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heinke 11-26-2018 10:55 PM

Modern-day Miura: seeking buck making information
If you're not already familiar with my Miura project, the build diary is here: Modern-day Miura

For this project, I'm having a 3D model created for the body design and then having the model sliced into jig/buck stations. I will get the cutting instructions and then have the jig/buck stations water jet cut. I've already engaged professional help with the above but there's a set of answers/information I need to provide to the person doing the modeling work.

Let me state up front, I've done a fair amount of metal shaping but have yet to make a full blown buck. I'm hoping to learn from you all that have experience with buck making so I can avoid rookie mistakes :eek:

My initial questions are:
  1. What material (e.g. plywood, MDF, masonite, etc.) that can be water jet cut is best to use for making a buck?
  2. What is the best material thickness for buck stations?
  3. What is best spacing for buck stations?
  4. Should all buck stations be spaced the same or are there areas where buck stations should be closer/farther apart?
  5. What other considerations should I pass along for inclusion in the buck station design/definition?

I have a choice of either making the buck free standing or making it to sit on the chassis. A free standing buck sounds simpler to me but there might be advantages to using the chassis as a buck foundation. Is one of these approaches more advantageous? What are the considerations of going free standing or on chassis?

If freestanding, I've been thinking a multi-piece buck might work best. The Miura body is composed of a one piece flip-up front clip, a one piece flip-up rear clip, and the middle section. Making a separate buck for each of these sections seems logical to me. If done right the three could be joined together to form the whole car body buck. Has anyone made a buck like this? What are potential pitfalls with this approach?

Kerry Pinkerton 11-26-2018 11:11 PM

Joel, I can't answer any of your questions but applaud your decision to make a hard buck. I've wasted YEARS of work and rework because I did not take the time to make a hard buck which would have forced my panels to be symmetrical.

I love flexible shape patterns but without something to tell you HOW they fit to the next panel you can get out of symmetry in about half a heartbeat. Ask me how I know...:lol:

I'm at the point where I'm still not sure if I should continue on with work that I'm not happy with or bite the bullet, scan one side, have someone make it symmetrical, and get a buck made and start over. I'm not sure it wouldn't be faster even as far along as I appear to be.

Good luck. Your project is going to be awesome.

Marc Bourget 11-28-2018 10:45 AM

Isn't it RockHillWill that posted a series of hard bucks from European shops and/or museums? Check those threads?

Kerry Pinkerton 11-28-2018 11:42 AM

No, it's Bill Longyard that has posted all the photos from his travels while researching his books.

heinke 11-30-2018 04:54 PM

Still need buck building information
So I now have confirmation that using a buck aids the metal shaping process (thanks Kerry). What I don't have yet is input from those who've done this before. If that's you, please share your knowledge.

In addition to the questions in the initial thread post, I'd like advice on best tool for cutting buck stations. At first, I was thinking water jet because I'd heard that mentioned a couple of times. In poking around the last few days, I've also seen CNC Router mentioned. Does anyone have experience that would help to say which of these is the better tool/process?

Steve Hamilton 11-30-2018 07:46 PM

Hi Joel
Kerry is correct about Bill getting info in Europe, but Rockhill Will, did post a lot of info on CAD and water jet to make bucks. I saw the bucks and remember that they fit together very well.

The bucks were to be used for the Bugatti project that Jim Henry is building. Not sure of the best way to search for them.

I found this in the automotive projects


RockHillWill 11-30-2018 08:28 PM

These might help.

mr.c 12-01-2018 02:01 PM

Creative Workshop in Dania,FL built a one off of a 50's vintage sportscar. Their own design but it had a Maserati flavor to it. Riveted period fuel tank and all.
I visited their shop a few times as they had traced me down for some information on a ASA 1000 GT that they were restoring. Stan Lobitz and I went one time and I took some photos of the car in process. They used a steel rod buck as seen in this photo. The finished car was beautiful and the buck is hanging from the rafters in their showroom. Photos of the car should still be on their website.
The photo has some of the skins on the floor behind the car. Yes, nice work can be done in a messy shop.

Chris_Hamilton 12-02-2018 11:53 AM

Wonder how well that TIG in the background works on a wooden floor? :lol: Did go to the website, seems like a first rate shop.

heinke 12-03-2018 05:37 PM

Station buck findings
I've read every thread I could find where a station buck was involved and made several direct inquiries to people. What's interesting is as new applicable technologies have become available (e.g. 3D modeling, CNC, etc.), what's involved in making a station buck has changed. So this dynamic cuts down even further the number of people with experience in making a station buck with the current technology.

I'm not in the business of manufacturing cars and so realistically this buck will get used one time. I know it's important to have it but I also don't want to over engineer it either. So this is my current direction for making a station buck.

Materials: 1/2" MDF or plywood stations spaced at 6 or 8 inches.

Station Cutting: CNC laser or router, still working out which will work best given the businesses providing these services in my local area

Buck type: free standing egg crate that will likely get transformed to be mounted directly on chassis later in project

My initial need for the buck is to get reliable surface information for the purpose of fabricating the inner body structures. These inner structures need to run very close under the body skin and be designed to pass through
very narrow places and around various obstructions. I think I can get the needed surface information via lofting/making contour gauges from a free standing buck.

The main issue I have with a free standing buck over the longer term is lack of garage floor space. In other words, I need available floor space for the chassis itself and additional cars worth of floorspace for the buck. The beauty of a chassis mounted buck is it only takes up the floorspace for a single car. But the downside of a chassis mounted buck is the conflict between chassis components and inner structures with the buck stations. You need to cut openings in the stations where the inner structures pass through. So I think I can free up enough floor space for the time it takes to build the inner structures. Then I trim down the stations to fit on the chassis and around inner structures so I can reclaim the floorspace by mounting buck stations on the chassis.

So this is my quandary and why I'm thinking of starting with a free standing buck and then seeing what makes the most sense from there forward.

Thoughts? Ideas? Feedback?

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