Never though of formica, maybe that will even be better/cheaper than sheet aluminum, certainly cheaper for sure. Thinking of trying that on the roof panels because of the curves, thanks for that idea. Building the roof panel in two pieces seems easier and will appear correct too. Plus you only handle and fit a smaller piece. Yeah, I'm really liking that idea. Thanks guys (Jon G.).
I used Formica to make washers to go between the vinyl upholstery and the window and door cranks. I drilled holes in the Formica with a 2.25" hole saw. I then smoothed the edges of the cut outs and drilled them to fit over the shafts. The washers protect the vinyl upholstery from chafing.
We used plywood "door skins" for the panels. Thin foam was glued to the plywood and the vinyl stretched over and glued on the back side. It worked OK, but I like the suggestions above more. If you do use door skins, note that the plywood bends easier in one direction than in the other. Make sure you orient the plywood the correct way. Of course, we did it wrong.
Super idea for crank washers, liking this much better than the cardboard ones.
I may try to find aluminum sheet which is thin enough to fold the maroon vinyl over the edge, but still fit inside of the metal retainer. This will keep the vinyl from letting go of the glue and coming out of the edge of the retainer like mine always seem to do. The maroon vinyl which Jim Carter sells has extra material around the edge so that you could do this. Carl
I plan on trying to cover it with something, probably black vinyl like my seats. We shall see how this goes, I am debating on making the roof one piece or 2 pieces. if I glue 2 pieces up there, I can still cover it easily, thoughts?
If you have the center bow and rear retaining cover for the headliner, everything will work as it should. That center bow has a front and rear slot and the rear retainer is held in place with screws. Cover the Formica or paint it before you install it. If you use vinyl, I'd try to use a thinner vinyl than what is on your seat. Then install the rear section first and secure it with the rear retainer. The bow will slip in place next. This requires a bit of coordination and a helper might be good also. Then slip the front piece into the front bow slot and secure it with the windshield trim after you get it in place. If you have a shade flap, measure and carefully cut the holes for it before you mount the panel (this can be difficult so do take your time). One way is to attach double sided tape (on which the holes have been cut out already) to the place on the body where the flap will mount, press the headliner panel in and then remove it to cut the holes. Hint: on the side of the double sided tape that sticks to the body...stick this somewhere on your face first. The oil will cause it to just "sort of" stick and then it will stick more firmly to the headliner panel when you remove it. Oh, and also...big important note...this job goes better if you remove the windlace and replace it once you're finished. It really is not fun trying to get the headliner panel on the other side of that windlace rubber.
I'm sure you'll do fine. Here's a tip: get a jig saw (we used to call them saber saws also) and a fine metal cutting blade. Work carefully cutting the stuff and go slowly. If it is important to you to keep the front side from chipping when it is cut, get 1/4 inch plywood and clamp your Formica between two sheets of it. We used to do that for small or thin pieces. Did I mention go slowly?
I used black Formica/Aborite. I made a template of the panel with plywood, clamped the laminate to the plywood and used a router with a laminate bit with an edge guide. Because I needed black, I used the Formica as is.
It's a small world, but I wouldn't want to paint it.
Nice job on the door panels. I did basically the same thing on my 1952 3100. I did bend the aluminum to conform to the curve present in both my doors and door panel frames. It seems to be a much more pronounced crease in my truck then your 1953. I thought they were the same. I used the same covering as the seat and did take the vinyl over the edge. Tight fit in the frame but it worked. I have tried to attach a picture but not sure it will work.