Making this up as I go along, nothing etched in stone. Want to end up with WWI machine gun carrier or patrol car which was loosely based on some sort of buckboard design. Ford never supplied anything but the chassis, so the military or their subcontractor would have built whatever they needed to get the job done.
This is just a clay model so to speak, so don't pass judgement on the carpentry skills or lack thereof. The finished body will be 4/4 and 8/4 oak. And painted OD green, so the wood grain or stain is not a concern.
Just want to know if the proportions seem about correct for something that might or might not have ever existed?
I'm not in love with the seat back. I may come up with some sort of steel brackets that come up the back to a narrow seat back, like a park bench. But then I don't have an armrest or something to keep the passenger in the seat. Any thoughts?
I'll hang up and listen.
Well, you'll definitely want to angle the seat back some, or you'll be really uncomfortable. It is quite possible that a manufacturer would have "arm rests of some sort both to keep the passengers in and to support the seat back--remember these were expected to have rough service.
The original bodies were probably NOT oak, but poplar, pine or even fir. Oak is actually a poor choice for body wood!
Look at some old horse drawn wagon or buggy seats
I got a set plans for a Light Open Express Body and it specifically says to use Oak or Ash. Maybe that is the "civilian" nice grain stained or varnished or shellaced to show off the wood, and the military or industrial uses would use the softer, cheaper wood?
Believe me, pine, or what they now refer tte wood" is a lot cheaper and easier to work with.
I was using this as a sort of starting point and the seat looks pretty straight up and down to me. But an offset seat back would be more comfortable.
Don't forget, that is a model and "shortcuts" are taken so the parts will come out of the molds easily. Note how the radiator doesn't closely follow the design of the real thing.
That being said, note that there are seat "sideboards" on the model. If you can't find photos of originals to go by, you probably can make the sides the shape that you like. The model also doesn't have running boards no step plates, and I'm certain something would have been supplied to make it easier to get in and out, even if it were only a simple buggy step plate. I would trust period photos a whole lot more than that model illustration.
Ash is a much better wood than oak for body building, if you want to go that way. Red Oak is TERRIBLE!
But, what do I know??
The TT trucks I've seen have the cab back panel with cushions as their back rest. Straight up and down.
In my humble opinion, if it feels ok, use it. If it doesn't, change it a bit.
I'm more concerned about the mobility of the gunner riding in the back, so he has room to maneuver that gun.
With that said, I bet we'd think it looks a whole lot cooler with that 50 caliber mounted in the back.
I think it's looking pretty good Bob!
Mount that gun and click us a pic!
I didn't have much choice on my seat back but to make it straight up and down on my TT. And NO it is not that comfortable.But since my stomach now brushes the steering wheel ,that is the least of my worries!
Btw, I do know last threshers reunion at Denton, there was a guy selling the Humvee's from the army. 1 of them had the gun turret,add on air conditioner and what not. There was a fake machine gun on it. The fellow said there was a company that cast them. They are totally not functional as they are cast like a child's cap gun back in the old days.2 halves I think. But my point being,you could do some research and might can come up with a fake gun for it. I am willing to bet if you get a tailgater you can let the wife jump up in the back and spin that gun around to get rid of them!
Sounds like a good way to get rid of one's wife. Someone
points a weapon at me, they will be met with equal response.
This is just me, but I am a lifelong carpenter/builder and historian
of old, cool junk. To my way of thinking, modern plywood is a totally
inappropriate material for a T-era vehicle. You have all this cool and
old and then a material that just did not exist at the time for uses like
this. It would seen much more period appropriate to use dimensional
hardwood lumber to replicate period bodywork.
I see what you are saying but I wasn't thinking on those terms
I think the plywood is only his "mock-up" wood.
The military vehicle collectors have lots of simulated weaponry.
I need to google it I guess as I am curious as to when plywood came along. I have it on my TT as it was handy when I needed it. I had took down some large plywood signs that were illegal off the side of the hwy and they had to be disposed of. So they were hauled away,and used to build my truck seat!Along with some garage door track i found along the road as well a couple years prior.
If you look at my profile pic you may be able to see the "armrest" portion of the seat. that is the curved section of garage door track with the wheel groove cut off so it is just curved angle iron.
I made the "cab" from angle iron and then inserted plywood. I use the same idea building small enclosed trailers.
Samuel Bentham applied for a patent for plywood in 1797. Plywood was introduced as a building material to the United States in 1865 and 4 x 8 sheets as we know them were readily available anywhere by 1928.
Hardly a definitive answer but certainly puts the use of plywood for construction of a WWI vehicle body in the "plausible" category if not quite the "probable" one.
However, I suspect that most likely this is just a mock up to get the idea he wants and make sure it looks right.
I understand that the Egyptians had a version of plywood.
The seat back looks a bit too low. I think it would be worth giving it a backwards tilt if you plan on driving this any reasonable distance. How does it feel driving around the block? Do you plan on having a passenger when you drive? They won't have a steering wheel to hang onto so making the side panel into an armrest would be worth considering.
There is a bit of info on seat design considerations at the link below:
Robert - what you end up with will be determined by how 'genuine' you want it to look.
What was commonly used was based upon the 'Express' body - the Express body (or what there was of it) was built using the timber of the packing case in which the chassis arrived. See below.
Guns and other paraphernalia (search lights, sun covers, etc) were mounted as best they could be, using local ingredients (ie what was to be found sitting around, discarded locally). In NZ we call this then number 8 wire fix. It worked in wartime too. It is amazing what one can do with number 8 wire!
I was into old Raleigh bicycles back in the '80's and I visited an old timer to buy some new old stock parts. While in the shed behind his garage, I noticed that the board had the logo"Raleigh" on them. He said he built his whole shop out of the leftover boards that the bikes were shipped over from the UK in. Regarding the body, I would think southern yellow pine, or fir, would make a lighter structure than oak. If you have to use oak, air dried WHITE oak is vastly better than red oak.
I've been building one of these as well, and it's almost finished. Here are a couple of pics.
The wood is poplar, which is much lighter weight than oak and much easier to work with. Poplar also takes paint much better than oak. The seat bottom and back are sloped at 10 degrees. I've build a few like this and the 10 degree tilt makes them comfortable. This car is destined for the Military Aviation Museum in VA Beach. They also have a Hucks Starter truck and a WW-I Ambulance I built for them. (Gus built the Ambulance body; I built the chassis and put the body on it.)
Wow, Mike...that looks great, and for not knowing a thing about it, it seems like my creation is in the ballpark. And the photos of your floorboard to dashboard supports gives me some insight how to accomplish that.
I'vve revised my back support to be two 1x4 slats across the tp that will be upholstered and I like that look much more. I'm thinking of some sort of armrest and if I can pitch it back a few degrees, I will. Thanks for posting.
To others, a brief revisit... the plywood is only for mock up, test fitting a scale. If I can get poplar, that sounds like a nice way to go. Oak is heavy and everything needs to be predrilled. And, yes it seems a shame to pay the money to paint it OD green.
I've got the Browning M1917 water cooled machine gun replica ready to mount, but the pedestal mount is at the welders being shortened to fit in my garage door when mounted on the T.
I was thinking my buckboard bed was too tall, but, Mikes version seems to be 12" tall as well. With subframe and tongue and groove flooring, the inside bed height is only 10" and I wouldn't want to go any lower. I notice Mike has no tailgate and I struggled with that, but seeing my son climb over the side from the running board made me think a rear enterance was needed. Especially if the running boards will be full of typical gear and ammo boxes.
Weather is still nice in ATL so I hope to make some revision and move forward on it over the next few days.
Robert, One suggestion would be to raise the rear fenders for more clearance. A little weight in the back and you will be rubbing. Les
I have some pictures I toke last week of a 1917 T military buckboard ,that a good friend of mine restored years ago. It was a real survivor . original wood body . I all so have some pictures of a replica 50 cal machine gun I built for a WWII B 24 . I do not know how to put pictures on here ,so if someone wood like to see them I can email them to you. You can post them here if you like.
Robert -- My main sills are 2x4's ripped down to 3" height (2-1/2" would have been tall enough to clear the transmission, but then the rear crossmember would interfere with the bed floor). The sills are clad on the outside with a 3" strip of poplar. I can get poplar at my local lumber yard in 1x6 and 1x8 sizes only. I biscuit-joined a 1x8 (7-1/4" actual) for the bed sides to the 3" strip. I put the 3/4" pickup bed floor on top of the 2x4 sills, so the net inside height in the bed is 6-1/2". That seems deep enough to me.
BTW, someone mentioned above that the passenger won't have anything to hold onto. He'll be holding onto the machine gun.
Perry, PM sent. email me the photos and I"ll compress them and post them here for all to see for future reference.
Thanks for offering the images.
Those are cool projects. Wish I had room to start one myself. Tim