25 Ford Model-T Tow Truck - update: 05/11/13


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I have a hard time resisting the urge to buy kits that I built as a kid. The AMT double T kit is one of them. I saw this one on a vendors table recently and had to grab it. Unfortunately, it only had the parts for the stock Model T.

That's cool. I'll build it.

This will be the pickup version and will also include a wrecker boom. Here's a mock up of the basic parts:

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Like many other kits, the rear axle is open on the top. On most models however, the axle is tight up against the underside of the car, so you'd never notice. On a Model T, the top of the axle is highly visible. Some plastic tube was cut in half and used to cover up the gap.

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Some scraps were also added on the top of the differential housing and used to fill in the gaps in the brake backing plates. The axle is not done yet, but starting to look better. Since this truck will support a wrecker boom, I scratch built some heavy duty tires using slices of PVC.

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I'm using basswood for the bed floor. The wood is stained with Minwax Provincial # 211. This will eventually get a clear coat.

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You don't usually see the doors opened up on the Model T roadster body. They're so small.

The real Model T's I've seen have a passenger side door only. This one will have that door opened up. With such a small door, the challenge will be to make hinges small enough to look in scale. These will be my smallest hinges yet.

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Edited by Alyn

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Posted · Report post

Cool project Alyn

Corey

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awsome looking sharp !!!!!!!

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well Alyn , I was wondering what you were going to come up with next! what a cool project! what kind of finish are you thinking about? old and weathered or new and shiney? either way I know it will be top notch as is all your builds! looking forward to this buddy!!

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Glad your building this. I just bought that double kit and had not planned building the stocker. You may have just changed my mind. Good luck with your build.

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I am liking it so far. It makes me think of BOARDWALK EMPIRE.

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Thanks for the kick-off comments, guys. Bill, this one will be "as restored", so the paint will be shiny. I may do some minor wear type weathering, but not much.

The underside of the fenders had a number of ejector pin marks, so I sanded them down till most disappeared, then added some spot putty to finish up. Once again, this area is more visible than on most other (newer) cars.

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Hinges consist of short sections of 1/32" brass tube soldered to 1/16" wide brass strips. I built a similar hinge for my 40 Ford rat rod; with two of these mounted to the door and matching ones mounted to the body. The 40 Ford hinges used a slightly larger tube size. The Model-T body is smaller and more delicate, so this part will only be mounted to the door. The body side will consist of a .020" brass wire bent at a 90° angle.

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Here's the two hinge pieces together which shows how little the wire side adds to the perceived size of the hinge.

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Here's a shot with the hinge mocked up on the body to show the relative size. In scale, the hinge is about 1 1/2" high, not including the wire section. That sounds about right to me.

Either the door or body will get a slight notch so the brass strips don't force the large door gap seen in this picture. As in full size cars, the lower hinge will stick out further from the body to allow the door to swing out in a horizontal plane.

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glad to see you making some progress Alyn! I haven't made any myself lol, hinges look great, looks like they will work very smoothly, look forward to more progress pics

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Alyn.......nice trick stuff you got going on........looks GREAT!!!!!!

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Nice work on the hinges.

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The stock T is a neat little kit and fun to build . Your mods look like a good idea regardless of how the kit is built . I especially like your hinges so far !

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Lookin good.

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Love stock Model T and As.

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appreciate your words of support my friends.

Here's a little more progress to show.

I keep sanding away at this rear axle, trying to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. it looks a little better with each pass. The snout of the pumpkin is very simplistic and doesn't do a very good job of representing the axles I've seen. I carved away some plastic intil it was much shorter, and then added a collar and ring of bolts. A little more detail was added to the top of the pumpkin as well. If you recall, this area was wide open on the original part. It's still looking rough, so I'll keep sanding and carving.

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Here's the mounting platform for the wrecker boom. It's made of 1/8th and 5/16th inch styrene angle. Some bolts will be added for attachment through the pickup bed into the frame (or so it will appear).

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Here's the basic structure for the wrecker boom. Lot's more to add including all kinds of bracing, cable drum and cable, gears, bolts and rivets, etc.

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Finally, here's some sideboards for the pickup bed. They consist of a basswood rail with 1/6" brass strips for support. The rivets are good old straight pins. The stain is the same as the bed floor; Minwax #211 Provincial. I had planned on clear coating the bed floor and these rails, but at this point that is still under consideration. The reason being, the clear coat can cause the wood to warp, so the question is do I want to deal with that possibility or settle for the current look. Still thinking about it...

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this is very cool!

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awsome stuff !!!!!!

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that is some sweet building right there Alyn!, you could maybe try some varnish, or wax on the wood, a little hand rubbing would make them fairly shiny, I know who I'm going to call if the Cuda rips out a u-joint! B)

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That's some awesome building. I've been thinking of a future project of making a custom tow truck; so this is a really good reference. Thanks for sharing.

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Alyn, I like the vehicle that you're building and wanted to say that Canadian-built Model Ts had both doors able to open while the US version only had the passenger side door. We (Canadians, that is) shipped cars to other Commonwealth countries that drove on the other side of the road so needed the other door operable.

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This is coming along very nicely. Great work so far.

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GREAT PROGRESS!!!

BEAUTIFUL WORK ALYN.

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Alyn, that is coming along nicely. Is that small wire that you used when gluing the tube to the rear axle?

Steve

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Finally, here's some sideboards for the pickup bed. They consist of a basswood rail with 1/6" brass strips for support. The rivets are good old straight pins. The stain is the same as the bed floor; Minwax #211 Provincial. I had planned on clear coating the bed floor and these rails, but at this point that is still under consideration. The reason being, the clear coat can cause the wood to warp, so the question is do I want to deal with that possibility or settle for the current look. Still thinking about it...

Here's something else to consider, Alyn:

Factory stock Model Ts did not have exposed natural wood at all. The flooring and bed floors were painted black. If you're looking for an all-factory appearance, the floor of the bed (boards and the metal rub strips) would be black and the sideboards would be aftermarket pieces, most likely oak. Those could be treated to any number of finishes.

Whatever way you decide to go with the wood, it's gonna be a killer model because you are already off to a great start!

B)

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thanks for the kind words, guys.

Bill, thanks for the tip, although more and more I'm thinking the wood looks good with just the stain and no clear.

Thanks for the added info Ken. Glad I didn't do the Canadian version. It would have been twice as difficult.

Stephen, the axle is wrapped with some mild steel wire the from floral department at Hobby Lobby or Michaels. It seems to me that wrapping round parts keeps them in alignment better than clamping.

And, thanks for the history lesson, Dan. I know I've read similar info somewhere, but the stained wood adds character, so this truck will be built in what I would call "parade style"; artistic license at the expense of accuracy. I've done a couple of pickup beds in basswood with a yellow stain, so this one ended up with the dark stain just to try something different. Not sure how I'll handle the wooden spokes on the wheels yet.

Here's a little more progress. The first rendition of the wrecker boom looked a little heavy, so I redid it in the next smaller size angle iron. The end was also curved to match one of my research pictures. Getting the angle to curve without buckling required 6 relief cuts on each piece. Then they were glued with a mixture of Ambroid and styrene shavings. I figured that would be stronger than just glue alone.

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I sanded off the molded in instrument cluster on the dash and replaced that with a couple of holes for some gauge bezels. I think some decals will look better here than dry brushing the molded in gauge details. Sorry for the lousy focus on this one.

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Here's the hood with the louvers opened up. It's not too tough to cut them open, but getting the cuts straight and even is another story. Hopefully the paint won't fill these back in.

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Finally, here's a mock up of how it's progressing. This is exactly the look I wanted, so the motivational juices are starting to flow.

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now, on to the top bows ...

Edited by Alyn

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This is VERY cool! I'm so happy to see so many stock Model Ts being built lately.

I need to grab one of those Double T kits and start building. What are you making that tow boom from?

Charlie Larkin

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