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Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
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PostPosted: July 13, 2018, 9:00 am 
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Location: That point where the humidity and the temperature combine forces to destroy all that is good
I've been puzzling over how to construct a "phaeton" style body tub for a few days, then it occurred to me that the big three have been supplying the raw materials for decades... VANS. Stick with me for a minute or ten. Cut the upper side panels off a few inches in from the drip rails and a couple of inches below the beltline molding. Oh, yeah; these have to be cargo vans and not passenger or conversion vans, to get the solid side panel in the length required. Unbolting and cutting as much of the flat floor out as possible wouldn't hurt, either. Now that you have your side sections, flip 'em upside down and set 'em between your rear wheels. Establish how much you need to remove to A. let the rear wheels turn, and B. get from the rear to the cowl. Leave the bottom (now the top) edge for later. Once you have your width established, and the panels cut to length, use the cutoff section to fill in the rear panel. Block this assembly up so you can set the floor panels in and cut them to fit, leaving an edge to fold up or down to make a flange to weld up. Once you've got the floor welded in, weld a tube form into the top edge where you want it to fall, cut off the excess and fold the rest over the tube. Yeah, I simplified the horse crap out of this, but I see it as a Quick-n-dirty phaeton body for cheap...

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PostPosted: July 13, 2018, 10:29 am 
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Yikes, I need you to cobble up some type of drawing to illustrate your idea so that I can follow it properly.

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PostPosted: July 13, 2018, 11:24 am 
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Location: That point where the humidity and the temperature combine forces to destroy all that is good
This is what happens when an ADD adult is stuck behind a van in traffic

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PostPosted: July 14, 2018, 8:30 am 
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Use the side pieces of a Chrysler mini-van with the fake wood look...
Bonus points if you cut the sides off a van in the WalMart parking lot and not a junkyard! :rofl:


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PostPosted: July 14, 2018, 11:10 am 
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GonzoRacer wrote:
Use the side pieces of a Chrysler mini-van with the fake wood look...
Bonus points if you cut the sides off a van in the WalMart parking lot and not a junkyard! :rofl:

I'd go as far as saying that you win the game if you cut the sides off a SWAT vehicle while in the PD parrking lot or in the middle of an actual call.

BTW, IIRC, that is where Ron Champion got his body panel metal from. Not the SWAT van but some similar van in the junkyard.

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PostPosted: July 14, 2018, 5:21 pm 
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PostPosted: July 16, 2018, 4:13 pm 
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I'm seriously considering this now. I need to take some critical measurements. And, decide whether my outriggers stay square or get angled back somewhat. The hood needs to be almost 36" long so far. I want to be able to build the floor and assemble the tub on "top" of it, slightly channeled. The cowl must come first. Once the tub is finished up, door openings on each side will be established and framing constructed while the skin is still in one piece. I have no idea if any of you grasp this without some pictures...... and I have none to show.

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PostPosted: July 16, 2018, 5:34 pm 
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Something like this????

Attachment:
Screen Shot 2018-07-16 at 4.33.11 PM.png
Screen Shot 2018-07-16 at 4.33.11 PM.png [ 478.22 KiB | Viewed 408 times ]

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PostPosted: July 17, 2018, 8:24 am 
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Location: That point where the humidity and the temperature combine forces to destroy all that is good
Much, much simpler and free standing fenders, no running boards.....

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PostPosted: July 17, 2018, 4:24 pm 
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Raccoonman wrote:
Much, much simpler and free standing fenders, no running boards.....

And for gosh-sakes do NOT paint it that color! Damn thing looks like a Creamsicle... :ack:

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PostPosted: July 18, 2018, 8:18 am 
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Patrick can and only will be BRG...... or as close as Rustoleum gets

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PostPosted: July 18, 2018, 2:47 pm 
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The more I look at the concept (and I think it would actually work), I'm stuck with the prospect of buying almost half of a van body and manhandling large portions of unwieldy sheet metal stampings around. It will be simpler and faster, IMHO, to build up the body from 1" tube and skin it in 18ga. Obtaining some curvature to the panels to stop oil-canning can be done by adding simple curved sections to the body skeleton uprights. Going to wish I had a spot welder, now. Also, I can construct working doors BEFORE skinning the body.....

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PostPosted: July 18, 2018, 3:48 pm 
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Not sure what this technique is called but back "In the day" it was not uncommon for bodies to be made from cloth, padded smooth on the more expensive cars.
Some even used leather!
So a simple wood framework over your crash protection, probably wire support molded to the wood, and padded cloth stretched over it all.
Similar to what some builders do to form fiberglass, without the 'glass, weight, and smell.
No sharp edges, maybe a few splinters, and a big sewing needle. :?:
This is how the old "Carson Top's" were made too.

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PostPosted: July 19, 2018, 7:54 am 
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That was called Weymann after the inventor, in it's perfected (?) form. There's actually two methods, one is more like traditional cabinetry (nice, tight joints) and then there's Weymann, where the joints are allowed to "float" and this in turn reduces squeaking, breaking of wood structure, and drumming. There's also another method which used hundreds of small wooden blocks glued together and sanded to final form and then painted with hundreds of coats of lacquer. I'm sticking with steel....

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PostPosted: August 6, 2018, 11:59 am 
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Location: That point where the humidity and the temperature combine forces to destroy all that is good
Thinking of going back to this method for constructing a body tub. Getting contours and reveal lines on my first attempt at true scratchbuilding is expecting far too much. I'm still building the floor and other support structure from 18ga sheet. We shall see......

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