I'm to the point on the restoration on my Car, that I need to get the lid frame built but need some help. I'm also a wood worker with super good wood working tools so I can pretty much handle most challenges involving wood. I was able to pull off most of the lid frame in tact except the ends of the top side rails where they attached to the corner pieces were destroyed. I have one corner pretty much in tact so I can use it for a pattern for the other side if needed. The top of the frame has a rabbitt along the inside of all 4 pieces to accept the grid work of lattice. The lattice of course, appeared to be a poor choice for the top support. I want to beef that up a bit.
The Bottom of the side and end rails also have rabbitt groves that match the contour of the top of the car rails. The right and left side wooden rails are curved along with the rabbits to match perfectly the top of the metal sides. I need to know if I should try to duplicate what I have and modify where necessary on the top side to accept a domed gridwork or start over and build an entirely new top Does anyone have a set of plans that I could get a hold of? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks, Rand
Yes, you do need to match the reliefs cut/drilled into the side frames so the wood sits down on the top rails. Yes, the cross-bows did have an arch to them. The slats worked fine for almost 100 years, no real need to "beef-up" the design. If you use good wood with proper grain, it will likely outlast the original. Be aware that the headliner goes on before the top wood, see past threads about tudor headliners (use the "search" engine). looking very good.
Also, when you put on the top material, the binding used to cover the nails and cut edge of the material was fold-over, not hide-em as usually supplied in the top kits. Are you lucky enough to have the rain gutters?
Here's some pic's...
David, Thanks for the info. No I don't have the gutters. Don, thanks for the pics. That helps a bunch. In the photos, I can see that the slats are made of some better material than what was on mine originally. I can now see how to proceed from here. Thanks to you both for your help. Rand
I don't know if this will fit (might not be long enough, I can't get up to my car to measure it) But Snyders sells a rain gutter for model A pickups that looks like it's the same, or very close; A-47301-AOR $31.95 / pr. The cover piece should extend beyond the gutter about 3/8" to cover the ends of the fold-over (see pic of my gutter end). The gutter goes over the door and side window opening area only, so the Snyder part probably won't be long enough (but it would keep the rain off you over the door!). You'd probably have to weld two together. Maybe they can provided it longer? worth asking!
OH, and be sure and get the radius on the outside top very even and smooth--it will 'telegraph' through the top material.
and I will post this with apologies to whomever made the drawing, as I've lost that info, but it should help you a lot. You can see you do a lot of the interior with just the side rails in place, then add the bows and slats. I think you can do the interior afterwards, but you don't have a lot of tacking area to use! I've done a lot of interiors, but not a 26 tudor yet.
Rand, it is important to make the joints strong but flexible to absorb road shock. The tops I have replaced all had failed joints because of being to ridged to give when they had to. I use 3M 5200 Marine adhesive on ALL the joints. It will be as strong as possible but allow for flex to absorb the road shock without failing. Its not cheap but its the very best product you can use. The top is subject to everything from engine and tranny vibration to every bump on the road. It is a good solution for a long lasting job. Also I use it on the ribs and slats for the same reason. You should consider it above any glue or epoxy which will not allow the top to give when it needs to.
These are pictures from a coupe top but the wood shape is the same just basically longer for the Tudor.
Don, Thanks for the photos and suggestions. This stuff is exactly what I need to know. I'll get some 3M marine adhesive as you suggest. Rand
As mentioned 4 posts up, once you have the frame all secured take a rasp and smooth off every joint and corner.