Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Gauge panels, one step forward and 2 steps back

Well, I thought we had settled on doing a tiger maple veneer on the gauge panels, but it just hasn't worked right.  We decided on a gray stain/dye to tie in with the gray leather seat we are using.

So, we prepped the steel panels with epoxy primer and some gray primer over that (the epoxy primer is black and we didn't want it showing through on the edges).

Then, we used spray contact cement to adhere the veneer and trimmed around the edges and sanded smooth:

We stained them with a Varathane 'weathered gray' stain.  HO-HUM.  The test piece turned out SO much better.

This was our tester, but we tested it on unsanded veneer (our first mistake):

The stain was too opaque to show much the figure of the maple in the sanded veneer :(
Major disappointment.
We chose an ivory paint for the background on the dash and I really like the color of the gray against it, but I was hoping for the figure of the tiger maple to show and it just didn't.  Not to mention, the next day it started lifting around the gauge holes and that was NOT acceptable.  So, off the veneer came and we are back to square one.  Deciding how to finish the panels has been the hardest of our decisions on this project for some reason!  I really want them to be special.....
Anybody have any good suggestions?  And, no, vinyl is NOT an option :P  Maybe gray leather, but that is near the bottom of my list.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Gauge panels, part deaux

I did some researching about drilling good holes for the gauge panels before we dove in - and we decided to use a hole saw slightly smaller than the hole size necessary and then fine tune them.  We also decided to predrill the 1/4'' center hole and replace the center drill bit in the hole saw with a 1/4'' rod so the hole saw didn't ''walk'' away from it's intended position.  This worked very well!

We got all 3 panels prepped for the gauges with room left for other dash necessities to be added later.
(forgot to take a pic with the 3rd one over the steering column, oops!)

We ended up drilling a smaller hole for the dual air gauge centered over the steering column - and then on the opposite panel, the hole for the clock in the same (mirrored) location.

The decision has not been made yet on how to finish these panels......  leather is at the top of our list.  Personally, I would like to use a gray leather to match the seat - but Brian wants to use buckskin if possible.  We have several buckskins I inherited from my grandpa, but they might be a little thick to wrap around the tight radius' - so we plan to do a test piece and see if it works.  I would like to do the door panels and the visor in the same buckskin if we go that route, to tie it all together.  I think the backing of the dash will be a cream color - similar to original.

Monday, May 2, 2016

custom gauge panels

So, the Diamond T was out of the patio for a couple weeks while we did a spring cleaning for a family get-together, but now she is back inside.  We had planned to work on the roof section, but we didn't have enough steel for bracing to do what we needed to do.  So, we decided to work on the dash.  We are going to use aftermarket gauges, so new dash panels needed to be made since the new gauges are smaller than originals.  Brian drew around the original deluxe gauge panel onto the dash - the outside of that we dedided to replicate the same size/shape.

He got to use his new plasma cutter that he got for Christmas to cut out the panel:

while I created a template for a new larger gauge panel side section:

Brian finished the shaping of the gauge panel and added studs in the original location.  Now, we will just need to cut the holes to the right size for the gauges and finish the panel.  We are unsure how we will finish it.  Chrome?  Powdercoating?  Wrapped in Grandpa's deer leather?  Totally undecided at this point.

We got both of the larger side sections cut out (forgot to take a pic) - but we will need to finish shaping them and add studs to them next weekend.  The larger side section will cover the hole by the steering wheel that was originally for the ignition switch I think. An ignition switch might still go in that spot, but we have more options where exactly to put it with it covered up.  Then, after we get our gauges, I will be able to sell the original stainless set (and original gauges) for someone who wants to go back to original on their project.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Off with her head

We decided that the roof just was too far gone to use......

So, we decided to make it a convertible.....

Now, how is that for unique!!!  Pretty sweet, huh?!



We actually are using the roof section from our parts truck - because it is framed in steel, where our 36 roof section was framed in wood.
See that door reveal?  So much better than the 36's!

 And the a-pillar - yes, yes!  OH how I wish we would have started this project with this 37 - we would have been SO much farther along!
 See how the 36 didn't have that a-pillar framing - BOO.  The hinges were even bolted to wood in the 36.  The 37 had MINIMAL wood - just on the upper corners of the roof section and along the back for bracing.  The 36 had it *everywhere* inside, even the floor by the door opening (the 37 is steel there).

We have the parts truck completely disassembled now - and ready for the engine to be removed.  I think we have a buyer for the chassis/title, which will be nice to get that out of the driveway!

Brian has a little fun with the fenders from the 37
 I think we will have to find another set of fenders for the back, hopefully in better condition - we need at least the drivers one to repair the 36's drivers fender

And, to reiterate, we did not do a ''chop'' - this is the stock height of the roof!  Chopped from the factory :)

Friday, January 22, 2016

Deluxe parts truck

We have looked for almost 3 years now for headlight buckets.  None to be found.  So, we finally realized that we would need to buy a parts truck in order to get them (but that wouldn't be so bad since we are missing other parts as well).

So, last weekend, we bought a '37 212D.  It has pretty much the same cab as the '36 221D we are working on, just a shorter frame and fewer springs in the suspension.

I just love the faded signage on the door!

One real difference in the cab though - it has much more 'finished' door jambs.  Ours were wrapped around oak and the parts where the strikers attach to the jamb were notches cut out of the steel and oak fitted into the opening for the striker to attach.  This '37 has molded sections that the '36 didn't have (and the strikers which we didn't have either).  So, we will unfortunately be cutting into the cab of the '37 to get the bits we need.  I had hoped to keep it intact, but that won't happen.  If we hadn't been so far along in our cab build, we would have just used this cab.  It's not perfect either though.
We will then be parting the truck out to make a return on our investment.  We are keeping the interior trim, the interior dash, the gauges, the fenders, the headlights.  The cowl/frame/cab will be sold with the title (yes it has a title!).  It has no badges or hood emblem. We will decide what parts will be for sale as we get into deconstruction.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Interior framing

Brian had a couple days off work this week, so we got quite a bit accomplished on the interior framing of the truck!  We decided to tackle the curved portions first.  We took square tubing and cut slits in the tubing on 3 sides every half inch the length of the curve - until it fit the curve.

After it fit, Brian tacked it back together and then welded it up solid again.  Unfortunately, this made the metal move into a tighter radius every time, so we had to go back the other direction with a couple slices the opposite way.  It worked out in the end though.

We ended up making the curved pieces for the top, beltline, and floor level (6 pieces total).  I might talk Brian into one more set below the beltline though - more for the support of the upholstery than anything.  The b-pillars are in also - and they are STOUT.  Makes me feel good to have the structure there just in case a rollover ever happened.  You never know.  Better safe than sorry!  (In this pic, Brian was welding the middle cross pieces through the holes in the skin that had originally had screws into wood for the framing)

We also did supports for the floor level under the door.  We didn't need nearly as many slits in the metal to make the right curve for these though.

We used the buck that I had made from plywood that we used to make the curved bottom of the doors that we had to replace.

This morning, we did some gusseting on the framework, then we moved onto making the seat pan.....  We got some beads rolled in it, but it started to get wavy, so we stopped for the night until we can determine how to go on from here.  The pan needs to be removable to access the brake system that is under the drivers seat area.  We wanted a bead or two in the middle, but our bead roller won't reach that far.  We might have to make the pan into 2 pieces, not sure yet.  I really wanted it to be one piece!  It will be covered in sound deadener and carpet (or rubber mat?) and it would be much easier if it was one piece :P

I am really happy with this progress!  No more boards and what-not holding the skin in the right position - we had shims and clamps and all kinds of things holding it in the right place until the framework was done.  Thank goodness all that is unnecessary now!

We will probably work on the a-pillars and above the door next time we work on it :)  Now, this week, I will have to pick up new coveralls for both of us - Brian burned a hole in his welding (and mine have had a hole in them for a long time from catching on fire from grinding, LOL).

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Runningboard bodywork

we are working on trying to get the cab aligned with the doors now, so decided we needed to put the runningboards back on so we can put the below-door panels on....  so, that brought us to needing to do some repair work.  We decided the drivers side runningboard was most 'in need', so we tackled that on Sunday.

I forgot to get a before pic of the outside, but the side of the runningboard was caved it - there was actually a crease where the nice rounded edge should be  (you can kinda see it in the home page header).  This is the runningboard clamped to our metalworking table with the edge down.  It was caved in a LOT.

We decided to heat it - and make a body tool with pipe for the rounded edge.  So, after a couple hours of heating and beating, we had this:

Then, finally, after more heating and beating, we had this!  Not perfect, but - wow - it is a LOT better!

Not completely happy with the lower lip, but I think for now we will live with it.  It was stretched out from the body damage, so it didn't want to go back where it should be.

The rotten part of the running board (where it attaches to the supports) cut away and ready for new steel:

I got steel yesterday, so this weekend, we can weld-r-up!  Well, Brian can anyhow!