I am getting the 21 Touring I am restoring ready for paint and was wondering about the floorboards.
Did Ford use any type of finish or sealer on the floorboards at the factory?
I thought about using a thin coat of varnish on them and that would be it.
I have a feeling that Ford didn't use anything. Any ideas?
I found some NOS ones once and they had what appeared to be black pigmented varnish on them.
Just give them the wood a light coat of semi-flat black paint. They were not varnished. The metal pieces were gloss black enamel.
Dont know about earlier years, but the Ford drawings I have for 1926 floorboards state they are painted black.
I still have the original floorboards in my '19 Runabout. They are painted black on top, the underside is not painted.
Since the underside is open to the dirt, mud, and water splashing up on them from unpaved roadways, are you sure it isn't just a case of the bottom sides having weathered a bit? The drawings make no mention of painting only the top and it would not be typical of Ford to do something different than the drawings.
I think you are right John. I removed one of the boards for some pics. I would say the underside does have some very faded black paint. The top side has obviously been repainted. The shiny areas in the pics are from wood glue I used to strengthen some cracking.
Thanks for the information. I would think that the bodies were lowered down over the chassis and after they were bolted in place, the floor boards were installed.
Going by what some have said about NOS and original floorboards the floor boards were given a quick coat of black paint after they were made, stacked up next to the assembly line and installed.
It'd be tough to dip one side any way.
The floor boards were manufactured by whoever made the body and were shipped to Ford with the bodies. It appears that at some point they were removed from the bodies and placed on the end of the assembly line. After the body was installed on the chassis, the floor boards were placed in the car with several other items. I'm not sure if they were actually installed in the floor, or were just placed in the body for shipping. As has been noted in previous threads the manufacturer stamp on the floor boards does not always match the manufacturers stamp on the body.
Later, when Ford was building most of the bodies themselves, the floor boards were manufactured and shipped to the branch plants just like every other part of the body.
I agree with John about Ford not deviating from the drawing to a point. For the most part Ford followed the drawing when making a part. However, I've found that they did not seem to pay as much attention to maintaining the documentation for the body parts as they did the mechanical parts. Many parts don't have any drawings at all. Some of the Record of Changes will go for a year or so with no changes noted, then will have a not saying "Brought drawing up to date with they way they are currently being made". This would indicate that at some point they made some changes which they didn't bother to document at that time. Also, mistakes happen, so it could be possible that someone forgot to paint the bottom side of the board. I had one floor board which had a groove and spline in one end of the board, but not in the other end! Apparently whoever was putting in the splines forgot to do the other side! When they were making 6000 of these a day, I don't think they were very picky. If it wasn't perfect but was usable they used it.
I put NOS floorboard in my '25 pickup. They were black. It appears they used a black stain, but a slightly thinned out black paint would probably work.