MikesWoodieWorld

1952 Roadmaster Estate Wagon project.

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May I ask if there are major differences between the 50-53 wood parts?  The bodies look so similar, I just wonder if things were different in the wagon departments or not.  I am mainly wondering just how these were ever sold for a profit considering how much time is invested in developing all the parts to fit each panel. 

 You not only "may ask", but can do so without quotes!!

 

The only differences I know of is the '53 had different rear fenders, so the wood had to fit this different shape.

Otherwise 1950-1952 is typically the same, since sheet metal stayed the sme, basically.

1953 is the same exept for the afore mentioned rear fender treatment,

 

By the way, I am offering up for sale a great Woodie project, a 1953 Super Woodie, and would gladly oblige to make an all new wood set for it.

it is a California rust free wagon.

If any interest is shown, I can add pics...

 (Too lazy to do it now!!)

Gotta go out there and get some!!

 Meanwhile, here are some pics of a '51 we built all new wood for, just before the varnishing stage.

 We are varnishing it now, for about a week or so, will add pics of it done....

 Keep watching!

Cheers, Mike

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Ok, varnishing stage is almost complete.

We just need more sanding & spraying on the upper & lower tailgates, not quite right just yet, but close.

We assembled them anyway to take some pics.

This makes about 8-11 coats so far on all the wood.

The wood seems to tone down the "green", do you agree?

I think when all the side stainless is added and the huge amount of chrome is added front & rear, that will help also!!

But we are done when the wood is done!!!  (Phew!!!)

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May I ask if there are major differences between the 50-53 wood parts?  The bodies look so similar, I just wonder if things were different in the wagon departments or not.  I am mainly wondering just how these were ever sold for a profit considering how much time is invested in developing all the parts to fit each panel. 

By the way, although the wood is virtually the same from 1950-1952, and almost the same in 1953, there was a change.

Not in the wood, but in the hardware.

There are two robust steel brackets in the upper rear corners in all of them.

But the 1950 model ones are shorter, and missing the bolt going through the rear post that the later ones have.

Also, there is a steel brace on the 51-53 at the bottom of same rear post, making me think that the 50's had a squareness problem, when in use.

This must have shown up in the first year, since changes were added to the 51 year model.

I will try to take some pics to show the differences, but none now.  Mike

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The green looks better with the finished wood, but still looks out there to me.  I think out in the sun the green is still going to be loud.  But what do I know?

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The green looks better with the finished wood, but still looks out there to me.  I think out in the sun the green is still going to be loud.  But what do I know?

When it gets picked up, hopefully soon, I will try to remember to post some pics of it outside.

Hopefully it will see sunshine then.

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The beauty of the varnished wood outweighs the wackiness of the paint colour. Great job, Mike and Alex!

Thanks Rob, you are always full of compliments...they help us get through the tough times, believe me!!

 

We will be making progress soon on the title 1952 Roadmaster Woodie, since it is now sold to a fella that wants to move on it.

And seems to be able to afford it, unlike me!!

There is extensive metal work needed, mostly the floors, I will try to keep you updated.

Meanwhile, Alex and I will be making all new wood for it, too.

The new owner wants it "Sequoia Cream", not unlike my '51 Super in "Old Ivory".

I enjoy those colors, way better than greens...HMMMMM, wonder why!!  LOL

Edited by MikesWoodieWorld (see edit history)

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Well, we had to make a major shift in the shop today, involving pushing (whew) three Woodies outside.

(These are heavy!!)

One of them was the green 51, so we made it a point to get some outside, sunny shots...

But, to me, still the same!!!

Not much difference...

Don't you agree??

I think that more chrome & stainless trim will help, but still not sure just how much.

The owner loves the color, well to each his own!

 

 

Meanwhile, we are making some progress on the 52 Roadmaster, mostly metal work, repairing the floors.

I will try to add pics later, my comp is in a tizzy fit right now, and won't let me!!

 

Alex & I will trek down to L.A. to drop off some chrome work, & pick up some ash boards on Thursday, so we will be working away on the wood soon.

Adding pics & videos as we do.

 

I have connections for getting show quality chrome work done, only the best for Woodies!

 

By the way, I had a stainless restoration shop, in the Los Angeles area for 14 years, and still have the equipment, and the knowhow is in my head...not so much my older body!!.

I am too decrepit to do much here, but I know my stuff!!

And, I would love to teach some youngster how to do it...any takers???

 

I now have a metal man, who is a whiz at floor work, which seems to be needed for most Woodies, so if we can help your project, come aboard!!

Cheers, Mike

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Whew! I just got through this thread start to finish today. Love it.

The photo in post #70 in particular took me back a few years when I attempted to make a deal on a '53 Roadmaster just outside of Saskatoon. There's a thread here on that story here somewhere. In the end, we wanted to buy it, but his price was 2-3 times what I thought was fair market value for a car needing a complete restoration. Of course, he was basing his price on the market value of a restored car. He'd also made some claims about the car being Canadian that told me he didn't know as much about 1953 Buicks as he thought he did.

Now that there's a 1953 available again, I can't help but dream. I also can't help but wonder what became of that Roadmaster since so few were produced and Saskatoon is a lot closer than California. Oh well, the big shop is full of other Buicks (a done Lund) and our money isn't particularly liquid right now.

Mike, it's been fun living the past few years of your Buick woodie live vicariously through this thread.

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 A very funky green out in the daylight! A friend of mine has a '53 Caddy Coupe de Ville, that he did in a similar colour, and I do not know if it is a correct Cadillac colour, but I somehow doubt it. The only one who has to like it is the man paying the bills! It will help when all of the trim gets on, and it is a complete car again.

 I also envy the man who is now the owner of the '52 Roadmaster, that you will be working on soon. I wish it was me!!! The Sequoia Cream should be a nice choice for that car.

 Anyway, Mike, I always enjoy reading your posts and seeing the progress you are making on those marvelous cars.

 Keith

Edited by Buicknutty (see edit history)
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Whew! I just got through this thread start to finish today. Love it.

The photo in post #70 in particular took me back a few years when I attempted to make a deal on a '53 Roadmaster just outside of Saskatoon. There's a thread here on that story here somewhere. In the end, we wanted to buy it, but his price was 2-3 times what I thought was fair market value for a car needing a complete restoration. Of course, he was basing his price on the market value of a restored car. He'd also made some claims about the car being Canadian that told me he didn't know as much about 1953 Buicks as he thought he did.

Now that there's a 1953 available again, I can't help but dream. I also can't help but wonder what became of that Roadmaster since so few were produced and Saskatoon is a lot closer than California. Oh well, the big shop is full of other Buicks (a done Lund) and our money isn't particularly liquid right now.

Mike, it's been fun living the past few years of your Buick woodie live vicariously through this thread.

 

Thriller, I have a sweet '53 Super I want to sell, due to too many projects, and not enough years left!!

 

That's why I sold the '52 Roadmaster, a true keeper, otherwise!!

I sold it to a Buick lover, and he is restoring it here, something I couldn't afford to do, but at least I get to see it progress!!

And so another one is saved, my true goal.

 

Back to the '53...

It needs a full restoration, but the floors are the best of any of the Buicks I have seen here, and I am in CA!!

Only the front floors need a little help, and I have the panels to do it, included.

I also have been collecting parts for it, also included.

It needs all new wood, but the metal work, paint, etc. needs to be done first.

I can handle all the needs, floors, paint, wood, but there is a lot of reassembly left after that, to be honest.

So you need to realize that..

 

Hey, 1953 was Buick's last year of a true Woodie with real structural wood, and the first year of their V8, not to mention their 50th anniversary.

So any '53 is unique to that theme.

No pics yet, but I'll get off my butt and add some ASAP!!

 

Thanks for taking the time to read all!!

Edited by MikesWoodieWorld (see edit history)
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 A very funky green out in the daylight! A friend of mine has a '53 Caddy Coupe de Ville, that he did in a similar colour, and I do not know if it is a correct Cadillac colour, but I somehow doubt it. The only one who has to like it is the man paying the bills! It will help when all of the trim gets on, and it is a complete car again.

 I also envy the man who is now the owner of the '52 Roadmaster, that you will be working on soon. I wish it was me!!! The Sequoia Cream should be a nice choice for that car.

 Anyway, Mike, I always enjoy reading your posts and seeing the progress you are making on those marvelous cars.

 Keith

 

Keith, I also envy the man, Carl, a local Buick nut, who fell in love with it in its not-easily-loveable state!!

A tremendous amount of credit has to go to him for taking on this project, but, he is sharp!!

We are working on replacing the forlorn floor with one from a '50 Roadmaster sedan parts car i have, and I'll get some pics soon to show that process.

I had the exciting experience of finding out that a good friend is not only capable of this floor work, but is actually an expert!!!

So, we all learn at any age!!

(And, I have a 1950 Roadmaster Woodie project that I am keeping my eye on for him!!)

Carl picked up a '52 Roadmaster sedan as a donor car, and also to help keep the Woodie authentic.

It will arrive sometime this or next week, not sure yet.

I will update with pics soon, Mike

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Yes, Kieth, Sequoia Cream is my favorite color, too.

My '51 Super is done in that color, but most of the pics I add, it seems to wash out to white!

There is one pic that shows the color reasonably, I will add it.

Keep in mind, this one has restored, darker wood, not all new.

However, the rear fenders had to be removed since this pic was shot.

They need to be in place to fit the wood, but have to come off so that the fender welting can be added.

It will be having the welting on soon, and the fenders, then the rear bumper & gravel sheilds, ect.

 

My current camera seems better at keeping the colors more close to true, so future pics should be better in that regard.

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 Mike, thanks for the picture. That wood really is quite dark, and it is very lovely beside the Sequoia Cream. I do understand the issues with how cameras, and the related systems don't give you the results you want, as I spent my career in the photo biz, and in later years got into digital quite heavily, so if you have a camera that is giving you the results you like, keep using it! Some have the contrast and colour saturation boosted a bit, for a punchier looking image, and for some subjects it is great, but when you are trying to capture the subleties of something, it will often wash out pale tones.

 Keith

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I'm glad to see lots of activity on this thread, as well as hearing about the activity in Mike's shop. Wood is Good!

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Thanks, Rob, we are making good progress.

We have purchased all or most of the new ash boards, and have been cutting it up for blanks to be carved.

Meanwhile, Frank is welding up the horribly rusted out floors.

Being a woodworker, it is fascinating to see him work the metal.

I am derelect with pics, but will try to get my "you know what" in gear!!

The best part of this endeavor is that most of the work will be done here, so that we can show it through all, until it's completely done.

I will totally enjoy that, probably wishing I hadn't sold it, but If I hadn't, it would not move very fast, or at all!!

So all is good...my main menu is to save Woodies, wish I could have them all, but I am not "The Donald"!!

Not even close!!

Cheers, Mike

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..... have a sweet '53 Super I want to sell.....

 

If you have a few minutes, I'd like to hear your comments being that I'm not familiar with the wood details and Estate Wagon's rear storage compartment areas to make this work.

 

Would you foresee any potential hidden problems one might encounter modifying your 1953 Super Estate Wagon into a phantom 1953 Buick SKYMASTER Estate Wagon, similar to what is shown in this Buick General Forum link, Picture #4.....http://www.auto-visuals.com/cars-that-never-were.asp#4.....beyond completing the following work? 

 

1.  Replacing both front fenders and the stamped stainless steel fender mouldings with OEM 1953 Skylark front fenders and OEM Skylark solid stainless steel mouldings. Radiused openings are already there and there are no portholes in a Skylark fender.

 

2.  Retaining the OEM Super/Roadmaster Estate Wagon doors and glass, as is, and forgetting about the rear door wing-window look. Plug up all the extra OEM moulding holes and fabricate custom solid stainless steel door mouldings for all four doors. Add the SKYLARK crest ornaments or custom fabricate SKYMASTER ornaments.

 

3.  It might be easier to replace the rear fenders with modified 1953 Skylark rear fenders that already have the wheel well radius there rather than using the Super/Roadmaster rear fenders that have the horizontal crease in them. The location of the gas-filler door should be the same. Plug up the extra holes and fabricate solid stainless steel mouldings for both rear fenders.  

 

4. The hood portholes almost look like 1950 Buick items. If that look was preferred, holes would have to be made into a 1953 Buick alligator-style opening hood rather than using a 1950 opposite-sides opening hood.

 

I have plenty of Skylark parts that need to be used somewhere. :D

 

Thanks for your time and any insight you have to offer. A good idea or not?

 

 

Al Malachowski

BCA #8965

"500 Miles West of Flint"

Edited by 1953mack (see edit history)
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Regarding Al's 1953 Buick SKYMASTER Estate Wagon, I not only think it is a great idea, but see no real difficulties to do this.

 

Since the picture is not of a real wagon, this would be the first or only one.

 

I am not very familiar with the many details of a Skylark, so research is needed in this area.

 

Hood portholes look like 1950 ones, available, add to 53 hood.

 

Front fenders don't appear to be a problem, should bolt up.

 

The rear door vent windows were last used on wagons in 1950, so they would have to be added if wanted.

 

As far as the door & rear fender moldings, I think it would be easier to cut & weld original ones to fit the 4 door wagon.

The Buick 2 door sedans share the same wheelbase as the wagons.

The frames are the same, except for added strengthening on the X frame members for wagons, and convertibles.

So, I presume the bodies are the same overall length.

 

As for the rear fenders, I would leave that up to the metal worker to decide which fender to use, each would take quite a bit of modifying.

The Skylark is a 2-door, so the rear "fender" is more like a rear quarter.

But the horizontal crease mentioned on the rear fender also extends to the rear door.

In looking at some Skylark pics, I think a Skylark rear quarter would work best, the front part could be used to smooth out the door skin.

The rear wheel opening on the wagon looks to be considerably wider at the bottom.

 

 

Everything seems doable to me, but let's go a little further...

 

The picture only shows the side shot, what about the front & rear?

 

The wood looks pretty stock to me...boring!!

 

How about making 2 rear doors hinged on each side, to replace the tailgate & liftgate?

 

Any other thoughts or ideas??

 

I added some pics of my 53 Super wagon, a perfect donor wagon for a project like this.

It has the best floors of any wagon I have run into, only the front floors need a small amount of repair.

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We have been making progress on the 52 Roadmaster, first tackling the floors.

I was delighted to get my buddy Frank involved.

I have a 50 Roadmaster sedan parts car (for my 50 Roadmaster wagon, down the line), which appeared to have a decent floor.

We could see it had been previuosly patched, but looked OK.

So, Frank removed it in two pieces, only then finding out when it was repaired before they made the top look good, but the bottom was a mess!

Only more work, he tidied it up well, and has to finish patching bad ares that reared up when we sandblasted it.

 

I am the white-haired guy watching, Frank is the worker.

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  Well Al, whether or not Mike likes it or not, I think it would be great. FWIW, I will be pulling for it to be done.

 

  Ben 

Greetings Ben,

Would you mind telling me what "FWIW" stands for?

Mike

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"SUPER" work there, Mike! Went through the whole post - took a bit of time. Nothing quite like a Woodie. Never came close to owning one, unfortunately.

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"SUPER" work there, Mike! Went through the whole post - took a bit of time. Nothing quite like a Woodie. Never came close to owning one, unfortunately.

Thanks for taking the time to check us out, and add your comment.

 

It's never too late to get into a Woodie...wish I had got this involved sooner!!

 

I hope you watched the videos that Alex brought to this link.

 

We are making up the various blanks for most of the wood, bandsawing and laminating it ready for carving the actual shapes.

Many blanks require 2 to 3 laminations, even with the 2-1/2 inch thick ash we buy for this gem.

 

Alex wil be here tomorrow, Monday, and we will take some pics of the blanks along with its pattern, to show the before and after effect.

 

I am sure Alex will want to video the carving process!!!

Which will start soon.

 

If Carl, the new owner shows up, we will try to include him in the process.

We have a few days of rain forecast, and it is a hairy trip for him to make ...winding mountain roads, best left alone during rain.

 

I hope all turned their clocks back that needed to, don't be late on Monday!!

I turned all mine back, but still on the old timeline,  Mike

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