I'm about halfway finished with rebuilding the top bows on my 24 Touring and have a nicely weathered top that came off of another car that I'll be installing.
Can someone tell me where I can buy the nails to secure the top material to the top bows?
I've looked at Lang's catalog and can't find them there.
Check with Classtique upholstery.
If you are fastening the bias cut cotton bow drill over the wood, just use tacks. They are what Ford used originally.
Place them where the top cover will hide the tack heads.
If you are placing the top cover vinyl, then used the same tacks for that. Exterior of the tack heads will get covered with hidem welting.
Thanks Mark and Dan.
It looks like the straps and the top material are tacked to the front and back bows and the middle two sort of "float" freely. Is that correct?
Yes, only the rear and front bow is where you tack the straps. Those narrow straps only serve to 'tent' the top covering to keep it from sagging.
The top pads are tacked to all the bows, on the sides. The top pads have a wide webbing inside the cotton cover of the pad, tack that to each wood bow, the pad is then stuffed to get a nice side shape to the top covering.
Then fold and sew the top pads closed. Tack and trim neatly at the rear bow and the front bow.
Rear bow trim of top pad
To place the top cover, the rear curtain is fitted first, so that the top cover seam is over the rear curtain edge to prevent leaks. Then add the hidem welting to cover your tack heads!
Ford used a blued "carpet" tack I think was a number 10 size. When I put the new top on my car I used a wide crown stapler from Harbor Freight (#61619) to attach the rear curtain to the back bow and body. Then the top deck gets attached to the front bow and the back bow. The hidem then gets installed over the staples at the seams. I think that you will need some new hidem welt for the top that I sent you. The stapler is easier than getting everything lined up then using a magnetic tack hammer with a good aim.
Elizabeth from Classtique has a very good video on youtube showing the one man top installation.
Have fun with the top.
Yes, those air powered staplers make for a fast job. Still like to use old school tacks to get strong placement, sometimes you need to shift the material around to get folds and wrinkles gone.
Removing tacks instead of staples driven by the air gun is easier for me. Then add staples to secure all once you get tack placement done.
The air staple narrow nose sure is nice to fasten the hidem welting. The nose goes in the open fold of the hidem and really makes that job go fast.
Finished job on the '24. This top I placed about 25 years ago, but the top pads and cotton bow drill got worn and torn, so the task in the photos above was to replace those. Then put back on the top cover.
What's even better, is to have some original FORD hide'em welt tips!
Great photos and advice. Thanks everyone
The pads that Dan sent with the top are pretty far gone but the top material is in good shape. It has a nice weathered look that will compliment my car. There's also a few small tears that I'll patch in a thoughtful way that looks vintage as well...and even those will add to the look.
Since the pads are not re-usable, I may forego installing any pads and may just install the long straps and the top material. I'll decide that when I get to that point.
Finally, I'm considering modifying the rear curtain to make a roll up center section. I want it to look good though so I'm having my daughter look at the material to see if she can see up the cut edges nicely with her industrial strength sewing machine.
Don, did you find nails yet?
Search for "u-nails1" at Lang's.
I had a devil of a time to find them but I did.
Mike at Classtique should also be able to get some for you as mentioned above. :-)
Larry, that beer looks good!
Edit, I forgot to say I'm freakin' excited to see that top in place and finished!
(Message edited by Duey_C on August 24, 2017)
After I retired, I took a course in auto upholstery. I was restoring a '25 roadster at the time, and had an original top, and upholstery to use for patterns. After finishing up the '25 at school, I bought a rebuilt Singer to use in my garage, and decided to make side curtains for the car. With the help of NOS originals, and drawings from the Benson Ford, I made a set. I've never had so much fun! I also made a top for my '13 runabout. I completed that top before I restored the car, but it will be going back on soon to a restored body.
Gorgeous cars Larry. First class
Thanks for pointing me to Lang's "u-nails 1" Duey. I never would've spotted them otherwise.
i can't wait to see Daisy wearing her top also. It's really going to help fill out the looks of the old relic. The interior and a few choice accessories will round out the look.