I dug out the tooling I used 20 some years ago to build some sleeves for my '14 touring.
Left is the flat sheet metal before rolling it. Center is the rolled and seamed sleeve. Right is the mandrel I form the sleeve on with a groove for the seam. It is an oval at the top and tapers to a smaller diameter. I ground and filed it from a piece of 1 1/2" round steel bar.
I have several rusted out irons that will provide the ends and other fittings. One difficult operation is to roll the steel so that the bent ends will line up and engage.
I use a furniture clamp to force the sleeve down the mandrel. Oil helps it slide. The ends grab each other and I tap the seam down into the groove.
The last picture shows the small ends. The sleeves have an inner sleeve that is not seamed. It gives the iron more strength. Both sleeves are then braised to the end fitting. The sleeve at left is mushroomed from the pushing force down the mandrel. Sometimes it takes more effort.
Like many projects I wonder how I got into this. It wavers between aggravation and and satisfaction. Many things don't work like they should but overall the result usually works.
I showed the sheet metal break I made for this project on the "What did you do September". It worked to some degree after building a truss to keep the angle iron from bending but I went back to hammering the bends for much of the seams.
Here is a previous discussion on the irons I made for my Yellowstone Bus:
(Message edited by rich eagle on October 01, 2017)
Rich, your patience and incredible understanding of metal working always delights and inspires me !! Thank you for another visit to your workshop.
Amazing. What talent!
Thanks Rich and William. Here is a picture of the little Ford looking on. The break sits in front of it.
I enjoy taking a break from the work to see what other folks are doing on the forum or search for a better picture of whatever part I am working on.
Amazing work !! Thank you
Richard, I hope you will need a flux capasitor. I am sure you can make it and I will be taking notes. Great work. Anybody that has made a part for a T or any other car knows how amazing these projects are.
Great work! I contemplated making a set for my '24, but figured it was WAY over my pay grade! (and skill set!)... and then thought old making outnof bar stock. Ended up finding a decent set for sale.
I envy your tenacity!!
Wow! Incredible work as always!
Thanks guys. These projects are fun to share. I have enjoyed seeing many projects people do at home with simple tools. The late "Rattler" Olson would drop by occasionally during the 18 years I worked on my YPC Bus. He said "Rich, your just not smart enough to realize you can't do these things". There is some truth in that.
I wish all of you luck on your endeavors.
Dallas, I did take some time this morning to make a couple of Flux Capacitors. I wasn't sure which size you needed. Feel free to try them out next time you are in town.
The steam bent bows arrived today. I was surprised to see them shaped for the irons. Previous ones were not. It is nice to have them available and not have to make them like the ones for the Bus. Those were fun but this saves some time and effort.
Where did you order the steam bent top bows from?
Richard , those bows are very nice. What Ed said.
I would copy your flux capacitor but I cant find Forney brazing flux!
I ordered the bows from Snyder's. T-7942-H13
That flux was purchased in the 80's. I'll be using some of it in a few days.
Always impressed and delighted! Well done again Richard.
Impressed by your work Richard, the craftsmanship looks top notch.
Thanks. I have always enjoyed seeing these kinds of things and am happy to share mine.
Today I separated the 3rd and 4th bow iron ends from their rusted out sleeves. The inner sleeve end appeared inside the outer sleeve as I expected. It was a surprise to see a wooden insert that extended all the way to the bottom. This is not an extension of the top bow but an separate piece. I always wondered what the keeper strap screwed to and this is it. I had not seen them in previous irons and did not put them in my bus irons when I made them. The wooden insert is notched at the small end to match with the end of the iron end. If this has been discussed here before I had missed it.
Perhaps these views of the inside of the irons will be of interest to some.
One observation I made is that the design of some fittings changed during the oval socket period. These show variations in the upper pivot joint and also an "F" in the lower rear socket mount. I suppose someone has clues they may offer. Did Ford make these items or were there several manufacturers?
Just an update. It took 2 weeks to make all the sleeves. Here are 4. I thought several times about what a bargain the reproductions would be.
I have brazed the sockets to the end fittings and made new over-sized pins.
I was able to make the sleeves long enough to trim when things didn't go as planed.
Rich, you have no idea how much I enjoy seeing your work and progress. Thank you for posting these pictures ! Folks that have never tried to reproduce "stuff" have any clue as to the difficulties a guy can encounter. What fine work !!!
Is the guy in Auburn, California still making top sockets? I'm still using some that Ron Brown did back in the sixties for me, who was his teacher.
Thanks Rich. I enjoy bending metal and this justifies the old rotten irons I have picked up over the years. It also gives me some appreciation of how and why they made them this way. Crimped joints on sockets and fenders give a flexibility that worked better than a welded joint.
I wish I knew more about those reproducing these. I bought excellent ones for my '15 Roadster in 1985 and very nice ones for my 1909 in the early 90's. I'm sure their tooling and methods are much better than mine but there can't be a lot of profit in making them. Like so many parts we are lucky they are available.
I used this spare socket to test my brazing joint. It shows the weak point is just above the joint. This is often where the most rust is found in old sockets.
I finished riveting the fittings to the sockets today. I made my own rivets. It is easier than finding ones just the right size. I had to make a wooden tweezer tool to insert the rivet from the inside. I like to take pictures of the bare metal before I paint it. It has a nice look.
I have over 120 hours in these so far. The fun and satisfaction is the only justification.
The next challenge is to determine the total bow length. We have referred folks to this drawing several times on the forum. It has some problems I see. First off, What year does it depict. I suspect dimensions varied from 1911 to 1922. Second, it shows a common center line for the irons attachment to the body mounts. I am not sure both are always the same distance from the top of body and doors.
I will make assumptions to make my top come close to this with what I have. I wonder if someone has found better information for a 1914.
Rich, You do very nice work. I would be happy to have even a little bit of the talent you have.
Thanks Mark and Keith. I have enjoyed the work others have shared for 50 some years. Trying to copy them and improvise has been great fun. Much can be done without expensive equipment. I hope there are youngsters out there who can find enjoyment in these kinds of things as many of us have. Not many get to our shops but perhaps the internet will introduce some of this enjoyment.
It does Richard! Thanks for sharing this type of great work.
I'm glad to do it Dallas. The forum is a great place to take a break. The pictures are a good reference for me also.
I have enjoyed your Martin Parry cab pictures and progress as well.
Richard, its great therapy trying to recreate these things. I often wonder what equipment and what the shops or factories looked like back then. I was going to bring the cab home to test fit and cut peddle slots and other holes in the floor but my buddy said to bring the chassis to the shop where I am building the cab. He said he has plenty of room! I just built him a 10,000 sq ft addition. So I think I will take him up on the offer. It will be painted there anyway. That will give me room to work on the new top for the RPU. I am lucky!!!
This shows the wooden filler inserts used in the oval bows. I mentioned that I did not know they were used previously. They are often omitted. In moderate use they may not be needed.
One last picture before I cover this up with paint and bow cover material. I see that I finished the sheet metal brake in September which means this project has kept me busy for the better part of 6 weeks. For me that is just fine.
Again - WOW!
Rich, They are absolutely Beautiful. I admire your craftsmanship!
Absolutely fabulous work!!
The wooden pieces used to "load" the sockets for a bit of extra strength are/were the primary cause for so much rusting of original sockets. The wood would get wet and cause two problems: 1. holding moisture against the thin bare steel on the inside surfaces; 2. the wet wood would expand, splitting and deforming the socket tubes right above the riveted forgings.
John Boorinakis fills the ends of his new sockets with pourable epoxy, a waterproof alternative that also provides some extra strength and good anchorage for the key strap screws.
Already said more than once, but I'll say it again:
Rich, thanks for letting us see the progress, I'm looking forward to seeing the paint and fabric too !
The sockets did rust badly. I had thought using a filler might make them too rigid but most epoxies etc. would probably give enough. We have a dry climate here and though this car will sit outside a lot it should survive a long time. I am guessing most of the moisture entered after the top material was gone and not from condensation.
I did pour some thin paint inside and varnish all the wood to slow that process down.
Thanks for the comments.
I got to this rodeo late and, just like everyone else said, what you've done is amazing! I have a feeling this type of work uses the same kind of skill and patience that your art work does. I did not come with that as standard equipment!
By the way, I'm going over to my '14 now to give the bows and sockets a kiss
Bob, I'd give my sockets another kiss but they have wet paint on them now. I'm glad there is some interest in seeing T work. Anytime we spend with them is worthwhile.
Ironically, doing work on a car that doesn't have to be perfect sometimes comes out better than on the nice cars.
The bow covering, called "bow drill" in the trade, is a light cotton cloth cut on the diagonal (bias) so as to eliminate wrinkles on the inside curve. It is still a trick but this time it went better than on other tops I have done. I have chosen to sew this rather than tack it as they did originally. I believe the tacks could wear the top material although I haven't seen that happen. Sewing allows me to pull the material a little tighter.
Those older members might remember buying this material from E. R. Stitt or Wm. "Bill" Fessler in the 60's. I can't do tops or upholstery without those names and memories popping into my head.