My experience with plastic tack strips

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TMiller6
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My experience with plastic tack strips

Post by TMiller6 » Tue Jul 07, 2020 5:49 pm

A few years ago I replaced the few pieces of wood in my '26 Runabout. At the time, I used spring clamps and an electric heat gun to form the black plastic tack strips in the wood kit for the eventual installation of upholstery.

Other projects caught my attention and when I retrieved the body from its 50-95 degree Fahrenheit storage I found that the plastic had cracked and broke in several places before receiving any tacks.

I'm really starting to believe people like Original Smith might have a point; keep it original. So I replaced the plastic with wood. Jonathan Anderson steam bent the pieces for me and I installed them today. It broke my heart having to fight for the same ground twice by doing a job over but I now have faith that this time the job will last.
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Re: My experience with plastic tack strips

Post by Jeff5015 » Wed Jul 08, 2020 3:36 pm

Is there any way you would post a picture?
Please.
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Re: My experience with plastic tack strips

Post by DanTreace » Wed Jul 08, 2020 4:16 pm

Interesting. Perhaps the storage was issue? Some plastics don't like sunlight. And interesting what plastic strip was used.

Have only knowledge of the FordWood strips, had the chance to remove the upper upholstery from the '27 to add backrest padding and the plastic strip there from 2003 was just like new.

The material is easy to shape with hot air gun, but if you do get aggressive with the heat, that could have an affect? You only need heat to bend and mould with clamps as you go.

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Re: My experience with plastic tack strips

Post by John kuehn » Wed Jul 08, 2020 4:23 pm

Where did you get the plastic strips from. I used them on my 21 Touring with no issues. Don’t know if they are all made from the same material. Could be the issue. But the wood tack strips can be split also depending on the installation technique.

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TMiller6
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Re: My experience with plastic tack strips

Post by TMiller6 » Wed Jul 08, 2020 4:46 pm

Mine also came with a Fordwood kit. There is only one window in my shop and the body was stored out of direct sunlight. The furnace keeps the place at 50F minimum.

I will post photos eventually using my PC. I don’t like trying to use the iPad to post photos.
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Re: My experience with plastic tack strips

Post by John kuehn » Wed Jul 08, 2020 7:14 pm

I used the Fordwood tack strips on my 21 Touring rebuild around 5 years ago. Went back to the shop in my left over wood parts box and had the cut off tack strips left overs. They were in a box in my garage that the temp. Range is from 30 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Texas weather. As you can see in the pic I put a piece in my vise and took several licks with a hammer. No breaking this stuff and not brittle. This is my experience with the Fordwood tack strip after 5 years.
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Re: My experience with plastic tack strips

Post by Allan » Wed Jul 08, 2020 9:28 pm

Once the plastic strips are moulded to the body panel shape, how flexible are they if taken off? On my 1915 body, there was a strip either side of the seat back panels to make the panels rigid. These timbers were more than tack strips, they were structural. The only 'stiffener' in the 15 body was the rolled in bead. If that is all there is in other bodies, then the strips need to be more than just tack strips. then they need to be stiff, like timber.

Allan from down under.


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Re: My experience with plastic tack strips

Post by Allan » Wed Jul 08, 2020 9:37 pm

Dan's post re fitting the plastic strips to an improved car body shows the body panels are formed with a considerable step at the top of the panel. This will make for a far more rigid panel, and a plastic tack strip may suffice. That said, a recent rebuild of a 26 tourer here revealed the front seat backrest panel cracked at both ends due to flexing in that panel, and the repair was backed up with laminated plywood strips. Dan's roadster back panel may not ever have flexed as much as the same panel in a tourer.

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Re: My experience with plastic tack strips

Post by DanTreace » Thu Jul 09, 2020 8:57 pm

Allan

The front backrest on the Improved Touring takes the flex into account, Ford provided a steel channel upright with an angle iron piece to the wood tack strip to support. The front backrest didn't use wood uprights behind the backrest spring as the rear seat does.

Some restore without knowing this part is needed.

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Re: My experience with plastic tack strips

Post by Allan » Fri Jul 10, 2020 7:14 pm

Dan, the cracks in the back panel were at the ends where the panel meets the body side. Ford began manufacturing in the new Geelong plant in 1926. For your reference, Australian built 26-7 models had a complete wooden sub frame and considerably more timber in the body than those built in the USA. My guess is they stuck with technology with which they were familiar, rather than bring all the extra tooling/machinery to make all steel bodies, with an eye to the introduction of a T replacement in the near future.

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Re: My experience with plastic tack strips

Post by TMiller6 » Sat Aug 08, 2020 2:19 pm

I've had the grandkids staying with me for a little over a month and I let this topic go into the bowels of the Forum. Here is the photo of a broken piece.

First, I have looked all over my shop for the rest of the broken pieces and I am concluding they are now in a landfill. What I did find is one half piece which displays a crack. The pieces cracked at the corner bend and at screw holes. This piece cracked where I had it lapped in the back of the seat. It is no longer bent to 90 degrees and has relaxed while sitting on the bench.
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I am guessing some wil comment that by lapping the two pieces, I set up a stress riser. But it also cracked at the necessary screw holes as well as at the corner where it was bent with a heat gun.

As evidence of the thoroughness of my search for the pices, I asked my grandson with better eyes to help me search. He left no stone unturned.
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Re: My experience with plastic tack strips

Post by Duckwing » Sat Aug 08, 2020 4:25 pm

I'd say that if I only had to do something twice, that would be a success story.


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Re: My experience with plastic tack strips

Post by JohnM » Sun Aug 09, 2020 11:15 am

Your grandson must be from Krypton. He rolled that body with one arm. :o

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Re: My experience with plastic tack strips

Post by Oldav8tor » Mon Aug 10, 2020 11:53 am

Tom,
Looking at your photo of the "broken end" what I see doesn't look much like the cut end of the material I used. It looks more like plastic. I wonder if we're talking about the same material? I have a test piece I cut and bent to learn how to mold the material that I'm going to hang up and see what it looks like over time. I'll let you know what I find in a year or so :?
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