Erndog

1930 Buick Model 30-61 Never-ending Restoration

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This is the rear window/windshield frame. It was one of the first sections I tackled because it looked fairly easy to achieve. Included are photos of the frame in situ.  Hopefully, the dimensions are symmetrical, as I found what I believed to be the center of the bottom piece and mirrored it.  I later determined that the routing on some pieces is not completely necessary, but I tried to stay as true to original as possible, since I had no idea what I was doing. As you will see in later posts, some of my routing leaves a hell of a lot to be desired, and I may even go back and remake some pieces someday... or leave that to my GGGrandchildren when they finish this thing. Anyway, here it is.

 

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Nothing wrong with that frame. If it fits where it is supposed to go and if the glass & molding fit the hole that's all you need. It will be covered up anyway.

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Right. Thanks. I am beginning to get that opinion about a lot of it. Some of the original factory installed pieces don't even show up in the manuals or sales brochure pictures.

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Since you seem to have already made most of your wood parts, this information is probably old news, but I found that using a pattern cutting router bit (one with a bearing on the shaft) made life a lot simpler when it came to duplicating wood parts for my Dodge.  This method presupposes the old wood piece is still somewhat intact so it can be "traced" by the router.  I often had to glue up broken pieces and even used filler in some occasions to get the old part back into shape.  This turned out to be a lot easier than trying to cut complex shapes with a bandsaw.  This method creates an exact duplicate of the original part.  I used it to remake the bottom front seat frame on my car.

 

Before and after pics.

 

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This was my first attempt at this kind of woodworking.  I had to buy a router and a router table and learn to use them before I got started.  To put it bluntly, if a klutz like me can do it, almost anyone can.

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Thanks for that post, Taylormade. That is very impressive woodwork! I use router bits with bearings when possible, but I think you are referring to a different type.  I will have to look that up.  I haven't renovated any old pieces, other than gluing pieces back together in order to see what I need to make.  Some of my pieces literally crumbled to dust when I removed them.  It can be very frustrating and confusing sometimes.

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Well, I just looked up pattern cutting router bits.  Damn, Taylormade, where were you ten years ago??!  I think that would have made a lot of things a lot easier.  Unfortunately, almost everything I have done has been with a bandsaw.  Some was with a table saw, and sadly, some with a jigsaw when absolutely necessary. I hate jigsaws. The blade always seems to have a mind of its own.

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Are you by chance documenting your work with dimensions so that future restorers can benefit from your awesome work? Maybe you should make two of each piece and sell the set to recoup some of your money on the project.

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I am trying to, and/or making paper patterns. My son had me making 3D cad drawings of them, but it got pretty difficult.  That is a project for a future time. I just wish I had taken side to side measurements of the body, sill dimensions vs frame, overall heights, etc. before I dissected it. I think it will be ok because I am duplicating most of the pieces and can still see where they joined, etc., but I won't know for sure until I am done.

As far as making two of each piece, I think I have already done that and more, due to mistakes. I am not sure I will have the energy or drive to make them again.

Edited by Erndog (see edit history)

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Those pieces look really nice.  There is a certain satisfaction in seeing that nice fresh wood after dealing with the rotten, moldy originals.  One caveat on using the pattern cutting bits.  On thick hardwood, you need a quality router with plenty of power and good quality router bits.  The cheapos will not last long on a project like yours.  Also, if your floors or floor inserts are made out of plywood, be sure to use marine plywood as the glue is waterproof and you won't get any separation along the edges if moisture seeps in.

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Ernie;

  This is one of the most challenging abut also the most rewarding part of pre 1930's era cars. The wooden body frames with the metal nailed to it can be a challenge, but really shows the early transition between carriages and early auto manufacturing. I replaced some of the woodwork in my car, but left what wood was good and sound.  Still some more to do, but I enjoy woodworking also and have made some furniture and restored my share of antiques. Great to combine the two.

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Great work erndog! I can't imagine the logistics of taking what wood was left, figuring out what the missing pieces looked like, trying to determine measurements off old shrunken/rotted wood.......plus making sure that each new piece fits correctly into the previous pieces you have already made. Whew, makes my head hurt thinking about it! :o

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Your car is supposed to have the vent and ventalation windshield. The board above the windshield should have a regulator mounted to it to raise and lower the windshield. There are two pockets on the upper sash that the pins from the regulator go in and are visable in your pictures. So you are not only missing the wood board, but most likely the regulator. Your Buick is basically the same as my 31' Chevy 4dr Special Sedan. Did you ever try contacting Jim at Autowood Restoration, he specializes in Chevy and all GM cars. He could help you with that windshield header board. It will have very specific routed areas and holes located for the windshield regulator.

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Actually, I do have that piece and the associated regulator. It is the front crosspiece that I am missing (goes behind the metal sun visor). A crappy old plywood scab was all that was there, and way too crude to go by.

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Erndog,

 

Are you still restoring this car? I am toying with doing the same thing with a 1930 Buick with an Oval window. It looks like I will be going thru the same thing you have. Should I pursue it?

 

Tim

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No1Packardman....the car in the photos is earlier than 1930....maybe 1928 or 1927.

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1 hour ago, No1Packardman said:

It is? What are the clues that it may be?

The hood and radiator has the 1928 and earlier contours. I believe the oval window may have come only on the 1927 and 1928 Buick. I could be wrong about the window. The edges of your windows have a crisp edge which leads me to believe it is a 1927.

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Sounds like you know these cars very well. I have had more experience with Packards as you may have guessed. I have a couple more questions if you don't mind?

1. Did these cars have electric starters?

2. Do you think this car is worth restoring? The owner wants $1500 for it and I am not sure it has all the parts.

 

Tim

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Yes, it should have an electric starter. It is worth restoring if you like it and plan on keeping it. There is a lot of wood inside that is structural, so if it needs the wood replaced, the cost of that is way over what someone would pay for the finished restoration. I try never to buy a car to restore on speculation as to whether or not I will make money off of it's sale. I don't see any sags in the doors, but it looks like the roof is missing it's covering, so be prepared to see wood rot from water coming into the doors or body. More photos would tell us if it is worth $1,500.00 or not. One thing you might do is to start a NEW thread about the car. That way, the guy who posted this thread will not feel like we hijacked it.

Edited by keiser31 (see edit history)

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Feel free to highjack. I find this older Buick to be fascinating. The location and shape of the cowl lights is also a clue to being from the twenties.

Ernie

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Ernie,

I would like to know if it I worth restoring. I have do some wood working, made furniture and such. Can I find all the parts I need? I know I can get all the rubber, the electrical wiring and glass since it is flat, but tell me about the manuals, and all the other info of how it all works.

 

Tim

 

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