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  #741  
Old 10-09-2017, 11:15 AM
Marc Bourget Marc Bourget is offline
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I used to think "custom" windshields were the things of big industry and even bigger budgets, then I watched a guy make a form for a Lola or McClaren sports car, and realized it's possible by someone with a much lower skill set than yours! I think the glass for the sports car came out at less than $3K (7-8 years ago) something with less curvature than yours would be much easier.

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  #742  
Old 10-09-2017, 11:16 AM
Marc Bourget Marc Bourget is offline
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I used to think "custom" windshields were the things of big industry and even bigger budgets, then I watched a guy make a form for a Lola or McClaren sports car, and realized it's possible by someone with a much lower skill set than yours! I think the glass for the sports car came out at less than $3K (7-8 years ago) something with less curvature like yours would be much easier - and cheaper.

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  #743  
Old 10-17-2017, 12:28 AM
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Jack 1957 Jack 1957 is offline
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Next up, fender brackets I laid out two brackets to hold the rear area of the front fenders. Fairly simple stuff. Two contact points on the inner fender reinforcement and one slotted bolt hole where it mounts to the hinge pillar.

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I put a 1/4" flange along each edge to stiffen them. A friend of mine gave me this mini break. It works pretty well on small stuff. It's not up to the job on full width bends on 18ga steel. It would work well with aluminum or thinner gage steel, though. I mention this because if you are considering buying equipment, you would be better off getting a bead roller. It will do anything this break will do and a lot more. I punched a couple holes in them and used the shrinker and stretcher to get the shape needed to fit.

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Here's where they go.

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I need to get the upper doors fitted up so I can determine the windshield height and location. I did some slight modification on the originals and they will work well. I can't weld them on yet but I can get them in their final location so I can start setting up the windshield frame.

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I measured and cut the cowl along the top of the firewall. I am keeping the original firewall along the outer edges where the hood hinges mount and where the front body/frame perches are. They are rust free and strong so there's no need to mess with them.

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I managed to get a windshield but I won't be able to use it for the final assemble. I got it cheap because it has a stone chip and a couple chips around the upper edge. I will use it in the process of making and test fitting the windshield frame. In the process, it will probably be lifted in and out of the car dozens of times and the risk of fitting up with a new $500 windshield worries me. It probably wouldn't get through the whole process without being scratched, chipped, or weld spattered. The windshield was what was holding me back so I needed something.

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I was thinking about shaping the windshield frame out of three layers of 18ga but after taking a closer look at how the original was made, I don't think so. Or at least not completely out of sheet metal.
Either way, I will need to get a couple custom dies turned. I get die blanks, actually what they are is "sprocket hubs". They're used to make one-off sprockets or pulleys. They can be bought in various sizes and configurations. These are 7/8" bore, 2 7/16" OD with a stepped down 2" OD, and 2" long. The right way to get them for a HF style bead roller would be to get 3/4 bore and open them up to .865" but I'm not worried about an extra .010". I need to decide what shapes I'll need and what dies I'd need to get them.

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  #744  
Old 10-17-2017, 03:51 AM
Gojeep Gojeep is offline
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Thanks for passing on the info on the sprocket hubs. Did not know about them.
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  #745  
Old 10-17-2017, 07:41 PM
onya onya is offline
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Thanks Jack,

I 'm off to Allied Bearings to get some Sprocket Hubs.
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  #746  
Old 10-17-2017, 10:39 PM
steve.murphy steve.murphy is offline
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Surplus center has them too.
http://www.surpluscenter.com/Sprocke...Sprocket-Hubs/
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  #747  
Old 10-20-2017, 08:18 PM
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Jack 1957 Jack 1957 is offline
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I need to cut the windshield and my Go-To guy is going for a knee replacement Monday so I'm on my own. I've done this before on my 57 Chevy but I don't like working with glass. I got it first time with the 57 and chalked it up to dumb luck. I don't recommend this method but I'm going to cover everything I do so here it is:
The reason for cutting is that the Buick windshield has a forward leaning A pillar which is what I want but the angle is too steep. On the original application, they used an inverted pie slice shaped vent window which allowed the run channel for the door glass to be vertical. I'm not using a vent window so the run channel will be angled and the door window will move rearward as it is rolled down. I allowed for this when I was working on the doors. Do you remember that I cut the top 12 inches of the back edge of the doors and leaned them forward? I wasn't just goofing off. This was the reason for doing that. I need the room back there to let the windows come down without hitting the inside of the door frame.
You can see in the picture below that the piece I'm cutting out is wedge shaped. I used striping tape to mark the cut. Masking tape can come off from the water. I set up a hose to trickle water over the work area.

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I use a Roto Zip and a 1/8" diamond bit. This one is 40 grit but if you were going to do this, I would recommend an 80 grit bit. It may cut a little slower but will give a smoother edge on the glass.

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Slow and steady. Patience is the main ingredient. Get in a comfortable position and take a break when you need to. Once I got in about 3 inches, I put spring clamps on to keep the waste glass from vibrating and causing a crack. Also, make small stress relief cuts every few inches.

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Next, just smooth out the ragged edges with 40 grit paper, then 80 grit on a DA and it's done.

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I started on the upper frame first. I'm using 1" x 2" rectangle tube on top and 1"x 1" on the sides. There will be additional 18ga sheet metal layers also. I put reference mark every couple inches along the length starting from the center and going out toward the ends. This is just to help locate exactly where it might need more work when going back and forth from the bender to the windshield.

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This will be bent in the vertical and horizontal planes so it goes through the process twice. Start bending from the center outward and creep up on it til you have the right shape. Many small bends to minimize kinking.

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  #748  
Old 10-20-2017, 08:44 PM
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Jack 1957 Jack 1957 is offline
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Next are the A pillar frames and the lower edges. I'm not going all the way across with the lower edge because this will be where the donor car firewall will merge with the original 49 cowl and hinge pillar and I don't know what I'll have going on there till I get the donor car.
I put a small piece of 3/16" steel across the top of the die to help spread out the pressure across a larger area. These frames will be 1" x 1".

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I made a template taken from the glass to help locate the two pieces and tacked them together.

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When I got them where they belong, I welded them up.

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Both A pillars welded and cleaned up. You can see the top bar laying there with the ends split. I will form the bend by hand then cap off the sides.

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I started locating the assemblies into the car. This is critical and I am pretty ragged by now so I'm going to leave this at this point and start fresh in the morning.

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  #749  
Old 10-24-2017, 10:14 PM
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Jack 1957 Jack 1957 is offline
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The A pillars fit to the glass, now they need to be fitted to the car. It's pretty tricky here because there is so much going on in this area. The glass has to end in the right spot along the door(I'll show you that later), has to fit within the door glass space which is only about an inch wide. It needs to be square and plumb and at the right height, sweep inward behind the hood, match up close to where the donor car firewall will merge with the 49 firewall, etc. etc.. A lot to consider so it took me a couple days to get everything where it belongs but this is where the A pillars go. Exactly. Right. Here. Notch the sheet metal and mark the location cuz after all that, I need to take them out and build the top bar.

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I've already put in the bends in the horizontal and vertical planes and slit the last few inches in each end so I could put in the tight bends at the corners. There's no way I could do a bend this tight in square tube. This would need specialized equipment. A mandrel bend and hydroforming to blow the kinks out . I don't see anything like that around this little garage.
I bent the curves in the upper and lower sufaces and cut out four filler plates and welded it all together.

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Back to the car to check fit again. It's OK, it didn't move from welding.

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I have nice gaps between the A pillars and the belt. Speaking of the belt area, if you look just past the end of the A pillar you can see a bend in the sheet metal. When these cars were built, they didn't have curved side windows but the door skin up here has that long curved body line. What they did was they made the vent window at a slight angle and the door glass at a different angle. It allowed the glass to follow the contour of the curved body line. I'll use this same bend to help me fit the curved windshield to the flat door glass.

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Looks good. Just like Ray's rendering.

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I also cut out the old door jamb on the hinge pillar and replaced it. Much better than patching up the holes in the old one.

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Last edited by Jack 1957; 10-24-2017 at 10:21 PM.
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  #750  
Old 10-25-2017, 03:47 AM
Gojeep Gojeep is offline
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Details like this can take some time to get it just right. Doesn't look like much to others very often, but it a a step that needs to be just right.
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