I have a project!


Got myself an old car. A 1929 Chevy 1.5 ton pickup. Back then, more so non-Fords than Fords, they built a wood frame and nailed the sheet metal to it. With Chevy, I guess what ever the best deals they got in bulk product, they used. Oak, ash, etc. My question is, is there any reason I would have to go with a hardwood? Any thoughts on using marine grade ply and gluing up what I need? The main idea here is cost savings. Complete wood kits are available but cost $2000-3000. Any other suggestions??
Here is what I'm starting with: http://www.bunchobikes.com/my1929chevy.htm
Here are some shots of someone else's project with a wood kit installed:
http://www.stovebolt.com/techtips/projects/binder/binder_stephen_1929h.jpg
http://www.stovebolt.com/techtips/projects/binder/binder_stephen_1929i.jpg
http://www.stovebolt.com/techtips/projects/binder/binder_stephen_1929j.jpg
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wrote:

Aren't these always ash ? Every one (mainly MGs) that I've worked on has been. There are a lot of curves in there and I'd hate to try making the shapes from plywood. That said, the originals did use a lot of plywood for the flat invisible parts, such as door skins or under a rear-mounted petrol tank.
Besides which, good ash is cheaper than mediocre plywood.
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Andy Dingley wrote:

Were talking Chevies here. They bought what they could get! I'll look into the pricing of ash locally. I was just thrown off by the price tag I was quoted.
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http://www.bunchobikes.com/my1929chevy.htm
You could use plywood for most of this stuff. You'd want a really good adhesive because in order to use ply, you'd have nail into the ply layers and that's not a good idea. I'm not so sure that you'd save a lot of money over hardwood though. The components you show in the pictures are not all that complex and could well be produced out of ash. It might pay to look around for rough cut hardwood prices in your area. If you don't have the tools to work the wood (and we're not talking fine cabinetry here...), you could find a friend or acquaintance with a band saw which would satisfy 80% of the woodworking requirement. You'd certainly come in at a fraction of that $2000-$3000 price you're being quoted for a kit.
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Mike Marlow wrote:

I originally thought of doing the frame in steel. I wonder how the price of ash compares to steel? Yeah, completely slipped my mind when thinking of making the structural members of ply, having to drive nails in them to hold the panels. The tools aren't a problem, I have what I need to shape the frame pieces.
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On Thu, 10 Nov 2005 09:08:09 -0500, "Mike Marlow"

A few years ago my brother was restoring an old Chevy ('37?) that had a lot of wood in it. Bro is great with sheet metal but totally inept in a woodshop so he asked me if I would replace the wood framing around the windows and doors.
The car had sat in an open field for years and most of the wood was either gone or rotted very badly. I was able to identify it tho, as Ash, and used that for replacement parts.
The hardest part was developing patterns for the parts, as those suckers seemed to curve in five directions at once. But with some 1/4 ply and a lot of cut n' fit I was able to do it.
The actual parts started out as 8/4 Ash, laminated where required. With a bandsaw and a spindle sander I was able to turn out pieces that fit pretty well. And yes, a couple of them had to be made twice :)
Overall it came out well, I enjoyed the challenge and Bro was happy to have something to nail his tin to.
Unfortunately I didnt get to see the finished product as Bro moved off to hurricane country and took his vehicle with him. One of these days I'll have to overcome my fear of death and visit, just to see how my handiwork turned out.
Total cost? I dont remember exactly but it was less than $200 for the lumber and I donated my labor.
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It's generally agreed that with the kits you're paying half for the timber and half for the pattern. Most people who find themselves needing a woodwork kit don't have enough of the original surviving to use it as a pattern. The best kits are measured up off a good survivor, not a rotten reconstruction.
if you do have a car in need of such a restoration, it's vital to make working drawings of the body and especially of the mortice and tenon joints _before_ you dismantle the shell, or even before you lift it off the chassis (which is usually all that's holding it together). If you can get the "frame" dimensions then you can build a square-edged body skeleton and then shape the curves to suit. If you take the wooden parts apart then you might be able to copy the curves of individual pieces, but you'll never be able to reconstruct the overall shape or the joinery between the pieces.
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Thu, Nov 10, 2005, 3:11am snipped-for-privacy@concentric.net (MarkandKimSmith) doth sayeth: Got myself an old car. A 1929 Chevy 1.5 ton pickup. <snip> Any other suggestions?? <snip>
You've got a truck, not a car; and wood was pretty standard for any vehicle back then. Unless your're going for a complete restoration, I'd say steel tubing, not wood. http://www.users.bigpond.com/glenn_percy/body_assembly.htm I've seen it done, it ain't rocket sicience.
JOAT If it ain't broke, don't lend it. - Red Green
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J T wrote:

Easy JOAT! No need to get picky, I know what I have! If I have enough scrap, I just might do it in steel. Or sell it for a different model ( something from 1947-1954.)
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Fri, Nov 11, 2005, 1:05pm snipped-for-privacy@concentric.net (MarkandKimSmith) did speaketh: Easy JOAT! No need to get picky, I know what I have! If I have enough scrap, I just might do it in steel. Or sell it for a different model ( something from 1947-1954.)
No picky. Car car. Truck truck. No same. Sell? Where at? Cheap?
You should be able to get used steel tubing quite inexpensively. I would prefer it - I'd never restore "anything" to 100% original, I'd want to use it, not look at it - not hard to put in, stronger than wood, won't rot. You could possibly trade it, and get a better deal then selling. Maybe.
JOAT If it ain't broke, don't lend it. - Red Green
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J T wrote:

Hey JT,
I'm in So Cal. I would probably let it go for a couple grand. If I had the latest pics, it would show the front and rear springs cleaned up and installed, the front axle installed and I'm currently working on the Camaro 10 bolt in the rear. Ok, well some of the pics do show some of that stuff. Time to dig out the sand blaster, clean the cowl and prime it. Everything is getting a two part epoxy. I'm also just about to set up the V8 mounts and 700R4 mount. I still have the original honeycomb radiator and a lightbar is in the mail. If you really are interested, I can get more pics posted. Trucks are great, but with a wife and two kids, I need something with more seats! Not sure how much freight would be. I would probably crate most of it up and strap it to a pallet. You're still using pallets, aren't you? I'll try to find some with decent grain and minimal knots. ( The icing on the cake!)
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Sat, Nov 12, 2005, 10:10pm snipped-for-privacy@concentric.net (MarkandKimSmith) doth propose: I'm in So Cal. I would probably let it go for a couple grand. <snip> Trucks are great, but with a wife and two kids, I need something with more seats! <snip> You're still using pallets, aren't you? <snip>
Too rich for me. Anyway, when I get the space, and can loosen up some spare change, got my eye on a complete five window GMC/Chevvy peekop, I think it'll go pretty low. There's a guy around here with probably an acre of old cars and truck, most of 'em look to be '30s, some '40s, a few later. Most seem pretty complete. Bad part is getting him to sell. Ah well. But you can send me some popular wood pallets. Free wood is "always" popular wood.
JOAT If it ain't broke, don't lend it. - Red Green
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J T wrote:

Hang out at www.stovebolt.com, at the forums. Occasionally, a freebie will come along. By the way, see any Suburbans in that field??
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Mon, Nov 14, 2005, 3:21pm snipped-for-privacy@concentric.net doth asketh: Hang out at www.stovebolt.com, at the forums. Occasionally, a freebie will come along. By the way, see any Suburbans in that field??
Not sure, but seem to recall a '40s-'50s Suburban. Might be a bit pricey for shipping tho, I'm in NC. Local used car lot does have a probably '39-'40 era Pontiac (I think) sedan tho, nice, but totally painted red, bumpers and all. No idea what engine, price, or anything else about it. I can get the tel # if you're interested. E-mail if you are.
JOAT If it ain't broke, don't lend it. - Red Green
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If you want a nice Ford flathead V8 for that project, give me a shout. I've got a couple five engines and trannys under a thin layer of sawdust in my shop.

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I've got no Ford to put one in!!
Andy wrote:

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