In this installment in our series Bob Hamilton shows how to repair fiberglass on the 1927 T Bucket body to replace a panel that had been previously cut away. You’ll recall from Part 1 that Bob started with a fiberglass 1927 T Bucket body that had been carved up for drag racing purposes. Follow along for a quick course on fiberglass repair.
1927 T Bucket Body Repair
“This long panel was made in two separate pieces. I didn’t take a picture of how I made each piece, but this is how I did it. I took a piece of aluminum siding about 4 feet long and bent it in my brake at about a forty degree angle. Check the angle of the body (top) with a piece of welding rod or heavy wire, and match that angle. After that was done, I laid and taped wax paper over the top and then put three layers of one oz. fiberglass mat over the wax paper. The lower piece that is held with the clamps was made using a 2 x 4 to get the 90 degree angle. Wax paper was wrapped and taped, three layers of 1 oz. mat laid up. When both were set, they were cut and sanded so that there was about 5/8 ths to ¾ inch overlap on the body. Fiberglass bondo was used to attach the lip (overhang) and when set, sanded and smoothed and then two layers of 1 oz. mat applied over the new piece to the body from the top and three layers from underneath – joining the part to the body. The angle piece was attached using the fiberglass bondo as a glue to the two surfaces, clamped, and the excess wipe off. When set, two layers of mat were run across the top and three layers on the bottom or underside.”
“Clamps removed, you’ll notice the space between the new panel and the 1927 T Bucket body. This was filled with some rigid fiberglass panels cut from some scrap I had left over from another project. To make these panels, take a flat piece of plywood or masonite, cover it with wax paper, and lay up three or four layers of the 1 oz. mat. When set, remove, measure, cut, sand, and fit. Glass from the top and bottom. You could even use a 2 x 6 for the mold and this would give you the angle on one end. Smear the angled end with fiberglass bondo and clamp together leaving one inch to bond to the underside of the back part of the body. When set, lay 2 layers of mat to the top and three on the bottom tying the body to the part.”
“This shows the fruits of your labor. This procedure puts the strength back into the 1927 T Bucket body so that the floor, back divider, and the firewall can be added to square up and strengthen the body so that the frame and components can be built. With this kind of pre work done -– some block sanding and a little bondo work is all that is necessary and the body is back to better than new.”
“This is just another angle showing the work done. The opening is the same as a stock one – I sort of cheated on this one – I have a stock metal ’27 roadster body that I took the measurement from.”
“Here is a rear shot . I actually made the whole assembly even more rigid by adding two more layers of 1 oz. mat over the entire repair. The body ridge on both sides will be added later using several 1 inch strips glassed to the body, sanded, and shaped. A thin layer of regular bondo will be used to put the finishing touches on that and the rest of the repair.”
That’s all for this installment. If you’re interested in actually seeing how Bob Hamilton does fiberglass body repair like this we recommend the Fiberglass Body Modifications DVD in the StreetRod 101 DVD Library, available at our sister site, StreetRodPlans.com
We’ll continue this cool 1927 T roadster series on an almost daily basis, so check back regularly.
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