New to the forum.Great site really comprehensive! when i was in my 20's i dug a pile of sheetmetal out of a landfill buried under an orchard. Eventually i weeded it down to all '13-'25 model T panels. some canadian some u.s. all wood burned off and then bulldozed over in the 40's. i gave the tourings and later roadster panels to friends but have managed to hold on to enough panels for a u.s. 1915-22 roadster shell.Given the worthless condition of these panels I would be insane to spend money restoring it but this has become a keepsake of sentimental value so my odyssey is to try to get this car back together with time and labor not money. My biggest issue is the wooden inner frame I know it is peoples business to sell these kits but i'm hoping some kindhearted fellow model T guy will have some plans or pictures or anything i can use to build a stong inner framework to nail these panels to just for the sake of seeing one more saved. -cheers and thanks
Leon Parker sells rewooding plans for 1913-1927 open cars - see this post for his email: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/179374/242328.html?1319247919
Like Rik suggested Roger, he'd like to do this without spending for plans or wood.
While exploded wood frame views have been posted in the past I'm not sure they would provide you with enough detail.
Gary -- you might be right. But I think Rik will have to chime back in to clarify that point. As I read his post he wants "plans or pictures" etc. Now he may want them for free but I didn't read it that way (and of course communications can often be read more than one way. Is it "wound" as wrapped around or "wound" as in bullet wound?].
The cost of Leon's plans will more than pay for themselves in the saving of time and wood. I've seen Leon's plans I too would highly recommend that Rik obtain a copy of them to help him wiht his project.
Rik -- not to discourage you -- but something to be aware of as you start looking at your project. Ford had 5 or 6 different body suppliers during the 1915-1922 time frame. And the panels from one body do not necessarily fit well with the panels from a different body. Ref: http://mtfca.com/encyclo/doc15.htm
JUN 26, 1915 Factory Letter
"Hereafter when ordering body panels for 1915 cars, please give both the car and body numbers. The body number will be found on the right sill just inside the front door. This number will be preceded by a letter which indicates by whom the body was made.
"The above information is necessary as panels for bodies made by our various suppliers vary somewhat."
As I mentioned on a different 1919 roadster rewooding posting recently -- you may want to consider a speedster body (low cost) so you can drive the chassis while you rewood/restore the metal body. You may also want contact Chris who is also working on rewooding a 1919 roadster see: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/179374/253168.html?1323833690
Good luck with your project.
Hap l9l5 cut off
thanks guys neat to hear all the way from sweden but with the condition of the sheetmetal it is more of a choice between scrabbing some real hideous mickey mouse plywood and metal inner structure together or finding someone who's been through this before to take this pile of scrap "under their wing" and mentor the project.I'm willing to do the work but only because i am ridiculously sentimental even when done it will be virtually worthless. It's more like a labor of love. I have 5 sheets of metal that are flattened and rusty oh and the seat frame and springs(back only)that is it no frame nothing else. i cant justify buying the wood kit. i'm hoping someone will be willing to part with their hard earned knowledge, pics, drawings or even a set of plans they are done with just for the sake of seeing it resurrected. Hap there isn't a number on it however i believe the back panel and driver side came fom the same car they are the panels without the holes for roof brackets the pass. side is all miscellaneous - thanks
i just assembled the panels in the shape of the car and cut the wood to match my needs. No real plans aside from that. That might work for you too.
I think that is probably the way i will go. I'm looking around for some hard wood pallets and junk furniture etc. right now. Does anyone know what type(s) of wood were used from the factory? I have heard that red oak is best for the two main rails and ash for the ribs. I remember seeing a pic of a forest that Henry Ford owned exclusively for T bodies but my memory is just bad enough not to remember what type of trees they were.
kep & Hap these panels first sat in a junkpile for decades then were set fire to and burned then bulldozed into a ravine to be used as land fill then sat at the edge of a river buried under an apple orchard for decades more. its probably going to be easier to have an accurate wood pattern and use it to help reshape the panels not the other way around. I know most people wouldn't touch this with a ten foot pole but i want to do it as much justice as possible regardless
Does this help?
Cheap free plans from the internet. Worth about the same as it costs to print them off the computer (about 25 cents per page at the library). The main rails look like 2x4 inch peices of wood. Does not say how long they should be either but i guess if you have the sheetmetal already then you can figure out how long they should be. No seat riser specs either. My seat is 37 inchs wide at the leading edge near the floor, about 40 inchs wide at the top of the seat (should be closer to 41 inchs) and 44 inches wide at the top where the door handle is. If you build it you should probably test fit the metal over it to make sure it is not too big or small for your sheetmetal.
Had the sizes for the firewalls for every year except 26-27 on my computer but it crashed big time but the pictures with sizes were still on the forum somewhere.
Thanks alot I really appreciate anything i can get my hands on. The only thing your plans don't seem to address is one of my main concerns, the seat back seems to be difficult to tie in solidly to the door framing so that the weight of the driver isn't against the body because the seat back is much higher than the door
There is a peice of wood down each side of the top of the metal. At some point in the curve of the metal it ends and has an overlapping joint with another peice of wood and a small peice of metal with 2 holes in it is bolted through the outer sheet metal, Through the wood 1 bolt either side of the joint and 1 bolt in each of the holes in the small peice of metal. The same joints are used where the short peices of wood join on to the wood at the very back top part of the seat.
Hopefully the picture the following link will be helpful.http://www.fordwood.com/images/road23new.jpg
Or this wood might be closer to your year http://www.fordwood.com/images/road17new.jpg
Not sure of the year for this picture though
I'd be inclined to contact Leon Parker and purchase a set of Mel Miller plans. Dimensions of wood are not so obvious.
Drywall screws were replaced with proper fasteners when completed
Thanks alot kep I had previously found a measurement diagram of the phaeton but having the roadster measurements is awesome!& scott actually they are very helpful. is this the miller kit all assembled? Did you cut and shape the wood yourself? I'm surprised to see a number of metal brackets especially the ones where the cowl top and windscreen attach. I looked under the cowl of an unrestored original car once and from the back they look like very complex coke bottle curved wood not metal are those metal brackets, the two floor board brackets, and the black peices at the very bottom of the cowl(body mounts?) original? or replacement parts from the kit? Any more pics you take as you go along would be appreciated
what I posted is the result of my cutting each piece...it is not a kit. The Miller plans from Leon are about 90% accurate, as there were a couple of companies making the bodies and they varied slightly. My wood was totally mulch with only fragments left though the sheet metal was quite good.
There are small details left off of the Miller plans, such as the rabbets in the main sills (which you can see on picture "more body wood"). These grooves serve to locate and hold the two upper and lower form/fillers that attach to the side. All of the metal brackets that you see are original to the construction of the body. There is a variant of this body (low cowl, steel firewall) which had wooden corners at top/front, where you see green steel formers in the pictures. Both variants are shown in the plans. Nearly all parts have one flat side, but aren't obvious. Other parts must be planned, so that when you cut one curved part, you lay it back into it's removed scrap, lay back on band saw and saw 2nd curve. This is how you get compound curves cut easily and safely on a bandsaw.
rik, there was less wood and more metal brackets in later bodies - for the 1925 model the front passenger door hinge pillar was replaced with steel too.
When you say that the 1925 front passenger door hinge pillar was replaced with steel too, you also need to tell them that the firewall for a 1925 is different than the previous model year. That piece of metal you are speaking of was RIVETED to the firewall as there was an additional piece on the firewall, too.
Both sides of the wooden structure top rails were replaced in a 25 with metal, with wood inside the metal channels underneath the cowl. I determined it was far, far easier just to use the wooden sections instead of the metal, although I do have them.
Thanks Scott after alot of conjecture i've decided i can't justify the wood kits but will go from plans rather than come up with my own. i wondered as i was conceptualizing the structure what method of extra support they had for the ribs. So those boards are only morticed into the frame rails? No screws are visible. My car is any where from '15-'22 so I think i should find those metal brackets too then i can sort of use the brackets as a guide. Cool trick i think even using the method you describe you'd have to start out with a pretty big block to shape them. I haven't done alot of woodwork but it should be fun.
In the 90's I was a forest firefighter in the Ok. during the fall/winter i worked in a wrecking yard. on the wall of the office was a picture of an old model t all decrepit,crumbling,missing parts, rusty.....and running! yup the beverly hill-billy looking character in the pic was a former employee and drove it. i knew i had to meet that guy several visits later after drooling over his collection of T and ford stuff that he had, i got the invite. over the years of swap meets he'd pickup engines here and some wheels there, frames, some body parts etc. until one day he and a buddy had amassed quite a pile then they decided to start throwing these cars together....unrestored not as museum peices but as survivors sort of like building a "barn find" more like a feild find. They freed up the engines with deisel and trannyoil and rebuilt the trans with turbo 350 bands they'd put a rusty body on an old frame and throw some dried up cracked spoked wheels with tires on it so old and hard they didn't need air. So it was on a chilly fall evening after closing up the shop that we took "earl"(a 23-25 touring) out. when that rusty old engine sparked to life at the crank of a hand and that 80 yr old trans clunked into gear the dim yellow headlights lit our way into the night with all the squeaks and rattles and vibrations it was like a thrill ride. risking the wrath of the local barny fife we even hit the highway and although I've driven some fast cars motorbikes etc. there is nothing like looking out onto the road (no door or fender)flying by at 40 miles an hour with the old woodspoked wheels crackling away beside you!
I think that Mel Millers daughter is now selling copies of her fathers plans. She has a website but I cant remember what the address is.
Maybe someone on the forum has the address.
Rik I shaped my own wood pieces because I didn't have the cash for the wood kit. I bought the wood from home depot and used my table saw and scroll saw and some elbow grease. I shaped it then sanded and stained and polyerthaned to finish it off. I started with a pile of rusty panels and it came out decent. Good luck
Before my great uncle gave me the T, he took the whole car apart so I never saw it together. He gave me these pictures of the car before he took it apart.
Finished product! I know its not perfect but I gave it a new lease on life, its been in the family since new.
Although I do have plans for the woodwork for 15-25 roadster and touring there were no plans avilable for this model. Having the plans gave me a head start but every stick had to be shaped to fit the panels that I had. Unfortunately, I don't seem to have taken any photos of the framework before I attached the skin
Thanks again guys! Wow thats amazing James what a survivor! looks like something had fallen right across the body at some point. neat to have all that provenance on it too. hey Gaven you have the back half of james car lol! guess you had to use the touring wood kit for the back part i like how you end up with rear wheel welt behind the door for a short wheelbase and suicide doors. what type of welder heat settings wire type etc. did you use to repair the thin sheetmetal? - Rik
Rik, all welding done with oxy/acetylene. I was taught by an old time panelbeater who could weld rust dust floating in the air together. he learnt his trade straight after WW2 when parts were hard to find (especially here in NZ). One of his speciallities was welding carburetors back together. Sadly, although Colin is still with us and still retains a very active mind, he is all but blind and has just lost a leg. He ran an evening class for over 30 years, teaching enthusiasts how to restore the bodywork on vintage cars. I was an enthusiastic pupil for most of those 30 years.
One of the musts for welding rusty metal is to cut it back to sound, full thickness metal as the metal adjacent to the obviously rusted out panels is more than likely just paper thick (thin).
i knew it! Somebody would build a roadster body from the rear of a tourer welded to a cowl.
Hi Gavin, thats amazing i'd love to try learning those techniques but not on my T sheetmetal. for the sake of expedience (devil i know)i'll be using a mig but if i run across a torch set it will be handy to straighten panels too i'll practise on the left overs
That white paint on the left front cowl panel looks familiar...