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West coast woodworker needed


JFranklin
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I was wondering if anyone knows of a shop to cut some front door wood from the original as patterns. I'm on the West coast in Oregon. Leads my get my project kick started. I also need a driver side louvered hood panel. I'm working on a 1928 Model A Hupmobile. Thanks

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Edited by JFranklin
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Someone to work on the wood will also need to get the proper kind of hard wood for the structural restoration that you require. Second growth ash is the best, tight very strong grain and although oak first comes to mind oak can fracture easier than ash will. That proper type of ash is not found in the thickness you would need at your local lumber yard nor home supply store. I had to locate a place that sold hardwoods 40+ years ago when we were restoring my 41 Packard woody and all the structural wood work of my custom bodied Franklin . That place was  1 1/2 hours away and now no longer exists.

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Not sure if this is that same place that used to be in Tigard, but a Google search brings up this place in Sherwood just down the road.

I am not a woodworker by any means but used to hire an old guy for small jobs on occasion when I had a boat dealership and he often mentioned that he bought good hardwoods from a place in Tigard. Might be worth a call.

I agree that any good cabinet shop should be able to follow your patterns.

 

https://imporths.com/

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More than likely, you will want to use Ash, sorry Oak would not be a choice from what I have picked up over the years. There are a couple of places in the Portland area that might have Ash in the size that would be needed.

http://www.crosscutportland.com/

https://www.woodcraft.com/?adlclid=92d407276093198821c866839e9933a6&msclkid=92d407276093198821c866839e9933a6&utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=[ADL] [Non-Brand] Wood Crafting Terms (Exact)&utm_term=woodcrafters store&utm_content=Crafters - Wood ^ Store

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I just sent all the lower body wood for a 32’ olds I made from Massachusetts to Spokane WA for $230 shipping including a olds driveshaft. The package included the main sills, the kickups, the cross sills, and floorboard. The gentleman in Spokane didn’t have much luck with finding a good body wood guy. A few said they could do it and then when I sent full dimensional drawings of my patterns, they balked. I make a fair amount of wood and everyone who’s gotten wood from me has had little to no issues getting it to fit when I’ve made pieces off of originals miles away. I read so many negative opinions about how specialized someone has to be to do body wood yet I grew up a butcher in a family USDA slaughter house. I’ve also had damn near perfect luck making mirror image pieces from side to side. Yes it’s wood and yes it can require some hand fitting but I’ve never had a piece so far out it was unusable. When the body manufacturers made their body jigs, the didn’t make them different side to side, the guy fitting the body metal got sloppy and that’s where a lot of the issues came in. I’ve pulled original wood out of two sides and seen pieces on one side not fit well but use the better side to make my pieces in mirror. Those pieces fit the side that was done poorly when it left the factory.

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I did this job in Olympia, Washington a few years ago , all ash, (don't use oak). wood was purchased at a boat yard in town.

Can send you contact info if you wish. Being from Pennsylvania and having plenty of ash  i never expected to be so hard to get

in the west, and expensive. Good luck

 

Bus arriving at Lacey 005 (Medium).jpg

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Plenty of boats have had white oak framing for hundreds of years, a far worse environment.

 

Red oak however is a different matter. Capillaries, for want of a better word run lengthwise in red oak. You can take a piece a foot or so long, emerge one end in a pan of water and blow into the other end. All the bubbles one could hope for and moisture can travel the same route.   Jim43

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On 12/12/2021 at 7:36 PM, jim43 said:

Plenty of boats have had white oak framing for hundreds of years, a far worse environment.

 

Red oak however is a different matter. Capillaries, for want of a better word run lengthwise in red oak. You can take a piece a foot or so long, emerge one end in a pan of water and blow into the other end. All the bubbles one could hope for and moisture can travel the same route.   Jim43

Ash is a much more “toolable” wood than oak and is less susceptible to expansion/contraction with weather changes. Boats are always wet and oak is a good choice. Our cars not so much. Your blades, bits, and chisels all keep an edge longer when working with ash. It’s less prone to split and tenons splinter a lot less too. Ash is less porous and more flexible while keeping about the same strength. You can take a drag off a cigarette and blow the smoke through the end grain of a 1’ long piece oak which is pretty impressive to see but proves just how porous it is.

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I've used ash on all wood replacements for my cars and it isn't to difficult to find. Air dried is easy, but kiln dried can be a bit tricky.

I have a 28 Willys Whippet and was reading the confidential handbook the other day and saw this.

 

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I only had to make new cabriolet frame wood for the top on my car. The rest of the wood was in great shape for being 93 years old.

Is this something common to Willys or did other manufacturers also use a wood different than ash?

 

Bill

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Ash is preferred. I don't know about any "cheap gum wood". Maple should be fine I think. It is going to be a lot heavier than Ash. Elm is rot resistant, but I understand it is very difficult to machine.

 

I have heard from Canadians that Fisher Body often used hard maple north of the border. Fisher may be a special case. The volume was so high, and they had lumber contracts tied up all over the US and Canada, even here in Washington State. Spoiler: not much Ash grows here in Washington. It is mostly evergreen, not hardwood. We do have Alder but it tends to be just sticks. Fisher advertised that they used only hardwood, although I have heard of people occasionally finding Southern Yellow Pine. My 36 Pontiac has a bunch of rotten wood in the doors. I tried to identify it by the end grain structure and I think it is mostly Beech, although some parts are Ash. Beech is not a good choice. My guess is that if you bought an expensive car you probably got ash, and if you bought a cheap one you got whatever was available.

 

Edited by Bloo (see edit history)
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I know of southern yellow pine, never heard white pine referred to that way. SYP is actually a very hard durable rot resistant wood. Most it not all treated lumber is SYP. White pine on the other hand is very soft. Big problem I could see with SYP is the coarse graining. 

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Yes, you want a fine grained wood. I use oak for things like doorposts, and as far as I can tell, that is what the originals were on  my Canadian Built Mclaughlin and my International truck.  The rest of the wood was softer. It wasn't ash, but I don't know what they used. Perhaps whatever the suppliers had that month.  The truck had a Cedar roof. 

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18 hours ago, TAKerry said:

I know of southern yellow pine, never heard white pine referred to that way. SYP is actually a very hard durable rot resistant wood. Most it not all treated lumber is SYP. White pine on the other hand is very soft. Big problem I could see with SYP is the coarse graining. 

 

Oops. I meant southern yellow pine. I edited the post. The species of pine lumber that comes from the southern US is quite hard and substantial. It really is all by itself among pines you might consider making a body out of. Out west we see it in pallets among other things, but it does not grow here. That is the wood that allegedly turned up in a few Fisher bodies.

 

No pine is technically a hardwood, but whether something is a hardwood or softwood has nothing to do with how hard or soft it is. As I understand it, it is more of a technical detail about how the species of tree grows. Balsa is a hardwood for instance.

 

The Pines that grow in Washington (Ponderosa, etc.) are fairly soft and tend to split. They make fine 2x4s to build a house from, but would be terrible body wood.

 

Edited by Bloo (see edit history)
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I primarily use mahogany (I use that term loosely) for anything exterior arch. millwork I do. Its strong, tight grained, and easy to work with. It is fairly heavy though. Mahogany has become a catch all for that type of wood coming out of Africa and Asia. Not to be confused with real Mahogany from the East Indies, which is rare and quite expensive. I have noticed that the quality has changed greatly in the last couple of years. I used to build furniture with it but the stuff I get now is almost not up to that quality at this point.

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