“How To” Project- The REAL Woody

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 -“How-To” Project-

The Making of a REAL Woody Wagon

Author:       68HotWheels     Paul Spradlin

Vehicles Needed:     HWs Woody Wagon

Rating:       Novice to Advanced

The Hot Wheels version of a 40’s Woodie is a nice enough car in itself, but I thought it would be kind of fun to make one into a true wood bodied “Woodie”. So here goes…..

After disassembling the car, the first thing I did was trace the plastic woodie body on a stack of 1/16 Baltic birch plywood taped together so when I cut I get multiple pieces. I usually stack four layers and one for tear out at the bottom. This produces 4 clean edges .

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I use a delta variable speed scroll saw to make the cuts using a #2 blade .

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I’ll be using the original glass and interior so some careful layout and measuring has to be done. Measure twice, cut once.

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Using Titebond yellow glue and tweezers for clamps, I let this dry two hours. I constantly check the fit with the body on the chassis to make sure it would go back together. After the sides and rear panels were assembled, I fit them around the glass and interior and proceed to make some scores at the front door post to allow for the arcing of the side panel.

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The hardest part of this project is the front window frame. Using the plastic woodie body as a guide, I made the frame from two pieces, to follow the contour of the hood .

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The fender wells had to be scribed and sanded to fit. These are the first to be applied with glue, then using the original body for an example the strips go on with glue leaving them long since they are easy to trim. The strips are pretty easy to make using pecan Kraft back paper and a plastic triangle as a guide. There is masking tape about a 1/16 of an inch from the edge used as a guide .

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The roof was a little tricky. Using a 1×40 electric sander to arc the top from left to right helped ensure the future black top would look as accurate as possible. Masking tape makes a good clamp for this step. After it dried over night I trimmed it using small break off type of knife. The roof was glued to the panels leaving an overhang on all sides. The roof also was put on cross grain to allow for the arc of the cab.

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The strips that make up the outer body panels are easy to cut using a break off knife and pecan Kraft back paper. I used a plastic triangle as a guide, and also used masking tape attached about a 1/16 of an inch from the edge to assist in a straight cut.

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After I was completely satisfied with the fit, I sanded the body lightly with 220 grit sand paper. I stained the body with Minwax stain and and finished the project with Deft semi gloss lacquer that comes in a spray can available at Oldpole`s Home Depot. The Titebond glue and the knife I use are also available in the paint section.

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To make the door handles, I used an ordinary paper staple cut down to resemble a miniature Allen wrench. I drilled a small hole in each of the doors to mount them and they look very period correct.

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I was toying with the idea of a leather roof, but finally decided to just brush paint the top with an acrylic flat black. Maybe the next one will get a cloth or leather top……..

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This project took about 10 hours to complete, but remember I’ve been carving miniatures for 15 years and have woodworking experience dating back to 1972. Please be careful working with machinery and knifes. They can bite. I hope you enjoyed this custom. I think I’ll make another since I have some spare parts and a little more knowledge now. Any questions on woodworking or homebuilding please email me any time,I’ll be glad to help.

Paul Spradlin, 68HotWheels

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