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Trreinke
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I am a metal worker by trade and have no problem with bodywork, but I need to replace wood in the body of the cars I am working on. Pardon my ignorance, but what tools at a minimum are required to make new wood for my early '30s cars.

 

I assume scroll saw, jointer, planer, drill press and sanding equipment but what else?

 

Pardon my ignorance, I have no experience with wood working.

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I haven't done this but do do woodworking at times. I have a router table and believe this could be handy to assist in lap joints or milling a ridge on an edge where sheet metal is folded/tacked - especially curved pieces. You didn't mention a table saw but this also is indispensable. Lastly I'd say a scroll saw could work but a band saw would probably help better. We all have to work with what we have though...You didn't ask about hand tools but good chisels and possibly block planes are needed too. Maybe one of the restorers here could form a bullet point list of must have tools.

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Im on the opposite spectrum. I have been building furniture/cabinets and woodworking for 40+ years. Metal work is new to me.

Although I have never done wood restore for a car (but would love to some day just for the heck of it) I look closely any time I see one opened up. A table saw is a must for any kind of wood work. Particularly this stuff. The wood you will need wont be bought at HD. You will have to source through a reputable hardwood supplier (I can give you a few names). Sizes will be rough a table saw will be your first line of defense. There seems to be a lot of curves in an auto body. A band saw is a must. Throw away the idea of a scroll saw unless you want to make puzzles for your children, or their children. A jointer is nice to  have, but most people dont really know how to use one properly. A small one will be good to clean up the edge on some boards, but with curves it will be useless. Drill press, I suppose that could be useful. I use mine once every 6 months. Not sure of the joinery on a car, if they use primarily lap or bridle joints these can be done with a table saw and a tenoning jig. Depending on how many mortise joints are present a mortise machine would be worthwhile. Although you can achieve the same with a drill press if there are only a few joints to make. Maybe a 1/4" mortise chisel.

 

Not sure how refined the finish needs to be but you could probably achieve what you need with a r.o. palm sander and 180gr/220gr sandpaper. A small bench top oscillating belt sander with interchangable drums would be worth having as well. 

 

A couple of hand planes would come in handy to fine tune. A compass plane is good for curves. 

 

As far as quality, I live by buy the best you can afford. Some of these tools you can sacrifice a bit if you want or need to. 

Table saw- I use a portable Rigid from HD to take on the job. For the money it is a great tool and will most likely do what you need. On the other hand in my shop I have an old Delta Unisaw. Rigid is much cheaper.

Band Saw- You should splurge on this one. The difference between a good bandsaw and a cheap one will either have you whistling while you work, or you will be ready to scrap the project. Jet makes a good saw for the money. But any good bandsaw worth having will be in the thousand dollar range.

Jointer-for what you need, a small portable unit from delta, or dewalt will be fine. 

Drill press-any decent sized floor model will be good

Mortise machine-If you get the right kit you can use the drill press otherwise delta used to make a nice little mortiser

Oscillating sander- Rigid, its a belt sander and drum sander

Hand sanders- We only use ryobi palm sanders now. They are about the cheapest you can buy and last as long or longer than the more expensive models.

 

One big thing I forgot to add is a portable planer. I have a larger industrial model but also a small dewalt which is pretty nice. Had a delta which I liked better but not sure they make those anymore. This is going to be an essential tool to size the parts exactly what they need to be. 

Also, maybe a router. Porter cable is my choice. I wont go any further with this though. I could write a book on its usage.

Hand planes-a small  block plane, Stanley. Buying a plane get a GOOD one. Finding an old one in good shape on ebay would be my first choice. Much better than most being made today.

 

A good source for all of these kind of tools is Grizzly. They have their own brands as well as shop fox brands. I have owned my share of their stuff. Although made offshore, for the money its really good stuff. Woodcraft stores have a good selection of chisels and handplanes. but you will pay for the quality that they have. 

 

Good Luck.

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I am restoring a woodie station wagon. When I started, I observed there was lots of knowledge and tools to obtain to do metal work and wood work. I decided to focus on wooodwork and hire someone to do the metal work. I have a table saw, band saw, planer, jointer, drill press, router table, Ridgid brand spindle sander, set of wood chisels, three wood planes. A bench top table saw and band saw is not adequate. A stack dado blade set for the table saw is handy. I get by with a benchtop drill press however. I have a Dewalt model 735 planer. I have a 6" floor model jointer. Don't cheap out with the router table. Get one where the top is dead flat and the router insert is not plastic. You might be able to get by without a jointer. The Ridgid brand spindle sander from Home Depot has a belt sander mounted sideways in a table. Very handy. Only brand that has this. Skip the scroll saw. I also have a radial arm saw which is very handy but not necessary. I have a mortising machine also.

 

This is my learning curve in a nutshell: It is not enough to buy the machines. You have to know how to set them up properly to have them do what they are supposed to do. Sometimes there are additional tools needed to set them up correctly. Hand tools must be razor sharp or they are useless. Additional knowledge and tools are required to do this.

 

I learned by watching Norm Abram/New Yankee Workshop on PBS (still on Youtube), Reading Fine Woodworking magazine, and taking classes at the Woodcrafter store in my city. Woodcrafters is a chain store selling woodworking equipment. Fine Woodworking magazine is a great resource for learning. They publish special issues on how to set up machine tools, sharpen hand tools, and make basic joinery, etc. Look on their website to get back issues of these special editions. They also publish articles and special editions where they test and rate different brands of power tools and hand tools. I have found their ratings to be very helpful and accurate. 

 

Also, check out threads on this forum posted by Chistech in the "Restorations" section. He replaced the wood in at least three cars in three separate threads. A 1932 Oldsmobile, a 1930 Chevrolet, and a 1930? Chevrolet truck. He does good work. 

 

Oh and I almost forgot about dust collection, which is a big topic by itself. You need a dust collection system with any planer. They spit out LOTS of sawdust that will make a huge mess in your shop. It is good to have with a jointer, but I usually don't connect the dust collector to the jointer. I don't use the dust collector with any other tools in my shop. I use a Harbor Freight dust collector with a pleated paper filter added to the top. That is the only equipment from Harbor Freight in my shop. Also, as with all the other tools mentioned above, it is not enough to just buy the dust collector. You have to buy hoses and fittings to connect it to your equipment. Connecting a shop vac to a planer is not a good option because the shop vac will fill up in no time. 

 

 

 

Edited by Tom Boehm (see edit history)
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Well put Tom. I have a couple of heavy duty shapers so no need for a router table. But yes, it may be better to build your own, which will give you a bit of woodworking experience before you start the work on the car. Will be better than most you can buy. My router table is a modification to my table saw extension wing. However with shapers I rarely use it. Another thing I might add is buy the tools as you need them. I have probably as many tools I have bought on a whim that I dont use as the ones I do.

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1 hour ago, prewarnut said:

Lastly I'd say a scroll saw could work but a band saw would probably help better. We all have to work with what we have though.

I'm not a wood working expert but I had a table saw to which I added a roll around base and an adjustable Dado blade for cutting notches.  I also had a bench sander and a pretty good Craftsman scroll saw.  I got by with that stuff until I got to the job I'm working on now.  In the past I built the wood frame for the golf door, some interior strainers for the cardboard division between the passenger compartment and rumble compartment and a complete reproduction adjustable front seat frame for my car.  Most lumber in my 31 Buick is ash.  I have been sourcing ash lumber to Baird Bros in Ohio and Rockler. 

 

The project I'm working on now is a rumble seat back frame that I didn't even realize was missing from the car.  My car buddy Dave Dunton in GA has the exact same make/model/year car as mine and his car has never been apart.  Through Dave's undying assistance I have harvested tons of information that will result in my car being pretty authentic even though it won't be a Pebble Beach car.  Dave graciously took the seat back out of his car, took tons of pictures and filled out a measurement data sheet that now has me understanding what exactly the seat back frame amounts to, how the springs attach to it and how the assembly attaches to the rumble lid of the car...  and it's complicated!  

 

The left and right sides of the frame are curved to fit the contour of the rumble lid and 4 inches wide.  The original parts are finger joined and steam bent, 2 processes not in my toolbox.  After careful measurement and a lot of work making a template I understand and have replicated the profile shape of the left and right frames.  To dodge around steam bending and finger joining the contour of my end frames are being sawed from 1" thick ash lumber and laminated, 1 inch at a time, 4 laminations wide to make up the width of the frames.  1" thick ash is not something you want to do on a scroll saw...

 

I've been toying with buying a band saw for some time.  If money/space/power availability were all in place I would have bought a metal/wood band saw, around $4500 for a saw that checks all the boxes.  I have neither room or power in the garage to handle that so  I saved about $3500 and bought a really nice wood working band saw from Grizzly, model G055, which is a line Home Depot carries.  I ordered saw, roll around stand and blade online and I'm really happy with it.  It reeks of quality for a small saw and has made sawing the complicated 1" thick curved ash laminations easy.

 

First project was building the golf door frame.

GD 070.jpg

 

Sawing these heavy pieces of ash was really slow on the reciprocating scroll saw.

GD 075.jpg

 

GD 077.jpg

 

GD 079.jpg

 

I also bought a sewing machine to sew trim panels on.  This is the finished door with hardware, trim panel and weather seal.  Thanks to Dave Dunton I had pictures to work from.

GD 142.jpg

 

Next big project was the reproduction adjustable front frame.  I had the original front seat frame to work with.  I inventoried the hardware when I started taking the original seat apart, it had 123 fasteners.  Most of the rest of this project was done on the table saw, a sabre saw sawed the side frames which are birch plywood.  I took one piece of original wood at a time and used it for a pattern to make new pieces from ash lumber.  Corners of the original base frame were mortise and tenon joints, I used dowel rods in the corners to avoid buying costly equipment.

FSF 030.jpg

 

FSF 054.jpg

 

FSF 089.jpg

 

FSF 101.jpg

 

So here is the subject of the current project.  That's Dave Dunton's rumble seat back turned upside down to show the wood seat back frame which was missing outright from my car.  I'm scratch building a replica from pictures and measurements given to me by Dave.

RSB 001.jpg

 

This markup is one of 3 I sent to Dave along with a spreadsheet to gather measurements.  The end

frames "C" and "D" are steam bent to shape and finger jointed as shown below.

RSB Measure A-D.jpg

 

This is an early profile template cut from panel board to follow the contour of the rumble lid seat back frame ends, "C" in the diagram above.

RSB 020.jpg

 

I realized after making the profile template in the picture above I would need something more

than a scroll saw to make 1" thick plies to make the end frames.  The Grizzly band saw shown here

worked out to be just the ticket.

RSB 024.jpg

 

Here we have 4 one inch thick plies roughed and ready for final cutting.  

RSB 028.jpg

 

The picture seen below is of 2 stacks of 2 plies each.  It turns out the outer most ply has to have clearance holes for rumble lid hinge hardware and has special cuts to package the iron hinges.  It is also narrowed slightly so the trimmer has a designated area to nail the seat cover skirts to.  2nd ply is mostly uncut from the template.  3 and 4th plies will have 3 2-9/16" wide notches cut to provide pockets for the cross slats.  

RSB 031.jpg

Edited by Str8-8-Dave
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I am no expert on the subject, but my approach has been to rough shapes out on a bandsaw, then use various hand planes, chisels and other hand tools to create the right final shape and finish quality. I like playing with antique tools, but I imagine that various sanders, routers, and other power tools could be used after the roughing stage instead of using planes. A good bandsaw can do most jobs a table saw can when used right. I chose not to get one for space and time reasons, but one would be useful for straight cuts. One very important thing not mentioned yet is to get or a good set of flat head screwdrivers or grind your own. Parallel grinding the tip helps too. have a set that you keep nice and crisp just for wood screws. Also you will need a set of countersink drill bits. I really like my set from FTG USA. Have a good set of layout tools too such as various sized squares, gauges, calipers, straightedges, rulers, and tape measures. For slotted screws, Boltdepot.com will be your best friend. I use steel screws, which were good enough originally. I have seen silicon bronze screws used too, but don't see it as necessary. Have fun and get creative to come up with the processes that will work for you and fit your budget. hopefully you can use the old wood as patterns for the new pieces. I find the hardest part to be matching the contours of the wood to the metal if you are going to use existing sheet metal. As far as what you should look for in lumber, ash and white oak are the two common species for car bodies. Try to find kiln dried if possible to avoid beetles. If using air dried, carefully look for little bug holes, and avoid them or treat the wood for bugs. My preference is to use full thickness lumber too wherever possible instead of laminating. If you have a good hardwood supplier in your area, they sometimes sell 2 or 3 inch thick stock. it will be called 8/4 or 12/4 respectively. Around here in Pennsylvania, Keim Lumber out of Ohio is the best. Lamination when done right is fine too, but it must be done right and adds time. Temperature, clamping, even glue spread, flatness, and surface finish are only some of the factors that affect how the laminations will turn out. These are just a few of the things I have learned building a 20's car. 30's and later wooden cars seem to use more laminations, plywood, and finger joints. 

Ryan

KIMG0978.JPG.689fab2e87a19ffed7212df8ba0b5c59.JPGKIMG0366.JPG.5cf565b7a1da1e32224335820abff540.JPG948631721_NewDash1.JPG.543fa39792421710fec0bf5ab6f34545.JPG

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The finger joints are used because they put 2 smaller pieces together to make one. You can stack laminate or use a larger piece (more waste) and achieve the same without having to make a finger joint. A simple lap joint will work also. Just because they did it that way doesnt mean you have to put one back in the same place. Steam bending is quite simple, a settup can be made for little money spent. That will be stronger a lot of times than cutting out of a piece of stock, the grain stays running in one direction. 

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4 hours ago, Str8-8-Dave said:

This markup is one of 3 I sent to Dave along with a spreadsheet to gather measurements.  The end

frames "C" and "D" are steam bent to shape and finger jointed as shown below.

RSB Measure A-D.jpg

 

 

Is this original wood or new? If new, I really want to know how the finger joint was done.

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Off course all those tools come in handy. But the man behind the tools  what counts. You may think about taking some classes at the technical schools that offers them. Great help. The Tech teacher may be happy to participate in your project. Get some books on the subject  Buy quality tools because after you are finished the project you may want to get rid of some. Quality tools are easier to sell. STAY AWAY FROM MULTI USE TOOL. The 1 tool that you can turn into a drill. and then into something else and something else and something else. They are just junk and cannot do any thing precisely.   I just finished restoring a 1928 Dodge senior . I gave away most of my tool to good homes. At 85 and a half years old  I stopped collecting.   

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54 minutes ago, Bloo said:

Is this original wood or new? If new, I really want to know how the finger joint was done.

It's an old original joint, but is still commonly done today on house wooden trim and wood frame windows.  The lumber mills cut out each defect or knot from the raw wood planks, then finger-join the now very short pieces back into dimensional lumber again.  Then the end-user company that makes trim or windows now have very stable, warp resistant wood to use where stability is mandatory.

 

On old cars, finger joints were common for curves on thicker parts that are impractical/impossible for bending. 

 

Many styles and sizes of cutter heads are shown here:

https://duckduckgo.com/?q=woodworking+finger+joint+cutter&t=brave&iax=images&ia=images

.

 

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The reason I asked is that no cutters are available to make a deep finger joint like that. I say that but would love to be proven wrong. Obviously Fisher Body had some. Shallower ones are easy to find.

 

I need to duplicate that for some 1936 Pontiac door parts.

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There is a Japanese saw that cuts by pulling backwards. Very fine cuts and sharp like a razor blade. The kerf or the sawn width  is about .06 thou . Check with Lee Valley Wood working tools. leevalley.com   1800 668 1807,  1 800 267 8761

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I do not know how the car makers did theirs. They probably custom made their cutters. I have seen  old cabinet makers made these joints with a tenon saw and chisel. The key ingredient in wood working is the skill to sharpen tools correctly. 

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Looks like you have some very good advice already. We had a well equipped wood working shop on the farm where I sometimes helped my Dad build horse drawn vehicles. The tools listed are basically the same. I'm back on another farm equipped with some real good wood working tools. This will be going to extremes for most, but thought I would share. I revived this old American #1 Saw Mill recently. The mill its self was built around 1890. It is powered with an International UD14A Diesel Power Unit. Hey, someone has to start at the source to get new wood for our old cars. Why not on a vintage mill? 

 

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Something very minor and relatively inexpensive I purchased when I restored my '46 Ford "Woodie" were tapered drill bits, sized to each size wood screw. The very first screw I put into the hard rock maple snapped, even though I drilled a pilot hole. Lucky for me I had about a quarter inch stub sticking out and was able to clamp a vise grip on and get it out. I purchased every size, #8, #10, #12 and they made the job very easy. Also, and here comes the controversy, don't use soap or wax to lubricate your screw's. Both soap and wax are hygroscopic and will absorb water and stain the wood, especially if it's a station wagon, exposed to the elements. I used a thread lubricant designed for wood screws, that I purchased from a woodworkers supply. 

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2 hours ago, 46 woodie said:

 and here comes the controversy, don't use soap or wax to lubricate your screw's. Both soap and wax are hygroscopic and will absorb water and stain the wood, especially if it's a station wagon, exposed to the elements. I used a thread lubricant designed for wood screws, that I purchased from a woodworkers supply. 

I have a couple of old spray can lids filled with toilet bowl wax that I have used for years to lubricate screws and have never had a problem with staining. Is wax really hygroscopic?? It has been used for centuries to prevent inclusion of water and air

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1 hour ago, CarlLaFong said:

Is wax really hygroscopic?? It has been used for centuries to prevent inclusion of water and air

 

Yes, it's hygroscopic. I have never heard of a staining problem specifically from wax lubricated screws, but I am not a woodworker so I guess that's no surprise. It is true that wax is or was often used to exclude water, something it isn't that great at. It's better than nothing. It doesn't really seal, it just slows down the inevitable. It was used in radio capacitors to keep moisture from the air out, but the moisture gets in anyway and accelerates failure.

 

3 hours ago, 46 woodie said:

especially if it's a station wagon, exposed to the elements. I used a thread lubricant designed for wood screws,

 

What did they do in the 40s? Did they just ignore potential staining since it was a utility body or did they have something better for screw lubricant?

 

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The finger joint pictured was made on a wood shaper that took all of about 3 seconds. I have a finger joint bit for mine and used it once. Need to keep in mind these were large industrial tools. I would be bet that joint was made to a larger 'square' piece of wood then the curve was cut into. This joint has nothing to do with the integrity of the end product. Just the fact that a couple of smaller pieces were used to make a larger piece.

 

 

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15 hours ago, old car fan said:

Also,we are blessed with tools  not available  then, you would think it should be  easier, not,some of the joinery intrigues  me.

I was on a class trip with one of my kids. The docent was pointing out the fine furniture and remarking how hard it must have been to make it with no power tools. Quite the contrary IMO, a lot of joinery and fine detail are easier (and safer) with hand tools. But I digress.

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I do a lot of car wood work and here is what I’ve found to get the job done the best. 

These tools are the really must haves.
1. 10” table saw. A fairly good one with some weight as cutting heavy pieces of ash can cause a light one to move.

2. 14” band saw. Again a good one as any work that isn’t straight will be cut on this saw. Think about it, how much is straight on old cars.

3. at least  a 12” disk/belt combo sander. Probably the third or fourth most used power tool. 
4. planer. I have to admit, I’m quite surprised at how well my inexpensive Dewalt 14” planer has done after hundreds of board feet of ash. 
5. a small base trim router. Rigid make a small high power unit that is just incredible. Use it all the time.

6. a good hand held circular saw and a long steel bar for a straight edge. I use this combo to cut a straight edge on heavy planks after planing them. No need for a jointer.

7. good hand tools, sharp chisels, carbide router bits, a good hand plane, counter sunk screw drill bits, etc. 

8. good blades on everything, no excuses. Dull blades get you hurt.

9. proper measuring tools like a good tape measure, a metal 12” rule, digital micrometer, sliding bevel gauge, levels (6”, 12”, 24” 48+”)

 

Here is the list of dream tools. (I have these because I do more production work rather that one off or one car work)

1. A vertical mill. You can do inletting, edge routing, drilling, lap joints, and those mysterious finger joints everyone is talking about on a vertical mill.

2. a router duplicator. Perfect for rough duplication of those difficult pillars and odd pieces.

3. Tenoning jig for the table saw

4. adjustable dado heads for the table saw

5. dust evacuation system 

 

while the list might big and the first thought that comes to mind is the expense, remember, many of these tools are available second hand in yard sales, auctions, and Face Book marketplace. I just bought my new to me delta contractors saw for $125 off of FBM. My Alliant vertical mill cost me $1,800 but it came with a 5hp phase converter, 500+ tool bits, new in box digital readout, new kurt vise, 5000# pallet jack to move it around, clamp kit, new metric drill kit, collets, etc!  Today, many mils can be had for $5-800 as no one wants them because no knows how to use them. A mill in my opinion is the ultimate machine to have. Good band saws can be had for $2-300, same with the big disk sander. Used planers $2-300. Again, you don’t need new and in many cases, the older power tools are better.

 

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The finger joint in most cases is used in old car framing to transition the grain to its strongest angle in the piece. Things like deck rails have two finger joints in the to make the curved piece as strong as it can be through the radius of the curve. Sometimes it was used to randomly join pieces that make no sense and these joints often show up in pillars where a full straight piece would be stronger. My theory is the companies were just trying to save wood by scarfing in pieces with a finger joint and glue.

    The average person can make a long finger joint by drawing it out on the wood and carefully cutting it with a bandsaw. Yes it can be done and many are done this way today.

    Another way is to use a vertical mill with a mandrel turning a set of tapered rotary knifes. Yes, these have to be made but once made, would last a long time between sharpening. The piece of wood is simply clamped in the mill vise and the end is fed through the mandrel and knifes until the necessary depth is reached.

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When I was working to preserve the 1918 Kline Kar in my shop, my most used tool was a bandsaw. My interest goes beyond vintage cars so my shop equipment is antique belt driven machinery from the period before WW1. As a furniture maker and machinist, I value hand tools just as much as machinery. The following are some images of my work on the Kline touring car.

F54BBE85-5C84-492C-B298-D5A2C91EE4E2.jpeg.13dc67297153c1da637b8be36f93dea9.jpeg8B0430DE-0BB3-4424-8D8F-6C5289193433.jpeg.825d155bc8051db37246ae3c23c78675.jpeg5CD0847A-F4E1-4629-AA1D-589825230D6A.jpeg.235f44543c991a0f452affbcc95fdcb5.jpeg8AE3D0D7-C494-4201-9ED0-1A1ED013E709.jpeg.b58600a5adb1a394ed92eb395fbe5719.jpeg83C5D791-A18D-4659-9E6B-9ABEFC630377.jpeg.25a2ddc39166865aa7fff8f29899384c.jpeg

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I like anything Rockwell-Delta, unless it's a Bridgeport mill...The two drawbacks are some are 3-phase and they can be heavy as hell (of course all mills are heavy). At the risk of sounding snobish I would not buy a new table saw (or most new offerings) as they are light and you can't balance large pieces on them. Yes extension tables can be rigged but I'm used to 400 lb machines at a minimum....

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I  bought a delta tenoning jig and Starret universal protractor to produce the compound tenon joints for my 25 Buick doors.  The only original wood I had to copy was from 1 rear door found at a swap meet with weathered original wood,  which clued me in to the compound joint. After making around 15 sets of door wood from scrap pieces using trial and error I finally arrived at the 2 angles needed to produce the warp to make the door close correctly.  The angles are so shallow that I had to mark angle and direction on each piece of wood before cutting so I wouldn't screw up when setting up the part on the tenoning jig. 

tenoning jig.jpg

starret universal protractor.jpg

corner tenon.jpg

front door wood.jpg

original rear door wood.jpg

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10 hours ago, Tim Crowder said:

My interest goes beyond vintage cars so my shop equipment is antique belt driven machinery from the period before WW1.

 

Tim, I share the appreciation for old flat belt machines. My recent toy, tool purchase was a 100 year old square head thickness planer that I am powering by a crank start 2 cylinder Wisconsin. I had to make new knives, put the engine on, redo all the belting, and do other various things. Using it makes me smile. I'm still fine tuning it, and use it mostly for roughing, but it has been a big help recently. It's most recent job was planning new floor boards. This picture isn't the most recent, but you should get the idea.KIMG1164.JPG.18c84186346a315c368b0690799733f1.JPG

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On 11/8/2021 at 9:44 AM, chistech said:

I do a lot of car wood work and here is what I’ve found to get the job done the best. 

These tools are the really must haves.
1. 10” table saw. A fairly good one with some weight as cutting heavy pieces of ash can cause a light one to move.

2. 14” band saw. Again a good one as any work that isn’t straight will be cut on this saw. Think about it, how much is straight on old cars.

3. at least  a 12” disk/belt combo sander. Probably the third or fourth most used power tool. 
4. planer. I have to admit, I’m quite surprised at how well my inexpensive Dewalt 14” planer has done after hundreds of board feet of ash. 
5. a small base trim router. Rigid make a small high power unit that is just incredible. Use it all the time.

6. a good hand held circular saw and a long steel bar for a straight edge. I use this combo to cut a straight edge on heavy planks after planing them. No need for a jointer.

7. good hand tools, sharp chisels, carbide router bits, a good hand plane, counter sunk screw drill bits, etc. 

8. good blades on everything, no excuses. Dull blades get you hurt.

9. proper measuring tools like a good tape measure, a metal 12” rule, digital micrometer, sliding bevel gauge, levels (6”, 12”, 24” 48+”)

 

Here is the list of dream tools. (I have these because I do more production work rather that one off or one car work)

1. A vertical mill. You can do inletting, edge routing, drilling, lap joints, and those mysterious finger joints everyone is talking about on a vertical mill.

2. a router duplicator. Perfect for rough duplication of those difficult pillars and odd pieces.

3. Tenoning jig for the table saw

4. adjustable dado heads for the table saw

5. dust evacuation system 

 

while the list might big and the first thought that comes to mind is the expense, remember, many of these tools are available second hand in yard sales, auctions, and Face Book marketplace. I just bought my new to me delta contractors saw for $125 off of FBM. My Alliant vertical mill cost me $1,800 but it came with a 5hp phase converter, 500+ tool bits, new in box digital readout, new kurt vise, 5000# pallet jack to move it around, clamp kit, new metric drill kit, collets, etc!  Today, many mils can be had for $5-800 as no one wants them because no knows how to use them. A mill in my opinion is the ultimate machine to have. Good band saws can be had for $2-300, same with the big disk sander. Used planers $2-300. Again, you don’t need new and in many cases, the older power tools are better.

 

 

I agree with most of your post except with the machine tool pricing especially BP type mills. Here they are in great demand with BARE machines typically in the $2000+ range. If one has the room I suggest a DoAll band saw. It's suitable for both wood and metal and every thing in between........Bob

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Does the shop itself count as a tool? How does everyone feel about having a dedicated woodshop? I like keeping my wood tools and sawdust separate from my garage where it's oily, dusty, and has grinder sparks and torches going at times. I've been able to make every body part so far within a 10x10 shed. It also makes me take more steps between the saw dust and the house, keeping the house cleaner and my wife happier.

Edited by ryan95 (see edit history)
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It does make sense to have both. My wood shop has table saw, jointer, planer, drill press, compressor  and drum sander with dust collection. My metal shop has compressor, drill press, lathe, BP mill, metal shaper, surface grinder, power hack saw and DoAll band saw with dust/smoke collection.

Keeps the saw dust out of the machines and the oil from the wood.

I do on occasion  use the BP for a wood project

My finished cars live in garages.

.............Bob

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4 hours ago, Bhigdog said:

 

I agree with most of your post except with the machine tool pricing especially BP type mills. Here they are in great demand with BARE machines typically in the $2000+ range. If one has the room I suggest a DoAll band saw. It's suitable for both wood and metal and every thing in between........Bob

Up here in New England they’re a dime a dozen. I just got my neighbor who polishes everything for me a Bridgeport brand mill out of a fish house in Boston that was only used for repairs of their own machinery. Variable speed, power feed on the X axis, two kurt vises, tons of tooling including boring heads, drill chucks, fly cutters, plus a cabinet full of end mills for $850! Also in the tooling cabinet was adjustable reamers, two complete tap and die sets, drill sets, large drills and taps, wood boxed micrometers up to 20”, and more. I see many on Facebook marketplace in my area advertised for $1000-1500 but you can always get them for less. I’m currently looking for a decent rotary table but that’s proving a little harder to find.

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I got mine about 10-12 years ago from a guy in BP (of all places). X/Y DRO, Kurt swivel base vise, X Syncro power feed, collet set, chuck, and a 12" rotary table for $2000 and guys around here think I stole it. I'll have to watch FBMP up your way. That's first I've heard of this.......Bob

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