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Old 09-24-2020, 07:33 AM   #1
Ed in Maine
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Default Finishing the Belt Rail on 68C Cabriolet

I have had a local carpenter cut out the three pieces that make up the belt rail. I have a 2 1/2 x 16 in. belt sander with #50 sand paper which does a wonderful job fitting the wood to the body metal. I have the following questions:
1. Is there any stain put on these parts for a good looking finish?



2. Would linseed oil be good to protect the wood?


3. The belt rail is secured with 1/4 in. bolts. I am thinking I would like to use 1/4 in. SST carriage bolts instead of machine screws, nuts and lock washers. I could recess them slightly to prevent any bumps on top. Will this create any difficulties in assembling the interior?


Thank you in advance for your comments. Ed
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Old 09-24-2020, 08:35 AM   #2
jw hash
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Default Re: Finishing the Belt Rail on 68C Cabriolet

the belt rail across the back is supposed to be counter bored so the 1/4" 20 screws do not show. i use DP90 on the wood parts, and thin it out so it will soak good.
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Old 09-24-2020, 12:21 PM   #3
rotorwrench
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Default Re: Finishing the Belt Rail on 68C Cabriolet

Wood should be preserved with something. I'm not sure what Ford used but I would doubt if they ever stained anything other than maybe wood that would be visible. Where it can't be seen, it just needs any form of paint or varnish that will act as a preservative. DP 90 was great for epoxy primer but I don't think is is available anymore. Any form of epoxy prime or even spar varnish would work. Linseed oil oil takes too long to dry and the smell is there for a long time.

I would just use bolts to attach as original. The head of a carriage bolt it too large in diameter for an easy counter bore plus I don't know how the square part would hold it for tightening the nut. That just depends on how hard the wood is. On a 68C a person has to have some good bolts to secure the lower top iron pivot brackets. It will have to be able to structurally take the forces acting on.

Last edited by rotorwrench; 09-24-2020 at 12:29 PM.
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Old 09-24-2020, 02:28 PM   #4
Tinbasher
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Default Re: Finishing the Belt Rail on 68C Cabriolet

I always used Tremclad cut 50% with mineral spirits. 2 or 3 coats over 2 or 3 days gave it a chance to soak in. Closest thing to chassis black like they us to use back in the day.
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Old 09-24-2020, 08:33 PM   #5
RandyinUtah
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Default Re: Finishing the Belt Rail on 68C Cabriolet

Just a little advice,before you bolt the belt rail solid confirm that your doors are closing the way you want.
The belt rail can sometimes spread the sides of the body in and out which can change the fit on the door closing.
Have the doors mounted and latched then tighten the rail down for good after you sanded the wood to fit the body
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Old 09-25-2020, 06:27 AM   #6
Kevin in NJ
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Default Re: Finishing the Belt Rail on 68C Cabriolet

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belt rail was counter sunk for all the screws. There would have been a washer, lock washer split type and square nut on the bottom.

The wood would have been painted the dull black wood preservative.

The belt wood must be tapered forward to allow for the 4 degree tilt of the rear of the top or else you will get a line at the base of the top.

The top of door spread for the qtr panels is controlled by the two braces that run from the upper rear panel to the wood sills. The turnbuckle is structural to take the forces from the triple hinge and does NOT change the door post postion.
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Old 09-25-2020, 07:31 AM   #7
Oldbluoval
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Default Re: Finishing the Belt Rail on 68C Cabriolet

Like John, I’ve used DP 90 cut with thinner. Works fine
I don’t know about upper body wood for sure as I’ve never found much in original wood to go by. The sills were treated with a product (or similar) to Gilsonite which is an asphalt derivative cut with thinner.. you’d think it to be tacky.
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Old 09-25-2020, 08:38 AM   #8
Ed in Maine
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Default Re: Finishing the Belt Rail on 68C Cabriolet

Thank you for your comments. Ed
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