chistech

32' Oldsmobile Deluxe Convertible Roadster

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Finished up all the body panel repair tonight. Getting pretty good with the mig welder now. Tin knocked the panel some after welding it to straighten out the weld line so the body side is nice and straight. Had to widen this panels bulbous areas also as they were to narrow 

like the other patch panel. Used a dremel with a fine cut off wheel to make a nice thin straight cut to remove the old piece. Used abou 10-12 cut off disks but the result is worth it. Cut the patch panel with both the dremel and the air nibbler using a straight edge. The nibbler makes fast work of cutting the metal with no edge distortion. 

 

I will etch prime all the new steel and welded areas then paint the inside of the body with black single stage. Then I will put the body back on the wood and nail it to the wood , finishing up one more thing.

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Thanks. Doing this car is helping sharpen all my skills, from wood working to metal working, mechanics, and even the upholstery and convertible roof. I will do almost all of it minus the motor rebuilding and the painting. When your good buddy is one of the best painters in New England, why bother even trying to paint it!

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Primed and painted up the inside of the body sheet metal black today. Continued treating the wheels with the pine tar/kerosene/linseed oil mixture today. Had one wheel that was slightly darker than the rest so I stripped it again and bleached it with oxalic acid until it lightened up to my liking. I treated it today and all the wheels are now pretty close to where I like them. One more coat should do it then I'll start varnishing them. Once the wood is done it's off to the body shop to get painted. 

 

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Got two coats of spar varnish down on all six wheels. With the colder weather, the varnish is sloooow drying! Going to put at least 4 coats on. The varnish is “richening” up the color of the pine tar/kerosene/boiled linseed oil mixture. Really liking the color. Looking into having some vinyl stencils made up to make masking off the sprocket paint pattern easier. 4 of the wheels are in excellent shape metal wise and have no pitting while the other two have some in places which will require some skim coating of filler. Perhaps if I’m lucky. Maybe some high fill primer will be enough to get the job done. Looking forward to getting these wheels done and tires mounted. Pictures are of all the wheels. These wheels were made by Kelsey Hayes and one still has numbers stamped inside.

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I was able to purchase what I believe was the last missing piece to my car. It is the cigar/cigaretter lighter base and a fellow AACA member had it. He has an original 32' Olds 4dr and did not have the lighter which is virtually impossible to find. It arrived today and with some clean up and soldering on of a new positive feed wire, the lighter is working with the base. My lighter needed to be cleaned of corrosion at the center post to get it all working but now, all is good. Searching for items and small missing pieces like this is a never ending thing as I'm daily checking eBay, Olds sites, the AACA forums, and more but it pays off when a piece is found and acquired.IMG_20171130_185538976_HDR.jpg.c2ffd34bba751a3c91af8ac6dfb3b49c.jpg

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Edited by chistech (see edit history)
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Well, the damn varnish is just not drying! I will put them out in the sun tomorrow and see if it helps. My next door neighbor lacquers the brass pieces after he polishes them and he has a warming oven so I took a wheel over to him. Well, it made it even softer to the point it almost became wet again and then at some of the pores, bubbled! Damn. I was able to smooth out the bubbles and he shut the oven off completely and I put the wheel inside again after the oven cooled some. I know tomorrow how it worked. 

My neighbor polished up one of my hubcaps that were already rechromed when I purchased the car. The hubcaps are in excellent condition, just dirty so once he's done polishing all of them, they'll get the proper painting they require. I also have 5 original Oldsmobile trim rings. They are different than the ones available today and of course, I need six. The wheels will look just fine without them but I've decided to start searching for another rare and hard to find part. One out of the five had a rim dent so using my neighbors tin knocking hammers and anvil, I got it pretty darn good. The trim ring is stainless so he'll be able to sand it some and possibly get it to look damn good. If I find a sixth one, I'll probably put them on. If I don't find it, the car is just fine without them. I put a hubcap on one wheel to have a quick look. The hub cab fills up the center of the wheel pretty quickly.

 

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It's just too darn cold in the garage and I'll have to bring the wheels in the basement. Anything below 55 and it won't dry. My garage at night goes down to ambient and we've been a lot colder than that.  Hopefully the varnish will dry, if not, I'll have to remove it from the wheels and start over. 

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My brother came over today and helped me get the rear body metal on the the wood frame work. Started nailing it all on and all is going as it should. Put the golf bag door on and all the lines are correct. With the metal only half nailed on this body is solid like a rock. So far I’m very happy with my wood to metal fit. No real gaps anywhere.

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Edited by chistech (see edit history)
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Thank you gentlemen. The hardest thing now I find is coming out of the garage. I don’t want to stop working on it as every little thing just keeps getting it closer to the finish. It starts to become a sickness! LOL

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Garage heaters come in many styles.I'm sure the topic has been wrung out on this forum before.A few years ago,I had a small overhead propane furnace installed.I keep the temperature just above freezing,cranking it up when I'm out there.Gas would be fine,but there isn't a line out here.Well worth the investment.

Your restoration is an inspiration to all of us.It would be a shame if you had to stop for the winter.

Jim

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10 hours ago, chistech said:

Thank you gentlemen. The hardest thing now I find is coming out of the garage. I don’t want to stop working on it as every little thing just keeps getting it closer to the finish. It starts to become a sickness! LOL

The old car "bug" isn't a bug at all. It IS our sickness.

That is surely looking beautiful!

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this is a great posting--your work is excellent--I feel like i'm working right next to you--thanks, Tom

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1 hour ago, J.H.Boland said:

Garage heaters come in many styles.I'm sure the topic has been wrung out on this forum before.A few years ago,I had a small overhead propane furnace installed.I keep the temperature just above freezing,cranking it up when I'm out there.Gas would be fine,but there isn't a line out here.Well worth the investment.

Your restoration is an inspiration to all of us.It would be a shame if you had to stop for the winter.

Jim

Good news Jim, I work all winter long! LOL. My shop is fairly large at 30x60 but I got lucky when my painter moved from his old shop and offered me a big oil fired hot air furnace for next to no dollars. While it will use about 4-5 gallons of oil on one of my longer work days, it also keeps the whole shop at 60 degrees easily. It’s much easier working with just a sweat shirt on than a heavy jacket. I usually have one or two customers cars during the winter so I fit my stuff in between but those cars help pay for that heater!

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44 minutes ago, 13CADDY said:

this is a great posting--your work is excellent--I feel like i'm working right next to you--thanks, Tom

 

Thanks for the kind words Tom. Rather than give you my full life’s history, I’ll just give you the most recent when I got back into restoring vehicles. What I found when I got my 31’ Chevy a couple years ago was that there was not many really good detailed restoration threads out there. Another hobby I have is building radio control scale aircraft, mostly WWII fighters. They are all featured out with retractable landing gear, flaps, sculpted pilots, fiberglass cloth covered, and air brush painted finishes. On the RC forums, I would post full, step by step build threads so what I’m doing here is just a continuation by using a different subject. While  a 32’ Olds is quite rare, with this car being a cabriolet, someone doing a Chevy, Olds, or Pontiac cabriolet, could reference my thread for helpful information as the were all Fisher bodied and all very similar. Nothing would please me more than to have this thread help someone.

Ted

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Finished fastening the body metal onto the wood today. Both latch pillar covers and both rocker panels are on and finished. Welded the top corners of both latch pillars to the body metal like the were originally before I cut them off for disassembly. The nails through the very corners of the latch pillars get seated then ground down on each side to match the 90d corner. The belt line metal was flattened to the wood after nailing to prevent any water leakage where the convertible roof meets the body. Put the rumble lid back on and adjusted it for best fit. The lower rumble lid apron will need some shimming by using some roofing felt paper under the knife edge where it screws to the lower deck rail. This is a common way to get just the right curvature and clearance to the lower edge of the rumble lid. For those of you who’ve seen bad scratches or even dents in the lower portion of the rumble lid, that is because of improper distance of the lower apron. Sometimes it’s because of wood rot or worn lid bumpers but when it’s on a newly restored car, it’s often the curvature or distance wasn’t set right.  Once the lower apron is adjusted and nailed on, the body will be ready to go to paint.

 

     I believe I will have to strip the spar varnish off my wheels as it’s refusing to dry no matter what I do. I might end up using a slow drying two part epoxy resin to coat them with but I’d prefer to use the varnish especially for the nice golden color it adds. Found a good use for all the extra pine tar/kerosene/linseed oil mix I made up. While these cars were treated with a wood preservative when they were first made (copper arsenic) the wood also had brown tint to it which was most likely some sort of pine tar treatment. So I brushed all my green (copper naphthalene) wood with the mixture to give the wood a nice lighter brown “new car” look to the wood. I wonder if the term, “new car smell” came from the smell of copper arsenic and pine tar so many years ago!

 

 

 

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Edited by chistech (see edit history)
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Could the pine-tar/kerosene/linseed oil mixture be preventing the spar varnish from drying?  It may be incompatible with the varnish.

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It is the normal mixture and process used by many for their wood spoked wheels. It should be compatible but who knows. I read where it does happen and you have to strip it and start over. My painter is waiting on my wheels so I need to get them done. I’ll figure it out somehow.

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Bit the bullet today and stripped 4 of the wheels of the still sticky varnish. Lightly sanded them and washed them with Prepsol to remove any grease or oil. My good friend and fellow antique car enthusiast, Charlie Nash, gave me a can of what is considered the best varnish made, Pettit “Captains “ spar varnish. Immediately upon brushing it on I noticed a big difference in how it applied and by the time I was finishing the second side, the first side was already losing its tackiness. I believe I will be good this time. Also moved to the cellar with heat and a dehumidifier. I left the first two wheels I did alone as it seems that they might be finally drying. Even any drops that fell on the steel rim hadn’t dried which tells me it’s not a compatibility or chemical issue due to the pine tar/linseed oil/kerosene mixture. The Rustoleum varnish just doesn’t like to dry. Supposed to wait 12 hours with the Pettit, then sand and recoat. I’ll keep you all posted.

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