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Old 07-20-2007, 12:58 AM
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How to chop a Model A Ford Sedan

I know as fabricators this isnt a real challenge to most of us. But I thought there might be a beginner out there that might be interested in a project like this. Ive got picks of several different types of chops and vechicles if intrested PM me. Its true that the early 30's cars and earlyer are much easyer to chop than the later 40's, 50's, 60's and so on. the 30's era cars were very square. When the waste piece is removed from the center, the top fits up very well with the bottom. With all that said I will try to explain whats going on in these pics.

Before I chop any car I like to get a feel for how much I can take out and still function in the car. I get a seat bottom and set it right on the floor. Jump in and get a feel for the peddles, steering, shifter, ect. once I figure out how much I can get rid of, the game is on. I mark everything out with pencil. for this chop I took out 6". It was a little much for me, Im 6'. But my customer is in the 5'3" range, so removing 6" was fine for him. After penciling it in I use masking tape to define the waste material. I find the edge of the tape makes for a good contrast to follow with the sawsall or plasma cutter. I then take a few minutes to cross brace the inside with 1"x1" square tube. I dont get to weird about this, I just tack up the walls so they dont move while removing the roof.





After marking door posts A pillers, B pillers ect. some thought should be given to copping rear windows, window mouldings, and frames. Sometimes the windows get to small to be functional. If thats the case they just dont look right. Sometimes I cut out the rear window and reinsert it with a partial chop or in the stock height. This chop is straight foward and no extra work was done to the window. Its time to sawsall along the top of the masking tape seperating the top from the bottom.


Then cut along the bottom of the tape line. Its tempting to dumpster the part cut out, dont! Those little pieces can often times be used to patch, or fix mistakes. Not that Ive ever used them. LOL At this time it good to even all the welds up. with a straight edge I true up the uneven cuts, and use a die grinder with a 3" sanding disc to even out the cuts. in this case its pretty easy. Just set the top back on and tack it into place. I use a Millermatic 135 115 volt machine. I use E70S6 wire .025 dia. with C25 mig mix, or straight CO2. I dont do a continuous weld. I do a series of spot or tack welds. I space them out about an inch apart, and move around the car allowing the sopt to cool before welding next to it. After about 20 trips around the car spot welding the seam, its all fills in and apears to be one weld.




Using the same 3" sanding disc. I used earlyer, I then grind off all the excess weld on the ourside and inside of the car. Using this technique worpage is minimal. Where there is worping it is easy to move the metal around now with the hammer and dolly.



In this pic you can see how I sliced the inside of the window frame vertically. By spreding the narrower tophalf, and squizing the wider bottom half, it gives a consistant line and inside edge. I looks like its always been that way. The final attention to details like this is more important than the chop itself.


The door frames and window frames are very straight foward so I will spare you the boring details of that process. At this point you can cut out the cross bracing and finish up with glazing putty and primer.






I relize this is a very basic explination of the process, but with this group I think it should be Fine. feel free to PM me with any questions. Thanks Bob

Last edited by METAL TWISTER; 07-20-2007 at 11:36 AM.
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Old 07-20-2007, 09:31 AM
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Excellent write up there is a lot of info that can be applied to other sheetmetal work for user not doing hotrods.

I like that because I am huge advocate of cross motorsports fabrication....when I go to SEMA I spend more time in other areas than I do the offroad section and I have an offroad shop....

Again excellent info, keep it up......now all you have to do is truck my all time favorite rod over to my shop and we will call it even....LOL
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Old 07-20-2007, 11:37 AM
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MT that is awesome work keep the pic's coming also could you explain what it is to channel a car
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Old 07-20-2007, 12:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bent and Twisted View Post
MT that is awesome work keep the pic's coming also could you explain what it is to channel a car
When a car is channeled, it usually means you cut the floor out and slide the body down over the frame futher. This car was channeled 5 inches. Ill dig out some pics of that.






Last edited by METAL TWISTER; 07-20-2007 at 12:16 PM.
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Old 07-20-2007, 01:53 PM
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I have always heard the term now I know what it means thanks MT, I have always wanted a Rat Rod so you may be getting more newbie questions from me when I find the right one
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Old 07-20-2007, 02:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bent and Twisted View Post
I have always heard the term now I know what it means thanks MT, I have always wanted a Rat Rod so you may be getting more newbie questions from me when I find the right one
Very Cool!!
Theres not enough Rats in the world, We need more!
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Old 07-20-2007, 02:36 PM
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Very cool. And your right the world dose need more rat rods.
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Old 07-22-2007, 11:22 PM
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Thats a nice A
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Old 07-23-2007, 12:29 AM
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Thats a nice A
I like yours more!!! So are you ready to get the saws all out? 6" Gone would make yours look sooooo sick.
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Old 09-09-2007, 03:33 PM
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hmmm 6" eh....
Shortly, I'm kinda in the process of getting my garage wiring, insulated and heated. Then a few more tools and its back to production on the sedan.
I have so much stuff to do and so much to buy its not even funny. But I think the body work, chop and paint is just around the corner....
or atleast the chop will be cause that will be more enjoyable than alot of the other stuff I've got left to do.
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Old 09-16-2007, 09:19 PM
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just starting

That sedan is way cool. I was wondering if there were any more pics of the channel job.Im just starting my project and wanted a little direction.
Thanks and keep up the awesome work.
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Old 09-20-2007, 03:05 PM
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I've always wondered....how do you go about lining up the "A" piller if it is on an angle?
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Old 09-20-2007, 07:08 PM
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Quote:
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I've always wondered....how do you go about lining up the "A" piller if it is on an angle?
You have to quarter the roof.
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Old 01-05-2008, 09:27 PM
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Quote:
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I've always wondered....how do you go about lining up the "A" piller if it is on an angle?
Actually, on model A's it drops right into place. No roof cutting is needed.
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Old 05-19-2008, 11:43 PM
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Just a quick update on the Model A Sedan we hacked up a few years ago. We did it at the time for a 16 year old who wanted a rat rod. We just caught up with it and was told it is now a theme car... still not quite finished. Star Wars Anyone?








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Old 05-20-2008, 12:34 AM
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Oh dear. It looks better rusty.
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Old 05-20-2008, 08:26 AM
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Oh dear. It looks better rusty.
.............LOL


to each there own, I think i would like the rat rod my self. Flat heads are cool.
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Old 05-28-2008, 06:48 PM
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Nice work on the chop.

Too bad about the Star Wars paint though. Like LadderBar said to each his own

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Old 07-06-2008, 12:04 PM
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I found one I would love to get, it is already chopped and the frame has been Z'ed.....But I dont know....

Metal, do you know anyone who makes a reproduction Steel body? I can find the Fiberglass ones but dont want that....If I could find a steel body I would pick up a chassis from Progressive and have a new project....

Oh ya one more thing....have you seen anyone do a hidden door hinge on the model-A....I think shaving the door handles and putting a hidden hinge or suicide dooron would be cool....
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Old 07-06-2008, 01:25 PM
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Here ya go..Keith.. http://www.brookville-roadster.com/ bring your big check book...LOL they have excellent bodies though, probably safe to say they are the best..
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