Homemade Wooden Buck Part 2

The process of making the homemade wooden buck isn’t going to be as straight forward as copying the CAD plans.

Plus, my wood-working skills definitely need some polishing as a lot of this buck is PVC glue. It has demonstrated several things:

  • Seeing a car take shape in three dimensions has shown me how far my CAD model is out
  • Traditional craftsman were just that – masters of their craft

In an age when it is possible to get almost everything imaginable for a car, it is a shame that so many traditional car skills are so thin on the ground. The whole art of fashioning a car from just sheet metal is still shrouded in mystique and historical secrecy.

Many of the ‘Wheeling Machines’ used by today’s workshops, were the very same that produced bodies for Spitfires and Hurricanes in the Second World War. The skills of the early panel beaters, should be revered equally to those that pioneered travel through bravery and speed. With such icons as the E-type Jaguar and AC Cobra, you could argue that, using the English Wheel to produce anything less impressive would be dis-respecting those that shaped history itself.

When making a buck, an artistic eye is essential. Creating a model requires more than just tape measures and set-squares, you also need feeling and passion. Legendary figures, such as the truly great ‘Sir William Lyons’ of Jaguar, could create iconic shapes without sketches or computers; all that was needed was inspiration and vision.

For mortals like me, creating a ’37 Ford inspired shape is trickier than I hoped. Although, the car that inspired me isn’t a true replica with many of the lines exaggerated, you can see there is a clear ridge line along the centre of the front wing.

1937 Ford Sedan
Dreamsicle Side View

The ridge line is approximately 6″ from the edge of the wing, yet on my CAD model, for some reason unknown, I placed it further in-board and it looks very wrong. With my ridge line placed 10″ in-board, the wing is looking much more Jaguar XK120 than 37 Ford. Luckily, I have doubled the wood up, so once all the glue is fully dried, I will use a flap sander to completely re-shape it. What worries me, is there are quite a few ‘so called replicas’ out there, each displaying the originals’ hallmark features, yet for one reason or another, look distant cousins or in many cases – ugly. I want my car to look like an original yet chopped and sectioned ’37 Ford and not something that I’ve bolted an old grill to.

Wooden Buck - Front Wing

The wing is only crudely shaped at the moment. I have basically just in-filled the gaps. If you were to check the buck against my CAD, it would be a couple millimetre oversized, which may or not be helpful as an error of just 1mm in the CAD looks like a mile once transferred into wood. I think I will get the buck closer to the desired shape, then cover it with a thin layer of filler. That way, I will be able to feel a uniform surface with my hand, and I’ll be able to spray primer it one colour. The single colour will help my eye decide upon the correct shape. I am really glad that I filled in the wooden buck, as if I had gone the wire-frame route, I doubt if I would of spotted the mistake in my CAD drawing. I’m also glad that I haven’t fully assembled the drivers’ side wing as now the dimensions on the stations will need re-calculating and measuring. Luckily, the stations will need cutting down, as adding extra length would probably have meant scraping them and starting afresh.

The vertical boards are called ‘Stations’, I not quite sure what you’d call the in-fill boards but I guess you could call the spacer pieces ‘Noggins’ or ‘Dawgs’.

With all this wood in place, this wooden car buck is going to turn into a hefty piece of kit, I’m not sure if you could hammer against it, but once the glue is 100% dry, I am willing to give it a try.