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Tech.....carson top

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Clark, Feb 4, 2008.

  1. Clark
    Joined: Jan 14, 2001
    Posts: 5,103

    Clark
    Member

    This is the second fiberglass top I've built using this method. The first was for my 48 and this one is for a 29 sport coupe. It's a great way to build a strong lightwieght top.

    I would bet niether top wieghs over 40 pounds if not lighter. They are both very strong. My 48 top was backed over by a woman not watching what she was doing. The only damage was two deep gouges from the exhaust.

    OK the shoping list for this build was 3 sheets of 3/4" foamboard, 2 sheets of 1" foamboard and a sheet of 2" board. when I was done I had a sheet of each of the thinner board left over and a half of the 2" board. I also picked up a box of drywall nails and 3 rolls of 2" tape. Not to mention the resin and fiberglass mat.

    OK I started with covering the body with some tape in the imediate area I was going to work. Helps to get the resin off when you'r done. The I cut my first piece of foamboard to fit as the base. I attached it with two screws to keep it stationary and to help with the shape.

    Next I started on the "bow" right behind the door. I taped a couple of paint sticks in the jam to get the desired gap. Now remember the foam is the inside of the top. Allow about 3/16'" for your glass. I was lucky I had the original bow to go off of. You may want to make a cardboard pattern fist to get your shape right. I taped this bow right to the doors.

    Next is the front section of the top. Notice how I put some braces in the door bow to hold the front section. These are just scrap pieces screwed into place with the drywall screws. The lower front section is a 1" piece of foam for rigidity. I incorperated the visor into the top and let it overhang just a bit. I attached this pice to the front were it will attach when done and at the back I used the screws to hold it in place.

    I then made the top part of the front. Allow plenty at the front to carve the desired shape. The sides of the front will get filled in later. Again the drywall screws hold it in place. At the front the screws are back far enough not to be in the carved area.

    Hold your replies this will take about 3 steps to get done.
    Clark
     

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  2. Clark
    Joined: Jan 14, 2001
    Posts: 5,103

    Clark
    Member

    The front was done first so you can stand back and figure out the location of the middle bow in the back. Use some tape to help get a good profile.

    Once the placement is established, I made some braces to hold the bow in place. The braces are frome the 1" foam. The braces also hold the outer foam in place too. I made the outer pieces and screwed them in place.

    Next the corners need smaller pieces made from the 2" foam. I used 2 small 2" pices and a small 1" piece. That placed the last full pice at the right place that I didn't have a lot of carving to do.

    I did the same up front.
    Clark
     

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  3. Clark
    Joined: Jan 14, 2001
    Posts: 5,103

    Clark
    Member

    Now you're ready to make a real mess. I'm not one to wear a mask but I did for this!!

    I used a small 3 inch air sander to shape the foam. A fresh 40 grit pad will tear the foam up at a fast rate. Be careful and use a light touch. You may want to practice first.

    Once roughed in with the 3 inch sander I used a DA sander with 80 grit to smooth it out and do final shaping.

    Almost forgot I did use a long hand block with 40 grit to get the long straight areas straight.

    Now you're ready for those 3 rolls of tape. If you do not cover the foam the resin will eat right through it. I put two layers on with plenty of overlap. The tape helps release the foam from the inside when you're done.

    I found a low spot after the tape was on....how do you fix that? A couple of layers of duct tape. It's nice and thick and will build up quick.

    Now you're ready to lay your glass. I'll assume you know that part. Maybe we can add a quick how to if you don't.

    I put 1 layer of cloth and 2 layers of mat. Cloth is the woven stuff and I usually don't use it but we had a big piece of it laying around and I decided to use it up. I overlapped the mat at each bow....so the bows actually have about 6 layers on them. It helps give that real cloth top look.
    Clark
     

    Attached Files:

  4. Clark
    Joined: Jan 14, 2001
    Posts: 5,103

    Clark
    Member

    Well my camera must have lost a few pics!:D

    Once the glass dried I pulled the top off of the car. Once off take your anger out on the foam. Just start pullin til it's all out.....well I left about 3" in the front for a header. The tape should also pull out easy.

    I also cleaned any nasty edges up while it was off.

    After it was back on the car I sed a little bondo to hold the top in place and to fill a wide gap that would have caused problems for the glass.

    You should be able to see in the pics the tape impresions on the inside of the top. It's actually pretty smooth.

    I then glassed the flange in. Doing it on the car will make it fit nice and tight.

    After the flange was dry I made up some 1x2" foam strips to reinforce the flanges. You can also use wood but that would just be overkill and add wieght. Of coarse the foam was covered with tape before glassing in.

    You'll have to take the top back off to finish the header. It actually could have been done the first time the top was off.

    The only wood is in the corners of the header where I plan on running some studs up in when it all done. You can also see how I taped over the foam.

    There you go. I'll get more pics up as it gets done.
    Clark
     

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  5. ryno
    Joined: Oct 6, 2005
    Posts: 3,471

    ryno
    Member

    looks good.i like the simple design with great results.
     
  6. sodbuster
    Joined: Oct 15, 2001
    Posts: 4,948

    sodbuster
    Member
    from Kansas

    Cool..............cough........cough.........looking good.........not you just need to fab a track nose on the front of the car and sell it as a "SoWhat" track nose.

    Chris Nelson
    Kansas
     
  7. Gotgas
    Joined: Jul 22, 2004
    Posts: 6,867

    Gotgas
    Member
    from DFW USA

    Top looks real good Clark. :cool: I like that you put the "bows" in the shape. What's the story with the modifications to the door posts front and rear? Nice and subtle
     
  8. sxdxmike
    Joined: Aug 25, 2004
    Posts: 406

    sxdxmike
    Member

    love it..hope i get to see this in person.
     
  9. great tech clark , lookin good ..
     
  10. looks great clark!
     
  11. Petejoe
    Joined: Nov 27, 2002
    Posts: 10,602

    Petejoe
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Zoar, Ohio

    Great tech Clark. Simple design and looks good.
    I've never seen a step by step on anything like this.
    I always wondered how it was done. Thanks.
     
  12. Clark
    Joined: Jan 14, 2001
    Posts: 5,103

    Clark
    Member

    You can take the concept of this and run with it. Build a track nose....build a Roth style car. Just about anything can be done with foam and glass.
    Clark
     
  13. Tony
    Joined: Dec 3, 2002
    Posts: 7,350

    Tony
    Member


    I LIKE this idea....
    Thanks for taking the time to post this..

    Tony
     
  14. 1950ChevySuburban
    Joined: Dec 20, 2006
    Posts: 6,191

    1950ChevySuburban
    Member Emeritus
    from Tucson AZ

    Thats really cool! I was wondering how it was done, thanks!
     
  15. squigy
    Joined: Nov 30, 2003
    Posts: 3,915

    squigy
    Member
    from SO.FLO.

    Kool.Thanks.
     
  16. bct
    Joined: Apr 4, 2005
    Posts: 3,092

    bct
    Member

    awesome tech...thanks
     
  17. Nappy
    Joined: Jul 6, 2001
    Posts: 797

    Nappy
    Member
    from York, PA

    I'm using this new skill to build a lifesize statue of you, Clark.
    Thanks for the Tech.
     
  18. metalshapes
    Joined: Nov 18, 2002
    Posts: 10,743

    metalshapes
    Tech Editor

    That works very well...

    I used a special type of Foam to get the shape of this nose.
    Which was later attached to the Buck that we had a mold made off, making the Buck was a Team effort)

    For the scoop we used regular foam available a DIY places, that we protected with Waterbased paint to protect it from the Fiberglass...
     

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  19. You're good to go my man.

    Charlie
     
  20. brewsir
    Joined: Mar 4, 2001
    Posts: 3,278

    brewsir
    Member

    To seal the foam so it doesn't melt you can use watered down elmers glue...just paint a couple of coats and let it dry ....then again tape is pretty darn cheap!
     
  21. Dyce51
    Joined: Aug 17, 2007
    Posts: 274

    Dyce51
    Member
    from Ohio

    Pretty cool!!! I have seem the old school way of building a carson ....I have seen people make one-off car bodies useing foam and laying fiberglass over it...Never thought to put the 2 together!! Very nicely done!
     
  22. MercMan1951
    Joined: Feb 24, 2003
    Posts: 2,654

    MercMan1951
    Member

    The proportions of that top are dead on, it looks really good. Nice write up!
     
  23. Clark
    Joined: Jan 14, 2001
    Posts: 5,103

    Clark
    Member

    Here's a pic of the bracing. It needs cleaned up. It's just foam wrapped with fiberglass.
    Clark
     

    Attached Files:

  24. koolkemp
    Joined: May 7, 2004
    Posts: 6,007

    koolkemp
    Member

    Thanks alot Clark!! Much appreciated this is gonna come in handy to replace the very heavy trashed Carson style top on my ol 48 Dodge!

    Steve
     
  25. Clark
    Joined: Jan 14, 2001
    Posts: 5,103

    Clark
    Member

    Here's a pic of the top done. I still need to smooth out the inside.
    Clark
     

    Attached Files:

  26. Looks good Clark.

    Do you have an overall shot of the car with the top on or did it sell in Detroit?
     
  27. sxdxmike
    Joined: Aug 25, 2004
    Posts: 406

    sxdxmike
    Member

    yea..please can we see some more!
     
  28. Clark
    Joined: Jan 14, 2001
    Posts: 5,103

    Clark
    Member

    I put a bunch of pics on the main post for this car. Here's a good side shot.
    Clark
     

    Attached Files:

    Dannerr likes this.
  29. another cool sowhat ride!
     

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