View Full Version : Slant Chop
06-09-2004, 04:07 PM
Hi Guys! :D I am a new, first timer and am trying to learn the craft. I have a '35 Ford 5 window coupe and am going to replace patch panels and want to do a Slant chop of 3" in front and 2" in the back.
Where I am completely lost (well, I'm generally lost a lot) is that in reading about these chops, the Roof Top is generally cut into three pieces (front of roof and door posts one piece, the rear of the top in two separate pieces) is aligning these pieces after you have tacked them into place to make them "line up" so you can make a panel to fit and finish welding the top. After reading a bunch of the postings, I kind of feel like an idiot, because all of the car magazines said to but a Tig Welder, so I got a new Lincoln Pro 185-I now realize I could have bought an O/A setup and had a lot more Hammers, Bags and such!!!
I am also confused as to how to line up the "B" pillar after cutting it. I realize these are rookie questions-Thank You so much for this forum, as I have used waaaay too much bondo over the years!
06-09-2004, 06:05 PM
Hi 35 window, A couple of months ago in street rodder did an excellent job on chopping the 35 ford coupe.It was in a couple of issues and done at Marcel Delays shop. This article will answer most of your questions on this chop. The only hard part of the 35 coupe is that at the rear of the top you have to reshape both rear corners all of the way to the belt line. You can go right to street rodder and order the back issues of the magazine or go online and find it on there site as this years back issues are there.
After reading this article we can then help talk you through the chop and keep you from getting into trouble. Dutch
06-10-2004, 11:35 AM
Thank you for responding. I did see both installments of that Article, however it was on a 3-Window (obviously no "B" pillar), and it wasn't a Slant Chop. Also, it didn't seem to show how they reconciled the problem with the line-up of the back glass. I have read as much about the subject as I can find, but it doesn't seem like anyone has addressed (in print) a Slant Chop on a mid-'30's Ford (sloping roof).
It seems unanimous to chop the top to fit the glass, and I realize that there will be a gap somewhere in the roof. Where I think I am a little confused is in the rear corners and quarter windows. Won't the distance from the back glass to the "B" pillar be too long after the chop? If that is the case, wouldnt' it be better to slice the top in the middle of the quarter windows (although that seems to add a lot of fabrication).
And, as in my last correspondence, I am uncertain as to how to line up the roof (and the type of cuts) for the Slant Chop and look right when it's done.
I am definitely a rookie at this and want to do it right-maybe a Slant Chop is too advanced for my skills. I wish your shop was close to me. Thank you very much for the response and I really appreciate this forum.
06-10-2004, 02:20 PM
Got a good side view picture? I like to take the picture and trace the outline and any pertinent details on to a sheet of paper. Trace again on to another sheet without the top and make some copies of it. Now overlay the copies on the original tracing and change the angle and trace a new top on it. I've been playing with this in preparations to chop my Bug. I'll scan some images when I get a chance to show what I was describing.
06-10-2004, 11:04 PM
hi 35window, i have a 36 3w and also a 36 5w and to answer your question about where to split the door top for the filler piece is the most common spot is in the factory seam about in the middle of the door opening.As far as the rear corners of the side windows, the corner is cut out before the chop around the back is started and saved for reassembly at end. As far as the back goes, if you cut along the rear body line at the top, you sink the top around the belt line and then trim and weld. You will have to add a filler piece verticley on either side just like the 3 window chop in the article. Also the window posts should be cut at the centerline because of the taper from top to bottom. try to cut the door posts as close to the cuts on top for best realignment. Before you chop the top make sure all the body mounts are solid, the door gaps are correct, that the car is on the same size wheel and tire combo that your going to run and is at the ride height the car is going to be at.If your going to chop the top in a small garage make sure you can roll the car outside from time to time, things can look a whole lot different from a far view. Also make all the tires are inflated properly and that you are on level concrete, i know this sounds like a lot of just common sense things but i know of a guy that chopped a 36 sedan with a flat tire, apparently eyeballed every thing and then at the end aired the tire up and was shocked to see how crooked his chop wound up. So measure everything, brace the body before you cut, and have every cut line marked and planned before you start and your chop be great. You might want to tackle the patch panels first, the ems patches are flat metal with the body line punched into them you`ll have to shrink the lower edges of all the side patch panels and then wheel the upper portion to get the curve right on the side of the car. I`ll try to post a picture of a 5 window from paso 2004. Gary
06-11-2004, 12:08 PM
Thank you very much for the help. A question or two if I might-you mention that the EMS panels have to be shrunk and wheeled. I was looking to buy the shrinker/stretcher combo that Ron Covell offers (am not practiced with a Tucker :( ), but I was hoping to get along without the big investment of a English Wheel just yet (I also have space considerations). Is there another good way to make the EMS panels fit the cody contour or am I stuck buying a E-Wheel?
06-11-2004, 06:15 PM
Hi 35 5 window, I agree with Gary as your first experience should be learning to fit the patch repair panels.You are allready one up on most peopl knowing that they wont fit with out a lot of work. They are still better than having to make the whole panel yourself without having much equipment and experience. Work on learning how to make the repair panels fit well on to your car and get a lot of practice welding sheet metal seams and learning how to hammer and dolly the weld seam back dead flat with no distortion and then you are ready to move onto your top chop.
Keep looking at the Marcel DE Lay top chop so that you thoroughly undestand what and why they cut the top as they did.The 5 window is no harder.The slant post is somewhat complicated but not bad. The more you get into your repair panel work the more you will understand about panel joining work. Dutch
06-13-2004, 11:20 AM
Thank you very much for the info :D -I will do as you suggest. I cannot emphasize how great it is to have a forum for those of us who very much want to learn this craft and haven't got a clue as to how to start and learn correctly-
06-13-2004, 10:21 PM
35Window (a real name is more personable)
Where are you located?? Maybe someone on the list is within your area and would be willing to help you.
A Polaroid picture is a great way to chop your top before cutting the metal. Use masking tape to provide reference points on the body, then cut that much out of the picture, scotch tape it back together and you have a good visual of how it will look when chopped. If you don't like what you see, take another picture and try a different approach.
06-22-2004, 10:08 AM
sorry for the delay in response (I was on vacation)-I am in Utah-
09-07-2004, 05:47 PM
I chopped a 35 5 window a few years ago . I just ran into some photo's . Although its nice to have prior experience on some what easier chops a 35 is not that difficult . I also used EMS panels on the back below the trunk and lower parts of the cpe they fit rather well but like your self i went into them knowing they were not going to go on with out reworking . I performed all the work on the cpe with no english wheel . It would have been a nice option but not impossible . if i can find all the photo's I will email them . I also channelled the cpe . I shrunk the opera windows to give the appearance of a three window and have a little more rear panel between the belt line molding and the trunk . I also slant chop the top but only by 5/8 of an inch . that was the less is more thing .
09-08-2004, 06:45 AM
Thank you for the info, and yes, I would love to see your photos. After I had the understanding that the EMS patch panels weren't a "cut & weld" proposition, I purchased an benchtop E wheel (it just came in! :lol: ),. I am now practicing, practicing, practicing on my new Lincoln Tig welder (getting a little better with each practice session :D ). Like a dummy I completely finished my rolling chassis (painted, polished, chromed, etc.) and am now constructing a "dolly" to mount my body and do the bodywork out of a donor chassis.
Here is my question: I am still confused about a Slant Chop. If you cut the top into two pieces (rear half, front half) or three pieces (front half, two rears), then re-weld ,say the front half first, then how do you line up the two halves so that the transition piece (the one you form) fits and flows properly? I understand if it's just a straight chop (the same amounts taken away front & rear), but with differing amounts taken off (say a 1" difference in front), how do you make the cuts properly so that everything lines up? Do you do like the Delay's and somehow slide it down, mark it and cut? I have thought of cutting the entire quarter window panel out, making the cuts, rewelding them and then cutting to fit the quarter window back, but that seems a little tricky. I am beginning to think I can handle a regular chop, but with the added complexity of the Slant Chop i'm not sure which way to go-any suggestions?
09-08-2004, 04:21 PM
dont do anything yet, I am doing 4dr Slant chop, on a 37chev and boy do I have some things to tell. I'll fill more in as soon as I get a chance.. just busy at the moment.
09-09-2004, 05:27 AM
I guess to start with you are heading in the right direction . Your THINKING ! :roll: sit and look at the roof lines and get use to the lines that make changes . this will help you better understand what is going to change and what you want to change . Like body men or persons not everyone uses the same same technique and not all of us are going to get the same results. The first thing to keep in mind is you want the roof lines to look like they were like that to begin with. suttle changes are nice although raddicle changes are cool to . Your roof will be one step easier then the one i did . You only have one person to please. :D :D (YOU)
I am going to try to find the photos I have of Randy 35 and I will post them . The sad part is this was before we had purchased a digital camra so i will have to hunt threw stacks and scan them in . I will try to scan some this evening. :D :D Steve
09-15-2004, 05:01 AM
Ok sorry for the delay,
I'll explain my chop first and please it aint finished yet, I have some
issues I need to resolve with it. but I am getting there.
My chop is a 4dr chop I have taken 2inches out of the back, taken the rear window out as I only wont a 1in out of the rear window not 2inches did look right.
I took 2.5inch out of the B pillars and only took 1.5 inch out of the A pillars, but I slanted the A pillars back, so far I have effectively dropped the front by 5.5inches. Now the catch with a slanting roof
and a slanting a pillars you have to reshape the top arches of the A pillars and to make this work properly I found I had to cut the top of the roof and take out some metal, to make it sit right.
Now I played with this proces on the computer till the cows came home and I had it down pat, new exactly what I was doing before I did it, boy it did not go to plan. the roof off the metal tighten up too
much see the computer and photos dont give a good representation of depth which you will miss.
Where am I now, I am fixing the adjusted arches soon as they are done I'll be welding up the front section of the roof. Also fixing the shrinking of my roof had a few problems with this :>
Ok, this is my first chop properly should of started with something a little easier oh well.
I read everything I could get my hands on and spoke to as many people as I could.
- Make sure your chassis is at a ride height that you are comfortable with.
- Bolt the body down to the chassis.
- Internally brace the body as many body will spring outwards.
can get out of shape quite easily.
Bracing I found wasnt talked about much but it must be done otherwise you will have problems trying to get it all back together.
- Do the usually photos and cut even play on the computer digitizing photos.
Now one thing, a straight top cut say like a Model A is simple and can reflect in photos and on the computer ok, but if you are doing a slant chop then photos and computer can be decieving as I found with mine chop.
Once all this is finished I'll weigh up if I am going to section it.
Oh the pain.
one other thing, I worked out on the computer that I had to cut between the C Pillars and the rear, Between B pillars and the C pillars and finally between A pillars and B pillars.
Boy was I wrong. I only need to cut between A and B pillars lift the lot off as one section..
I wish I new that now.
I'll get some pics I just have to find them.
09-15-2004, 02:53 PM
Ok, I got some pics up in my gallery if you guys want something particular I am sure I can find it. I have photo'd just about everything I have done. Though I am not saying its the right way to do things but its the way I did things.
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