Well.... I've been making saw dust for a the last week or so. I completed the rim wood in pine and should start on the bows next.
This is the third set of lumber that I have cut up. Each time the fit is a little better. Once I start cutting up the final Ash lumber I can make one last adjustment for a better fit.
I'm going to hold the top wood down with machine screws and t-nuts rather than using wood screws. Anyway, it's coming along rather well.
Looks like you're doing a bang-up job!.......
I think you should have a coach house to put in the lattice strips and pull the top tight.
Can't wait to see what happens next. This is more riveting entertainment than that dreck they put on the TV.
Well.... even though I'm a little slow, progress is being made. I have finished the rim wood in ash and have started to fine tune the ribs and slats.
I'm changing the arc of each rib so that the slats lay flat and have a natural curve to them.
I've got a couple of questions;
1. when the time comes to put the rim wood down for the last time, what kind of sealant should I use between the rim wood and the car? When I removed the last top, there was some kind of sealant between the wood and the car. I was thinking about something that would seal, but also allow removal at some later time. Something that would not completely harden.
2. I intend to fasten the ribs down to the rim wood with screws. That was how the last top was secured. The slats were nailed with 3/4" box nails to the rim wood and the ribs. I was thinking about using screws to hold the slats to the ribs and nails for the ends of the slats to the rim wood. Everything was nailed in the last top Also, I was thinking about using a spot of glue between the slats and the ribs, to help hold it together.
I'm sure that the wood will shrink a little over time and I need to allow for that so that the wood will not split. Any thoughts or experiences?
When I removed the original top from my '27 Tudor there were no traces of any kind of sealant........just wood against metal.
Decades ago I bedded the belt rail wood on my '30 sport coupe with a grey "dum-dum" product. It was a lot like window glazing putty, but not as sticky, and never hardens--wish I could remember where I found it, or what it's modern usage was, as I think it would be great for sealing the wood/body area.
I would not recommend nails for the bow to rim connection. "Screws are true, nails will fail" is what I was taught.
Don't forget that originally, the headliner goes on before the top!
I use pl30 Locktite roof and flashing sealant. Its cheap and remains flexible and can be removed if needed. It also cleans up nice with mineral spirit. It also sticks to anything wood and metal. Very good stuff! (it might be PS30..can't remember~~)
You can use the locktite to hold the ribs to the cross-members also. It will allow enough flex to the roof without breaking the joints. If you want to use the best then pick up a tube of 3M 5200 marine adhesive.
David, was the dum-dum product this?
It's used to stick the sheet plastic inner liner to the inside of car doors before the inner decorative panels are installed.
Here is a picture of my fordor roof with 3M 5200 ... it is the white stuff dabbed under each screw. It does not require much and will add significant strength to the entire top.
I found the Locktite stuff, it is PL S30. Says, "developed especially for forming permanent, water and weatherproof seals in all exterior gaps and joints." Sounds like what I need.
The way I see it, when it is time for the headliner, I staple it to the ribs, with the ribs off the car. Then install the ribs onto the rim board and pull the headliner tight, first at the center lines and staple it in place then the front and back, keeping the seams straight and then along the sides. Thanks for the insight.
Wrong....the headliner goes in after all the wood is permanently fixed. If you order the interior kit, they will want the measurements of the front face of each rib. The headliner will come with cloth runners to staple to the rib. It is much easier to do than it is to explain but it works out good.
Here is the other fordor I just did this winter...note the white stapling strips for hanging it on the ribs...
This method begins on the front face of the last rib and you work forward to each rib. The next step is to staple the rear and the front. The last step is to go around the sides. Doing it this way also allows you to work from the top of the car down when doing the sides. After it is hung to your satisfaction then take a sharp razor blade and trim off the excess. When the entire interior is installed get a steamer and set it in the closed up car for about an half hour. The steam will relax the fabric and remove any wrinkles from the headliner and the seats. Hope this helps...
Just a note to make installing the headliner and interior easier...I built a sliding seat on rails mounted to a 2X12 and put it inside the car. I used two milk crates (the plastic type) to sit it on. This allows you to sit down at a comfortable height inside the car and slide back or forth to reach all the corners of the inside. It is truly a "back-saver" and makes the job go much quicker and easier. I don't have a picture of it but if you are interested I can take one and post it.
Here is a link to an instructional video from Classtique Upholstery on installing a headliner on a 1926 Tudor:
I watched the you tube video. I wonder why the picture is so narrow? Well.... I plan on stitching up my own headliner. The old headliner was stapled to the bottom of the ribs. I would think that would make for non straight seams on the headliner. The headliner has to hang from the ribs, sort of suspend from the rib on those stapling strips or loops. I figure about 1/4" would do. I suppose that if you install the headliner on the car you would have a better chance of getting it straight. At my age, I need every "back-saver" I can get. I think I get the picture.
What size screws did you use? I had thought of using dry wall screws maybe #6 by 1". Predrilling first.
I see you have a dome light. I don't think the TuDor had one, but I like the idea and may add one.
I am doing a top on a 30 A coupe. Used Dum-Dum to seal metal to wood where the nails go through to put the top on. I just read some info on installing the head liner in the A, it says to leave a gap between the bow and the liner. Glad I saw before I just nailed it in tight to the bow.
Mike I would go about 3/4" on the tack strip just so you have something to grab. The Cartouche headliner was about a full inch. Remember you need to stretch and hold while you staple and if you are like me you may need to undue and reattach a few times. The screws on the ribs were about 3/4" long and if you used ash plan on pre-drilling or you will break the screws off. I would also allow plenty of extra on all 4 sides...you can always trim it off but you can't add it if you need it. Fun stuff aye?
Great advice about the bedding sealant, Don. I use "Marine Goop" in clear on every joint and also to bed things in. Remains flexible, also UV resistant. Really cuts down on squeaks, too. It might have been mentioned but I missed it, I would also spend the effort to varnish the wood pieces separately with a spar urethane varnish. At least A couple of coats and especially on end grain. Of course , Henry never used bedding compound or varnish, but I want things I do to be around a lot longer that he did. Also, NEVER glue your joints. For the upholstery, staples can be had in Monel, if you want to take it all the way. I hates digging out rusty staples, and the caretakers that follow me will never have that chore.
Tim, why are you against glueing? I wasn't going to glue any of the rim wood joints, but had the idea that glueing the slats to the ribs would be a good idea. I had also thought it may be a good idea to varnish.
That 3-M product looks similar, but the stuff I used was grey, but it came in strips, stuck together like that one.
The top actually flexes a lot, that's why not glue.
Yes, any structural wood would never be glued. Just too much movement and flexing needed in an auto body. Any of the ideas listed above would act as glue but also allow plenty of movement and flexing, and eliminate squeaks. Don would probably agree it's overkill, but only takes a second, and I think very worthwhile. I have a couple of cars done 20+ years ago and still very tight.
About the only real gluing I can think of would be if large structural parts needed to be made of several pieces of wood, or pieces that are joined by finger joints and are visible, but that would be on later woodies, not model t era so much. Then, titebond 3 wood glue has made life a lot easier. It is considered water proof, and a whole lot easier to use than the old 2 part glue. Titebond 3 comes in a dark color too, which is nice. There is not much flexibility afterwards when using that glue.
Tim and David are spot on! The top of the car absorbs extreme amounts of twisting and shock. The adhesive has to be shock absorbing or the joints will fail. The closed cars I've restored all had joint failure because of the stress it goes through. Todays adhesives work wonders for preventing this and will make your hard work last for many years. And, you should seal all the wood before covering it also. To add one more to the list, I used the Locktite sealant "under" the top material all the way around and then also under the hide em and rain gutters. Doing this prevents water from being drawn up under the roof fabric and causing stains and mildew in the headliner. It also protects the staples from rusting and helps hold the top tight. This is how I did things, others have their way and opinions and that's a good thing too.
Not to change the subject, but this might be a good place to ask something I've wondered about,.....speaking of staples rusting, is there such a thing as stainless steel staples? Just wondering,....harold
A search on Google for "stainless steel upholstery staples" revealed a wide variety of sources:
https://www.google.com/search?q=stainless+steel+upholstery+staples&rlz=1C1PRFA_e nUS447US447&oq=stainless+steel+uphol&aqs=chrome.3.69i57j0l5.6903j0j8&sourceid=ch rome&es_sm=122&ie=UTF-8
Monel staples are available. Propably the easiest source is a marine hardware store, such as west marine.
I only mentioned Monel because I know they are available in a small pack for a swingline type hand stapler. If you want them for a pneumatic stapler, a big pack in stainless or Monel will cost quite a bit more. We live near Lake Erie so they keep stuff for boaters available at the local hardware stores.
I've been looking around for the 3M 5200 sealant and found some locally. How many 10 oz. tubes did you use?
Just one should do it...remember that stuff goes a long way. A little dab will do ya~
Just for kicks you should put just a small dab on two pieces of junk wood. Let it cure for a week and test it for yourself. You will know you bought the right stuff.