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Thread: 1952 Roadmaster Estate Wagon project.

  1. #26
    Sr (grey-haired) Member Rob McDonald's Avatar
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    Re: 1952 Roadmaster Estate Wagon project.

    MIKE, your duplicating jig is so cool and so essentially simple! Of course, every moving joint would have to be smooth-acting and tight, to hold some semblance of tolerance, thereby minimizing the amount of remaining handwork. Is the one rig large enough to accommodate all the wood members of a Buick wagon?

    Up close, those fabricated steel brackets aren't so complicated. Careful layout, cutting, and welding would result in a good facsimile. The necessary accuracy is really achieved by the woodwork. I love the look of the old wood that you've reused in that rear quarter of the '51. That it's darkened and even black in places, is part of the legacy of the car.

    The art world and the antique furniture world has understood this for decades and I'm glad the old car hobby is now catching up with that. As long as new material inserted during repairs doesn't "catch the eye", by being completely off-colour, there is no reason to make the result entirely as-new. Unfortunately, the auction industry and its investors (a few of whom are actually hobbyists) stubbornly disagree.

    You're living my dream - sleeping quarters above a shop full of fascinating cars is all I ever wanted. And those roofs! Probably because most of us rarely see it, my favourite view of many cars is from directly overhead.
    Rob McDonald
    1957 Buick Roadmaster model 73A, owned since February 1973
    1962 Valiant Signet
    1967 Valiant 100, daily driver

  2. #27
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    Re: 1952 Roadmaster Estate Wagon project.

    ROB, I can make every part for 50-53 wagons on that machine as far as size.
    The upper door frames are too weak to be made by holding the ends, though. For those parts, I have a second carving machine, same as the one shown, except it has a table mounted on it. I have mounted 6 vices on the table, 3 for the pattern, and 3 for the blank.
    The blanks have to be planed to the finished width and left oversize on thickness and length. I mount them in the vices and finish the inside shape, then turn them over and complete the other side.
    I am afraid the machine is too cluttered right now to post pictures, but when next I use it, I will post some pictures.

    As for the corner brackets, you are right. The angles are very important to get exact, since they are a major help in keeping the tailgate opening square. Also, the wood surfaces they mount to have to be accurate for the same reason.

    I'll see about getting you some more roof pictures!! Mike

  3. #28
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    Re: 1952 Roadmaster Estate Wagon project.

    Keith,
    I enjoy working with wood much more than metal. These carving machines have been around quite a long time. I understand they were used to make rifle stocks, some able to carve many at a time off one pattern.
    Do you have any pictures of the boat?
    Mike

  4. #29
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    Re: 1952 Roadmaster Estate Wagon project.

    Mike;
    I should have a few, but I don't know where they are. I'll take a look through some of my old stuff, and see if I can scan and post one or two for you.
    The boat was an 18' Shepherd, mahogany runabout, with large 6 cyl engine, Crysler Crown, marine, if I remember correctly.
    Keith

  5. #30
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    Re: 1952 Roadmaster Estate Wagon project.

    Keith,
    I see you are in Toronto.
    I lived there in the fabulous era of 1957-8.
    Across the street from where we lived there was a local Chevy dealers storage lot, and I remember the new 58 model Chevy's being brought there, in the wee hours, very cloak and dagger!!
    When we awoke, there they were, with covers on each and every one of them!!
    The climax was when the covers were removed, many weeks later, to reveal the new year's styling!!
    What suspense!!
    Meanwhile, we had to look at covered cars!!
    (Perhaps that is why I never like to cover my treasures, but enjoy seeing them daily!! LOL)
    We lived at 20 McGill St., a rooming house that my parents ran for a while, perhaps it is still there....
    Then we moved to Whitby, 30 or so miles east.
    I have very fond memories of our time in Toronto.
    Thanks for reminding me, Mike

  6. #31
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    Re: 1952 Roadmaster Estate Wagon project.

    Mike;
    Very cool, and as the old expression goes, small world! I live in the Scarborough Bluffs area, and have through McGill St. from time to time. Likely you had university students staying at your parent's place. Also, I was in Whitby yesterday!
    Keith

  7. #32
    Sr (grey-haired) Member Rob McDonald's Avatar
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    Re: 1952 Roadmaster Estate Wagon project.

    MIKE, there's a post over on the GENERAL BUY/SELL Forum -http://forums.aaca.org/f119/1953-buick-roadmaster-estate-wagon-woody-316574.html

    A high end restoration shop is looking for tailgate glass for a '53 Estate Wagon. Thought you might be able to accommodate.
    Rob McDonald
    1957 Buick Roadmaster model 73A, owned since February 1973
    1962 Valiant Signet
    1967 Valiant 100, daily driver

  8. #33
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    Re: 1952 Roadmaster Estate Wagon project.

    Hi Rob,
    I have 4 Buick Woodies, 1950-1953, one of each year, and 4 rear windows, slated for each of them.
    These windows are difficult to find. (An understatement!!)
    I have recently found one and had an immediate buyer for it, but I do run into them occasionally, so thanks for the heads up.
    I will check it out.
    When found, they are usually quite pricey!!
    Regards, Mike

  9. #34

    Re: 1952 Roadmaster Estate Wagon project.

    mike, i'm restoring a '53 super woodie and i'm in need of the outer door handle sliding retainer for the left rear door. do you have one that you would part with or any leads? also, i need to buy new rubber for the windshield, front vents, liftgate and rear quarter windows. steele? what have you found that fits well? thanks, john walker, seattle, 206 789 6800 jwworkshop at aoldotcomm

  10. #35
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    Re: 1952 Roadmaster Estate Wagon project.

    I have removed most of the wood from the 53. I left the "C" pillars in to support the roof.
    To remove the door wood, the doors have to be really stripped down. The glass must be removed since there are screws behind the felt channels that it slides in.
    I am now getting ready to start carving some wood for it, and will soon post some pictures of the wood being made.

    Happy New Year to all, Mike
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  11. #36
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    Re: 1952 Roadmaster Estate Wagon project.

    I will be interested to see it as comes back together. Thanks for posting the pics.
    Keith

  12. #37
    Sr (grey-haired) Member Rob McDonald's Avatar
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    Re: 1952 Roadmaster Estate Wagon project.

    Looking forward to seeing the chips fly...
    Rob McDonald
    1957 Buick Roadmaster model 73A, owned since February 1973
    1962 Valiant Signet
    1967 Valiant 100, daily driver

  13. #38
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    Re: 1952 Roadmaster Estate Wagon project.

    I was perusing the AACA Forums, scanning for Buick Woodies, and came across one that has some great pictures of a 52 Roadmaster Wagon.
    The amazing thing is that it is the very color I had picked for mine from the color chip booklet I have!!
    (Sorry, don't remember the title...senior moment when extremely excited!!)

    I was unsure of my color choice not having seen a wagon in this color, since it can be quite difficult to envision one in any given color all finished.
    But it looks just so elegant and classic, which it truly deserves (only 359 were produced), so I have confirmed my color choice, and am so very anxious to move along with it!!
    I have added some shots of the one I found...I am so stoked!!

    I will have to be very careful to pick wood that has a great grain showing to make the wood really stand out, but I am getting better at that every day!!
    Cheers, Mike
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  14. #39
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    Re: 1952 Roadmaster Estate Wagon project.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob McDonald View Post
    Looking forward to seeing the chips fly...
    I will have to scrounge up a buddy to photograph the chips flying...it is a two handed job to make them fly!!
    Cheers, Mike

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    Re: 1952 Roadmaster Estate Wagon project.

    I too saw these pictures, and though I usually prefer the look of these woodies in green or red, this one does look nice, and it was for sale too! If I had the space, and money, I'd buy it.
    Anyway, keep us posted Mike!
    Keith

  16. #41
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    Re: 1952 Roadmaster Estate Wagon project.

    We had a 1952 Super, CORNET COPPER, and BEACH WHITE. Is that the color of the wagon?

    Everywhere we went folks would ask about it.

    Dale in Indy

  17. #42
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    Re: 1952 Roadmaster Estate Wagon project.

    Quote Originally Posted by smithbrother View Post
    We had a 1952 Super, CORNET COPPER, and BEACH WHITE. Is that the color of the wagon?

    Everywhere we went folks would ask about it.

    Dale in Indy
    My color booklet indicates the color on the Estate Wagon is a Roadmaster only color. There are two similar colors in my booklet, Roadmaster Aztec Gold (which I think it is), and Roadmaster Golden Sand (the darker one).
    I have added a picture of my booklet with the two leaves out.

    Sorry I didn't respond sooner, I was away picking up an antique trailer for a friend, a 1939 Westcraft. It was quite a job, since the whole roof is steel, and the supporting wood framing was mostly rotted, or gone!! If any of you have seen the book, "Trailer Trash" it is the one on the front cover!!
    Mike
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  18. #43
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    Re: 1952 Roadmaster Estate Wagon project.

    Back to the original wagon that started this thread.
    I took the main body section to get blasted and primed, along with the rear fenders and front inner fenders.
    The pictures show the result.
    Thank goodness all that green is gone!! (I hate green!!).

    All went well except two things:

    First: Some floor areas were very thin, and now are peppered with tiny and not so tiny holes!! I thought I had cut out all the bad areas, but there is more!! Oh well, now is the time to find out!!
    There are major holes already, from removal of rusted out sections, but now they will be even bigger.

    Second: On the return trip a spring broke on my car trailer! Now I have to deal with that. I removed the culprit today, and will pick a new one Monday.

    The fenders were not dry enough to bring here, so I will pick them up on Monday also.

    I sent the seats out a week or two ago for new upholstery, so I feel things are moving along well.

    It will be warming up here soon, so I am anxious to start making wood pieces for both wagons, this 52 and the 53.
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  19. #44
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    Re: 1952 Roadmaster Estate Wagon project.

    OH BOY.........., BEEN THERE, DONE THAT. Keep up the positive attitude our friend. It will all work out.

    Dale in Indy

  20. #45
    Sr (grey-haired) Member Rob McDonald's Avatar
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    Re: 1952 Roadmaster Estate Wagon project.

    MIKE, glad to have back working in "our" shop (there's that dream thing going on again). I bet there's a real story behind that shotgun blast to the passenger side floor board.

    How are you having the seats covered? I guess the finished price of the car demands leather but were there other upholstery options when these lovelies were new? For their T&Cs, Chrysler offered that weird "saran" weave, which is made of the same plastic lacing that Boy Scouts of a certain age braided endlessly into zipper pulls.

    By the way, that is the nicest paint swatch sampler I've ever seen!
    Last edited by Rob McDonald; February 26th, 2012 at 18:41.
    Rob McDonald
    1957 Buick Roadmaster model 73A, owned since February 1973
    1962 Valiant Signet
    1967 Valiant 100, daily driver

  21. #46
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    Re: 1952 Roadmaster Estate Wagon project.

    I just found some pictures of the aforementioned Westcraft trailer project, if anyone is interested!!
    The first picture shows the book cover which gave this particular trailer its fame, or infamy!!
    The rest show it as we were rescuing it, about 15 years of neglect later.
    Andy is the proud owner, and plans to restore it, I am the old guy with a beard.
    The pictures were taken after we unloaded it, and I am seen as a very tired enthusiast!!

    Cheers, Mike
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  22. #47
    Sr (grey-haired) Member Rob McDonald's Avatar
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    Re: 1952 Roadmaster Estate Wagon project.

    MIKE aka Santa, didn't your parents raise any kids with ambition? I've never before seen plywood delaminate quite that dramatically. Considerate of you to wrap that netting around the back, to prevent debris obscuring the vision of drivers following you down the highway.

    What vintage is this, um, treasure? Was it a high-end product originally, in the manner of Pierce-Arrow Travelodges? Hope you don't mind if I block it out my fantasies about "our" shop.
    Rob McDonald
    1957 Buick Roadmaster model 73A, owned since February 1973
    1962 Valiant Signet
    1967 Valiant 100, daily driver

  23. #48
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    Re: 1952 Roadmaster Estate Wagon project.

    Wow, it looks like it will be quite a project, but awesome when its' done! I wish him luck!
    I'll second the question what is it?
    Keith

  24. #49
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    Re: 1952 Roadmaster Estate Wagon project.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob McDonald View Post
    MIKE, glad to have back working in "our" shop (there's that dream thing going on again). I bet there's a real story behind that shotgun blast to the passenger side floor board.

    How are you having the seats covered? I guess the finished price of the car demands leather but were there other upholstery options when these lovelies were new? For their T&Cs, Chrysler offered that weird "saran" weave, which is made of the same plastic lacing that Boy Scouts of a certain age braided endlessly into zipper pulls.

    By the way, that is the nicest paint swatch sampler I've ever seen!
    Rob,

    Hey, my friend, if it is "our shop" come on over and give me a hand...I have to move some of these relics!!

    LOL!!

    Seriously...
    All my experience shows the wagon seats were done in vinyl, and not very nice stuff back then.
    I was tempted to go leather, until the cost was realized!!
    Today there are vinyls that really are so very much better than what was offered in the early 50's, so I am going vinyl, and so far I am pleased with the results.
    I was going to shoot some pics of my 51 cream Super seats (done in vinyl), but they are so dusty (!!) I am too embarrassed to do so (red face dept.)!!
    As a disclaimer, I live in a dusty desert, and it is impossible to keep things spotless, or even close!!
    And, the spiders...
    When next I clean up I will post some, but you may not see the great look merely in pictures.

    By the way, no shotgun blasts to the floor, just rust, shotgunned by the blaster!!

    I was a boy scout, and braided that stuff!!

    I have one of the paint booklets like the one shown for 1950-1952, they are great.

    Cheers, Mike

  25. #50
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    Re: 1952 Roadmaster Estate Wagon project.

    Rob,

    First of all, I never wear red...
    Santa always does!!
    I don't!!

    Ever!!

    And my beard is even longer now, as is my hair!! NO RED!!

    OK, I have a red shirt on today, Sunday...nobody has seen me!! LOL

    The netting, well it kept most...some of it..oh, really, who knows??

    I didn't see any wrecks behind me, and trust me I was watching the mirror more than the road ahead!!

    What a relief as we approached Andy's home.

    It almost collapsed as we unloaded it!!

    I have given up on old trailers, that one was a 1939, and am sticking to Woodies, problems as they are, also in transporting them.

    I once inquired about a 1941 Packard Woodie in AZ, and the guy described it this way:
    "If you were to load this on an open trailer, by the time you enter CA, there would be no wood left!!"
    It was not very far from the CA border!!
    And I was way further past the CA border at its final destination, so I passed, and have regretted it ever since!!

    Cheers, Mike

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