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Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
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 Post subject: Wood-frame cars
PostPosted: February 27, 2015, 2:01 pm 
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Location: Vacaville, California
Inspired by the Costin designs featured in the Carbon Fiber Frame? thread in this sub-forum, I thought I'd open a new topic for all-wood frames and bodies, with special emphasis on DIY 7-esque cars.

First, some eye-candy/inspiration... :D

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Sadly, I am unable to find additional info on the car above.

And now for something more modern...yes, Virginia, that's a real car.

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A well done video on making the Splinter.

And finally, Modern Mechanix's do-it-yourself all-wood chassis and body project from 1956.

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Feel free to discuss and add. :cheers:

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 Post subject: Re: Wood-frame cars
PostPosted: February 27, 2015, 2:16 pm 
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I'll see your wood cars and raise you this:

Image

Built on an ash frame with some steel banding. Probably doesn't add much to this discussion in terms of strength and/or ground breaking technology, but I still think its cool.

Rod


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 Post subject: Re: Wood-frame cars
PostPosted: February 27, 2015, 3:58 pm 
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I recognize that wood can be used, but in any of the critical areas with things bolted onto it I worry that over time it simply won't last. If nothing else the holes will wallow out and allow play.

But as a stiffner like GM did in the floor of the Vette I'm down with it.

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 Post subject: Re: Wood-frame cars
PostPosted: February 27, 2015, 4:07 pm 
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carguy123 wrote:
I recognize that wood can be used, but in any of the critical areas with things bolted onto it I worry that over time it simply won't last. If nothing else the holes will wallow out and allow play.

But as a stiffner like GM did in the floor of the Vette I'm down with it.

Morgan have been making wood-framed cars for the better part of a century, and with reasonable care and maintenance will readily make it to half a century of wet, rainy road use. Should certainly be possible with a sunny-weather runabout.

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 Post subject: Re: Wood-frame cars
PostPosted: February 27, 2015, 4:38 pm 
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I guess we're all attracted to different things. That wooden 7 is just too beautiful to drive though. What I really liked was the 1956 view of the Phone of Tomorrow - a long tomorrow.
:wink:

John


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 Post subject: Re: Wood-frame cars
PostPosted: February 27, 2015, 5:54 pm 
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carguy123 wrote:
I recognize that wood can be used, but in any of the critical areas with things bolted onto it I worry that over time it simply won't last. If nothing else the holes will wallow out and allow play.


This is one of Frank Costin's first plywood moocoques - built well over a half a century ago and still racing:

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...though admittedly the interior is looking a bit shabby :wink: :

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This might be stretching the definition of wood-frame a little (it's structure is plywood faced with thin 28 gauge skins of aluminium), but I think warrants a mention because it's a an early and clever example of a monocoque, and at 587lb is very lightweight indeed:

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(the Issigonis Lightweight Special: 1938 and still racing)



I think that Cyclekarts look awfully good fun, too, and would make an interesting basis for an ultra-minimalist (and very lo-cost!) road car:

Image

Image

Image


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 Post subject: Re: Wood-frame cars
PostPosted: February 27, 2015, 6:24 pm 
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Sam_68, do you have any additional information about the wood finished 7 in the photo at the top of this page? I see it on Alan B. Thompson's Flickr page, but can't find any additional info about it. Such as...wood bodywork over conventional steel tube frame, or all-wood chassis with wood bodywork? Thanks, Stan

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 Post subject: Re: Wood-frame cars
PostPosted: February 27, 2015, 6:31 pm 
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[quote="DauntlessMorgan have been making wood-framed cars for the better part of a century, and with reasonable care and maintenance will readily make it to half a century of wet, rainy road use. Should certainly be possible with a sunny-weather runabout.[/quote]

Keep reading. Morgan has never made wooden chassis, only wooden framed coach-built bodies. Ford Model T technology.

"Nearly all the metal is aluminum — on the AeroMax and Aero8 apart from the wishbones and the discs the car is almost entirely aluminum. The Classic has a galvanized steel chassis, a stainless steel bulkhead and firewall, and inner wings — beyond that everything is the same, ash frame paneled body and aluminum."


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 Post subject: Re: Wood-frame cars
PostPosted: February 27, 2015, 6:54 pm 
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JonW wrote:
Keep reading. Morgan has never made wooden chassis, only wooden framed coach-built bodies. Ford Model T technology.

"Nearly all the metal is aluminum — on the AeroMax and Aero8 apart from the wishbones and the discs the car is almost entirely aluminum. The Classic has a galvanized steel chassis, a stainless steel bulkhead and firewall, and inner wings — beyond that everything is the same, ash frame paneled body and aluminum."

Ah yes, I missed that detail, and it appears I conflated the word "frame" with "chassis". Still, for the purposes of this thread/topic, I am interested in Costin-style all-wood construction (or as near as practical). Sort of a throw-back version of the FW400. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Wood-frame cars
PostPosted: February 27, 2015, 7:00 pm 
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I built a wooden chassis vehicle back when I was ummm , that was , mumble mumble years ago. We mounted a 2-1/2 Briggs on a hollow core door that powered one of the 2 rear wheels. A piece of 2x4 with a bolt thru the center and a length of rope served as the front axle and steering. Hey, it was a wooden chassis! Does it count?

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 Post subject: Re: Wood-frame cars
PostPosted: February 27, 2015, 7:06 pm 
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Dauntless wrote:
Sam_68, do you have any additional information about the wood finished 7 in the photo at the top of this page?


No, I'm afraid not - I've never come across it before!

Despite the very reasonable conclusions you might draw from my limited posting history, so far, I'm not really that much of a wood-head!

I have to reiterate what I said over on the Carbon Fibre thread - my main interest in timber structures (for cars; disregarding the day job!) is for the lessons they can teach for monocoque structures in other materials. Much as I love them as quirks and curios, I think we probably have to admit that wooden monocoques won't be as structurally efficient (in terms of stiffness:weight) as those constructed the latest man-made fibre composites.

...But they offer an interesting, sustainable and, above all, cost effective 'locost' approach that is still capable of competing with steel spaceframe technology.

The other thing I think we have to remember - amply demonstrated by the very interesting video on the Splinter that you linked in your first post - is that they are very time-consuming and require a lot of manual skill to construct. According to one reference I have, the tub of the later (post-Costin) wood-chassis Marcos consisted of no less than 386 parts, each of which had to be manually bonded together. This is fine for the 'Locost' approach, where we don't count our labour time, but it made cars like the Costin-Nathan, Marcos and Amigo fabulously labour-intensive, and therefore expensive, to manufacture for sale.


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 Post subject: Re: Wood-frame cars
PostPosted: February 27, 2015, 9:15 pm 
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Sam_68 wrote:
No, I'm afraid not - I've never come across it before!


... although looking at the picture in more detail (particularly the pickup for the rear trailing arm and the hint of black-painted chassis rails below the tub), I'm tempted to think that it might well be a Locust... a relatively common, plans-built kit car over here in he UK, based on a steel ladder chassis with a wooden body tub.

If it is a Locust, it's a very well finished one, though - given the nature of the plans-built construction, they have a reputation for being a bit amateurish, as a general rule, although there are one or two very nice ones out there.


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 Post subject: Re: Wood-frame cars
PostPosted: February 28, 2015, 12:39 am 
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Figured that I'd beat JD to it....

Attachment:
Screen Shot 2015-02-27 at 10.30.52 PM.png
Screen Shot 2015-02-27 at 10.30.52 PM.png [ 244.44 KiB | Viewed 2512 times ]


And a neat looking wood body


Attachments:
Screen Shot 2015-02-27 at 10.32.50 PM.png
Screen Shot 2015-02-27 at 10.32.50 PM.png [ 646.71 KiB | Viewed 2512 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: Wood-frame cars
PostPosted: February 28, 2015, 12:55 am 
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Wish I'd thought of the Flintstone cartoon first... Dang it! :mrgreen:

Serious question- That blue Costin-designed coupe, why is the roof so tall and the cockpit area so bulbous lookin? Looks like an AMC Pacer. Anybody know?

I've been following this thread and the carbon-fiber chassis with interest.

:cheers:

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 Post subject: Re: Wood-frame cars
PostPosted: February 28, 2015, 4:42 am 
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GonzoRacer wrote:
Serious question- That blue Costin-designed coupe, why is the roof so tall and the cockpit area so bulbous lookin? Looks like an AMC Pacer. Anybody know?

In a word, aerodynamics. :)

I can bore you with a much longer explanation and historical background if you wish?


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