Runabout trunk floor board wood type

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NealW
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Runabout trunk floor board wood type

Post by NealW » Fri May 17, 2019 11:11 pm

Last week I removed the trunk from my 1915 runabout restoration project. A few of the trunk wood floor boards were in pretty bad shape, so my woodworking son is going to make some new floor boards planed down to the correct thickness. He was wants to use the same kind of wood that was originally used if possible. Does anyone know what kind wood Ford used for the trunk floor boards?

Thanks,

Neal


Allan
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Re: Runabout trunk floor board wood type

Post by Allan » Fri May 17, 2019 11:44 pm

Neal, my fitter and turner metal machinist would suggest tree wood. Not very helpful?

Allan from down under.

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Mark Gregush
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Re: Runabout trunk floor board wood type

Post by Mark Gregush » Sat May 18, 2019 2:02 am

:lol:
I know the voices aren't real but damn they have some good ideas! :shock:

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NealW
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Re: Runabout trunk floor board wood type

Post by NealW » Sat May 18, 2019 7:45 am

allan wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 11:44 pm
Neal, my fitter and turner metal machinist would suggest tree wood. Not very helpful?

Allan from down under.
Well, that does help narrow it down some!


Original Smith
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Re: Runabout trunk floor board wood type

Post by Original Smith » Sat May 18, 2019 10:01 am

When I did my '13. the wood had been gone for a long time, but I could see the nail holes where the floor once was. Since the wood is painted, I didn't feel it would make any difference what kind of wood I used, so I used poplar.


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Re: Runabout trunk floor board wood type

Post by Rich Bingham » Sat May 18, 2019 10:16 am

Fortunately, poplars are trees, so that agrees with Allan's suggestion. :lol:
FWIW, poplar was used extensively in the carriage and wagon trade long before the automobile. When the gas buggy contraption reared its ugly head, processes didn't change much. Ford bodies often used poplar for framing members in bodies. Expensive coachwork used ash. Many restorers use oak, which was avoided "in the day" because it is not as resilient as ash and does not machine as well.
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Re: Runabout trunk floor board wood type

Post by George House » Sat May 18, 2019 10:45 am

I still have the entire original wood floor from my ‘14 runabout but it’s in another location. I can see it after church tomorrow. It’s great for a pattern and that’s why I saved it. I think I had it reproduced in ash. There’s a cabinet maker a few miles down the road. I could have him identify the wood Monday if you’d like......
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Re: Runabout trunk floor board wood type

Post by NealW » Sat May 18, 2019 11:26 am

George House wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 10:45 am
I still have the entire original wood floor from my ‘14 runabout but it’s in another location. I can see it after church tomorrow. It’s great for a pattern and that’s why I saved it. I think I had it reproduced in ash. There’s a cabinet maker a few miles down the road. I could have him identify the wood Monday if you’d like......
Thanks George, I would appreciate that! Since my son wants to use the correct wood type if possible, I thought this would be a good question for the forum. I am glad that he is interested in T's and has been helping with the restoration.


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Re: Runabout trunk floor board wood type

Post by John kuehn » Sat May 18, 2019 1:54 pm

Interesting post! Was the original floor used in the runabouts one piece or was it made of slats or?
I have a 1919 Roadster I restored 30 years ago. All the wood was gone. I had an older friend who had a similar car so I took his advice and used a single piece of 5/8 or 3/4” plywood. Can’t remember which but it worked and fit fine.
Thanks for any information.

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Re: Runabout trunk floor board wood type

Post by George House » Sat May 18, 2019 2:10 pm

As a matter of fact John; here are the pictures: Touch the first picture. Then it’ll be rightside up. See it’s taken from the left side. There’s a frame with a mounting hole in every corner. From left to right there’s 3 pieces of 3/8” hardwood. A wide in the ‘front’ and in the ‘rear’ with a narrow board in the middle.
Attachments
1914 Ford runabout turtledeck wood - Original !
1914 Ford runabout turtledeck wood - Original !
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4FCFB93A-5C71-43B1-8734-B148DFB11BA0.jpeg
F03C0316-D33E-4EB2-95B3-CFA3E990BA0D.jpeg
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Re: Runabout trunk floor board wood type

Post by John kuehn » Sat May 18, 2019 2:27 pm

Thanks for the photo! I wonder if the runabouts from 14-22 had very similar trunk wood.
I located a really nice 1919 trunk for mine and it had the framing at the bottom all around and the center piece like yours but no floor.
I used cabinet grade plywood for the wood deck under the trunk that’s part of the rest of the body. As I remember now I had plans for the runabout from Mel Miller and he may of recommended to use plywood for the rear deck wood also.
So maybe mine was missing the turtle floor wood. I will have to look close to see if it was but at the time I didn’t think so.

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Re: Runabout trunk floor board wood type

Post by George House » Sat May 18, 2019 3:07 pm

You raised a good question John. In 1919 the wet cell battery was introduced. Starter and generators were standard- I’m told- on closed cars from 1919 on. Were they available on open cars in 1919? And, if so, did the ‘19 turtledeck have a ‘trapdoor’ in the floor for the battery? I once had a pre’23 style turtledeck with the forward sheetmetal piece factory modified to have the battery removed when the ‘deck is installed. Kim Dobbins took it to CA. Whatever; I’m sure my ‘14 ‘deck wood and ‘15 wood are identical..
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Re: Runabout trunk floor board wood type

Post by CDHing » Sun May 19, 2019 9:13 pm

I have a 1919-22 Turtledeck (with battery configuration for the starter) which has , what I believe is original wood, that I'm copying for my 1921 project (I've got a second turtledeck missing wood that I'm going to use on my car.) It appears similar to George's photo but instead of four sides and a cross piece with two floor panels, mine has three sides and a cross piece with no panels nor rabbetting on the side rails for panels to fasten to. The front of my turtledeck has a sheet metal panel with a cut out just large enough to clear the front of the wooden battery hatch. The sheet metal panel is fastened to the two side board ends. Otherwise the four boards that make up the framing have similar proportions to the five board structure in George's photo with the same overlap corner and mid side rail joinery. The holes for the mounting to the deck surface look the same and remnants of the nails that hold the leather washers are there as well.

Does anyone know if the mounting hole spacing was standardized over the different 1913 through 1922 runabout model years? I've been told that the turtle decks were individually fitted to the bodies but have no confirmation on the bolt hole detail.

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Re: Runabout trunk floor board wood type

Post by George House » Thu May 23, 2019 11:23 am

Finally !...This mornings travels brought me back to my cabinetmaker friend. He studied the wood floor intently and even sanded on it. Said it was a fine grain hardwood - not oak or hickory. After a good while he pronounced it—-Poplar ....with a slight tendency toward Elder. But he said Poplar is a cheap wood so, knowing Henry’s frugal proclivities, I’d say Poplar. Frame and 3/8” floor.
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Re: Runabout trunk floor board wood type

Post by NealW » Thu May 23, 2019 12:36 pm

George,

Thanks for having the wood checked out! I appreciate the help, and will let my son know what kind of wood to get. Fortunately Lowes sells Poplar.

Neal

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