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Thread: 1952 Roadmaster Estate Wagon project.

  1. #51
    Sr (grey-haired) Member Rob McDonald's Avatar
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    Re: 1952 Roadmaster Estate Wagon project.

    Thanks for the invitation. I actually expect to be in your neighbourhood on Wednesday. Of course, we flatlanders have a broad view of the extent of a neighbourhood. 350 miles sort of counts.

    If things go as planned, I'll be flying into Las Vegas to pick up a replacement for the lovely old BMW station wagon that my middle son totalled last weekend. He's going to be shovelling sidewalks until he looks like you, paying off that adventure.

    My new target is a black-on-black 2006 BMW 530xi Touring (another wagon - I love 'em) with 60,000 one-owner miles. All wheel drive, load-levelling rear suspension, and more bells and whistles than I'll ever decipher. It's got a sunroof so big it has its own zip code. Wifey's only corollary was that it must have heated seats. Check.

    I'm having a really hard time keeping a straight face, while impressing upon our young drifter-wannabe what a naughty thing he did.


    Not ours but identical. Or used to be.
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    Rob McDonald
    1957 Buick Roadmaster model 73A, owned since February 1973
    1962 Valiant Signet
    1967 Valiant 100, daily driver

  2. #52
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    Re: 1952 Roadmaster Estate Wagon project.

    Well, be sure to stop by....

  3. #53
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    Re: 1952 Roadmaster Estate Wagon project.

    Well, winter has finally passed, so now it is hot. Great woodcarving times, and I have been brushing dust off parts, machines, and myself!!
    I have started to carve the first part for the 53 wagon. I started with the piece that fits between the rear quarter window and rear fender.
    The 53 wood is like the previous 3 years, except for this part, and the rear corner post, so I had to take my own 53 apart to get patterns.
    Buick restyled the rear fenders in 53, so the wood that adjoins it has to fit the new shape.
    I have posted some pics of it as it was finished being carved.
    I was reluctant to take pics earlier, since the process was "brushing the dust off me!!"
    I had to remove the rear wood from my 53 for patterns, so I figured I would make 2 sets as I go, one for the white one, and one for mine.
    It gives me a choice of parts to join together as far as making the grain match, or flow together, so it is best to do multiple sets at one sitting.
    Now, I am in full swing again, so I will post some more pics as they are being carved, even will try to get some shots with chips flying.
    Notice the floor, and the ledges on the carving machine...this is after cleaning up twice, and filling one garbage can!!
    The last shot is my workbench...now I remember, don't leave it cluttered, it is much harder to clean off!!
    Just a part of the dusting off sequence!!
    This one is the first of two, so I will try to get some pictures of the second one, then I will start the other side, same part.
    I am also making one of these for my 52, using my old pattern, so it will show up also.
    When done, I will picture the 52 & 53 parts side by side, the difference is obvious.
    Keep in mind, if you enlarge these pics, you will see many lines on the outer curved surface. It takes quite a bit of sanding to smooth them out, but they respond well. these haven't been sanded at all.
    To enlarge them, right click on the pic, then open in a new window. They usually show up much larger, but can be enlarged even more by left clicking on the little circle with a + in it.
    Then you can move it around to see different areas.
    Well, off to do some sanding now!!
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  4. #54
    Senior Member jackofalltrades70's Avatar
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    Re: 1952 Roadmaster Estate Wagon project.

    Mike,
    Buickful craftsmanship! You are a very talented individual and are to be commended on your work! And to think you took your car apart to have the pattern................WOW! Thanks for the update. Matt
    Matt Whitaker
    BCA#45694
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    1947 Buick 56C (used for parts on the Roadmasters) but still have her carcass
    1947 Buick 56C (waiting to go pick her up. Complete parts car)
    1947 Buick 76C
    1948 Buick 76C
    1956 Buick Super 4 door
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    "Handle every stressful situation like a dog, If you cant eat it or play with it, just pee on it and walk away!":D

  5. #55
    Sr (grey-haired) Member Rob McDonald's Avatar
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    Re: 1952 Roadmaster Estate Wagon project.

    MIKE, so glad that you're back and busy in the shop. I can't seem to visualize how these posts will fit the cars but they are things of beauty, just sitting there. That diagonal slash of heartwood colour, on the far piece in the second photo, is going to be just stunning. Is there sort of a "carrier" piece that's screwed to the actually posts in your carving rig?

    Sorry I didn't drop by in mid-March. Interstate 15 out of Las Vegas took me the wrong way, straight home.
    Rob McDonald
    1957 Buick Roadmaster model 73A, owned since February 1973
    1962 Valiant Signet
    1967 Valiant 100, daily driver

  6. #56
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    Re: 1952 Roadmaster Estate Wagon project.

    Very astute, Rob, yes this is the only piece that can be mounted this way, since there is an area in the inside that is actually straight!!
    Most pieces have nothing of the sort, all curves, inside and out.
    These are mounted on a 2X4 jig, but being softwood they wear out rather quickly. a new one is easily fashioned. I will add some pics after removal from the machine.

  7. #57
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    Re: 1952 Roadmaster Estate Wagon project.

    Matt, I was reluctant to take my 53 apart, couldn't decide if I should restore the old wood, or replace it. Either way, it needed to come apart. My decision was made for me. On the outside, the wood looked borderline on being restored, but on removal, no way.
    The inside showed much rot, but still good for patterns.

  8. #58
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    Re: 1952 Roadmaster Estate Wagon project.

    Nice to see all those wood chips on the floor, Mike!
    Keith

  9. #59
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    Re: 1952 Roadmaster Estate Wagon project.

    Well, I have been making progress on the 53. I am working on the rear section first. Mike
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  10. #60
    Senior Member jackofalltrades70's Avatar
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    Re: 1952 Roadmaster Estate Wagon project.

    Looking great Mike. Can't wait to see more. Matt
    Matt Whitaker
    BCA#45694
    AACA#996555
    1947 Buick 56C (used for parts on the Roadmasters) but still have her carcass
    1947 Buick 56C (waiting to go pick her up. Complete parts car)
    1947 Buick 76C
    1948 Buick 76C
    1956 Buick Super 4 door
    1977 Corvette

    "Handle every stressful situation like a dog, If you cant eat it or play with it, just pee on it and walk away!":D

  11. #61
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    Re: 1952 Roadmaster Estate Wagon project.

    Hey Mike, I was wondering (honestly!) how you and the projects are doing lately, as I hadn't seen anything for a while. It's looking great, Mike, keep up th good work!
    Keith

  12. #62
    Sr (grey-haired) Member Rob McDonald's Avatar
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    Re: 1952 Roadmaster Estate Wagon project.

    MIKE, you have an artist's eye for picking lumber. The grain on that rear pillar post is absolutely gorgeous, made more so by the complex cut of the shape. I notice too how you managed to get a virtual book-match on the lower rear body rail. This will all "pop" when you slap on the varnish. Please keep the pornography coming.
    Rob McDonald
    1957 Buick Roadmaster model 73A, owned since February 1973
    1962 Valiant Signet
    1967 Valiant 100, daily driver

  13. #63
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    Re: 1952 Roadmaster Estate Wagon project.

    Hey Rob,
    Thanks for noticing the grains, not so easy to see in bare wood, since later the varnish will make it vivid.
    It is my pleasure, to the fruits of my wood selection labor, to achieve it, and your comment is truly appreciated.
    You have a good eye.
    Sometimes my choice of wood doesn't match the surrounding wood, so I just make another one...the part in question will match with another one, later.
    So far it has worked!!!

    I have not progressed for a couple of weeks, because of an injury...
    I had a problem with my left middle finger being acquainted with my jointer...the jointer won!!
    They always do!!
    So, now I have a chunk of flesh removed from the side of my one of my fingers!!
    Oh, it won't slow me down too much, since it is healing well, but it caused a pause.
    I have been around metal and wood cutting equipment all my adult life, and this is the worst injury I have encountered.
    Hey, I got excited, and that is not good!!!
    I usually don't get excited, since restoring Woodies takes so very much patience, but I had a senior moment...never to be repeated!!
    At least, hopefully!!
    OK, back to work, while the sun shines!!
    No pictures to show this go around, unless you want to see my finger...no pun intended...it is my middle finger!!
    I could post some pics, but the missing part is in my wood chip container, so it would be boring!!
    I haven't even thought about finding it!!! LOL
    Cheers, Mike

  14. #64
    Proud BCA Member buick5563's Avatar
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    Re: 1952 Roadmaster Estate Wagon project.

    No pics necessary Mike.
    I did similar to my left middle finger with the the edge of a belt sander. Chunks don't grow back, so now my one fingered salute is "modified". Like Old Tank says "if you play with tools, you're gonna bleed." especially if you do it every day like we do.
    Looks great .
    Mike Middleton

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  15. #65
    Sr (grey-haired) Member Rob McDonald's Avatar
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    Re: 1952 Roadmaster Estate Wagon project.

    MIKE, sorry for your digital loss.

    I've always said that the jointer/planer is the most eagerly dangerous power tool in my shop. You almost have to put your hands at risk to use it smoothly. As a result, I've never been completely happy with this beast. There's always an end of the board that's too thick or too thin because I'm afraid to keep the pressure on both ends. I've learned to just ensure that the piece is long enough that I can cut off the messy bits. A clever woodworker might rig a couple of finger boards to hold a constant feed; maybe next time.
    Rob McDonald
    1957 Buick Roadmaster model 73A, owned since February 1973
    1962 Valiant Signet
    1967 Valiant 100, daily driver

  16. #66
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    Re: 1952 Roadmaster Estate Wagon project.

    Rob, I have used this machine extensively, with no problems...until now!!
    My regular use consists of skimming down an oversize piece, which sometimes is tapered, and bringing it to a dimension.
    When it is tapered, I simply put the thin end over the blade, and it is no problem to make it parallel.
    However, these pieces are usually 18" -30" long, so the angle is small.
    I was trying to do the same procedure on a piece about 8" long, and when I put it down, the angle was greater, the blade caught it, and promptly shot it away, with my poor finger giving downward pressure at the leading edge.
    So, I learned a lesson, the hard way!!
    But, it could have been a lot worse.
    And it is healing nicely, but a little ugly!!
    The ugly will help me respect the machine!!
    I have been taking it easy since, so I am way behind, but will be ready to start up again, this week.
    It may be a while before I get to post pictures, since I have to catch up, but I will try!!
    Thanks for all your support, everybody, Mike

  17. #67
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    Re: 1952 Roadmaster Estate Wagon project.

    Quote Originally Posted by buick5563 View Post
    No pics necessary Mike.
    I did similar to my left middle finger with the the edge of a belt sander. Chunks don't grow back, so now my one fingered salute is "modified". Like Old Tank says "if you play with tools, you're gonna bleed." especially if you do it every day like we do.
    Looks great .
    Hey Mike, we still have a good finger on the other hand, when necessary!!! LOL

  18. #68
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    Re: 1952 Roadmaster Estate Wagon project.

    I had a similar accident. Tried to push a too short piece of ash across the jointer. It kicked the piece back and broke my thumb just below the thumb nail. Painfull lesson learned!
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  19. #69
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    Re: 1952 Roadmaster Estate Wagon project.

    Mike;
    Best wishes for a speedy recovery!
    Keith

  20. #70
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    Re: 1952 Roadmaster Estate Wagon project.

    What a treat to find this thread - great pictures and info. A great resource to show that the last generation Buick woodies were not wood-clad steel 'wallpaper' wagons like many think.
    Mike, It's probably a good thing I didn't know about you earlier, as I would have had many trips with other family grumping about having to making a stop while driving through Cuyama. Do you know how many guys are envious of your setup there? Do you make it down to San Diego for the Wavecrest Show in September? If so, I would like to cross paths there. I've been hoping to get my 53 Buick there one of these years, but have to come up with a Dyna that Flows first - and also brakes that stop, but that's pretty close now.

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    FYI, I'm also storing a car that I hope to acquire - I believe it's the car that provided the nice original wood you got last year. A bittersweet story of a restoration shop going bust (as I understand it).

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    In any case, we all certainly appreciate all the info you are sharing.
    Buick Bruce
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  21. #71
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    Re: 1952 Roadmaster Estate Wagon project.

    Hi Bruce,
    Nice speaking with you the other day, a fellow Californian.
    I traveled to Wavecrest in 1988, and have a coffee mug to prove it.
    Which I use fervently each and every morning!!
    I haven't been back since.
    Don't get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoyed it, and made many connections, but I was quite overwhelmed.
    I had noticed even back then, that there was an influx of people into woodies for the money.
    Money, to me, is a necessary evil!!
    It goes against Woodies, at least to me.
    When I got "infected" with Woodies, it was like the first girl I fell in hopeless love with in high school...unobtainable!!
    Girl, because I was...am a clutz with them!!
    Woodies..because, how could I ever restore one??
    Now, in my older years, money is indeed needed to restore a Woodie, as it is for any antique car.
    But, back in the late 1970's, folks that were restoring Woodies weren't doing it for a profit, they were doing it because they wanted one to enjoy.
    Heck, you could easily spend $20,000- $30,000 doing one, even if doing your own work back then, and when done it would sell for about half that, maybe!!
    So the people I met and interacted with were old school, they were doing one for themselves to enjoy, in any stage, not to make money off when sold.
    We spent many times sharing tips...it was a good time.
    And the guys I have kept in touch with over the years, would not part with their gems, for anything!!
    They were a labor of love, and that carries on for me, and really helps me to keep motivated.

    OK...

    Off the bandwagon!! LOL

    My finger has healed well, but it is so friggin' hot here, it is hard to get back into the flow!!
    I am sure many of you are feeling it too.
    But it is supposed to start cooling down soon (they keep pushing it back!!), so when it does, back to work, and hopefully more pictures of piles of chips of wood on the floor under my carving machines!
    (Oh, jeez, then I'll have to drop down and clean them up, and then get up again!! LOL)
    Cheers, Mike

  22. #72
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    Re: 1952 Roadmaster Estate Wagon project.

    I am expecting a 1951 Buick Super to come back from being cherried out and painted, this Sunday, so I spent yesterday shuffling all my Woodies around to make room!!
    It is a good time to sweep the floors as each one is moved.
    To make room, I plopped the 52 Roadmaster Wagon body on it's waiting frame, after blasting all the dust off both.
    That was a delight...it is finally looking like a wagon...no wood yet!!
    I had planned to roll it under a car lift, but it is lighter, and sits higher than normal.
    My buddy, Frank was helping me, and he said, no way will it go under, it is too high!!
    Well, it did, and with about 1/8" to spare!!
    I joked, if a fly was on the roof, it would have been squished!!
    So, now there is room for the 51, and the pair of Pontiac Woodies!!!
    I will take some pictures tomorrow, I am still recovering from all the moving!!
    Hey, these old Buicks are no lightweights!! LOL
    But, I am!! (No laughing matter here!!) Mike

  23. #73

    Re: 1952 Roadmaster Estate Wagon project.

    mike,glad your finger is healed.you have an amazing shop out there,keep us updated please. there are a few woodys here in ct,4 bufords from ct

  24. #74

    Re: 1952 Roadmaster Estate Wagon project.

    Hi Mike. Yes, I would say you do restore Buick Woodies! Wow. I am obviously a beginner here. The car looks much like the white (cream) car in your post. Grey and red interior and pretty much complete. But the wood is ...again much like yours and beyond the pillar behind the rear door ... most of the wood is missing. I have no idea how many pieces are supposed to be there though the metal braces and windows are all present. I am in Indiana so I wont be over to visit real soon. Ha. I would love to know if you provide pieces etc or a complete kit..or???? The only rust is on passenger's floor board front. I appreciate your quick response.

  25. #75
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    Re: 1952 Roadmaster Estate Wagon project.

    Sorry to have not posted any pictures, yet. The 51 I am awaiting was put back a week, to this Saturday, so not much to photograph yet.
    I had some shop drama the other night, though:
    Since it was very hot, I had left my rear roll-up door wide open (16' high). Since my back yard is secure and a pair of boxer dogs on hourly patrols, not an uncommon occurrence.
    I was upstairs in my loft, just dozing off when this loud crashing sound jolted me up!
    The TV had a movie on, so at first I thought that was the sound, but, no...another loud noise with barking!!
    I jumped up and stepped out onto my mezzanine, and looking down, there was my male boxer, Leo standing about 12' from my woodworking room doorway, and there was a hideous creature in the woodworking room doorway!!
    I couldn't figure out what it was for a moment.
    It had a large head (bigger that my dog's), dark brown with piercing eyes with whitish rings around them, stood about 18" tall, but fully filled the doorway!!
    It was staring at me!!
    I slowly descended the stairs, and as I did, it ran from the front of the shop to the rear, and jumped on top of a Woodie.
    Then I realized what it was...a California Speckled Owl!! It had flown, not run & jumped.
    This bird had to have had a 6' wingspan, almost completely covering the roof of a 53 Buick Woodie!
    And, still staring at me with a menacing look, all puffed up!!
    Then I noticed that one of my hanging florescent light fixtures was swinging about, and a bulb was missing...
    Sure enough, there was glass all over the floor below, and me with bare feet!!
    That must have been the first crashing sound that woke me.
    He was now in an easy position to fly out the back door, but seemed to want to hold his ground.
    I suddenly thought to take his picture, so ran to get my camera, but when I returned, he was gone.
    About 45 minutes of sweeping up glass, followed by the shop-vac next morning.
    The shattered bulb had landed in the spot I had made for the 51, so I am grateful it didn't show up last weekend.
    The wagons on either side had some glass on and in them, so all in all, it took a few hours to fully clean up.

    Needless to say, the rear door has remained closed at night since!! Mike

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