Yep,plans for a open express pickup are in the mail from Wagon works.
I dug thru the forum here until i found the name I knew I had read plans could be bought but couldn't think of the name. I am going to try to put a real wood body on the T pickup project that has set in the shed untouched for at least 2 years. I couldn't get the right side door of the building open it was in and turns out the 6x6 red cedar post had rotted right off at ground level.Pure heart wood to.Strange.
Anyhow, what I wanted to know was about the difficulty level of this project.
I am thinking of putting a extra bare chassis up on saw bucks with a firewall and empty steering column on it so I can work around the thing easier. Instead of trying to put it together on the assembled T running gear. Opinions?
I have a wood planer,just had a friend help me swap out blades and such yesterday,I have a table saw, sanders and what not.I just don't have a jointer.
I have a large belt sander i guess I could use but I am checking craigs list for a jointer as I think that would work better.
Also if any 2 boards need gluing together I might get a biscut cutter from Harbor freight as I don't anticipate needing it alot after this.
I have a stack of red oak that the tree was dead about 5 years and then i had the lumber cut and it has been stacked about 3 years.grown here on the place. Neighbor remembers climbing the tree as a young kid while his dad worked the cotton field that used to be here.
Should be dry enough to build something. I just decided if I am going to drive and enjoy this truck any before i kick the bucket,I better get started.
So just be aware I might be asking what some may think are simple questions as this project creeps along.I wont be working on it to a point I burn out on it. Maby 2 days a week.
Mack, I cant wait to see it. I have enjoyed my Martin Parry cab build. I discovered how they assembled the wood cabs without glue and why. I is all mortis and tennon. One screw in the center of tennon allows movement without cracking the wood. It pivots on the screw. The frames flex quite a bit. Every joint was made this way on the cab I am building. It is alot of work making all those joints. The plans you ordered may be different and probably have been tried and true. The oak will look great. Mine is poplar as original and will be painted. Be sure to take lots of photos and share so we can see. I only get to work on mine one or two days on the weekend. This job thing gets in the way.
Drive safe and often
Mack - A jointer will be required for joining boards edge-to-edge. You can do it other ways, but you'll get a better result with a jointer. And as you already seem to know, a biscuit cutter is the way to go as well. Red Oak will work for this project, but it will be heavy. Ash would be a better choice, and Poplar better yet. But since you have the Oak and some stories to go with it, I expect that will be your choice.
I haven't worked with any plans from Wagon Works, but I can tell you that delivery and pickup bodies "back in the day" didn't have much driver room in them and seat backs often were vertical, which is not comfortable. I'd recommend that you mock up a temporary seat using the dimensions in the plans before building the real deal, just to be sure it's a configuration which is comfortable for you.
Good luck with your project, and please keep us posted on your progress.
I picked up my jointer for $40 in a garage sale (25 years ago). It has helped build several car bodies. The fellow sold it cheap because to didn’t work well. To turn a “crappy jointer” into a gem, all you have to do is fully level the outfeed table and then level all three blades using a good dial gauge on both. Once you dial in (hey is that idiom from dial gauges?) the tool you may not have to set it again, I haven’t!
Don’t waste money on a biscuit cutter just get a slotting bit for your router and CAREFULLY use that.
Not to fear they are not that hard. I build my '24 Hack from Hudson Wagon Works plans. Most of the sub rails called for half lap joints and they are not too complicated with a good table saw. The remainder were mortis and tenon joints.
I chose to use a doweled joint instead. They are really easy to do, because you simply cut the material square use a jig to drill the holes and then glue and clamp them together. A doweled joint is a bit slower than a biscuit joint, but would be every bit as strong.
Below is the jig I have, I like it because it allows you to use 1/4" to 1/2" dowels, and is self centering.
If you need to join two boards down the length of the board, edge to edge, consider using a spline joint. Think of it as a tongue and groove with a removable tongue. Cut a dado down the length of each board, and then put in a spline of either similar wood, or tempered Masonite makes a really good spline.
Here is a photo of my Hack just before I got the fenders and hood painted and on.
Hope this helps,
Progress will be slow but I got the plans in the mail today.I made a couple copies so I can keep 1 in the file cabinet and doodle on 1.
I have put new blades on my saws today.
I have discovered that apparently I am allergic to wood dust or something on the wood because I planed some maple to make some skids to mount antique briggs and stratton engines to and I have had sinus congestion every since. So I will be wearing a mask i guess.I wanted to practice a bit and see if my tools worked.
Just bear with me in regards to asking questions. I might need a bump in the right direction sometimes.
Mack I'm rootin for you.
You deserve some time working on your Model T.
Mack, if that sinus infection turns out to be too much hassle, I am going to pull off my Express body and build a Depot Hack to replace it this winter. This body will be for sale, and I am not too far away if you want to come look at it.
Some species of wood will cause such problems, depending on the person. I once cut up some hardwood from an imported piano crate. While the wood was beautiful to finish, it was acidic or something--had to wear a mask and get the sawdust off myself quickly. Once finished, it looked like walnut, and matched the piano for which I was making the parts.
But getting back to your red oak. Red oak is terrible for making car bodies; it is heavy, and splits easily, and is very open-grained so it's harder to get a smooth finish on it. T bodies were commonly made of Poplar, Pine (yes!!!), Fir, ash, maple. That's probably in order of usage even. Oak was reserved for top bows on closed cars, and was usually white oak.
Wow,Brent that would be nice! but I guess I will peck at this since I done and got started Is that a 26? My chassis for this pickup is a 20.I think there is a bit of difference in bolt up to the frame.
My speedster project is a 26.
Oak aint bothering me today allergy wise,I had to unstack a whole pile of lumber this morning. Red cedar and other was on top of my red oak. Finally got to it and some of it is twisted and warped.Strange as the tree was dead 5 years and has been cut at least 3. I got enough to do the bottom frame cut to length,planed and ready to screw together. I am going to cheat, but it will probably have Phillips screws for ease of assembly.some that are really visible i can go back and swap. I want to drive,not collect trophy's.I have some more 1 inch stuff but I may have to get a few boards from a neighbor to finish it up.The Tree that it came from was about 400 feet thru the woods from the 1 I am using so it is still from the area.
Mike Walker,I have noticed that about the seat backs. That may be another area I have cheat at a little as I need to be able to lean back just a little to keep my already messed up back from getting sore. the back of the seat on my TT is straight.And it is not comfortable. I don't drive it long distance so it is not to bad a inconvenience. But with the dump bed mechanism there was just not enough room for a angle and still get my belly under the wheel.
I went to Ace and got the counter sinking drill bits and screws today. Fellow said marine spar varnish or teak oil for a finish?
Well I realized today it has been about 34 years since i was doing any "serious" wood working.And that was in my high school 11th grade ag mechanics class. Oh I make a few small engine skids and such but nothing that needs to be "exact"
I got the notches cut and chiseled out for the boards to lay in on the runners today. Didn't really know how to do it so i experimented and figured out a way to make a bunch of cuts with the skill saw and chisel out the remainder. Slow but it worked.
I do think it would be a good idea if they enclosed some color photos of a body being built by these plans.Sometimes a picture speaks volumes a pencil sketch can't . But if you study it can be figured out with what is there.It would just be a big time saver.
Brent, great seat belt.
Well,I have been "playing" with wood all week.I have my materials list gathered.I had most of the wood but some of the wider stuff I went to see a neighbor and get some boards. I have it all dressed and cut to size the list calls for.I had to get some help making some cuts and so forth.My table saw is small.I will have to go back to a friends house later and get a couple more things done when i get that far.
1 board was 15 inches wide rough and I needed 13 and 7/8ths .i had to take it to a local lumber company and it cost 15 bucks to get it cut down on their table saw to size and planed to 3/4 thick. I would hate to think what the lumber and labor would have cost to do this whole thing!
Can you see a "T body" in this pic?
You want to talk about heavy,these were the culls of the stack.I got what I could use from this and I went back and got some more boards, some to take to have dressed for him at a local lumber yard.They were 23 inches wide,1.5 inches thick and hanging off the back of my truck. It will make your eyes bug out to pickup 1 of them!
I see a great body in the back of that truck. If you have seen my thread " Martin Parry cab rebuild" it starts the same way with a pile of rough boards. Sounds like you are making progress. Photos please.
What Dallas said. :-)
Nice boards Mack! That little square really shows...
Hehe, I see Center-Door starting points! ;-)
Parts for a TT I wait for that needs saving.
Well, it's not T wood, but this is one beam we needed to restore our theatre organ's chamber. The 90 year-old, still surviving structure was determined to "not meet code" despite surviving all those years and some major earthquakes. This one piece of wood had to be special ordered, and was $1,200 dollars--and it had splits in it!
I have the 2x3's notched and the 4 boards laying in the notches for the floor to be mounted on,I did that the other day so i could see some eye candy.
I do have some questions. Marine spar varnish seems to be about the best Idea I can come up with for a finish. Should I use gloss or semigloss?
I also want to see a photo of how the battery hole is cut out and fixed as there is only a pencil drawing on the paper work and that is not something I want to screw up on is the bed floor as everyone will be able to look in it.
I have spare pieces of wood that I am figuring on making some type of box to go in the bed that I can put a hasp and lock on.Not very big.Big enough for a camera to be secured in.
The little metal box on the running board,I have 2 of them but no keys and have no idea what to for a key.
Also,how is a spare tire carried on a express pickup?
Had to take a break yesterday and go the 100 years of Progress show in Carthage NC. If you aint never been,you need to go.Most of it is 1 mans collection of everything,with a couple T's mixed in.
Epifanes Marine Varnish is the very best. Ten coats and the wood is sealed forever! Expensive but what the heck. Regular marine varnish needs to be recoated every three years or so.
Use the Epifanes thinner too...also expensive.
Wworks great on natural wheels too.
Gloss or semigloss? To my eye, too high a level of finish doesn't seem right. Model T trucks were meant to work, not to stay clean and pretty. Your express body should be like the chassis it sits on - quality, a good value, and without frills. Please go with slotted screws. A Yankee screwdriver will run them in just as well as your screwdriver/drill does with the Phillips.
Marc, what's a Yankee screwdriver? That's a new one for me. Dave
Here you go Dave.
Thanks guys. I have(had? ) one of those somewhere. I just had never heard them called a Yankee screwdriver before. Dave
Yankee is the brand name for the first or main manufacturer of these. they also make (made?) a ratcheting right angle screwdriver, usually with a small bit on one side and a larger on the other, although I'e seen them with Phillips on one and slotted on the other.
Well here is the small amount of progress.
I started gluing the front of the thing tonight. I went ahead and got a biscuit cutter at harbor freight because my router has a issue. Older Craftsman so I am taking it to a shop in Charlotte next trip I make down there along with a couple other things.
There is a learning curve to that cutter!
There will be slight imperfections and flaws in this thing when I get it done.But I will at least be able to sit on it and drive it!
I was going to get a dado blade at Lowes to cut slots to ship lap the floor. 100 bucks! Wrong,not this fat boy. I found a decent used dado blade on ebay for 22 bucks shipping and all. It may not be new but it needs to cut about 20 times at 3/8ths deep 3/8ths wide and then it will go back in the box till who knows when.
Anyhow.here is a pic,There is a old 2x4 and a wide clamp on the front to help hold things in alignment until I get the front on.
Looks great Mack........Your off to a great start.....!
Keep the photos coming...
Lookin good Mack. You will be riding down the road in no time. What Carl said, keep them coming.
Mack, I build a wooden toy, it has imperfections and flaws. Sometimes intended, remember that! :-)
I build a building? It's out of square. :-)
My dad was and my brother is a carpenter! Me? Out of square. :-)
That looks fantastic already!
glue drying is slowing me down on the front of it.I am going with the open car windshield design.I didn't like the idea of the big flat wooden windshield frame.
BUT I discovered after some measuring,I must have the wrong fenders or something.Aint no way this body is going to fit between my rear fenders.
Here is the fenders I have on the T now.I think they are wrong for this application. Shame as this 1 has factory paint on it's underside.I bought it off ebay from washington state.
What exactly do I need for a fender? Depot hack fender? I would think it would have to be straight? Never paid that much attention to fenders till now.
Nice, Mack. Very nice!
If you are trying to use the car fenders? They do have fit issues on many truck bodies (both TT and T chassis). You can try to find the rare and usually expensive straight truck fenders. Or, you can do as I have seen on a few original trucks, and notch out the car fenders to fit the body.
Sorry, I started this over an hour ago, but got interrupted. I think it still works.
The other option, a lot of work, however, it is possible to take four rear fenders, two from each side, cut and weld the long way to make truck fenders. Doing that, you can also make them an inch or two wider if that is what you want. Or, a rough pair, patched with narrow sections from the worst pair to eliminate the wide front area in the car fenders can work quite well for a truck. I have seen it done, and made similar repairs of fenders a few times myself.
And I know you do welding!
A fella I know of bought a TT with cut-up 55 gallon drums for rear fenders. :-) Looks pretty good!
Think outside the box if need be, if it would pain you to cut up fenders. :-)
It would me.
i have gathered parts for YEARS for t's and best I can tell I have 3 .5 pairs of rear fenders like this.But none for a depot hack.The folks that I got the plans for emailed me and said that yes,my truck will need the depot hack style fenders. I see how "making" a set would be a viable option if i can't find any of the right 1's.
I am assuming the mounting bracket to the body is shorter as well?
As for mounting brackets? Depends upon your body and fender choices. You may well be able to use standard coupe/runabout fender brackets with little or no modifications. On the TT I had many years ago, I made my own brackets that bolted onto the rear cross member. It worked because I built the rear box narrow enough to use standard T rear fenders.
As for cutting up rear fenders? I have always been able to find some that were bad enough on either the front or the back half as to be individually too far gone for reasonable repair. I have made several good fenders out of ones other people were throwing away.
Mack, I look forward to seeing many update reports on your truck progress!
well I have made a little progress.
I have had 2 step plates for 20 years,I think from a AA truck, that I am considering putting on the side where my feet will be climbing up in the truck to prevent damage to the wood.
I have the bed floor in,battery box cover is cut,2 side panels are on. The front board is just propped up there. Those angles at the front and all that clamping had me scratching my head~!.Forgive the mess in the shop,this job has been a MESS.
I have not determined how to do the rest on the battery cover,I just cut 2 boards instead of cutting 1 of the boards in the middle to make it 8.5 inches,I think it is a bit wider but I can't see it being a problem. It is not like there will 15 of these trucks lined beside each other for people to compare them for discrepancy's.I carried the plywood to the upholstery shop this morning and it will be mid december before i get the seat cushions back.Most expensive part of the job,175 bucks!. I wanted green but decided on black so it would go with different wheel colors and such.My wheels are green along with the Ford G headlight lens.
progress has not been without a scare or 2.I got my dado blade to do the ship-lap for the floor and finally figured out how to use it and the first board I put on the saw got ruined as the blade grabbed it and slung it across the shop. My blade is ok .I took it and the boards over a friends and had him help me do it. Mounting the front dash monday I tried to push on the wood to hold it as I put a screw in and did something to my bad left shoulder and it hurt like I don't know what all week. I hope I aint injured the surgical area that was fixed 11 years ago.
Looking good Mack. You have been busy. Take care of the shoulder. Post it as you build it. Look forward to more.
Looking good my friend. Be careful of you! Boards can be replaced. You are one of a kind.
Don't know if it could help or not. But I have seen a few original after-market bodies with just simple strap steel bolted under the flooring giving about a half inch lip for the cover to sit upon on a couple sides. You would need some sort of catch to keep the lid from popping up or blowing out. I have seen short strap iron "twist latches" used. Or a wood screw with a fender washer brazed onto it, with one side cut flat to be turned to either hold closed or allow opened. That kind of catch can be set down into a shallow cut (like with a router or wood chisel).
Well when i cut the lap joints in the boards I cut the 1's that the battery lid were going to be made from so that each side was sitting on a lap joint.There is a piece of wood going across the end of the boards where they were cut at the back end of the lid and then the front end of the lid is on the full width crossmember.So the lid is sitting on something on all 4 sides. A wood screw with fender washer? Sounds doable.I will work with that idea.
Looking good Mack. Like your idea of the step plates. Practical, and a bit of dress up too
I attended a tech session today with the club I am in and was able to photograph depot hack fenders and brackets.So I think unless a pair comes up in the next couple,3 weeks,I will be trying to make rear fenders. I was working right along yesterday and whatever is in my arm popped and started hurting and put me out of commission yesterday and today.May go to town in the morning and buy the metal to make the braces and such.
Mack, before I sold my TT project to Dallas, I thought about using modern trailer fenders on the 8-in-1 bed and trying to tweak them a bit to make them look older. Maybe adding a couple of beads or a slight kick up on the rear of them. Just a thought. Dave
Well here is a bit of progress,I think I am to a point I need to get my metal components made so i can fit them up for the bed side top board and such.I have these floor boards cut,just laying in place.I will need to cut notches and such when the time comes.
I got my 20 foot of 1 1/2 by 1/4 flat iron yesterday to make the pieces.I have 1/2 rod already.I found a original piece like goes on the side board at the back and will copy it for mine except a 1/2 inch shorter. I will post pics of that as I get to it.
I found a pair of rusty but "ok" fenders I won't feel to bad about cutting on to make the correct fenders. I will have to clean in the electrolysis tank and so forth.
Here is a couple pics.
Well i got the sawdust off the floor and used a leaf blower to get a couple layers of it off everything in the shop and got a brief start on the rear fenders. Once I get past turkey day i will get back on the metal work for the body.
I did some measuring and the depot hack i measured sunday the fenders were 8 and about 1/8 inches wide.These roadster fenders at the rear straight section are almost 8.5 inches.A tad wider. But i looked at the pics I took and there was space between that hack body and the fender.I am thinking if I need a 1/8 inch or something I will just tweek the mounting holes at the running boards a bit.
I did some measuring and got curious how I was going to cut a good straight edge with my plasma cutter as I am a bit shaky with it if I don't have a guide. Turns out there was some thin red oak wood from edging a couple boards laying outside the shop. I used big visegrip pliers to hold that thin wood to the fender and it curved right around and made a good disposable guide so i could get a good straight edge.
The fenders developed some rust holes when i cleaned them a bit this evening so there will be some welding. Helps me feel better knowing I aint cutting on a set of fenders that are in good shape.
A couple questions. Should I put a coat of spar varnish on this thing before I start drilling holes in the wood for the braces and seat back supports and such? Or drill and test fit everything then apply finish? Also the paper work says you can varnish over the iron work? Do most of you do this? Seems it would offer protection but if it ever started peeling,it would make a mess?
I also considered having the iron work powder coated once I get it fitting up,but then that is a month wait if I use the folks that I get to do my sandblasting. That is the reason once I get the fenders ready to weld on I will clean them in the electrolysis bucket instead of blasting,to cut down on wait time.
Sounding good Mack.
Personally, I like a good coat or two of the spar varnish or whatever I am using before assembly to help seal the wood. I often leave the underside totally unfinished because moisture has a way of creeping into wood regardless, and a major unpainted surface not exposed to settling water (rain, fog, etc) helps wood to air out. That is a hotly debated choice. Fully coated can protect better, but if water does creep in? Fully covered traps the water inside. Areas exposed to rain or the garden hose are usually best fully covered.
For me, I make a judgement call depending on circumstances for each individual project.
I wish we were closer. I have a small stack of (maybe ten?) rear fenders in conditions ranging from not bad to poor. Unfortunately, they are all one side, and I don't recall which side. I would gladly give you a couple, but the shipping cost would probably be a killer. And you would still need the other side.
I enjoy reading of your progress!
I have some old fenders that are going to work.
Here is the cuts I made on the 1's I will be using.
Looks like a great start! Do you have a donor fender to provide straight beads to go in there? (That was how I did it.)
yea,I cut those pieces out this evening,didn't spend but a few minutes at it but got the donor pieces,I want them in the vat in the morning.I will work on the other stuff while the fender parts are being cleaned.
Well 1 fender is clean and the section I cut to put in it is soaking and coming clean nicely.
Here is the work done so far making the hard ware.I ran out of half inch bar,thought I had plenty. wrong.Used it elsewhere a long time back.
So I will get some more and finish,the seat back braces are the longest pieces and the 6 shorter 1's are for the top board of the bed.
The bent bar and short pieces go on each side of the seat when I get them bent and painted.
I had to take some time off to do a couple things that put money back in my pocket.For some reason people buy USED go carts for kids for Christmas. And fixing them is along the lines of making chicken salad out of chicken manure.I got this 1 running though.That time spent paid for the screws and hardware for this project.A zero turn mower service will be paying for the spar varnish,brushes and the like.
What I do need to ask, is there a website that I can look at to learn more detail about applying the spar varnish? I am confused about getting all the dust off the wood .what do I use? Air,rag?.
I will get back on my brackets hopefully tomorrow afternoon.
Air seems to just blow the dust around. I brush the dust off the product, then vacuum and sweep up the floor. Then a tack cloth, then wipe the wood down with paint thinner and let it dry. Then tack cloth again and you are ready to varnish. Mix varnish well and put a little in a paper cup. Use the brush out of the paper cup to apply the varnish. Do not dip the brush into the can of varnish. If after varnishing you have a little varnish left in the paper up do not put it back in the can as it will add dust to the pure varnish and contaminate the can for the next coats.
Varnishing is the last job of the day, I leave the shop after applying so as to not stir up any dust . Light sand between coats and each coat wipe down with thinner and a tack cloth and you should end up with a pretty nice finish.
I had to slow down a bit,I found out I tore a ligament in my shoulder and if I don't slow down working it it will just take even longer to get better.
But I did fit some of the hardware I made last night for the rear bed corners. i don't have a pic yet. I am going to try to mount the tail gate hinges. I want to mount all the hardware,make sure the holes are right and such and take it back off and apply the finish to the wood.
I did get the seat today from the upholstery shop. 160
well,I have to make more hinges.I drilled the first 2 holes and bolted the hinge to the bed and i found I had the plates welded on the 1/2 pipe in the wrong position. I have to figure out a jig to hold them in a different position tomorrow and make another set. Luckily I can use the 2 holes I drilled in the wood. I get squeamish every time I drill a hole in this wood,I know it will be a pia to repair it if I screw up.
Well I didn't do any work today,weren't up to it but I wanted to post this pic of the bed corner brackets. I copied a original piece I got somewhere along time ago. The round part is purty much what the plans called for.The flat bar against the wood was part of the original and I liked the idea so i copied it.I had to make everything about 2 inches shorter than the original I was copying.
I put my cutting torch in the vise just snugged up and left it burning and heated the end of the 1/2 rod and pounded it flat.Then heated and bent everything. Getting the angles right was a pain for me because I am not that experienced but I got it. of course I will cut the bolts off and I gota get some square 1/4 nuts.
Very cool Mack!
Here are the hinges.
Gonna be a nice rig Mack.
Looking good! I love to read your updates.