTRODSWE
    Member

    Any help regarding shrinkage?
     
  12. 28hiboy
    Joined: Feb 2, 2007
    Posts: 394

    28hiboy
    Member
    from milton fl

    I have scanned a 1997 American Rodder that Mike Bishop wrote on chopping a 28-29 roadster top. As I am no good at posting pictures or scans, I will need to email them to someone if it is OK to post.
     
  13. I tried the canvas route - turned out to be a pretty good buck for perhaps not much of a great result. So, for material I'd check out your local boat yard - they usually have or know of some who has material that they make boat coverings for. Not winter coverings but ones that they use while out on the water. Did this in my avatar - fire retardent stuff, looks old, etc - worked out pretty well.
     
  14. Steves32
    Joined: Aug 28, 2007
    Posts: 1,280

    Steves32
    Member
    from So Cal

  15. HOTRODSWE
    Joined: Aug 13, 2003
    Posts: 313

    HOTRODSWE
    Member

    I have PM you with my email, would be great if you could send it
     
  16. 28hiboy
    Joined: Feb 2, 2007
    Posts: 394

    28hiboy
    Member
    from milton fl

    Hope it made it to Sweden. Sent 3 emails, the pages are not in order.
     
  17. AssGasket
    Joined: Apr 19, 2002
    Posts: 402

    AssGasket
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Don't wear tight shorts and swim in cold water.....???

    But seriously, try to pre-wash and dry the fabric in the 'wrong way' so it shrinks and gets all that out of it's system before it is cut up, stitched up, and put out in the elements....... Also, most fabric shrinks more one way that the other (there is a 'grain' there)... Think about a t-shirt when it shrinks... The chest doesn't change much, but the damn thing goes from hanging below the waist to a belly shirt if you wash it the wrong way and it's not 'pre-shrunk' fabric.....
     
  18. HOTRODSWE
    Joined: Aug 13, 2003
    Posts: 313

    HOTRODSWE
    Member

  19. fatluckys
    Joined: Jan 3, 2002
    Posts: 721

    fatluckys
    Member

    I don't know if this will help you, but here are some photos of pattern making on the last top I did (which was also the first top I did). I used cheap vinyl and stretched, marked and stapled, and when I was happy with the way it looked I pulled it off had a cheap pattern to cut out my expensive Stayfast material. Easy! Right?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  20. butch27
    Joined: Dec 10, 2004
    Posts: 2,840

    butch27
    Member

  21. HOTRODSWE
    Joined: Aug 13, 2003
    Posts: 313

    HOTRODSWE
    Member

    These pictures are great! Please post more if you have! Thanks
     
  22. HOTRODSWE
    Joined: Aug 13, 2003
    Posts: 313

    HOTRODSWE
    Member

    Anyone got any more?
     
  23. tommy
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 14,757

    tommy
    Member Emeritus

    [​IMG]

    I have some pictures of my top chop. Never got it covered but the angle of the rear curtain is what I was looking for. You need to get the frame right to get the right shape.

    [​IMG]

    My favorite top but I think it is more than a 2" chop. The side window openings are perfect IMHO
     
  24. HOTRODSWE
    Joined: Aug 13, 2003
    Posts: 313

    HOTRODSWE
    Member

    This is were I,m at moment, Friday evening...
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  25. Man, I have a bunch of pics, but of course can't find the 1st step of stretching the patterns, which is essential!!! I'll look for more. These were on my laptop. I'll check the computer later. Good luck... looking good already. I had a blast doing this one. I have another one coming up in the near future.
     

    Attached Files:

  26. Hotrod Swede... you got the height right. What you got is looking good!!!

    I also used tape before I made my patterns out of vinyl, then moved onto the canvas. Wish I went as low as you. I hated cutting the stansions and having to chrome again just for another inch. Sould have just did it.

    I'm going to make sure my 34 is right on the money. Keep us posted!
     
  27. HOTRODSWE
    Joined: Aug 13, 2003
    Posts: 313

    HOTRODSWE
    Member

    As I understand you do the sides first and then the middle part, but how do you get that middle part right tension and moved over for sewing? This is harder than I thought, I need a lot of help
     
  28. Man it is hard!

    As you can see from my pics, I did it at a friends upolstry top shop. I did all the work myself, but the sewing. It was nice to bounce all my ideas of him, or ask a million questions. I now know what I'm doing. I will be sewing my next top. Although like any hot rod job, every car and project in the future will be different.

    I started out by laying a center mark on the tops mechanical assembly(roof bows). My bows were also a pain in the ass as my frame was original and warped. So pulling center marks on that top was a bitch. My top leaned more to one side.
    I opted to keep all the original wood, I like that stuff! So measure everything like crazy, from every direction, like three times at least. Make your one side pattern out of tape like you did. Get it how you like it.

    Then transfer it over to a piece of old vinyl or someting stretchy like your canvas. Transfer tape to vinyl, cut it out, and test it. Pin it all 1st with tacks/nails. Then cut out your center square, notch the center in it at both front and back by making a little V notch. This will help you see your center eazier.

    Tug on it all, and make it look good to your eye most importantly. Them adjust with your measurements and find a happy medium. Then sow the two pieces together, and test fit again. And again, and again.

    Transfer your driver pattern over to you passendger for a mock up... see how it fits over there. If it looks close, move onto the canvas, adjust, etc. Basic idea. Lots of pulling and tugging. Some nailing while testing.

    As you know, it is not hard work... it is just stressful. I have said in other posts, I'm still not happy with my top. I might work on it again someday.

    It is also nice to have a steamer!!! That is where it is at! Good luck, don't rush.... you'll pay for it later!


    I got so excited to get my car outside, I forgot to steam one side, hahaaa. I'll return soon for a quick steam. It even looks decent without it.
     
  29. HOTRODSWE
    Joined: Aug 13, 2003
    Posts: 313

    HOTRODSWE
    Member

    Thanks for everyones help, man this is hard!
    I was near to give it up, but got thru it and now its 75% done
    Here is a pic of there I,m right now

    [​IMG]
     
  30. bct
    Joined: Apr 4, 2005
    Posts: 3,095

    bct
    Member

    looks good ,i did my own as well.
     

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