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 1950 Power Wagon, records show that Campbell built the original wood body for it. None of the original wood was on the truck when it came to me. The owner wants to use it so I am going to build a body that resembles the original but with a few changes to improve functionality. The door openings were made wider, and the shape of the door pillars was carried back to the rear corners. Originally the rear corner posts were angled in but the outside was a straight line. I like the look of this better.

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On ‎4‎/‎19‎/‎2020 at 8:11 AM, NewOldWood said:

 1950 Power Wagon, records show that Campbell built the original wood body for it.

The work is absolutely gorgeous, but do you mean 'Cantrell" body?  Or is it really a coachbuilder by the name of 'Campbell'?

 

Craig

Edited by 8E45E (see edit history)
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9 minutes ago, 8E45E said:

The work is absolutely gorgeous, but do you mean 'Cantrell" body?  Or is it really a coachbuilder by the name of 'Campbell'?

 

Craig

Thanks.

Cantrell and Campbell were both coachbuilders. Not sure what else Cantrell built, but Campbell built a lot of bodies for Dodge (aside from Power Wagons), and quite a few for General Motors.

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Thanks for the information.

 

I'm not sure what work Cantrell did for Chrysler vehicles, but I do know U.S. Body & Forging made wood station wagon bodies for Dodge and Plymouth before the war.

 

Craig

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The roof is going to be similar to the Campbell piece but I wanted to dress up the inside corners a bit. A rather odd shaped piece, in cases like this I make a scrap wood pattern just to get the shape then copy it to get the finished piece. The rear corners were simpler, carved them out by hand.

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  • 3 weeks later...
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Moving on to the front doors. I am going to keep the styling as close to what Campbell did as I can. We wanted a wider door so the B pillar has been moved back, the fixed wing window was eliminated and decided on bear claw latches. The next two should go a little faster now that the engineering has been done. The passenger side gets a back door but not the drivers. That panel will have a roll up window though.

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  • 1 month later...

Both front doors are done, at least as far as I am going to go with them for now. Next will be to fill in the space behind the drivers door where the spare tire will mount. This space originally had a sliding window, I had an extra regulator so decided to use it there. The spare tire mount will have to be worked out since it originally hung off the C pillar but since I moved that back that will no longer work.

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Very nice. I am doing the same on my Lasalle now. Where did all the body hardware come from? (brackets, hinges, locks, handles). Is it reused from the original body or reproduced. I was lucky almost all of the original hardware came with the car.  Also- slotted wood screws are getting harder to find. Where did you get yours?

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The only parts I have used from the original body were the window regulators. The door latches are mini bear claw latches that I had to modify to fit in the door rails and work with the original inside and outside handles. The liftgate handles are modified Model A Ford parts from Ecklers, the latches I found on the internet and the catches I made from stainless and will be polished. The tailgate hardware is not done yet but will be a combination of internet sourced and home made hardware. I had to make all of the interior brackets. The back door is hung on a set of NOS front door hinges that with some cutting, bending, and welding I was able to make work. The hinges on the tailgate/liftgate are stainless piano hinge from McMaster Carr. I generally use slotted oval head screws anywhere that will show, and have been getting them from an ebay seller named Lightning Stainless (don't know if they sell outside of ebay or not), wood screws, sheet metal screws, machine screws...pretty much anything in any size.

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Again, very nice. As usual I have questions. You built the whole car in the time it took me to make and varnish the tailgate. 

What kind of wood is on the panels? If mahogany, what kind?

How do you get the shape of the panels so there are no gaps around the edge? On mine, I made a template of thin plywood. I used trial and error to get that just right and used it as a guide with a router. Router bit had a bearing. 

Why do you have panels in the windows?

What finish are you using and how are you applying it?

 

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1 hour ago, Tom Boehm said:

Again, very nice. As usual I have questions. You built the whole car in the time it took me to make and varnish the tailgate. 

What kind of wood is on the panels? If mahogany, what kind?

How do you get the shape of the panels so there are no gaps around the edge? On mine, I made a template of thin plywood. I used trial and error to get that just right and used it as a guide with a router. Router bit had a bearing. 

Why do you have panels in the windows?

What finish are you using and how are you applying it?

 

Thanks Tom!  The veneer is Sapele. I like to use it because it looks nice and I can get it in 1/16" thickness. Mahogany veneered plywood is typically about 1/42". I get it from a place called Certainly Wood. I cut the plywood close on the saw and finish fitting it into the openings by hand, then glue the veneer on. The panels in the window openings are glass patterns. The finish will be an automotive clear and will be sprayed, I am going to stain the wood first. Still working up a color.

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  • 2 months later...

Sanding, and lots of it.....Worked a few other details in for an occasional break. Installed electric wiper motors, reworked the trans tunnel, installed a new windshield, etc.. But mostly sanding. Not done yet but the end is in sight. Hope to get the floor boards back from the spray booth tomorrow and can finally get to reassembling this thing. Getting the first look at what the colors will be, don't know what the computer will do to them but in person I think they look good. The fabric in the last one is the leather that the seats were done in.

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Looking good. Do you use a grain filler with the automotive clearcoat or does that finish fill in the grain and level out on its own on wood? The grain looks filled and the finish looks slick on both the ash and sapele. 

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23 hours ago, Tom Boehm said:

Looking good. Do you use a grain filler with the automotive clearcoat or does that finish fill in the grain and level out on its own on wood? The grain looks filled and the finish looks slick on both the ash and sapele. 

 

I make my own panels using epoxy and a vacuum press. The process does a good job of filling the grain in the veneer. No filler was used on the Ash, clearcoat fills the grain much the same way as varnish does, just much easier to sand between coats.

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The heavy sanding is finally done, the last batch of parts may even be out of the spray booth by now. Got a good start on the final assembly, pretty good ways to go yet though.

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As always I enjoy seeing your progress reports. I like the floor. What is that between the boards? Did you spray auto clear coat on the ceiling too? 

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Between the floor boards is a caulk that I found at McMaster with physical properties I wanted in a color I could live with. Everything (ceiling included) is finished in an automotive clear. The floor is matte, the rest is gloss.

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I am in awe of your work. I have a Campbell body on my '41 international as well. The modifications you have made make it look a lot better than the original. You do beautiful work. The original Campbell bodies had some "wonky" looking areas, particularly the lower interior part of the doors and were fairly crude. Not much at all in the way of finger joints and they used screws, rather than mortices and glue. I have been amazed when taking mine apart how tacky they were. 

 

That caulk on the oak looks awesome. I was thinking of putting a hardwood ash floor over that, but your oak with the caulk looks very cool. Did you just place that with a caulking gun in the gaps or did you use another method?

 

That clear coat finish is something else! It looks like glass it is so well done. I am a bush leaguer and am just putting on marine varnish, which will not give as nice of a finish. 

Edited by blind pew (see edit history)
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The floor is Ash. The reasons they had for using White Oak for the flooring when these were new don't really apply so much today. The finish is done before the floor is installed. I tape off the top edge, put a big enough bead of caulk on the edge of the board to fill the gap and squeeze out a little bit, then install the boards. I use a spoon to trowel the joint off then carefully remove the tape.

 

Quality on the wood bodied cars is all over the map, i've seen a lot of things that have made me roll my eyes. Not sure if the finished product had something to do with the quality, maybe the car bodies were built to a better standard than the utility truck bodies. Maybe being a 41 model had something to do with the quality of yours, a lot going on that year. Overall though I would say that from a structural standpoint, Ford built the best wood bodies.

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Thanks for the tip. 

 

Ash? That looks great. Mine are the original oak planks. I guess I will sand them down and try the caulking bit in situ. If it looks like crap, I can always lay an ash hardwood floor over the top. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

So the wood in the "before" picture was reproduction also, according to the first post in this thread? Yours is nicer. Are you going to install the top fabric? 

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