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Gluing the roof down


Gary56
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25 minutes ago, Gary56 said:

The type of roof I'm replacing is the chicken wire type 

Still not enough information: Many cars had a chicken wire type support. But some had everything tacked down around the edges while others had the top material stretched around a frame that was then pressed into the car body. I am sure there are more variations that I haven’t seen or heard about.

 

What make, model and year? It will make a difference on who is knowledgable and what the correct procedure is for installation.

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Is there a molding that runs across the front and rear to secure the fabric and is tacked in place by nails? what about the sides as well? Maybe a photo or two would be better since most of what is being talked about here is asking you questions that you don't seem to be to clear about the need for us to know to help you out. This is not a put down by any means but we can't help if we don't know exactly what was there.

Edited by Walt G (see edit history)
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The problem with the thin veneer is that now you’ve made a sound board, and it might be noisy in the rain.

 

Over the slats should be either chicken wire or a fabric, extending to the inside edge of the metal.

 

Next comes a thin cotton batting, DON’T use foam as it will disintegrate.

 

Over the batting is topping material, such as a cobra grain or similar, tacked around edge (there should be oval holes in the metal edge, one side of oval for material tack, other side of oval for trim strip tack).

 

Some cars had metal pieces to cover edge, some cars used a wire on or hides welting.  Either way, make sure the edges of the topping material are sealed with a waterproof sealant so that water doesn’t wick under top.

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The top was partly missing but no checking wire.  The slats were damaged so I replace it with vinegar.  I will be putting matting on top of the viner.  I have not treated the matting to prevent water from getting through.  Any suggestions?  I will send pictures when I can

 

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Like Trimacar said, do not use a plywood substrate. Best to do it correctly or you WILL have issues. You do not glue the roofing material down. Best to send some photos so that everyone is on the same page! The top bows, if missing , should be replaced. There is no quick and easy fix! There are several good Youtube videos that cover this topic and the advise given here is sound! I think that you'd be wise to do some research and check photos of that vehicle to get a better idea of how the top is configured!

 

Edited by jpage (see edit history)
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The reason no one can tell you what to use around the edge is that no good options exist.  
 

Many cars had a formed metal strip, some with nails that were filled in and painted, some, like Model A tops, with a metal strip with a slot, nail in slot,  and a rubber piece goes in to hide nail.

 

The difficult thing on inset fabric tops is making the curves front and back, I think Model A strips were mostly straight.

 

Some people use a vinyl trim such as wire on or hide-‘em, which is fine as long as edges are sealed well.

 

The hot rod guys have kits with metal strips one can bend, and have a cover that goes over them. See that here….    https://www.hotrodhotline.com/pr/2009/09julianostopkit/  

 

Look at one of the Model A catalogs, or search for hot rod top pieces. 

Edited by trimacar (see edit history)
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If you want factory quiet and look there is a bit of work to do. Like rebuild the slatted roof with the chicken wire. If you are looking for a quick fix then whatever works, but...

some tops were assembled then screwed in to place from inside the car. Let's hope it is not one of those. 

Most tops require good nailing strips around the edge , a good air stapler and some upholstery batting.

A layer of scrim cloth is placed on the chicken wire support and stapled down. Then a thin layer of batting is laid evenly across the top. 

Mark the center of the topping material. Backtack the front. That means you place the material upside down and put a strip of thin, heavy card along the front and staple that down, then flip the material back and stretch and staple in place.  it should look smooth and soft. The edge trip can be a problem but the Ford suppliers have a few styles. Some are very difficult to bend if necessary so choose carefully.   Tops can be fun!

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That's is considered a soft top insert as opposed to a steel insert top. Most all, if not all soft inserts were installed basically the same way. The types of finish trim and sealing methods  will vary from  make to make. You might try getting in touch with a local antique car club in your area and ask for help. A club member should be able to actually show you and explain the process.

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The op mentions veneer but he could be using 1 7/8” wide strips of 1/4 veneer for the slats. In many cases, this was the material originally used. I don’t used chicken wire anymore, instead I’ve opted for heavy denim. Staple from the middle out pulling it tightly and make sure I staple the denim through the slat into a bow about every 6sq inches. This helps prevent the puffy roof syndrome when driving down the road with a window open or when you close a door. I use 1/4-3/8” polyester padding and cut the padding about 1/2” shy of the nail area. Some spray adhesive helps hold the padding in place when the vinyl roof is put on.  I install a lot of roofs with custom bent aluminum moldings and I’ve spoke about my process so many times, I can’t again. I get $1200 to install a roof this way and not one customer has opted for the amateurish wire on method. I have pictures of my completed roof if people want to see them. 

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