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Projects Thoughts on 1930 Buick Wood removal

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Essex_29, Mar 9, 2021.

  1. Essex_29
    Joined: Dec 27, 2007
    Posts: 102

    Essex_29
    Member
    from Finland

    Thank you for the kind words, TFoch, wood remover, Hnstray, Johnboy34 and warhorseracing!
    I got a bit sidetreacked, decided to get the old flathead out and got into a bit of wrenching.
    [​IMG]
    I had to get out a few things before I could hoist out the old power house.
    [​IMG]
    The engine's probably rusted solid. The cylinder head bots were missing when I bough the car, and I'm pretty sure someone tried to loosen it by filling the cylinders with diesel fuel or something. Not a problem, since I'm not going to run this engine.
    I'll hopefully be back working on the body tomorrow again, having been away from the shop for almost a week.
     
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  2. I am enjoying your thread. I did a heavily wooded 1929 Briggs Body-Ford cabriolet a few years back and replaced the old wood with new. Whether replacing wood with metal or replacing wood with wood, it is a big job. The Briggs Body had wood sub-rails to replace as well. I am impressed with the work you are doing.
     
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  3. Essex_29
    Joined: Dec 27, 2007
    Posts: 102

    Essex_29
    Member
    from Finland

    A deep breath today, and then dive in head first. I did some not very good things about a year ago, and there was no going around it, but to dig in and cut out the A-pillars. The problems are that the doors wont shut more than this much:
    [​IMG]
    ...Without bending the hinges, same on both sides. In other words the A-pillars need to be rotated. I made them the exact same angle as the old wooden ones, but either they just rotated enough because they were wood, or then they werent in their original place anymore. Also, the left hand side pillar was about 3/16" too far forward relative to the cowl, making the front door gap non existent.
    Anyway, all the spot welds holding the cowl to the pillar were cut, most of them with a small pneumatic saw. The structural crossbrace between the pillars inside the cowl was cut off, as was the windshield frame.
    For some odd reason, I had decided to make the windshield a bit slanted. Afterwards it seemed like a bad desicion, as slanted windshields were introduced in 1932 in most cars, and this is a 1930 model.
    [​IMG]
    The sides of the windshield frame are welded to the pillars, and is getting cut out.
    One A-pilar is cut out, cleaned up and ready for being welded back to the body, The saggy front end of the body looking a bit sorry at this point.
    Not so funny when these things happen, but at times you just have to do it again and hopefully do it right.
    Happy Easter to you all!
    [​IMG]
     
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  4. Clecko and aluminium pop rivits are your best friend !!!
     
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  5. Essex_29
    Joined: Dec 27, 2007
    Posts: 102

    Essex_29
    Member
    from Finland

    Yeah, wood remover, try telling that to the guy who just bought a brand new welder! My old welder quit working about when I was starting on this project, so as an owner of a new welder I wasn't going to start using pop rivets...

    Yes, mistakes were made, one of which was to assume that the car held about the right shape even with all that rotten wood and this, of course, was not the case.
    The right hand side A-pillar and all the new structure was cut out, and the cowl removed from the chassis. I was in a state of shock, so I took this pc before cleaning up the place.
    [​IMG]
     
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  6. Essex_29
    Joined: Dec 27, 2007
    Posts: 102

    Essex_29
    Member
    from Finland

    The roof is almost and inch too narrow in the front, so the whole body probably needs to be widened a bit at the B-pillars. I wrote down a few points, as a bit of a plan to go forward from here.
    [​IMG]
    The doors will be welded to the quarterpanel/B-pillar, hopefully helping to get the door openings right. The A-pillars are mounted to the door hinges...
    [​IMG]
    ... the idea being that once the A-pillars are tacked to tubing between both the A-pillars, and also between the A- and B-pillars, and to the roof and the top of the window frame, the whole body shoule be aligned well enough. Then the cowl will be fitted to the A-pillars.
    Wish me luck, I going to need it!
     
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  7. Essex_29
    Joined: Dec 27, 2007
    Posts: 102

    Essex_29
    Member
    from Finland

    Big day today. A buddy of mine came out to the garage to help out getting the body back together. He's also building a hot rod, and we help eachother out when needed. It's great to have a good friend to brain storm with, and to get help from when you need an extra pair of hands.
    Here we have just goten the first door tacked to the body. Looking pretty good at this point. The thickness of an M6 nut was deemed to be a nice door gap, so nuts were taped to the doors and quarters to keep them in place until it was all tacked.
    [​IMG]
     
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  8. Essex_29
    Joined: Dec 27, 2007
    Posts: 102

    Essex_29
    Member
    from Finland

    Work was continued on the other door, and the width in the front was adjusted a bit for the cowl to fit nicely. The A-pillars were ajusted away from eahother a total of about 3/8" from where they first landed. We decided to tack the cowl to the doors too at this point, to get a good look to be sure it's all symmetrical. Of course we measured it all, but getting a good look at it all is a good way to confirm that the work and measures are sound.
    Now everything fits, the door gaps are very nice and even, and the body is nice and symmetrical.
    [​IMG]
    It feels great to have the body tacked back together. Good to continue from this, knowing that the doors will probably fit right in the openings when all is braced and welded together and the doors can be ground off.
     
  9. Essex_29
    Joined: Dec 27, 2007
    Posts: 102

    Essex_29
    Member
    from Finland

    Took a few days to get back on track. Right as you're building your car, life happens.
    Anyway, the body was braced inside, then the doors were ground loose again. The result is very pleasing, as the doors close nicely, and the door gaps are nice and consistent.
    All this boils down to my not really thinking about how the hinges work. Lots of work for just welding in the new A-pillars like the old ones were, not taking into consideration that the hinges can't close more than... well, than they can.
    [​IMG]
    Good to be able to make a cross draft again. Some extra bracing inside still, but that will stay until they need to go, when the floor is made sometime in the future.
     
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  10. Essex_29
    Joined: Dec 27, 2007
    Posts: 102

    Essex_29
    Member
    from Finland

    Next up are the wheel tubs. I'm going to run wider wheels in the rear. The rear axle out of a 4WD S10 is 59" wide, and even running 10" wide rear rims and wide tires, there will be plenty of space behind the wheels even with the frame unaltered. The width of the tubs will be less than 8" at the widest.
    I started by cutting out the parts needed, hoping to make the first one right, so that I can make the other one the same.
    [​IMG]
    Using the shrinker the edge was shrunk a bit to make a round edge to the tub.
    [​IMG]
    The part was tacked to a peace of sheet metal to somewhat keep its shape through the shrinking and hammering.
     
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  11. Essex_29
    Joined: Dec 27, 2007
    Posts: 102

    Essex_29
    Member
    from Finland

    The other part was shrunk similarly. An English wheel would be very good to have now, but with some hammer and dolly work I got to this result.
    [​IMG]
    Here's like a preview of what I'm trying to accomplish. It's a bit of a challenge to get the edges to meet all around the tub. It's my first time doing something like this.
    [​IMG]
    Anyway, the important part is, the wheeltubs will be part of what will make the body rigid now that all the wood is gone.
     
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  12. Very nice work!
     
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  13. Essex_29
    Joined: Dec 27, 2007
    Posts: 102

    Essex_29
    Member
    from Finland

    Thank you TFoch. Spring is here, and it's difficult to find garage time, so progress is slow. I did, however, get the wheel tubs welded. I decided to tig weld them and that proved to be a good decision, since you can work a tig weld surprisingly well in the english wheel. As I don't have an own english wheel, I did the wheeling at a friend's garage.
    [​IMG]
    When the welds were ground flush with the surrounding sheetmetal, I went back to wheeling the tub again. This time it came out pretty nicely, looking ready for final grindning. It was such fun grinding that I had a hard time keeping from grinding out all the imperfections, as it would have made the sheetmetal too thin.
    [​IMG]
    This was my first time using the english wheel, and the result is surprisingly good. I don't expect the other tub to come out this nice, but in theory it will look the same, so I guess I don't have to show any pics of it, hehe.
     
  14. Wasn't suggesting you pop rivet the car back together LOL. The rivets just hold the panel in place and allow to install and remove the panel till you get it right . Plug weld the 1/8th hole when done . Much the same as using a cleco .Beats grinding welds and removing base material .
     
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  15. Real nice work on the wheel well @Essex_29 !
     
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  16. Essex_29
    Joined: Dec 27, 2007
    Posts: 102

    Essex_29
    Member
    from Finland

    I know, I know, wood remover, I just can't help myself. It's such fun to weld when you got it looking right, that I just weld away. I learned my lesson... Many times. Anyway, after all that grinding and thinking I shouldn't have, I got it right this time (I hope). After getting the wheelwells and the area around them ready I will be ready to weld everything together if things stil fit right.
    Thank you Tfoch, it weas fun doing it too, though I couldn't not think that it's silly to make oneself so much work for no real benefit. Well, maybe I'll just cover it with fake leather, and leave it visible :)
     
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  17. Essex_29
    Joined: Dec 27, 2007
    Posts: 102

    Essex_29
    Member
    from Finland

    After a long time of other tasks done to the house and the boat, and a bunch of other cars, I'm back to work on the rod project. Sorry to see that the pics I inserted in a few of my last posts don't show. I have no idea what causes this. some pics show, and some don't, and I've inserted them all the same way.
    Anyway, some minor work has been done, I'll continue when I get the photo issue sorted.
     
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  18. Essex_29
    Joined: Dec 27, 2007
    Posts: 102

    Essex_29
    Member
    from Finland

    buick045.jpg
    Back to what I was writing a few posts earlier. Good to be able to make a cross draft again. Body braced on the inside, and the tacks holding the doors were cut off.
     
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  19. Essex_29
    Joined: Dec 27, 2007
    Posts: 102

    Essex_29
    Member
    from Finland

    buick046.jpg
    Sheet metal cut for the tubs
     
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  20. Essex_29
    Joined: Dec 27, 2007
    Posts: 102

    Essex_29
    Member
    from Finland

    buick047.jpg buick048.jpg buick049.jpg
    Using the shrinker the edges were shrunk to make a rounded tub.
     
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  21. Essex_29
    Joined: Dec 27, 2007
    Posts: 102

    Essex_29
    Member
    from Finland

    buick050.jpg buick051.jpg
    After tig welding the parts together, I visited a freind's garage, and went to town with his english wheel. I'm happy with the result, this being the first time I've triedusing an english wheel.
     
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  22. indyjps
    Joined: Feb 21, 2007
    Posts: 4,390

    indyjps
    Member

    Very ambitious project, great job. Im sure Squaring it all back up after its settled into its own arrangement with wood over the past 90 years is a challenge.
     
  23. Big mike 1968
    Joined: Jul 17, 2021
    Posts: 127

    Big mike 1968
    Member

    Really great metal work.
     
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  24. Essex_29
    Joined: Dec 27, 2007
    Posts: 102

    Essex_29
    Member
    from Finland

    Thank you indujps and Big Mike. It is quite the challenge. The body is skewed. The cowl area isn't symmetrical, and that's the worst point, I'd say. Not much I can (or will) do about it. I'd have to cut it into small pieces to get it symmetrical, and I assume it has been like that from factory. What concerns me now, is that the rear axle wont line up the same in both wheel arches, but I have to deal with that when the problem arises.
     
  25. Essex_29
    Joined: Dec 27, 2007
    Posts: 102

    Essex_29
    Member
    from Finland

    I continued with making a new windshield frame. This time making it a bit less sloped than the first version, by adding a 3/4" wide strip of sheet metal to move the bottom of the frame a bit rearward.
    buick052.jpg
    Then, using two jig pieces to get the opening straight and square, I welded the top of the frame to the A-pillars.
    buick053.jpg
    Finally, I made the sides of the frame, making sure they were square to the top.
    buick054.jpg
    Before all this, I had welded the front part of the roof to the sides. When the windsheld frame was welded in, I could remove the bracing that I previously had tacked to the A-pillars.
     
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  26. Essex_29
    Joined: Dec 27, 2007
    Posts: 102

    Essex_29
    Member
    from Finland

    When the Windshield fram was done, I had a "grinding day". That's when I put on my gas mask with dust filters and grind welds. Feels good, after a few hours of grinding, not to have black good coming out of your nose *grinning*.
    Following this I turned my attention to the wheel tub again. I now have the wheels and tires that are going under this car, so I could mount them to the axle, measure and get the tubs in the right spots.
    The tub was coaxed into its exact location, and the excess could be cut away.

    buick055.jpg
    When I made the wheel tub, I didn't know how wide it needed to be, so almost half had to be cut off.
     
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  27. Essex_29
    Joined: Dec 27, 2007
    Posts: 102

    Essex_29
    Member
    from Finland

    A sheet metal part was made, to go between the wheel arch and the B-pillar, as the bottom edge of the body was rusted here. The holes are drain holes, necessary, since you will be able to open the rear side windows
    buick056a.jpg
    It was welded to the b-pillar and wheel tub and doused with zinc spray.
    buick056b.jpg
    To continue the reinforcements of the door another part was made. The floor will also be welded to the flange.
    This is rosettewelded to the previous part
    buick057.jpg
    After Welding and some grinding, it fianlly looks like something got done.
    buick058.jpg
     
  28. Essex_29
    Joined: Dec 27, 2007
    Posts: 102

    Essex_29
    Member
    from Finland

    Other projects keep popping up, but here's an update.

    Since the tubs were widened inward a bit, the wheel arch had to be continued around the new opening in the rear.
    buick059.jpg
    The small piece of sheet metal was cut, shrunk and stretched until it fit. After a lot of welding and grinding it looks almost like it belongs.
    buick060.jpg
     
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  29. Essex_29
    Joined: Dec 27, 2007
    Posts: 102

    Essex_29
    Member
    from Finland

    With the axle centered sideways, and tacked to the frame we could finally see how much the fenders will have to be widened. About 1-3/8" widening will allow almost 3-1/2" of down suspensiontravel, which should be sufficient.
    buick062.jpg
    The fender could be removed as the placement of the axle was decided on, and it was tacked to the frame.
    A new lip for the wheel arch was made from a strip of sheetmetal, bent and stretched along the edge, seen here taped to the body for a last check before cutting away the old, partly rusty sheetmetal.
    buick064.jpg
     
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  30. Essex_29
    Joined: Dec 27, 2007
    Posts: 102

    Essex_29
    Member
    from Finland

    The rear part of the driver's side wheel arch was made using sheet metal screws, as I don't have any clecos. THis tuned out to be a good technique, so now clecos are high on the wish list.
    buick065.jpg
    The final result looks tidy when ground. Speaking of my wishlist, body lead is up there too. I know a guy who's good at using body lead, perhaps I can persuade him top teach me...
    buick066.jpg
    The bottom lip between the wheel arch and the B-pillar was a bit rusty, so it too has been replaced, same as the right hand side, the weld seam can be seen about 3/8" from the bottom, above the apron.
     

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