Register now to get rid of these ads!

**Tech: Build your own 32 frame rails**

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by flthd31, Oct 5, 2008.

  1. flthd31
    Joined: Aug 5, 2007
    Posts: 561


    This project started with a bunch of 30-31 coupe body parts that were pretty rough. I didn’t want to spend any money on a frame of any kind because it was doubtful that the body could be assembled.
    So since I have more time than money, I decided to fab my own 32 rails.
    Back a quite a few years ago, you couldn’t get stamped repop rails. Pro rod builders used to build them something like this and some still do. It gives you lots of options for body contour and rear cross member kick-up. These rails will follow the 30-31 Model A body contour.

    [​IMG] frame01 .JPG

    frame02 .JPG

    I start with a print downloaded from Westcott’s web site. Then I blew it up to full size in MS Publisher and printed it. I then taped all 16 pages together for a full size print. The lines were a little thick so I just flipped it over and refined them on the back side. I modified it a little to suit my needs. You need to subtract the thickness of the top and bottom frame pieces and also for your plasma tip. Transfer the contour onto some cheap luan underlayment and cut it for a plasma pattern.

    frame03 .JPG

    frame04 .JPG

    To make the top profile, I drew a centerline on the garage floor and put the floor, cowl and front cross member in place using the dimensions on the print.

    frame05 .JPG

    I then traced the contour onto luan underlayment and cut it. This pattern stops short of the rear axle. The frame is straight back there and it will be easier to add that section later.

    frame06 .JPG

    Take both patterns and lay them together with the rear axle marks in line. Make a mark somewhere midway to help locate the top to the side when you tack it together.

    frame07 .JPG

    I pieced together some .125 cold roll so cutting would be minimized. These short ends are scrapped where I work so I grabbed quite a few. The free steel was a big factor in starting this project.

    frame08 .JPG

    I happened to have this long table left over from a canoe I built but any long platform will get you off the floor.

    frame09 .JPG

    Leave a slight gap and chamfer both pieces on both sides.

    frame10 .JPG

    Finally…ready to fire up the plasma.

    frame11 .JPG

    You’ll need to make 4 of these.

    frame12 .JPG

    I put these cuts in to help align the top with the side and also to square the frame when the cross members are installed.

    frame13 .JPG

    To make that purdy reveal, we need to cut the 2 pieces that will be the outside. It’s cut just ahead of the line on the print.

    frame14 .JPG

    frame15 .JPG

    frame16 .JPG

    Make a cut about 3 inches up from the bottom at the rear of the reveal about an inch behind the line on the print.

    frame17 .JPG

    I made a form to hammer the reveal line into the rail. It’s made out of 1 ½ inch square tubing .125 thick. The pattern is made from the print.

    frame18 .JPG

    frame19 .JPG
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2017
    just Mike likes this.
  2. flthd31
    Joined: Aug 5, 2007
    Posts: 561


    frame20 .JPG

    Align the form with clamps and tack weld to keep it from moving.

    frame21 .JPG

    I also bolted them together at the rear.

    frame22 .JPG

    frame23 .JPG

    Clamp the whole thing to a work bench and start pounding the edge down using a template and straight edge as guides. IMPORTANT NOTE: Remember to make a right and left by bending the edge in opposite directions. Take your time and don’t try to bend it all in one pass.

    frame24 .JPG

    frame25 .JPG

    frame26 .JPG

    frame27 .JPG

    Align the rear cut, weld and finish grind.

    frame28 .JPG

    frame29 .JPG

    frame30 .JPG

    frame31 .JPG

    frame32 .JPG

    Weld the pieces back together using the template as a guide.

    frame33 .JPG

    frame34 .JPG

    Grind smooth.

    frame35 .JPG

    frame36 .JPG

    I made mine a little oversize so I could trim off some of the hammer marks.
    frame37 .JPG

    frame38 .JPG
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2017
  3. flthd31
    Joined: Aug 5, 2007
    Posts: 561


    frame39 .JPG

    Now for the top and bottom. Same as the sides.

    frame40 .JPG

    frame41 .JPG

    frame42 .JPG

    frame44 .JPG

    frame45 .JPG

    frame46 .JPG

    Now let’s put it together. I cut some scrap wood to help hold things a little. They don’t have to be too perfect because it’s the top and bottom pieces that give the frame its shape as you tack it together.

    frame47 .JPG

    I tacked a piece of tubing on the front of the rail to keep it straight.

    [​IMG] frame48 .JPG

    Tack both the top and bottom. The front will be too long and the back will be added later.

    frame49 .JPG

    Next, I trimmed the top and bottom inside edge with the template clamped to it.

    frame50 .JPG

    frame51 .JPG

    Square everything up.

    frame52 .JPG

    frame53 .JPG

    Tack in the insides. I cut them into 2 pieces for easier alignment.

    frame54 .JPG

    frame55 .JPG

    Don’t force anything too much, It should fit pretty good.

    frame56 .JPG

    Now I finished up the front. Just hammer it around while tacking.

    frame57 .JPG

    frame58 .JPG
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2017
  4. flthd31
    Joined: Aug 5, 2007
    Posts: 561


    frame59 .JPG

    Use up some of that scrap to finish up the bottom and top

    frame60 .JPG

    frame61 .JPG

    frame62 .JPG

    frame63 .JPG

    Finish the top rear the same way

    frame64 .JPG

    frame65 .JPG

    Weld everything up except where the x’s are marked. Take your time and skip around a lot. Do a few welds on a side and rotate. I like to position the weld joint so the ”V” is straight down (in the trough).

    frame66 .JPG

    frame67 .JPG

    All done, now get out the grinder.

    frame68 .JPG

    frame69 .JPG

    frame70 .JPG

    I tapered the horns on the inside edge using a scrap piece of metal as a guide to cut out a wedge.

    frame71 .JPG

    frame72 .JPG

    frame73 .JPG

    frame75 .JPG

    There you have it. A pair of 32 rails pinched, kicked and boxed all in one. The main thing here is to end up with both rails the same.
    I eventually got the cross members welded in.

    frame76 .JPG

    frame77 .JPG

    frame78 .JPG

    The frame fits the body perfectly. It sits right up inside the body subrails to give it a slight channel.

    frame79 .JPG

    Oh, and don't worry, that grill shell will get dropped a couple of inches.
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2017

  5. flamedabone
    Joined: Aug 3, 2001
    Posts: 4,886


    Holy shit man. That is some fine fabricating.

  6. -Brent-
    Joined: Nov 20, 2006
    Posts: 5,981


    Welcome to the H.A.M.B! Your fabrication and quality is astounding!
  7. BCR
    Joined: Dec 11, 2005
    Posts: 1,262


    Wow, very nice job.
  8. NealinCA
    Joined: Dec 12, 2001
    Posts: 2,882


    Very nice work...and a great tech piece.

  9. Chris Casny
    Joined: Mar 13, 2006
    Posts: 4,870

    Chris Casny

    Wow, superhero, simply the best of the best right there.
  10. brady1929
    Joined: Sep 30, 2006
    Posts: 8,519


    that is amazing!
  11. Duke
    Joined: Mar 21, 2001
    Posts: 658


    Thank you for posting that, excellent tech!!
  12. solid
    Joined: May 20, 2007
    Posts: 1,459


  13. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 27,799


    WOW! That is one hell of an intro! Welcome to the HAMB!
  14. Great work, You sir are a craftsman!
  15. chaddilac
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 13,862


    WOw! that is awesome!!!
  16. brigrat
    Joined: Nov 9, 2007
    Posts: 5,355

    from Wa.St.

    2 hands clapping! Bravo........................ take a bow, your the man!
  17. Ron Mayes
    Joined: Mar 24, 2006
    Posts: 696

    Ron Mayes

  18. Harms Way
    Joined: Nov 27, 2005
    Posts: 6,869

    Harms Way

    Great post !,..... And exceptional work !
  19. the idea of winning tech week tools has spawned the winner...
    everyone raise yer hand tha t agrees ...

    oops hope its not too late

    total time for build?
  20. :eek:holy shit batman,........cant wait to see what the rest of your car is like. top shelf stuff right there!

    how many hours did that take?
  21. flthd31
    Joined: Aug 5, 2007
    Posts: 561


    Everyone, Thanks for the positive replies. I lurk here every day and never get tired of reading other guys tech and seeing all the great rides. Hope somebody can use this post.
    As far as time of build… for me…the more time the better. I hate when a good project is over! Actual fabricating was less than a week. The planning and pattern making took a couple of weeks. Don’t get caught up in trying making them perfectly identical to Henry’s rails. Just try to make both the same. They will look great under your car.
  22. Mart
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 4,327


    Fantastic work.
  23. Nobodys Hero
    Joined: Oct 10, 2005
    Posts: 437

    Nobodys Hero
    from New Jersey it..
  24. fortynut
    Joined: Jul 16, 2008
    Posts: 1,038


    I'm going down a similar road with '40 rails and it's inspiring to see your simplified technique. I'm using the Wescott blueprint myself, as a reference. (I'm using a really nice frame as a reference.) I hadn't thought of blowing it up, but will. And, I can see that 'wood is good'. The Welders book suggests using it, and being a metal oriented person I have a block against it, but seeing your use of it, I'm having second thoughts. Thank you for sharing.
  25. Hackerbilt
    Joined: Aug 13, 2001
    Posts: 6,247


    Beautiful job...and a great writeup too!

    What are you shaping your welds with, and how do you get that final finish on the metal after grinding? Looks almost too nice to be just a DA!
    Handheld belt sander maybe????
  26. 8-Track
    Joined: Jul 26, 2008
    Posts: 395


    this looks like a tech week winner!
    Great job!
  27. this post is amazing!
  28. irondoctor
    Joined: Jan 7, 2007
    Posts: 554

    from Newton, KS

    Great finish work!
  29. aussiesteve
    Joined: Jan 6, 2004
    Posts: 808


    Great post,great job and an insane amount of work.
  30. Crazydaddyo
    Joined: Apr 6, 2008
    Posts: 3,185


    You sir are talented!!!!!! Very nice

    When you say it took a week to fab.... you meen you took a week off work to build it...right?

Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!


Copyright © 1995-2020 The Jalopy Journal: Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.

Atomic Industry
Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010-2014 XenForo Ltd.