I am almost done piecing together the wood kit for the 1923 Touring. I am concerned about leaving the wood unpainted. I believe it would be best to paint the wood to help prolong the life of the wood.
When I got the Touring, all of the wood pieces (which I think were original) were painted - even the pieces that were hidden by the sheet metal.
Have you guys painted the wood or left it untreated?
Eric,most of the woodwork I have come across has been 'painted' black. It does not appear to be much more than a stain coat. I replicate it by mixing black enamel with 50% turps and brushing it on. Being so thin it soaks right in and leaves the grain of the timber showing as was original.
Others may differ.
Allan from down under.
If I didn't paint it I would do something to waterproof it, simply because we live in the land of high humidity.
My late brother in law had a wooden table leg turning business. They made huge turned pool table legs for the industry. Sometimes the legs sat for prolonged periods before use and they were in danger of checking or cracking. He swore by a product named Nelsonite. It preserved his product better than anything else he had tried.
Sealed. Also sealed between the wood and metal so the acid from the wood doesn't attack the metal.
Seems like the Ford bodies were painted after the wood was installed from Ford factory photos. I don't think they intentionally painted the wood framing but it got covered somewhat when the bodies exteriors were painted. It seems there were some bodies had more paint on the inside than others going by photographs of cars that were being restored.
I didn't intentionally paint the wood in my 21 Touring rebuild but it got some paint on it from the overspray.
To each his own is MHO.
I diluted varnish to a very thin/watery mix and flowed it on prior to applying sheet metal. Two or three coats and it just started to give a shine. My wood was ash.
My sheet metal was bare underneath the wood and the primer gave a ghost outline of the wood for me to follow where there was no wood existing
Correct or not i treated mine with thompson water seal or something like that and sprayed it body color when paiting the body
When I assembled my frame for the Coupe, painted it, and then added the body metal after. That way the wood was painted behind the metal. As I attached the metal where the seams met I sealed the cracks with silicon caulk to prevent water from getting in on my cloth interior.
Two products mentioned here that I would not have in my shop, at least not where stuff gets painted: Thompson's Water Seal and Silicone Caulk! Both contain Silicone, which can wreck havoc on a paint job. YES, I would seal the wood--doesn't matter if Ford did or didn't; he was producing a consumable commodity (the T) at the lowest price feasible. Sealing wood framing was not an issue.
Sealing cracks between panels, 3M and others make a seam sealer, paint compatible and some is non-hardening so it keeps sealing if panels move around a bit (panels moving on a model T? Who woulda thunk?
As for wood and metal reacting, you can put wax paper between them--that's what the body makers for Rolls Royce did, good enough for them, good enough for me! And they were dealing with aluminum body panels.
One should always keep in mind that when the Model T was originally made, it was made while moving down a fast moving assembly line where the stationary workers had only a minimum amount of time to perform their assigned tasks, so anything they did was done in a rush with the section bosses breathing down their necks, so the work was not always the highest quality.
Whenever you ask if this, or that was the way they did it back then at the factory...the way it was done back then, with the time constraints they had, was not always the best way to do it. Since we don't have the time constraints they had back then, and we want our T's to last long into the future, we should do what is best for the preservation of the car and not take the shortcuts they took back then for the sake of historical accuracy. The fact that the body wood was prone to rot and the steel panels were prone to rust is testament that they did not build the T to last 100 years, but we can and should for the benefit of future owners that take over from us when we are gone as well as for the preservation of the Model T as a historical artifact that is worthy of its' place in history.
The best coating to use in the preservation of wood is house paint. Particularly, exterior oil based primer over the bare wood and latex paint color of your choice over the primer. I have used Sherwin Williams exterior oil based primer on my house and it has lasted 30 years. Jim Patrick
A friend of mine had his T parked in my garage for a while and we got termite droppings around it! In some areas you might need to treat for dry wood termites. I don't know if his own garage has termites or not or when they were in his car. We didn't see any live ones in the car. That car has been in his family since the 1940's.
I never thought about it before, but what about Qwik-Poly? I haven't used it on a T yet, but it sure worked great on some 2x6 framing around my windows that had a bit of water damage(minor rot, dody) at the ends of the boards from rain coming in with the windows open. Soaked in like a sponge and was harder than the original wood, which may not be good in a body? Any thoughts? Dave
Boiled linseed oil, dirt cheap and the best preservation of wood and metal, one thing though, DO NOT KEEP LINSEED OIL SOAKED RAGS INDOORS, after use throw them outside and hang or lay them out, if kept in a heap or in the bin they can self ignite !
Eric, if you have more pictures of your rewooding project, it sure wood help me. Direct email is email@example.com.