My $50 radiator was missing one side. Having some left over brass I decided it would be good practice to make the pieces rather than buy them. After 5 or 6 days I am ready to solder them on. The fixtures were made of scrap from other projects. Wire was pressed into a groove to emboss the trim beads using a 12 ton press.
Nice work !
Your talents amaze me.
I made some radiator parts too I took two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen and put it inside my tank to help cool the motor.
Looks like a great perch for my parakeet!
Wow Richard, I am amazed. It is great that you show how you done it too! Thanks.
Incredible workmanship. looks like you formed the bead with a steel rod.
Richard... how much for a set? I need both sides for a radiator I have and brassworks doesn't make them right.
Thank you for showing us your technique and tooling. I like working with metal and your methods are interesting
PM me your address. On Monday I'll ship you mine to rework but only if I can have it back by Friday!
James, I am surprised if Brassworks can't make them right. They have the equipment and expertise. I wouldn't attempt to build these for others. 40 hour at minimum wage? And these aren't perfect but just fine for this old radiator. The project kept me out of mischief for a while too.
I know many forum members do some interesting work but getting pictures is sometimes hard to do. I wish these pictures were better.
Besides "WOW",...all I can say is that your extreme patience is exceeded only by your extremely fantastic metal working skills! Absolutely brilliant,....!!!
Nice work! Great you could do yourself!! Nice 'jig'n'!
That's impressive work, Rich. Thanks for showing your methods. You are a man of many talents.
(Message edited by coupelet on April 30, 2017)
Wow, well done, Richard!
Rich, your talent is radiant! I am a fan of your work. Very cool. And you didnt get hosed on the price. If you clamp down , you will have it finished soon. Time to cap off this post with GREAT JOB.
Drive safe and often
Those are nice comments and some fun puns. It occurred to me that making these parts you get to study the contours and dimensions they have. Like any T work you become more familiar with the parts and sometimes even feel a kinship with the folks who made them or worked on them a hundred years ago. The old photos help me imagine those days.
Anyhow, thanks for enjoying the fun.
Rich, VERY nice work!!! Your talents continue to amaze me.
It just makes you want to go out to the old workshop and whip up a whole radiator!
I love seeing this stuff, thanks for the pictures
I figure if workers could make these things a 100 years ago there must be a way to do it in 2017
I always enjoy seeing your work. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks for the amazing pictures of your fabulous work.
Interesting that i cannot see any signs of heating on the brass sheet. I presume you would have had to anneal it ? Or was it not hard brass sheet ?
But great work and ingenious use of the forms.
Well done Rich. Your use of the wire to form the bead is interesting. The sill pate on my Haigh's chocolate van Was made the same way. 'Duncan and Fraser' was spelled out in cursive writing, probably soldered to a plate, and then copper sheeting was pressed/beaten over it to form raised letters in the sill plate.
Now you have the form made, the next ones will be cheap!!!!
Allan from down under.
Henry would be proud
I admire blokes like you.
Richard... I don't know that Brassworks "can't" make them right, they just simply do not - even after being told what they are doing wrong. They do not include the lip at the top where the side panel is attached to the top tank. So you have a very weak attachment point.
I am blown away Richard. Very nice. May I presume that the wood there is HARD MAPLE for the temporary tooling portions? You are a very clever fellow. A fellow in our chapter whose name was Ray Meyers (R.I.P.) long ago told me that the secret to restoring T's was being very clever with what he called "junk tooling" which was about the materials used and not the final product.
Go to the head of the class.
Beautiful work. I just had another 1911 radiator restored by Brassworks. They can do this level of work but they told me that most in the hobby don't want to pay the price. I'll bet you had alot of time in your restoration
Brass TT, I do anneal the brass before and after each bend or press. The stock was "half hard". I am not sure it needed annealing at each step but was easy to do.
James, Brassworks is missing the boat. That bend would be easy to do. Also, they show it in their illustration.
John R., I like hard maple for these things. I used oak and ash and even pine for some of this work. The brass bends easily in most places.
George, that is the luxury of a hobby. You can spend all the time it takes and enjoy the work. I see the side piece costs $65.
This shows some discoloration from the annealing and also the side piece before the top bend. The fold at left of the new piece is the most severe bend. It would be the most likely to crack.
I will be attempting something similar, any suggestions on where to get brass sheet?
I bought mine in 12" x 6 or 8' size 30 years ago form Alaska Copper and Brass Co. I see they are still in business. I haven't contacted them lately.
I'm sure there are other sources. It has been nice to have extra material on hand.
Richard, to set the record straight, Brassworks does make the sides just like you do. The anomaly is the bead on the lower part of the tank front, which is rolled into the lower tank front to eliminate the soldered seam. The Ford lower tank bead was formed by rolling a bead into the tube sheet then soldering that to the tank front. A much weaker seam resulted but did not form a notch at the lower tank corners which is present on the Brassworks radiator.
I have an original 1914 Ford radiator and a 2005 BW radiator to compare.
Richard, what is the thickness? Great Craftsmanship!!! MG
M G, My stock is .033 thick as are the original pieces I have.
John, I just checked the BW '15 radiator I bought in 1985 and the BW '09 one I bought a few years ago. Neither have the bends at the top of the side. They are as James J. L. stated. I was surprised. They have both worked fine for me as is.
Today I plan to make the baffle that solders inside the left side. I assume the overflow serves this purpose for the other side. My pattern piece looks to have had solder where the fins touch it. My BW radiators have these but the '09 has worked loose and rattles.
Good by "Brass Works" hello "Brass Eagle Works".
I will not criticize or defend Brassworks. What little I do gives me an appreciation for folks who have real expertise and make parts available to us. Dealing with customers, government regulations, overhead and the economics of being in business is something I certainly don't have the desire or ability to do.
For me it is just simple pleasure showing off some things I enjoy doing.
Richard, I hope you know I was just kidding. At Chickasha Bergs told me the labor was three times longer making a brass radiator compared to a black one. Your work does look great.
No problem Dean. I just wanted to make my thoughts clear. Sometimes we step on toes without intending to.
I would love to see photos from some of the parts makers but I suppose it might be interpreted as advertising.
Happy T-ing everyone.
Rich, I see what you mean, but the original (well documented) 1914 radiator I have does not have the bend either. Next time I am over by Brassworks I will stop in and look at Lee's collection of of old original radiators. This makes me wonder if some of Ford's vendors built radiators differently???!
It probably means, regardless of how original it may appear, that you have a radiator that had replacement side panels installed. As I recall, the Ford prints show the bend. Larry Smith needs to weigh in as I believe he has researched this.
Sorry I was wrong. After looking closer, both radiators do have the upper bend what confused me was the 1914 didn't have Left side baffle... must have fallen off at some point! My BW does has both the bend and baffles.
I think I will drive over to BW today to study this! I'll see if I can get some pictures.
While on the subject of the upper lip I will mention that it had 3 holes in it. I assume it was riveted to the upper tank. I can only imagine the pounding radiators took back in the day.
It wasn't riveted.... there were actually 3 pins attached to the tank that slipped through the holes in the lip and it was soldered to them.
I think Richard has found a new vocation!
Excellent work! and thanks for posting! I have to re-do my '15 rad, and this info is very helpful!!
AH!! James, I wondered how those three "rivets" were set, that makes a lot of sense. Any idea how the pins were fastened to the tank?
I am in awe of your craftsmanship and your skills never cease to amaze me.
: ^ )
David - I believe (and I'm recalling from my faulty memory!) that the pins are actually riveted to the tank - meaning that each pin (which is about .1" in dia) is necked down with excess sticking through the tank. Then, the excess is mashed flat from the back side so it is fixed to the tank.
James, thanks! That kind of assembly would explain why many of us thought the two parts were riveted together. I just couldn't figure out (in my mind at least) how to set up to rivet them and assumed Ford had some really specialized tooling. Having them as pins to be soldered makes a lot of sense, and provides greater strength than just a straight solder job with no locating pins.
Sure enough, here are the three pins in the tank. Thanks for the heads up. It makes sense that they are for alignment. As the remaining lip broke around them removing it I can't prove they were not riveted but assume not.
Now to drill holes for them in the right place.
I'm so glad you are following everything I taught you about art work and working with brass. When you have mastered these let me know and we will move forward with wood carving and pottery.
Funny you should mention that Denny. The illusion of Master Fabricator was quickly shattered when I picked up the soldering iron and realized I am a typical idiot when it comes to soldering. I get better each time I try and managed to get this piece reasonably attached to the radiator but it isn't pretty. It is another task best done by those with lots of experience.
I have the same problem with finding the pliers and keeping a bulb working in a drop light.
These cars keep us humble but it is a good pastime.
I'll try mowing the lawn tomorrow.
That is absolutely beautiful. I've got a brass radiator with a honeycomb recore that could use that treatment.
I think it looks great! My biggest problem when I solder is I use too much solder and then I have to buff the hanging droplets of extra solder off.
I learned a soldering trick from a plumber that I use and that is to wear a heavy cotton glove to wipe the solder joint with rather then wasting time to grab a rag. This way the solder doesn't solidify while you grab the rag. I also learned I'm not as tuff as he is so I started to wear an insulated glove under the cotton glove.
You won't have to change the bulb in your drop light so often if you wouldn't take the name of it seriously. Don't "drop" it every time just gently set it down and the bulb won't break!
Today I noticed that the radiator on my 1909 was separating at the seam we had discussed last April. This was a new radiator I bought in 2005. It has worked perfectly and will continue to do so after a little soldering but is evidence that the lip at the top of the side pieces would give more solder area and a stronger joint.
I will mention that I would not hesitate to buy new radiators for future restorations. The folks that provide them are doing a great service for us.
That's a common failure on a BW radiator.
That's a common issue with people that reproduce parts assembled by solder. I commissioned a small copper tank to be made, supplying a perfect sample to copy, and said to make all the joints just as the original. They butt-soldered corners together and such and things came apart in short order. There was purpose in the original design by people that knew their craft.
(Message edited by Wmh on September 29, 2017)
My original 1915 radiator cracked along both seams like that. I think it was probably caused by my slide off a muddy road into a pile of branches.
Just soldering the cracks didn't hold.
So I cut come reinforcements from .031" brass and soldered them on.
After awhile they developed small leaks, so I resoldered them. So far they're doing OK.
The fact that most T's are not driven as hard as they were in the teen's and twenties allows these shortcuts to be more common. Better radiator fabrication would be more expensive. I guess we learn as we go.
Thanks for the comments.
Wow great work. Looks great.
Some things never stay the same. Alaska Copper and Brass has moved from there original headquarters in Seattle out to the "burbs" near Kent. One of their short sighted "bean counters" decided no more "retail" counter sales. I often perused their scrap and cut off areas to find a perfect piece of material to finish my project, sadly no more. The dim witted "bean counter" determined they could make more money by selling the bits and scraps to scrappers, rather than get real cash from customers in need of material, a sad day to say the least.
While I'm ranting and raving, how about an equally dumb "bean counter" closing the Boeing Surplus warehouse. For 35 years we were treated to incredible "stuff" available for pennies on the dollar. They now spend zillions of dollars keeping this stuff in warehouses trying to sell on ebay. Which is actually costing the company more money with far less return. go figure once again corporate America tripping over dollars to save pennies.
Add me to the roster. Radiator on my '13 has been re-soldered in the very same place, left side. ( is that suggestive?)
While I well understand the difficulties involved in making reproduction items, it baffles me as to why anyone would go to all the trouble and yet come up short with a "not quite" replacement. ?!?
For years I've encountered such parts that seem OK and work for "trailer queens " but if a guy actually DRIVES they fail in short order.
I guess it is partly our own fault. I have purchased 4 new radiators and nearly cried to spend that much money. To pay what a perfect radiator would cost might stop me. Making my own parts has given me a lot of sympathy for those who not only produce these things but have to deal with customers. I am often asked to make parts to sell. I can't take time from my projects or charge for the time it takes me. We discuss the parts that fail but the majority of these thing work great. It's just human nature.
I'm sad to hear A C & B has cut us off. I'm glad I bought extra when I did. Our local recycle center used to let me climb over their piles of stuff. No more.
Wasn't the 60's GREAT?
Rationalization is the answer to suffering the price of today's reproduction parts. Like this : Throughout Model T production the country was on the gold standard. Values were pegged to gold at $20. per ounce.
Today, the spot price of gold is $1280. per oz. or 64 times what it was back then. I see Lang's catalog lists a brass radiator for $1350., which equates to about $21. in 1915 hard money.
I think that's about what a radiator cost then ? Are we at par for value ? Likely it's easier to come by $1350. today than it was to part with $21. in 1915 ?
I'm glad I am not buying parts to restore an airplane.
The hurt seems to go away when we are driving the cars.