1915 Top

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1915 Top

Post by JEC » Wed Mar 18, 2020 9:34 pm

Is this the proper set of top bows for my 1915 Runabout?
There doesn't seem to be a way to attach the wood bows to the metal bows.
The wood bow slides into the metal bow and I would think that there would be a screw holding them together?

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Steve Jelf
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Re: 1915 Top

Post by Steve Jelf » Wed Mar 18, 2020 10:52 pm

Mine just slide in like that. I don't know if it's correct, but that's the way they are.
The inevitable often happens.
1915 Runabout
1923 Touring

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Re: 1915 Top

Post by BE_ZERO_BE » Thu Mar 19, 2020 3:43 am

I put mine in with epoxy adhesive.
Respectfully Submitted,

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Re: 1915 Top

Post by Allan » Thu Mar 19, 2020 9:49 am

John, they are indeed meant to be inserted into the irons. A critical measure is the depth . You need to have them set so that they stack neatly, while sitting at the correct height. I can't help with the height, but if they are not set correctly, the top material will not fit well. Once you have the height set, urethane adhesive will fill any voids between timber and iron, ans should also exclude water from the assembly.

Hope this helps.
Allan from down under.

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Re: 1915 Top

Post by CudaMan » Thu Mar 19, 2020 10:48 am

Maybe this will be of help. :)
Mark Strange
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1924 Cut-off Touring (now a pickup)

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Re: 1915 Top

Post by JEC » Thu Mar 19, 2020 12:55 pm

Thank You all that's just what I needed

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Re: 1915 Top

Post by modeltbarn » Thu Mar 19, 2020 4:27 pm

Don't count on each socket being the same depth!

You need to use that drawing and set up your bows so they're correct, but measure on both sides of the car!! You want the car to be on a nice level surface when you do it.

I used a small upholstery tack, though a very small hole drilled in each bow, to hold them in place. It's very important they are held tight so they don't move at all when you're fitting your top.... it's an easy way to come out with a poor looking top, or to waste a large part of the kit.

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Re: 1915 Top

Post by R.V.Anderson » Fri Mar 20, 2020 11:14 am

The ends of the bows should be shaped to the same taper as the insides of the sockets. The resulting tapered fit is intended to do all the holding, like a glass stopper in a bottle. The single heavy tack that is used is supposed to only supply a measure of safety. The 'drive,' as Ford called it, is the distance that each bow end should be driven into the socket. On the '14 touring the drive is 5, 7, 7, and 5 inches, counting front to back. I seem to sort of recall that the roadster is 5" on all bows but I could well be wrong on that.

Originally the sockets had a piece of wood driven all the way down to the end castings; this was done for reinforcing strength, and probably to help hold the screw for the key strap, but the trouble with the wood is that in most cases it has now either rotted or held moisture and caused the sockets to rust out or split, or both. So today most guys remove the wood or its remains, and after cleaning and drying the socket really well, fill it with a pourable epoxy; then, after it has well cured, drive in the bow ends.

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Re: 1915 Top

Post by Erik Johnson » Fri Mar 20, 2020 1:46 pm

Here are some photos of 1915-17 roadster top sockets and bows for you.

This is one of two sets that I have and the construction of both sets is the same. One set is the original from my unrestored 1917 roadster but they are in rough shape so the set shown is what I currently have on my car.

Each bow is initially held in place in its respective socket by a single nail.

When the top material is installed, there is also a husky, large head upholstery nail through the side of the top and into the side of the socket.

First photo: front bow in the down position

Second photo: middle bow in the down position

Third photo: back bow in the down position

Fourth photo: notice the holes on the side of each socket. These are for the upholstery nails that are used to fasten the sides of the top to the socket.

Fifth photo: this is an NOS middle roadster socket with original factory paint that I have in my possession. It has neither nail hole mentioned above because it has never been used. As R.V. Anderson described above, there is wood inside the bow, it starts about 5 3/16" from the top of the socket. There is also a sheet metal shim around the wood that can be seen in the photo.

There should be no reason to seal any gaps between the socket and the wood bow. First of all, there already should be a snug fit. Second, the bow drill covers the top of the socket. Third, the sides of the top extend beyond the top of the socket. All three of these should prevent water from entering the socket.

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