23 Roadster needs wood repair: Any suggestions?

Discuss all things Model T related.
Forum rules
If you need help logging in, or have question about how something works, use the Support forum located here Support Forum
Complete set of Forum Rules Forum Rules

Topic author
Stephen_heatherly
Posts: 84
Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2019 6:03 pm
First Name: Stephen
Last Name: Heatherly
Location: St. Louis MO

23 Roadster needs wood repair: Any suggestions?

Post by Stephen_heatherly » Thu Dec 19, 2019 7:07 am

Back in July this year I bought a 23 model T roadster. While taking care of numerous mechanical issues on the car I've come to realize that the structural wood in the body has seen better days and it's going to need some help. I have a retired cabinet maker friend who has offered to help me out with the body, but I don't want to take advantage of his kindness and ask for too much. It's likely I'll have to order some pieces to repair the body. After I sort out the mechanical areas, I intend to pull the body off and remove the sheet metal to determine exactly what I need to fix. Do you guys have any suggestions for suppliers for body wood and hardware? It's going to be a while, but I figured I might as well start researching now.

Thank you,
Stephen


Mark Osterman
Posts: 604
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:18 pm
First Name: Mark
Last Name: Osterman
Location: Rochester, NY

Re: 23 Roadster needs wood repair: Any suggestions?

Post by Mark Osterman » Thu Dec 19, 2019 8:08 am

Let’s see some pictures. Is it a wood or steel firewall? And if steel, is it a high or low hood?


Topic author
Stephen_heatherly
Posts: 84
Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2019 6:03 pm
First Name: Stephen
Last Name: Heatherly
Location: St. Louis MO

Re: 23 Roadster needs wood repair: Any suggestions?

Post by Stephen_heatherly » Thu Dec 19, 2019 8:26 am

I will post some pictures tonight when I get home. It has a low radiator and wooden firewall. The firewall has become somewhat soggy and will be replaced in addition to whatever else is damaged.

Thank you
Stephen


Sarikatime
Posts: 151
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2019 12:47 pm
First Name: Frank
Last Name: Seress
Location: Prescott, Arizona
MTFCA Number: 27707

Re: 23 Roadster needs wood repair: Any suggestions?

Post by Sarikatime » Thu Dec 19, 2019 8:33 am

I have a 21 touring body that I will need a few pieces of wood for in the near future as well. Who sells just certain pieces only and not the whole car rebuild. Frank


John kuehn
Posts: 690
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2019 8:00 pm
First Name: John
Last Name: Kuehn
Location: Texas
MTFCA Number: 28924

Re: 23 Roadster needs wood repair: Any suggestions?

Post by John kuehn » Thu Dec 19, 2019 8:35 am

Go to Classicwoodproducts in North Carolina. They make wood body kits and wood for you 23 Roadster.
Also Fordwood. Their website has wood body diagrams for Model T’s and wood kits but they are very hard to contact. But the body diagrams are helpful. Just letting you know ahead of time about those folks.
You need to determine if you car is a high radiator or low radiator car. The lower cowl body wood is a little different than the higher radiator cars. The high and low radiator( or cowl) is about 1” difference in height and makes a difference in sheet metal and wood.


rickd
Posts: 40
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2019 12:56 pm
First Name: Rick
Last Name: Duquette
Location: Grand Forks, North Dakota
MTFCA Number: 21848
MTFCI Number: 22173
Board Member Since: 2015

Re: 23 Roadster needs wood repair: Any suggestions?

Post by rickd » Thu Dec 19, 2019 8:44 am

I used a Cubel's Fordwood kit a few years ago on a 25 Touring resto. Good product and materials. Instructions were a little hard to follow. Be ready to hand fit the individual wood pieces as you go. It becomes apparent that each of our cars was hand built when you start re-wooding a T.


John kuehn
Posts: 690
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2019 8:00 pm
First Name: John
Last Name: Kuehn
Location: Texas
MTFCA Number: 28924

Re: 23 Roadster needs wood repair: Any suggestions?

Post by John kuehn » Thu Dec 19, 2019 9:29 am

Very good point rickd! I have a 21 Touring I rewooded and found out that Ford used different body makers to build the bodies. I bought a Fordwood kit and generally the wood fit BUT I had to do some refit up in some places. Best not to get in a hurry and taking you time is the way to go.


Mark Osterman
Posts: 604
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:18 pm
First Name: Mark
Last Name: Osterman
Location: Rochester, NY

Re: 23 Roadster needs wood repair: Any suggestions?

Post by Mark Osterman » Thu Dec 19, 2019 9:33 am

Make the firewall yourself or have some skillful woodworker make it. The ones available from vendors are made from off the shelf plywood and nothing like the originals. Use yours as a guide.


Scott_Conger
Posts: 2005
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2019 11:18 am
First Name: Scott
Last Name: Conger
Location: Clark, WY
Board Member Since: 2005

Re: 23 Roadster needs wood repair: Any suggestions?

Post by Scott_Conger » Thu Dec 19, 2019 5:58 pm

Mark

I am curious as to why you would think they were off-the-shelf plywood?

The ones I've seen were all cabinet grade birch plywood or cherry veneered plywood. Authentic? I don't know, but they're typically very nice (at least the couple I've seen, though that was some years ago).

If anyone was going to make their own, I'd suggest Baltic Birch as being superior to standard birch plywood. Your cabinet-maker friend will already know this.
Scott Conger

Full Flow Float Valves - deliver fuel like Henry intended!


wayne sheldon
Posts: 1294
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2019 3:13 pm
First Name: Wayne
Last Name: Sheldon
Location: Grass Valley Califunny, USA
Board Member Since: 2005

Re: 23 Roadster needs wood repair: Any suggestions?

Post by wayne sheldon » Thu Dec 19, 2019 8:17 pm

If you're going to make a firewall out of plywood? Whatever you chose to do? Make sure the plywood has exterior grade glue! My son made the mistake of buying some very nice cabinet grade plywood from a salvage sales supply store to build a nice workbench for his garage. After about a year in the garage, the plies began delaminating because being "cabinet grade, it was meant for indoors, and the glue used couldn't handle even slight moisture. Most general purpose plywoods today use exterior grade glue because the cost difference is very slight,and it isn't any longer worth the extra handling of marketing both interior and exterior grades of plywood. However, some cabinet grade plywoods still use interior only glues because they make a finer finish. So I have been told.


Kenny Edmondson
Posts: 70
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2019 8:26 am
First Name: Kenny
Last Name: Edmondson
Location: Indianapolis, IN

Re: 23 Roadster needs wood repair: Any suggestions?

Post by Kenny Edmondson » Mon Dec 23, 2019 7:21 am

I’ve got a complete wood kit for a 23-25 Roadster sitting at my house. Can save you a lot of time and money.


Scott_Conger
Posts: 2005
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2019 11:18 am
First Name: Scott
Last Name: Conger
Location: Clark, WY
Board Member Since: 2005

Re: 23 Roadster needs wood repair: Any suggestions?

Post by Scott_Conger » Mon Dec 23, 2019 11:37 am

Wayne

that's really something...I wonder what brand he got ahold of? I am not a cabinet maker, though have made cabinets, and always used Baltic Birch from a local cabinet supply company when I lived in FL. Came in 5' x 5' sheets which I guess is standard in EU. Honestly, I don't know if the glue is waterproof or not, but some of my scraps are over 20 years old and some have been left raw in weather for a couple of rain storms in FL with no obvious deterioration to laminations. Big box store birch plywood is warpy and have fewer plys than Baltic and I have seen them start to delaminate at edges when new...perhaps this is some of the stuff he got ahold of.

One thing, though, even waterproof glue cannot withstand fiber degradation due to moisture/mold/etc. I would wonder if your son's bench was unsealed and came apart due to wood deterioration at the bond line and not glue failure? In any event, Bummer!
Scott Conger

Full Flow Float Valves - deliver fuel like Henry intended!


KLTagert
Posts: 31
Joined: Fri Oct 04, 2019 9:31 am
First Name: Kathy
Last Name: Tagert
Location: Destin FL
MTFCA Number: 32467
MTFCI Number: 24412

Re: 23 Roadster needs wood repair: Any suggestions?

Post by KLTagert » Mon Dec 23, 2019 2:52 pm

My ‘23 roadster needs some minor wood replaced at the passenger door to cowl area; the post and an ‘S’ style top piece. Seems we have to buy an entire kit to get two pieces. We gave up trying to call Fordwood and leaving messages. We’re just going to try and cut/ carve ourselves. Good luck on your re-Wooding project.


R.V.Anderson
Posts: 182
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2019 6:01 pm
First Name: R.V.
Last Name: Anderson
Location: Kennedy, NY

Re: 23 Roadster needs wood repair: Any suggestions?

Post by R.V.Anderson » Mon Dec 23, 2019 4:17 pm

There was an article in Vol. 22 #6 (Nov./Dec. 1987) of The Vintage Ford about re-wooding a '23 roadster, with lots of photos. It may be of some help to you. Copies may still be available from the MTFCA.


Scott_Conger
Posts: 2005
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2019 11:18 am
First Name: Scott
Last Name: Conger
Location: Clark, WY
Board Member Since: 2005

Re: 23 Roadster needs wood repair: Any suggestions?

Post by Scott_Conger » Mon Dec 23, 2019 4:27 pm

RV's article was excellent and helped me out on my '23

anyone doing full or partial wood replacement is welcome to email me privately for photos...I have lots. Here's an example:
P2140034.JPG
Scott Conger

Full Flow Float Valves - deliver fuel like Henry intended!

User avatar

Hap_Tucker
Posts: 142
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2019 4:58 pm
First Name: Hap
Last Name: Tucker
Location: Sumter, SC
MTFCA Life Member: YES

Re: 23 Roadster needs wood repair: Any suggestions?

Post by Hap_Tucker » Mon Dec 23, 2019 4:31 pm

R.V. is being really modest...he wrote that article and did the rewooding on his 1923 (a low cowl roadster).

The club allows us to share his article to help promote the hobby as well as to help get a few more T's back on the road. If you would like a free scanned copy, for non-commercial use, drop me an e-mail with "send 1923 Roadster Rewooding" or similar subject and I will send you a copy. Please be sure to include your e-mail address as I don't know of any way to attach a document to a private message. My e-mail address is listed in my profile or you can also send me a Private Message -- but remember to include your e-mail.

If someone knows how I can attach a PDF to a Private Message -- please let me know -- but so far I haven't figured out a way to do that.

And thank you R.V. for all your support to our club and hobby!

Respectfully submitted,

Hap l9l5 cut off

User avatar

Hap_Tucker
Posts: 142
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2019 4:58 pm
First Name: Hap
Last Name: Tucker
Location: Sumter, SC
MTFCA Life Member: YES

Re: 23 Roadster needs wood repair: Any suggestions?

Post by Hap_Tucker » Mon Dec 23, 2019 9:59 pm

I believe that Classic Wood will sell individual pieces see: https://www.shop.classicwoodproductsllc ... OD_c36.htm . You will need to call them to confirm that. And it may be a case where they once did that but no longer do that? But if you call you can find out for sure one way or the other. Remember we are in the holidays so they may not get back to you until after the holidays. And if you provide them with some photos and a sketch with dimensions, one of their existing parts may fit.

Note on the Classic Wood web site they list a wood kit for a 1923-1925 roadster. I believe that can be a little misleading. The low cowl cars ended production in calendar year 1923 and are considered by many folks including original Ford literature to be a 1923 car. But the high cowl roadster and tourings were introduced around Aug 1923 and they are unfortunately are considered by some to be a 1923 car also [and many that were sold before 1924 were registered as 1923s when sold new]-- but Ford USA usually referred to them as 1924 models when it came to body parts. ( Ref: https://www.mtfca.com/encyclo/1923.htm )

I look foward to learning more about this. And I would encourage folks to also look at the 1925 Price List of Body Parts at: http://www.cimorelli.com/mtdl/1925/1925 ... istapr.pdf and note that there is not a really nice "this is a 1923 and that is a 1924." Some parts fit different years. Below is taken from a Roadster page. I drew the three red lines under the same part that changed enough to be listed with a different suffix for the same part. Note the overlap also in that each part overlapped with the follow on part. And they span 1922 to 1925.
3 version of same part 1922 to 1925.jpg
Respectfully submitted,

Hap l9l5 cut off


Topic author
Stephen_heatherly
Posts: 84
Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2019 6:03 pm
First Name: Stephen
Last Name: Heatherly
Location: St. Louis MO

Re: 23 Roadster needs wood repair: Any suggestions?

Post by Stephen_heatherly » Tue Dec 24, 2019 8:32 am

Hap, the reason for the two different pillars on your list is the 23 roadsters have a wooden pillar where the door attaches whereas the 24-25, I believe, have a steel pillar there.

Stephen


R.V.Anderson
Posts: 182
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2019 6:01 pm
First Name: R.V.
Last Name: Anderson
Location: Kennedy, NY

Re: 23 Roadster needs wood repair: Any suggestions?

Post by R.V.Anderson » Tue Dec 24, 2019 2:00 pm

Hap, you're being very kind. While I did write the article, in re-reading it over the years I cringe at some of the errors I made in it, such as mis-identifying the years of component parts such as brackets. I think the main value of the article is the photos. But I do appreciate the generous words and am especially glad to hear that some folks were helped in their restorations, which was the point of the whole thing.


wayne sheldon
Posts: 1294
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2019 3:13 pm
First Name: Wayne
Last Name: Sheldon
Location: Grass Valley Califunny, USA
Board Member Since: 2005

Re: 23 Roadster needs wood repair: Any suggestions?

Post by wayne sheldon » Tue Dec 24, 2019 7:43 pm

In addition to R V's wonderful article, I would recommend anyone considering a re-wood project, reading a current thread on Don Booth's center-door restoration. He is not near done yet, but there are some good tips on how re-wooding should be done.
Link to page two, where the wood work begins;

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=7824&start=100


Kathy T, (et al), One of the good points is that it is a good idea to rough in a piece of cheap wood. Using scraps of pine or whatever is laying around, hack it a bit, oops, glue or tack a bit on, shims or wedges as needed. Once you get it to fit, and shaped basically how you want it? THEN use it as a pattern to copy for cutting out of your proper good wood. If most of your wood is good to use, and you need just a few pieces? This is the way to do it!

User avatar

Mark Gregush
Posts: 1580
Joined: Sat Jan 05, 2019 1:57 pm
First Name: Mark
Last Name: Gregush
Location: Portland Or
Board Member Since: 1999

Re: 23 Roadster needs wood repair: Any suggestions?

Post by Mark Gregush » Sun Dec 29, 2019 3:01 am

That same issue listed above has a couple of good how to do on starters and generators.
I know the voices aren't real but damn they have some good ideas! :roll:

1921 Huckster
1925 Cut down pickup

User avatar

Will_Vanderburg
Posts: 210
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2019 3:59 pm
First Name: William
Last Name: Vanderburg
Location: Jackson, NJ
MTFCA Number: 28382

Re: 23 Roadster needs wood repair: Any suggestions?

Post by Will_Vanderburg » Wed Jan 01, 2020 4:01 pm

The 24-25 tourings have a steel pillar on the RH side. I bought one from someone on the forum 10 years ago and wound up not using it, and just opted for wood when I rewooded my car.
William L Vanderburg

1925 Touring
1922 Center Door Sedan

Post Reply Previous topicNext topic