Past Restoration Project

The newest project is a '42 Ford, owned by Dave Dawley of Novato, CA. The car needs to be stripped, sanded, bleached and varnished. There are a few gaps and loose joints that will need to be repaired as well as make new inner and outer panels.

The main structure appears fairly solid, but there have been repairs attempted here and there which need to be redone correctly. The finish has been painted on and varnished over. We'll see what the wood looks like underneath after stripping.

All the wood has been removed and the chassis will now go to a body shop for sheetmetal repairs and paint.

The roof assembly is basically held together by the roof slats and LOTS of Bondo! The clamps were necessary to keep the unit together while it was removed from the chassis.

After sanding away 1/4 inch of bondo to free the roof slat ends, I begin to remove the slats. The side rails are coming apart at the finger joints and the whole assembly is coming apart as the bondo joints crack.

After a lot of sanding and drilling screws out, the roof assembly is fully taken apart. There are many areas that need to be repaired and reglued, but most of the wood is salvageable.

All the wood has been stripped and sanded, they will get an oxalic acid bleaching next. I repaired and reglued the roof side rails so they are a solid assembly again.

The wood bleach is brushed on and allowed to absorb into the wood. After 15-20 minutes, the wood is rinsed with clear water and lightly scrubbed with a 3M pad to remove all bleach residue. Here the last door is being bleached while the others dry.

After bleaching, all the pieces are sanded. Any repairs are made now. I had to repair quite a few broken tenons and reface the passenger front door hinge post. Here, I am assembling one of the quarter panels. It's a good idea to check the fit of the sliding glass with new window channel, if you have it.

The new tailgate side rails are fit to the other crossmembers. The mortices need to be matched with the old tenons and reliefs routered for the latch plate clearance and panel fit.

I reassembled the roof to fit the new rear header. I had to trim the tenons and the angles where the side rails meet. The outer header piece will be final fit after the roof is reassembled on the chassis, because the ends need to be notched where the corner posts meet.

The outer header needs to be routered to fit the contours of the new inner rear header and the side rail ends. I scribed a pencil line to indicate how much material to remove.

I added a piece of tape along my pencil line to make it easier to see, and then removed the required material with the router.

The outer header is set in place after careful trimming. The ends still have to be notched where the rear posts meet. This will be done after the roof is replaced on the chassis.

Here I am trimming a new inner door panel to fit. I did the outer panels first, you can see them installed on the other doors in the background. I rough cut the quarter panel and tailgate panels to size, and then I will laminate the inner and outer halves together, before the final trimming.

The panels are all trimmed and fitted, and now I'm staining them with red mahogany to deepen the color.

Now the varnishing steps begin. Here a second coat of varnish is applied to the roof pieces. The doors and quarter panels await their second coat after a lite sanding.

After 4 coats of varnish, everything is looking pretty good. At least 2 more coats to go.

Here the interior panels receive their sixth coat of varnish.

All the wood has six coats of varnish applied. As soon as the chassis arrives, the assembly process will begin.

The chassis has arrived back from the body shop, all painted up and ready for wood.

Frist, I bolted the center door posts in place and then the rear quarter panels, with a few screws at the front and rear. I added a length of dome light wire to the front header and set it in place.

Now the roof side rails can be set in place, checking alignment along the way.

The seven roof bows are set in place and then the inner rear header is screwed into place. A nylon belt strap keeps everything tight and in place. The top bow screws are added as well as the upper window rail to roof rail attaching screws.

The outer rear header was installed after notching the ends where it mates with the corner posts. The roof slats are being installed here. Working from the center out, 3/4" spacer blocks are placed on the bows while a couple speed clamps hold the slat in place. 5/8" construction staples are used to attach the slats to the top bows.

All the roof T-nut and screw holes are filled and the entire roof is sanded smooth. The rear quarter panels are installed along with the lift gate and tail gate. Next up- I'll hang the doors.

All four doors are hung using new hinge screws and blind nuts where necessary. 5/16-24 fine thread hinge screws and blind nuts are used, except for the upper front door hinge which uses 3/8-24 fine thread bolts and blind nuts.

Here the door glass and window crank mechanisms are being installed. New felt window channel and wing window rubber is installed also. The door latches and dovetails are reinstalled as well.

The sliding quarter windows and liftgate glass is installed along with all the hardware and window locks. The spare tire carrier and lower liftgate seal are installed also.

The interior door panels are installed and the door handles and window cranks are added along with the check straps and all misc. hardware.

All interior hardware is replaced using new stainless steel fasteners.

The taillight/accuating arm is installed and this project is completed.

Here is the completed project car at Woodies on the Wharf, in Santa Cruz.

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