550 SPYDER WOODEN BUCK
Panel forming bucks have been around a while now, the process involves the three-dimensional surface information (or math data) being measured, and then laid out to create a skeletal structure that replicates the 1: 1 scale shape and contours.
This methodology of measurement captures the cars critical dimensions over its length, width, and height. The common view is that having math data is the final word in reproducing an identical and faithful form. It’s not. it’s only the beginning. Re-creating form and the cultural methodology of the coachbuilder originally engaged to carry out the work, is far more taxing and requires skills, attention to the detail, and in its original construction. More on this subject later.
Where I can and with budget permitting, I like a combination of both a wooden timber skeletal frame, and the aid of fiber glass tools, particularly when the forming tools require to be used for more than one body.
The full-size drawings you will see illustrated were kindly provided by a restoration colleague and friend in North America. The drawing, or series of drawings, were the result of a genuine car being digitally scanned, and the digital information being printed in one-to-one scale. Unfortunately, the data in digital form was not available, but we were very happy to receive the information in whatever form it came.
At that point, we then had to set about transferring the printed paper illustrations on to wood. But before any cutting or assembly took place, Mark O’Brien sketched out a roadmap and plan for the whole program. This will be Marks story told in photos and eventually on our YouTube channel.
The drawings were a series of front or rear section drawings taken from the center line of the car to its full width. Mark then laid out a full-size side evaluation drawing, to then mark up with black tape where these “stations” were supposed to be, in relation to where they sit in the true length of the car. Once all the sections (see side elevation panels illustrated with black tape vertically) were accounted for, Mark O’Brien then set about designing the armature on which the buck was to be made.