1948 Chevrolet

The newest project is a '48 Chevrolet convertible that will get a Country Club wood kit treatment. Bruno Motta, of Pleasant Hill, CA owns this beauty.

The first step is to layout the parts of the kit, to make sure everything is there. 3M Di-Noc woodgrain material will be used along with the supplied ash framing in the kit.

After removing the door handles, the framing is mocked-up on the body for a preliminary fit. The pre-cut Di-Noc peices are layed over the framing to make sure the material covers the voids.

The first piece to attach to the car, is the door handle/lock vertical stile.The chrome ring from the door handle escutcheon is reused.

The rest of the pieces are mocked-up in place, paying close attention to how they mate together. Note any areas that will need to be trimmed.

The next piece to install is the top rail. Stainless steel machine screws are used to secure the framework. Next, align and attach the center rail with fender contour. Trim to fit as necessary.

Make sure the center rail aligns horizontally with the top rail. Attach the short front stile and then the lower rail.

Attach the rear quarter stile next, aligning it with the door stile.

Mock-up quarter panel pieces again, and attach the top rail and fender contour, maintaining a tight joint where they meet. Make any fitment modifications as you proceed.

Then align the center crossmember with the front door crossmeber, and install. The bottom rail will be installed last.

Repeat the same process for the other side of the car, making any alignment/trimming modifications as you fit each piece. I marked the inside edges of the framing with a grease pencil on the sheetmetal, before removing them.

I tried a couple of methods to align the Di-Noc material to the body, and this worked best. Peel the backing off halfway, then cut a section out of the center.

Replace the shortened section back on the material.

Now you can align the material onto the body and press down on the center section to hold it in place. Peel the backing off slowly as you use your hand to smooth the material out, from center to the outer edge.

The material should lay on nice and flat, as you smooth it out with your hands.

Repeat this process for each panel, carefully aligning the edges to make sure you cover the prior grease pencil markings.

When you have all the panels attached, you should burnish them to the sheetmetal using a roller. I used a small 4 inch Speedball roller, that is used in the graphic arts industry.

During the process of reinstalling the framing pieces, the door handle/lock style needed to have some thickness removed, to allow the handle to be reattached.

The red arrow indicates the set screw that holds the handle in the door latch. In order to get the set screw hole to lineup, the thickness of the stile was reduced.

Here is the project with all the framing reattached, and door handles replaced. Ready for varnishing.

Here is the finished project, with 3 coats of marine spar varnish applied.

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