Past Restoration Project

This project is a '46 Mercury owned by Joe Augustino of nearby Monte Sereno. The car needs to be stripped, sanded, bleached and varnished. There are a few rotted areas that will need to be repaired as well as make new inner and outer panels.

The first step with this restoration involves removing the 4 doors, tailgate, quarter windows and panels. The center door posts were also removed. A few blind nut/screw combinations had to be drilled out in order to get the parts separated.

After all the blind nuts and screws were removed, the quarter panel assemblies were removed. Temporary rear posts were fabricated to hold up the roof assembly.

All hardware/windows were removed from the doors. Now a thorough inspection of all the wood surfaces can be made.

The roof assembly is stripped of the old varnish and all inside surfaces are sanded. A few areas will need fresh wood to replace rotted areas.

New wood strips were made to replace rotted areas along both roof rails and the outside lift gate header.

The new side rail wood was sanded to match the contour of the top window rails. The rear door posts were set in place to make sure everything lines up. One new window rail is being used.

A new driver side corner post and lower window sill are also being added where rotted wood was found. All other wood is bleached and sanded.

New driver side upper and lower window rails and rear post are fit and assembled, along with the rest of the 1/4 panel pieces. I aged and stained the new wood to match the old wood closer before varnishing is begun.

The passenger side lower window rail was replaced and new 2-sided panels are made and trimmed to fit. The repaired outer rear header is notched to fit the corner posts and installed.

New outer door panels and tailgate panels are made and installed. I stained the mahogany panels before the final installation.

After staining the new pieces to better match the old wood, varnishing begins. After the initial coat of varnish, a second staining application was done to darken the new wood even more.

Here all the pieces have recieved two coats of varnish, with sanding in between coats. At least four more coats to go on.

Here is the tailgate showing between coats sanding. You want to get a consistent smooth whiteish surface by sanding (320 grit) without any low shiny spots showing. This usually takes at least six coats to get a good buildup.

Here all the pieces have at least six coats of varnish built up. The panels have seven.

Now it's time to start the assembly process. All the brackets are painted and new stainless steel fasteners are used.

The doors, tailgate and liftgate are hung using new fasteners. All hardware is installed on tail and liftgates, although they will be removed again for glass and weatherstrip installation.

New weatherstipping was added to the doors before installation. The front edge of the front doors is very difficult to do without the doors off of the car.

The door glass is installed using new felt channels. The optional front arm rests are added also.

The liftgate and tailgate weatherstripping is added and new dual taillight assesemblies are added.

With the addition of the rear quarter sliding glass and liftgate glass, this project is near completion.

Here is the finished project with all the hardware added, ready to go home to its' owner.

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