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Old 06-23-2022, 08:57 PM
rockable rockable is offline
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Default 37 Packard Question

I bought a 37 Packard coupe that will be a future project, so I am not starting a build thread on it yet. It will be a custom car, not original restoration.

There will be a lot of metal fabrication involved because this was a wooden framed car, originally. Most of the wood is rotten and will be replaced with square or rectangular tubing. I find myself looking at this project and wondering how I am going to do some parts of it, so I will ask some questions here.

The trunk lid is rusty but solid. It appears to be about 20 ga. sheet metal. The original frame was made of wood and a sheet metal "frame" was screwed to the wood. The skin was then folded over the "frame". I believe I can make a frame out of 1 x 1 tubing with no problem. The question is, "How do I attach the sheet metal "frame" to the tubing frame? I could tack weld it at intervals on both sides, I suppose but I wonder what that would do to the skin. I would like to get this done and rigid before having the lid chemically stripped. I know it's too thin to media blast.

Thanks for your ideas and experienced opinions. If I figure out how to do this piece, I should be able to handle the rest. (Ha Ha!)
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Last edited by rockable; 06-23-2022 at 08:59 PM.
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Old 06-23-2022, 10:14 PM
crystallographic crystallographic is offline
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Having participated as a metalman on over a dozen 1930's Packard restos ....
I have thought about the "re-framing / reskinning" of the trunk lids.
Yes, the wood/timber frame goes to worms. Rust gets into the overlay plate screwed to the frame. And rust gets into the hem area of the lid skin.
Unskinning is a matter of getting out the small O/A torch, with #2 tip and a sharp noisy flame, and a little pry tool and small ball pein hammer.
1)
Heat 2 in. of the EDGE of the fold of the hem to dull red and drive the prytool under the flange and pry it up. Then heat the next section, lift that up, and so on.
A helper can watch the first two heat/lift operations, and then take the torch and heat ahead of the prying for you, as you go on.
Lift to 90 deg only.
Go all 360.
Lift off skin.
Clean surface of flat steel "ring frame" screwed to timber frame. Brace this frame assy onto a table for next step.
Do not separate the two major parts of this timber/steel frame until the angle iron frame is completed and accurately fit to the timber frame.
Think about making this angle iron frame to replace the timber/steel frame, and then removing/overlaying the steel flat-ring onto the angle assy, drilling/tapping the matching holes, and flush-screwing them together.
Mount new angle frame assy on hinges and mangle/warp gently to fit opening. Lay on lid skin and check fit/gap 360.
Cleco/screw skin 4 places to hold/ 1 screw per side and check closely.
Begin hemming skin back over - only on straights, not corners - corners are last to set down. Use a dash of heat here and there to help avoid "hard" hammering.
Heating the edge to UNFOLD the hem is to Avoid Edge-splitting.
IF the hem splits, then welding it will bring tears of woe and despair, along with distortion and LOTS of spackle and time .... and sometimes accompanied by heavy drinking.
Go slowly.+ Observe carefully. = Try to avoid "hurrying to the junkyard."
Good Luck,
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Last edited by crystallographic; 06-23-2022 at 10:21 PM.
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Old 06-24-2022, 06:24 AM
rockable rockable is offline
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Thanks, Kent! I knew someone had been down this road before. I really appreciate the advice. I have a tubing roller and am going to attempt to make the frame from square tubing. I understand why that has to be made first.
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Old 06-24-2022, 11:12 AM
crystallographic crystallographic is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockable View Post
Thanks, Kent! I knew someone had been down this road before. I really appreciate the advice. I have a tubing roller and am going to attempt to make the frame from square tubing. I understand why that has to be made first.
If you roll into kinks on corners - just thin-saw splits on upper and lower tube faces - on center line - and then finish rolling and fitting, then weld the splits back up. Might need a tad correcting on each corner, so re-roll when hot, post-welding.
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Last edited by crystallographic; 06-24-2022 at 12:08 PM.
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Old 06-24-2022, 05:37 PM
ojh ojh is offline
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Heavy drinking?, Kent, really.
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Old 06-24-2022, 05:50 PM
rockable rockable is offline
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I identified with that. Thanks again, Kent!
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Old 06-24-2022, 06:45 PM
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Steve Hamilton Steve Hamilton is offline
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Hi Rock
Kent is a Master, I would pay close attention to his advice.
As for the chemical stripping I would recommend that it be done before mounting it to the frame. I would not worry about the skin being dented or twisted while being dipped. Provided the new frame is made accurately the skin will easily flex to match back up.
I would not want to have the chemicals trapped in the tubing at between the structure and skin.
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Old 06-24-2022, 09:12 PM
rockable rockable is offline
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Good point. Thanks. I've been lurking around here a long time. I am very aware of Kent's credentials. He is the Man!
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