1923-25 Touring Top Bows

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SurveyKing
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1923-25 Touring Top Bows

Post by SurveyKing » Thu Feb 07, 2019 9:58 pm

The time has come for me to replace the top on my 1924 touring. I now have removed literally hundreds of staples which were used to put on the current top and fabric back in the 60s or 70s. My question now is, how do I know if I have the correct wood in the bows? I need to know what kind of wood was originally used for both the main straight part of the bows and the curved parts. Also, need to know the correct measurements for them. Can someone post those dimensions?
Thanks

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TonyB
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Re: 1923-25 Touring Top Bows

Post by TonyB » Thu Feb 07, 2019 10:48 pm

The main bows on the one man top are straight, though made up of three different lengths. I bought mine from Synder. The curved end bits are just rough wood to hold the tacks. I made them in two pieces so they slide in without moving the tabs. For these I used pine.
Tony Bowker
Ramona, California
1909 Touring, 1914 Touring, 1915 Speedster, 1924 Coupe.

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Re: 1923-25 Touring Top Bows

Post by DanTreace » Fri Feb 08, 2019 12:48 am

Wood bows are made from clear dried oak. For the 23-25 touring these dimensions are from metal to metal of the top irons when assembled. The bows all have extra length cut down to fit into the metal iron socket and riveted to each.

Front 34 ½” #2 35 ½” #3 36 5/8” Rear 36 5/8”

The insides of the rectangular irons are fitted with lathe strip like wood, ash or pine is good, its just for bit of strength and for holding tacks. Thin strips can be boiled to heat and soften to bend into the space.
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The best way is always the simplest. The attics of the world are cluttered up with complicated failures. Henry Ford
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Re: 1923-25 Touring Top Bows

Post by SurveyKing » Fri Feb 08, 2019 9:48 pm

Thank you Tony and Dan for chiming in here. The measurements for the second, third and rear bows match within 1/8 of an inch, have not yet uncovered the front bow. What puzzles me are the curved wood pieces. I understand they are there just to hold the tacks but they see to be loose fitting and give somewhat. Would it not be better to shim them up to fit tighter? Thanks

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Re: 1923-25 Touring Top Bows

Post by DanTreace » Fri Feb 08, 2019 10:25 pm

Yours are loose from shrinking over the years, and should be rather beat up with years of top repairs and tacks removed and placed. May be able to shim if you wish.

Original are two pieces, stacked on top of each other, taper the entry end so they will glide in. Must be steamed or boiled to allow bending in place without splitting the wood.

wood lath strip for irons email.jpg
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Re: 1923-25 Touring Top Bows

Post by Original Smith » Sat Feb 09, 2019 10:33 am

If your wood is good enough to reuse, I've been using round tooth picks for years to fill the tack holes. Another thing, don't try to bend those tabs without heating them real hot, or they will break off.


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Re: 1923-25 Touring Top Bows

Post by SurveyKing » Sat Feb 09, 2019 2:52 pm

Wood Strip undepressed
Wood Strip undepressed
Wood Strip depressed
Wood Strip depressed

The play in the ends of the curved pieces is nearly 1/4 inch. Should this be shimmed up or is it ok to leave alone?

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Re: 1923-25 Touring Top Bows

Post by DanTreace » Sat Feb 09, 2019 3:34 pm

Those irons are the backbone of the top covering. Originally the wood was snug and tight in the corners and the wood bow riveted in the socket.

Have seen many old worn segments of irons with the thin steel rectangular sections fractured, a lot of stress, raising and lowering the top set, buffeting wind, etc.


Original bow and the curved wood pieces removed from top iron. The curved side wood pieces stack on each other and fill the rectangular top iron cavity.

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The best way is always the simplest. The attics of the world are cluttered up with complicated failures. Henry Ford
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SurveyKing
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Re: 1923-25 Touring Top Bows

Post by SurveyKing » Tue Feb 19, 2019 6:32 pm

Does anyone know who is making top bows nowadays? I see Lang's has them, but I only need the front bow as all the rest are still serviceable, they sell them by the set only. Also, second question, what are the thickness of the pieces used for the curved section?

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Re: 1923-25 Touring Top Bows

Post by CudaMan » Tue Feb 19, 2019 6:46 pm

Did you call them to verify that they would only sell a set? If you call, they may either have a single bow left over, or be willing to break up a set. :)
Mark Strange
Hillsboro, MO
1924 Cut-off Touring (now a pickup)


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Re: 1923-25 Touring Top Bows

Post by SurveyKing » Tue Feb 26, 2019 4:37 pm

Hi Mark, yes I did contact Lang's they will not separate out a set unfortunately. So am still looking.


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Re: 1923-25 Touring Top Bows

Post by Dan Hatch » Tue Feb 26, 2019 5:05 pm

Be carful of bow irons that are good to use when you one that is bad. Check them two ways from Sunday. The irons rot (rust) from the inside out. The inside was not painted. Dan

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Re: 1923-25 Touring Top Bows

Post by Steve Jelf » Tue Feb 26, 2019 11:33 pm

The original bows are NOT straight. If you lay one on the floor with the top side up you'll see that it's at least ¼" off the floor at the center. They're called bows for a reason. For just one, I would get wood from a hardwood dealer and make it.

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Here's original corner wood in place.

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Wood removed. It's singed because I turned the tabs red so I could bend them open without breaking them off. You can make these, but I bought new ones from Jon Anderson.
The inevitable often happens.
1915 Runabout
1923 Touring


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SurveyKing
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Re: 1923-25 Touring Top Bows

Post by SurveyKing » Wed Feb 27, 2019 6:43 pm

I have tried to contact Jon Anderson several times but he does not respond to my emails. Anyone know if he is ok?

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Re: 1923-25 Touring Top Bows

Post by CudaMan » Wed Feb 27, 2019 8:37 pm

His phone and internet service is spotty, keep trying, or contact him via his brother R.V. Anderson. :)
Mark Strange
Hillsboro, MO
1924 Cut-off Touring (now a pickup)


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SurveyKing
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Re: 1923-25 Touring Top Bows

Post by SurveyKing » Sat Mar 02, 2019 10:58 am

Thanks guys, I was able to speak with Jon last night. He is a great guy and will be taking care of my needs, top bows including curved portions as well as a rear floor board.

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