If you have been following my blog, then you know I have been busy building a top for Poppy. This is my second top I have built using both steel and aluminum round tubing. I prefer 3/4 x .059 wall for the tops. My conduit bender works just fine except for tight radius’. I have completed the frame-work and now I am concentrating on how to connect the header to the Boyd windshield post.
They are aluminum and square in design. Walt and I looked at the top project and decided a clamp piece would work. I hope I could drill the holes and tap them without issue. I know from my experience, that tapping aluminum is not easy. And doing it while on the car is going to require a tap guide to keep it straight. It is all marked and just need enough nerve to drill the hole in the post using the drill guide.
I have also been told that I need lots of oil and a bottom tap since this is a blind hole I’m tapping. Went to look for a quality bottom tap and found that a 5/16″ x 18 would set me back $60 to tap two holes. I have an old one but YouTube tells me I need a new one with sharp threads. The tap also takes a special drill which is cheap by comparison. I am headed to the tool store to see what I can locate.
My decision to use aluminum rather than steel was primarily to improve my skill level in working with aluminum. And welding with A/C continuous is new to me. So far I not happy with my skills but I can tack it for my friend to finish weld. This old dog can still learn some new tricks and love trying to do something new for a change. If I fail, I will make it out of steel but I’m confident I can do a good job with aluminum.
The bows are also aluminum and will be covered with tan cloth the same color as the interior. Alan can make the front header work with his upholstery skills. He will also need to re-do the side upholstery for the upright tabs for the top to fasten to. That should be an easy job as Dave has his done that way and it works great. My top will not touch the body when installed. The design leaves a 1/4 gap around the perimeter for the air to flow through. A rear bar will have some small rubber cushions that attach to the bottom surface. It has been a fun project and I am looking forward to seeing it through completion.
click on photo for a larger image
The u-shaped bracket will hold the side tubes and the front header which is also aluminum.
After several attempts I finally cut the tube to conform to the body curvature. I still need to weld or have a new one bent up. The larger tubes have been replaced with 5/8″ inner aluminum rod so It will be strong and smoother.
I hope to have Poppy’s top in this stage by next weekend.
Elegance Upholstery did a great job on making the top look good. Poppy will have hidden snaps.
I thought the top side profile came out just about right.
Same posts on Bob’s Phaeton. Note square front header.
Murray’s 33 uses the same w/s post and a smooth top.
If I build my own Deuce it would like this one. Phil has one like this with the Hegman top.
Poppy is not this style but I like the low lid on this one.
Of course, the McGee top is the one to use on a classic roadster.