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Thread: Anyone really good replacing wood with metal?
          
   
   

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  1. #1
    Hurst01's Avatar
    Hurst01 is offline CHR Member Visit my Photo Gallery
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    Anyone really good replacing wood with metal?

     



    I have built several street rods in the past and have always thought of myself as fairly competant in doing pretty much anything to do with a street rod. WRONG!!!!!
    I am building a 1937 Cadillac for my neighbor. This is a freeby for him. I talked him into buying the car and building it. He is pretty much not mechanically inclined, but is good at cleaning and hold parts for me. I have the suspension and drive train set up, welded and polished a complete stainless steel exhaust for the car, repaired all the rust areas with new metal and a complete frame off build. The car is sitting on all fours now so that I can square the doors and replace the wood in them with boxed tubing.
    This is where the problem comes in . I have never replace the wood in these old cars with steel. I am a certified welder and a Jorneyman Machinist by trade. I can usually visualize how I want to do something and do it. I have come to a screeching halt at this point. I am trying to integrate a steel structure in the lower half of the door and leave the wood in the upper half. The wood is in there in such a way that it is going to be an extreme amount of work and time to replace it all, thus the idea of integrating the steel to the wood. I can't seem to find a good place to try and splice it. I feel it is a major possibility of doing damage to the door by trying to take all of the wood out. All of the rest of the wood in the car I have replace with no problem, such as the body mount rails and the structure and frame around the rear window.
    I have spent about $60,000.00 of this guys money on this car and not charged him a dime. It will be one hellacious rod when I am done. It has the best of everything.
    I guess this is a preview of what is coming for my car. I have a 1929 Buick and the wood is in really bad shape completely through out the car. I am going to have to build a complete inner structure in it. The wood for it can not be bought so I will build the structure with steel. This is a completely new area for me. I have done a search and found several posts where people are asking questions, but nothing indicating a how-to.
    If anyone has some pointers please let me know.

    Thanks, Ed
    Ed in Jeffersonville, IN
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  2. #2
    DennyW is offline CHR Member Visit my Photo Gallery
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    Take a look at this.

    http://www.caddydaddy.com/restore/

  3. #3
    Hurst01's Avatar
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    Thanks Denny,

    Some interesting information there, although I like the one I am building better, except for the convertible top. That is one unique car.

    Ed
    Ed in Jeffersonville, IN
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  4. #4
    shawnlee28's Avatar
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    3 m makes some good body panel adhesives,maybe you could use that as a means to attach to the structure?Pics would definately help,then maybe some of the more exsperianced guys may know exactly what to do.
    Its gunna take longer than u thought and its gunna cost more too(plan ahead!)

  5. #5
    Itoldyouso's Avatar
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    Replacing the wood is a b****. My Son is building a '29 Ford Fordor he replaced every piece of wood with box tubing, and he has like a bazillilon hours in the job. He shaped every piece to conform to the contours and welded in a subframe structure throughout the entire car. It was as solid as a rock when he was done, but he was really burned out when the job was done. ( and he loves to fabricate stuff)

    Essentially, you have to begin at the bottom and build a platform subframe to attach all the upright stuff to. First though, you have to afix the body to some structure so it is perfectly square and immovable. When that is done, you can start with tubing to support all the door jams, etc.

    I've got a few pictures of his in my computer, I'll try to post them here.


    Don
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    Last edited by Itoldyouso; 06-29-2006 at 04:17 PM.

  6. #6
    pat mccarthy's Avatar
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    you need to find soild steel . and grab as much of it as you can for the floor 1by1 tubing wall 1/8 steel works good you would make a outer frame with this and then add tie bars for seats and mount points of the body the floor needs to tie in to the fire wall . a all steel trans tunnle weld in to the floor will make things stronger to you may want to use heavy steel for this like 1/6 this will add a back bone with a 1by1by tubing and all points need to be very good. i like to plug weld holes5/16to 3/8 1by1 to the body tin . like i said you may want to add steel for this going up and then going down in to the floor and not just gab the bottoms of the sheet metal .as for the door frames i woud make them out of steel 1/6 plate and brake it if off set are needed or press it if it can not be put in a brake. if the wood holds a form but is bad you may use epoxy and chop fiber over the wood or make new door frame out of wood you need to take some pics so i can see what you have
    Irish Diplomacy ..the ability to tell someone to go to Hell ,,So that they will look forward to to the trip

  7. #7
    Hurst01's Avatar
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    Well, it has been about 13 years since I first asked this question about replacing wood with steel in my car. Unfortunately life got in the way of me doing it not to mention I had another heart attack, two small strokes and a third open heart surgery. I have also helped two friends build their cars and trucks while mine sat begging. I have decided to clean out my garage and begin some work on my poor old 1929 Buick.
    I appreciate the replies to my question. First of all, I Ama Journeyman Machinist and Certified Welder. Problem is My eyesight is getting so bad that it is hard to weld because I can hardly see through the lens in my welding hood. I am going to try and get some pictures of the project as soon as I can get it cleaned out enough to take them.
    My initial thought was to build the inner structure completely with steel and duplicate it as it is currently formed. I have been told that is not the way to do it as it is too time consuming and too difficult to duplicate each piece. Once I get started and get an idea of how to do it I think I will be OK. I need to finish my frame before I can start on the body. I have installed a Scott's IFS for the front and started a triangular rear suspension using a Ford 9" rear with Disc brakes. I am having a bit of engineering difficulty installing the triangular suspension because of the narrow frame. I am going with a triangular set up because I really didn't want to use a panhard bar because of the way it is made.
    Itoldyouso, I really like what you Son did with her car. I have put a lot of thought in use body panel adhesive between the body panels and inner structure to save from distortion of the outside. It is currently straight as an arrow but with absolutely nothing holding it together because of the rot in the wood. I considered putting wood back in the structure but I am not a carpenter and don't have wood working tools other than a band saw and table saw, not to mention that I purchased boxed tubing about 15 years ago for this project.
    I wish there was a car I could look at to get an idea of where to start. I hope I am not bothering anyone with my questions.
    Ed in Jeffersonville, IN
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  8. #8
    firebird77clone's Avatar
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    No bother!

    When I had my 36 Chevy master sedan, I was going to replace the wood by templating out the pieces, cutting it out of 16 ga, then welding it together. Decided to ditch the project though. 16 ga is pretty easy to spot weld with MIG, I can literally do it with my eyes closed.
    .
    Education is expensive. Keep that in mind, and you'll never be terribly upset when a project goes awry.
    EG

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