chistech

32' Oldsmobile Deluxe Convertible Roadster

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Covered the rumble cushion and the rumble seat back tonight. The rumble seat was not overly stuffed on the GM cars of the era and the covers from LB/HC are not overly big so care has to be taken not to overstuff then as the directions state. The rumble cushion is actually a hemmed edge cover that gets nailed into the perimeter lower side edge which has a wood nail area. Because the whole lower edge in the front is visible I used old school black tacks and not staples. 

In order to get the seat springs compacted enough to tack the seat cover all the way around, I used a a clampdown system I developed for myself. After the burlap was attached, the jute pad and cotton wadding applied to the springs, I put the cushion upholstery on the assembly then flipped it over with the springs up. I then put a 2x8 across the seat springs and hold each end down with bar clamps. I compress the whole assembly so the hemmed edge can be tacked to the tack strip even with the bottom edge of the spring frame.

     The rumble seat back is basically the same but this cover is very tight and requires some effort to install. The compression method is also used when covering the back. The seat back material gets pulled around the wood frame and stapled on the back. A hosed windlace trim will get nailed along the sides and topto trim out the upholstery to the rumble lid. 

     I altered the frame slightly from OEM but it won’t be seen. I reupholster a fair amount of early cars and one common issue is small furry friends taking up residence in seat springs. I haven’t done it yet on the cushion but on the seat back, I stapled metal screening to the wood frame to help deter the little critters.

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Went to the paint shop today and checked the rumble seat for fit. All appears to fit correct and it looks good. I have always felt my lid  leaned too far back and assumed I had the correct bumpers. After speaking with joe who owns a 32’ Olds coupe, I determined I have the wrong bumpers in my car as they should be at least another 1/2” taller than what I have now. That explains the extra lean the the closeness of the lid to the lower sheet metal. Photo 2 shows the lid on the bumpers. Photo 3 shows the lid propped off the stops about 1/2”, and photo 4 shows the rubber bumper that’s too low.

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While it doesn’t seem like I’ve gotten much done on the Olds, I’ve actually gotten more done than I thought. Joe and I have been doing a ton of research on the rumble seat are of the interior, concentrating on the panels around the golf bag door and the rumble cushion hold down straps. Not to bore anyone but joe was able to locate what seems to be the only rumble seat 32 Olds with its complete original interior panels (they have been removed for a complete restoration but all are intact and can be used to make authentic OEM panels. I was able to determine, with the help of a couple fellow VCCA members who own Cabriolets, exactly what the reason is for the notched rumble cushion stop blocks and pins for the cushion hold down straps. All this info will allow Joe, myself,  any other 32 Olds owner,and even GM Cabriolet owners to restore our cars to a correct condition.

    I also got a call yesterday from my paint shop telling me my wheels had been primed!😀. So tonight I went in and started learning how to wet sand. While I had an idea, doing some in the past, I was in bad need of a refresher course. Using guide coat paint, the two wheels I was able to get done, got sanded with 400 and will get a light going over with 600. The two I got done look and feel so smooth. Starting to get a little excited about how nice they’re going to look once painted.

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Been doing some more forensics to determine just how much of the interior wood was covered with panels. In one of the pictures below, a 32' coupe interior view of the golf bag door is shown. This car is currently at the upholster and he is both going by original panels and add libbing in some areas. While the interior is extremely nice, it is not OEM but it doesn't matter to the owner. I posted this picture to show that the upholster put covered panels both above and below the golf bag door. Many don't do this as most just don't know but looking at my own original wood from around the golf bag door, I've found evidence of tack holes indicating that there was in fact some sort of panels on both the upper and lower horizontal frames of the golf bag door.  My original upper door frame piece also shows a lighter uniform coloring which tells me it had some sort of panel on it protecting it from the elements to some degree. This means that both panels were originally covered with an interior panel material. The triangular piece shown in the picture is also correct but because this is a coupe, it's slightly different than my car. Because my car is a cabriolet, the bottom landau arm support bracket is bolted to the belt rail in the upper left corner. This means that my triangular panel also needs the top left corner cut off to clear the bracket, unlike the coupe which basically has a 90d corner on the top left. More boring stuff for the average person but all important for my goal of a "closest to correct/OEM" restoration on my car.  Sorry about the resolution of some pictures as I damaged my phone camera lense. Most pictures are with my iPad or supplied by others and are of good quality.  

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Very nice pictures and it answered a question I have on the rug on my 23 and that was how to do the edges.  You put yours under the side panels and did you also bind the edges.

 

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Hi Jan,

the picture of the newly done interior is not my car but belongs to another 32’ Olds owner. He is having an upholstery shop out in CA (I believe) do the interior from scratch, copying as much as they can from the original panels that were in the car. Here are some additional pictures of that car. Again, this isn't my car but a 32' Olds rumble seat coupe. The interior is very nicely done but is not OEM so things like the rugs and seat upholstery material is not period correct. The 32’ Olds had rubber mats both front and rear rather than rugs. If you’re putting in rugs and rugs are not original to your car, I personally would do what I like best. If you want the rugs easily removable I would bind the edges and run them right up to the panel edges. I don’t think I would put them behind the panels but again, each and every car belongs to the owner and it’s up to the owner how they want to do things. 

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Edited by chistech (see edit history)
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At the paint shop last night to do some testing with some Oracal stencil film. Used the sprocket pattern and cut it out with an axacto knife. The film is very impressive as it cuts with steady light pressure but you don’t really cut through yet it separates cleanly at the cut line. Tried compatibility of the film and paint on a varnished ash board. First attempt was pulling the film immediately after spraying which yielded a perfect edge. Second was letting the paint dry which gave an issue of the paint sticking to the film and pulling off the varnished surface so the first technique will be used. Going to use single stage gloss black for the center hub and sprocket pattern.

 

as a test, put a 16 1/2” circle of film with the center cut out to go over the hub and staged it down on the spokes. Put the aluminum sprocket template over the hub, centered the pattern on the spokes, the screwed down the hub cap retainer ring to hold the pattern fast. Traced the pattern with the axacto knife and removed the ring and aluminum pattern. Pulled the film off and am extremely happy with the results. 

 

Just got got to the paint shop and taped off the rest of the rim and we are going to shoot it with single stage in a few minutes. More pictures to come.

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The Oracal film is transparent when the backing is removed and not only allows you to see any aligning you need to do but also shows when all air voids are squeegeed out. Again, so far I’m impressed by this product. The center hub and varnished areas of the spokes to be painted got carefully scuffed with a 400 gray pad after these pictures were taken.

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Edited by chistech (see edit history)
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Here is the results of our test. Pretty happy with the results of the single stage black. Getting a little closer. We’ll be painting the rims first with single stage then painting the hub and sprocket pattern last using the stencil film. Have to say it was pretty easy using the film  and it’s way easier than masking it all off with tape.

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Chistech, I use a 3M stencil mask.  It's white in color and has a low tack so it won't pull off paint or other substrates. I do 500 stencils a year with it for the powder coating company here in town.  They use it on missiles they repaint for Raytheon.  It's a wording stencil and the letters are only a 1/4" tall.  The missile are grey and they use the stencil to paint the black lettering.  Nice work on the wheels.  Can't wait to see the  car.

Edited by Laughing Coyote (see edit history)
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53 minutes ago, Laughing Coyote said:

Chistech, I use a 3M stencil mask.  It's white in color and has a low tack so it won't pull off paint or other substrates. I do 500 stencils a year with it for the powder coating company here in town.  They use it on missiles they repaint for Raytheon.  It's a wording stencil and the letters are only a 1/4" tall.  The missile are grey and they use the stencil to paint the black lettering.  Nice work on the wheels.  Can't wait to see the  car.

I purposely wanted an transparent film so I could definitely know the sprocket pattern is in the correct position. I also like that the translucent blue shows a difference when it's swaged down to the surface so you know there's no gaps between the film and the surface. Opaque films will not let you see that as easy. I have used a lot of frisket film when making stencils on my radio control airplanes as I build them with all painted surfaces and insignias. This film is also a medium tack and doesn't stretch at all which yet it conforms to curved surfaces and  is another big plus when working on these wheels.

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35 minutes ago, jan arnett (2) said:

How did you do the sprocket design

The aluminum sprocket pattern was created by my friend Joe Pirrone for painting his own wood wheels on his 32' Olds sport coupe. He simply used math and a compass to drawn out the pattern based off of a completely original wheel he has. The wheel has never been repainted or restored and he keeps it for reference. Once he had the drawing, he had a sheetmetal or machine shop make it up for him. I am very happy he loaned it to me as it's saving a ton of work for me. What you can't really see is every other spoke is a slightly different width meaning there are two different width spokes used in the wheels, with the same size spaced every other. This means the aluminum pattern has to be put on right for the pattern to line up correctly on the centerline of the spokes. With all that said, these are still wood wheels and the spokes vary somewhat.

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Chistech, What type of varnish did you use one your spokes? I am in the process of dong mine on a 1922 Buick Model 35. so far i have the rear wheels sanded and sealed them using a CEPS from Rot Doctor on the spokes and painted rims. I now need to use a Spar Varnish on them and am considering the Rust-Oleum Marine. Here is a link to my post yesterday asking to see what others have used. 

 

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I tried the rustoleum product and even another brand. Had a good boat friend give me a new quart of Pettit 1015 Captains Varnish. He said it was the best and it turns out all the boat yards here in New England prefer it over anything else. I found it to apply easier than the other two with a very smooth level surface and the color I was looking for  but the 1015 has golden brown color that some might not want. I personally am not into these super bleached out whitish wood spokes I’m seeing on a lot of the recently restored wood wheeled cars. Lots of guys are also using epoxy resin finishes which while it protects well, looks very plastic and doesn’t help on the UV light. Even if you epoxy, you still need a couple coats of spar varnish for the UV. My post is not to knock the rustoleum products as I don’t think a better or easier to apply etch primer (rustoleum) is available to the everyday guy, I just found the Pettit product a considerable amount better when the varnishes were compared.

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Thanks for the heads up I will go with the Pettit 1015 if can find it easy enough. I agree with you I don't like the bleached look to any wood myself. I used to work in a custom cabinet shop making custom stuff back in 1980's and always hated having to do the bleach or painted white oak. Thanks for the info love the looks of your wheels so far look forward to seeing them with tires attached. How many coats did you put on? I assume at least 4 to 6.

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LOL, you really don't want to know. I put on 12 coats but used very thin coats with throw away foam brushes. I am not exaggerating when I say I have about 500hrs in each wheel from start to finish. Stripping the paint layer by layer to look for original pinstripes, then glass beading the metal, etch priming the metal, then picking any remaining paint that might be in the grain out with dental picks, bleaching out iron stains with Oxalic acid, applying coats of linseed/pine tar/kerosene for color, sanding, then applying varnish, sanding, varnish, sanding, etc. Now it's tons of times masking to prime with gray urethane, wet sanding, pulling the masking, cleaning the powder from the wet sanding from the cracks, then remasking. Still waiting to paint the rims then the masking will get pulled again and then the stencil film applied and the sprocket pattern cut out, then the edge around the stencil to the rim will get masked, then the sprocket painted. Then the stencil needs to get pulled immediately after painting. So adding up all the time, I know I'm not that far off or exaggerating much.

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I met a fellow at Lake St Catherine, VT, with a wood grain, inboard engine boat from the '50s or earlier. The engine was a flat head 4 with updraft carb. Anyway, he said he needed at least 10 coats of varnish (don't know what he was using) to protect the wood and give enough UV resistance for a few years of life.

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Ya that is a lot of time however the out come is worth it at this point on my wheels it has taken me about 4 1/2 hours per wheel to get the wood sanded the another 1 1/2 to get the metal  rims and center hubs cleaned up ready to prime and paint. I would guess so far I am at the 7 hour per wheel point. Which is a far cry from what you had to do but you had specific things you were looking for the pinstripes where I did not have an issues like that. Did some searching on the Pettit Varnish and see that there are two types the Captain's that you used the 1015 then also there is the  Flagship 2015. Also see that the Captain's version they have a Captain's Ultra Clear 2067. Another quick question what level sand paper did you use between coats or did you use 0000 ultra fine steel wool? Just curious.

Edited by RatFink255 (see edit history)

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I used a red scotchbrite pad for the first few coats as my main approach was to fill the deeper grains. A red pad is 200 grit. I then went to gray pads 400 for another two or three coats. The rest was with 400 paper and the last sanding before final was 600. Don't use steel wool as the wool particles can stay in the grain and will can rust down the road. Bronze wool could be used but not steel wool. I used compressed air to blow the wheel off and then went over the wheel with a tack cloth. I also wiped the first few coats lightly with turpentine which helps level the first few heavy coats as any thick areas stay a little tacky and the turpentine removes those thick areas with light wiping while it removes any dust. After those first few coats, I used a lint free rag lightly saturated with turpentine as a final wipe after blowing off and tack clothing the wheel. Then one more blowing off to make sure the wheel is good and dry. On the Captains Ultra Clear I would assume it's probably not as honey colored as the others. Don't know anything about the other Captain's #'s. I would try and read any reviews to see what they say as I'm sure they have differences but probably only subtle ones. 

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Just realized. After the wheel is completely painted it will still need to go for pinstriping. More time for that!

 

I was able to purchase a couple items this past week that I was very happy to get. I located a re-rubberized original black gas pedal and another fuel tank. I had a close replacement for the pedal but it was not shaped quite right but most would never know. Getting the original restored one was a big plus. The fuel tank I found by accident when looking at a bunch of pages of an old car accessories parts vendor. It was listed under another make and a different year but I immediately realized when looking at it that is was a 32' olds tank. My own tank is thin and has been repaired so finding another original one I thought was out of the question due to the rarity and low production numbers of the 32' Olds. While I haven't seen the tank yet, the seller told me it is absolutely solid so I'll find out when it gets here . 

 

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