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Projects When building the early Fords & GM's are you keeping the wood or replacing it with steel?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by HOTRODPRIMER, Oct 7, 2019.

  1. I know the wood kit's are available for most Fords and probably most Chevy's, I remember my pal Mike building a 1932 Chevy and the wood kit cost him twice what he paid for the car.

    I've noticed a lot of guys using metal in recent years. HRP
     
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  2. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 12,211

    DDDenny
    Member
    from oregon

    My mom told about getting firewood from old cars in the thirties and fortys in South Dakota, they would always go for the Chevys first because they had more wood in them.
     
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  3. error404
    Joined: Dec 11, 2012
    Posts: 133

    error404
    Member
    from CA

    I'm fortunate enough to have found a driving chevy truck with a (not original) wood interior. But I can't wait to replace the wood with metal :) It's probably more of a psychological thing than anything, but I'd rather have metal. That will be this winter's project. Replace the wood with metal, and put INSULATION in there, haha! It's kinda loud.

    Even though the wood isn't original, it's starting to fall apart, probably due to how much I drive the truck. Screws and nails keep backing out, and it's squeaks and rattles a lot. Probably doesn't help that the roads in my neighborhood are pretty rough, and I cross rough train tracks every day. I don't have a garage to park it in, and it's already getting below 40 most nights, and above 90 during the days. I'm sure the temperature swing doesn't help either.
     
  4. mlagusis
    Joined: Oct 11, 2009
    Posts: 948

    mlagusis
    Member

    I have a 31 Chevy sedan and most of the wood is gone. I am almost done with the suspension work and will then conquer the body and new steel structure.
     
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  5. 8flat
    Joined: Apr 2, 2006
    Posts: 1,332

    8flat
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I know a guy that build a '33 chevy, kept the wood and replaced what was needed. After a few yrs on the road it started settling and bowing the floorboards, to the point his doors wouldn't line up. Sad deal, it was a gorgeous car with very nice paint.
    I'd go with steel where it's structural, and if you want to have some wood for nostalgia sake keep some of the wood in non-critical areas.
     
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  6. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 4,453

    anthony myrick
    Member
    from al

    wood sux
    I plan on welding my next house together
     
  7. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 25,920

    The37Kid
    Member

    My '29 Steelback project started with the rear section, I collected the doors and cowl, a wood kit would have been around $2,500. Think the top was an additional cost. I decided to buy a 1931 Ford Slantwindow 4Door body (ALL STEEL) and swap the '29 Cowl & rear section. Good idea, just lost interest in the project. Bob
     
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  8. No wood left in my 34 coupe body. I fabricated a lot of the back glass/trunk hinge/ rain tray structure and used a 36 ford coupe roll-down back window......they were all steel.
     
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  9. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 17,334

    49ratfink
    Member
    from California

    if I had one I would do the wood. many moons ago I went to look at a 30 or so Chevrolet flatbed truck. all original never a repaint. the wood was rotten and all the panels were about to fall off. I would have bought it but it was a big one ton and too big for the space I had at the time.

    interesting way to build a truck cab that's for sure.
     
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  10. Oldioron
    Joined: Dec 12, 2018
    Posts: 921

    Oldioron
    Member

    At my age I'll take all the wood I can come up with....:)
     
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  11. I replaced all the wood in my Briggs Body, 1929 Ford cabriolet with new wood. It was quite a job, but I am happy with the results. Building a metal substructure to hang the sheet metal onto would not be easy if you expect good fits. With wood you can creep up to a good fit by shaving the wood 1/100” at a time in just the locations where needed.
     
  12. nunattax
    Joined: Jan 10, 2011
    Posts: 1,857

    nunattax
    Member

    id go for wood. cant replace the smell of wood or leather.its the dark art to many but after 30 plus years im getting the hang of working with it.
     
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  13. AngleDrive
    Joined: Mar 9, 2006
    Posts: 691

    AngleDrive
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Florida

  14. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 17,334

    49ratfink
    Member
    from California

    HOT ROD people build cars from complete junk that would have been scrapped 30 years ago and seem baffled by wood, which baffles me. wood is a very forgiving medium to work with.


    I graduated High School with a Masters Degree in woodshop, so maybe I am special.
     
  15. For me wood is good.


    IMG_0070.jpg

    And the steel is real

    P1050944.JPG
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2019
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  16. Al, the diagram drives home the reason this type of cars building style was called coach works. HRP
     
  17. On my current '30 A project the original wood was toast , so I went with a roof wood kit by Classic Wood in Greensboro NC. By doing so , it located my "B" pillars correctly. I've used Brookville subframes and they were not drilled for door post attachment. Made it a whole lot easier to hang the quarters and tulip panel also... Kit was spot-on as far as bolt holes ,bracket holes fitting, etc. Saved me a ton of time ..
    download.png
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2019
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  18. primed34
    Joined: Feb 3, 2007
    Posts: 930

    primed34
    Member

    Still have wood in my '34 Chevy coupe.
     
  19. nochop
    Joined: Nov 13, 2005
    Posts: 1,005

    nochop
    Member
    from norcal

    I’m leaving the wood, still nice and tight
     
  20. Using plastic....like she says...it will out last you !
     
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  21. WB69
    Joined: Dec 7, 2008
    Posts: 818

    WB69
    Member

    I've done both. Even done a mixture of wood and metal in one. Like the metal better when said and done though. Just my opinion.
     
  22. 3W JOHN
    Joined: Oct 8, 2015
    Posts: 412

    3W JOHN
    Member

    I used wood in my T touring.
     
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  23. denis4x4
    Joined: Apr 23, 2005
    Posts: 3,291

    denis4x4
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Colorado

    F3523B87-E818-4BC3-ACFF-4D5517C447DA.jpeg

    Cab is extended 6-1/2”, so I used individual pieces from Bert’s in Denver and created the rest out of white oak.
     
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  24. That looks great, do you have any more views? HRP
     
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  25. When I bought my 34 roadster one of the most appealing parts to me was the wood was original and beautiful. The owner before me removed all the wood, chemically stripped the body and reinstalled it. It's still in the car.

    EFD40194-0940-43E7-9DC2-9F2FFB9DE458.jpeg DB7302C2-65B5-499A-8117-8A1993546B21.jpeg 197A7106-BEB7-4FCE-AF8C-9A2C474E1670.jpeg BAB985DD-697A-4DA0-B96B-6F77AA592133.jpeg
     
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  26. denis4x4
    Joined: Apr 23, 2005
    Posts: 3,291

    denis4x4
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Colorado

    823D8796-43E4-48CC-9F6A-627ECA5F19F2.jpeg

    I was able to massage the roof profile by making my own patterns
     
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  27. jaw22w
    Joined: Mar 2, 2013
    Posts: 837

    jaw22w
    Member
    from Indiana

    My 1926 Model T coupe had surprisingly little, at least to me, wood in it. Only wood is the rear and quarter windows for garnish attachment and the top. I chose to go with reproduction wood. I never messed with A's much, but I think they had more wood than the '26-'27 T's.
     
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  28. Richard Head
    Joined: Feb 19, 2005
    Posts: 498

    Richard Head
    Member

    I've built four 32 ford 3 windows two of which, had wood reinforcement and two with the steel structure. The cars that stayed with the wood were fairly nice uncut original bodies, the others were chopped, one I had unchanneled from a previous abortion and the other had been hit hard at some point. I resisted doing the steel on the first one, but the owner insisted on it. It was really easy to get everything aligned and people that have ridden in it say that it feels a lot more solid than wood reinforced 3 windows they have driven.

    The wood in my 33 ford 3 window was gone when I bought it. They also torched out the brackets where the wood attaches to the subrails. The body half of the door hinges were gone and the door half were in bad shape. I intended to reinstall wood in the car, but I have found that when you're starting from scratch with reproduction wood and hinges from another body, it is really difficult to get everything to line up properly. For the past year, I have been contemplating using steel instead of wood. If I would have made that decision fifteen years ago, I would be driving the car now.

    Dave
     
  29. Flathead Dave
    Joined: Mar 21, 2014
    Posts: 2,344

    Flathead Dave
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from So. Cal.

    I'm doing both metal and wood on my avatar. Metal roof and wood trim around the window areas. It seems easier to do it this way and it won't take away from the look of the car. I also think it's safer in the case of a roll over.

    My 27 Coupe, originally had wood for the roof brace and wood around the rear windows.
     
  30. We dug all the rotten wood out of Richards 34 Chevy,the doors were falling apart along with the body, we used metal throughout the build. HRP

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The wood in the back was removed also. HRP

    [​IMG]
     
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