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Restoring 1930 Buick 46S


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Hi - my name is George Kargov. I will be a new member of AACA in January 2008.

I have been reading the forum topics and tremendously enjoying them. I have also been encouraged. 30 years ago, I purchased a 1930 Buick 46S. Back then, I started some restoration of the wood members. Due to my lack of knowledge, it was a slow process. I went to night school for woodworking classes and have learned enough to start restoring my car again.

I will be taking the car out of storage early spring next year. Note - when I purchased the car, it was not in running condition and it did not have a rumble seat. The previous owner gave me a rumble lid and on it was written "Essex" in chalk. I wonder if this is the right lid for the Buick?

I would be very interested in hearing from anyone who has done, or is doing, restoration on a similar model.

georgekargov@sympatico.ca

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Thanks for the tip. Back in the 80s I used to be a member of the McLaughlin Buick Club of Canada. I had met with Bill and he was very helpful. I did see his 29 McLaughlin Convertible. At the time I checked the car and it was hard to see the wood construction.

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George,

I will attempt to attach a photo of the sill for a 46s.

I have completed the notches for the door hinge pillars but not for the door latch pillars. Next step will be to install the hinge pillars and the cowl.

If your car is missing a lot of the rumble seat parts it may have suffered a similar modification as my car. My car had the rumble seat parts removed and was most likely used as pickup to sell vegetables. I found vegetable sales signs in the back window pocket.

Paul

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The wood for the frame is 8/4 white ash from a mill in Minnesota. I really like working with it. It machines well and also is great for hand tools.

I have been using the front holes that connect directly to the frame as my reference. You can see there is a channel on the underside of the sill that keeps it centered on the frame. The front holes are the only ones that are directly above the frame. The other holes are above brackets that sit on the outside of the frame.

Paul

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Here are the hinge pillars for the 46s. I had one good original to work from. It can become a puzzle to get every thing to fit together. You can see I had to make a length correction at the bottom. What is your opinion making corrections versus redoing the entire part?

Paul

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Thanks Paul - you do beautiful work! Regarding the hinge pillars, length correction - splicing of wood parts is mentioned in the Fisher Body service manual. What I would be concerned about is where the splicing is done. On the bottom of the hinge pillar where it meets with the seal, if it's strong enough to be able to support the door. Personally I would redo them so that I would not regret later on - when everything is screwed and glued together. That's my opinion. If anyone else has any other suggestions, please respond.

George

________________

1930 46S

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I am attaching a photo to show how the pillars fit in the cowl. The strength to carry the heavy doors comes from the metal brackets and the cowl that is nailed to the pillars. There is also a crossbar that joins the pillars and is also nailed to the cowl.

I want to maintain good quality and be accurate to the way it was built originally. On the other hand I am not building furniture. On the tear down I did find places where wood was added to fill voids. This was the case for the space behind the sheet metal trim below the doors attached to the edge of the sill.

So for now I am happy with the results. Thanks for the feedback.

Paul

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Good point, I'm sure these things weren't perfect from the factory, probably more correct with a few adjustments. I've got a '30 Marquette model 36 (almost the same car) with questionable wood, so this thread is really interesting. I hope I can save it, this looks like a lot of work, and I'm not a woodworker.

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The woodworking can be a challenge but rewarding when it goes good. I started out by making paper patterns based on the old wood frame. Some parts of the old frame are vague or nonexistent. I look for ways to cross reference those areas from books. Sometimes it just comes down to trial and error. The paper patterns for the sill would be available to loan out.

Paul

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The hinge pillars need to be plumb and the cowl needs to fit snug. So that has required a lot of dry-fitting and the cowl has been off many times. I also have the sill off because there are a few things to finish. Now that the sill fits well I can glue it together. Also I think it is important to seal the wood so that it will not absorb excess moisture. I think I will spray a coat of black epoxy on the wood for that purpose. Some people use spar varnish. What are you planning to do?

Paul

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When you start on the hinge pillars there are some key areas to look for. I am attaching a close up of where the cross member meets the hinge pillar. Note there is an angled rabbit groove that tilts the crossmember.

The Buick technical advisor Beuford said that he used spar varnish to protect the wood frame on the cars he has restored. I decided to follow that advice and besides it is more fun that painting the wood black. It is important to have fun doing this restoration stuff.

Paul

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The photo submitted to the BCA PWD was from the eBay auction 1-1/2 years ago. There was a previous attempt to redo some of the wood in the car. Fortunately enough of the original wood was saved to determine how the frame was designed to fit together. My goal is to finish in 3 years. So far so good.

Paul

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  • 4 months later...

I had a situation with the cowl and door pillars that took some time to resolve. Turns out the front angle brackets were pulling on the cowl in an uneven fashion. The 3 cover plates on the door pillars were what provided the information needed to correct the problem. When the nail holes of the cover plates were lined up with the cowl it could be determined that the cowl needed to be raised on one side. The covers also position the hinges and the top bracket. This allows the correct height of the door pillar. Now that the moldings on the body parts are lining up I can continue the frame by building around the door. So the door pillar covers were a big help in getting the layout correct. I have included photos that illustrate this.

Paul

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Hello George,

I am using ring nails with flat heads that I bought from Bob's Automobilia. They are made to stay put so I wait until everything is lining up before nailing. I am even holding off on nailing the top of the cowl until I check on the clearance of the doors once the body is attached to the frame.

Paul

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Hello George,

I am using ring nails with flat heads that I bought from Bob's Automobilia. They are made to stay put so I wait until everything is lining up before nailing. I am even holding off on nailing the top of the cowl until I check on the clearance of the doors once the body is attached to the frame.

Paul

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hello, I have joined this group because my father has terminal lung cancer and is unable to join. He has a 1930 Buick 46S also and has been looking for others that have one also. He was trying to restore his but was unsure how. Any and all information on how to do this would be greatly appreciated. The car was actually running about 20 years ago but has a cracked block now. Any suggestions as to what to do with the car? Thanks,

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Hello Kevin,

Sorry to hear your father is ill. I worked with my dad on a couple of these old vehicle restorations and it is a good way to spend some time together.

There are people who specialize in welding cast iron. That may be a good option for you. I could post a name if you want. I also have a parts car block that I may sell. It has frozen pistons and it would be costly to ship. The 46s has the standard size motor so any 40 series Buick motor should work.

Paul

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