Channeling creativity when working on your hot rod is one of the main ways to infuse newfound personality into its design and construction, separating it from the rest. Over several issues, the team at the Rolling Bones Hot Rod Shop in Greenfield Center, New York, completed major fabrication elements on Dick DeLuna’s ’34 Ford coupe. They did so by lowering its cowl line, eliminating its lower frame point, and updating its front subrail assembly, thus adding plenty of exciting attitude to its overall appearance.
Focusing on the final stage of the metamorphosis, team member Keith Cornell prepared the coupe for a thorough reworking of its front framerails. Examining the ’rails, the factory upward sweep was the first issue to be addressed since in order to achieve the new proportions the ’rail would need to be flattened to flow correctly with the recently dropped cowl line and reworked lower frame point.
To determine the amount of flattening out required for the ’rail, a section of angle iron was first clamped to its top from the cowl forward using a pair of C-clamp Vise Grips. Following the line of the angle iron, it was apparent that a number of pie-cuts would be needed to flatten it out. To identify the first cut required, a measurement of 11 inches was taken from the front of the cowl to the point atop the ’rail where it began to drop from the angle iron. Using a square and black marker, Cornell marked the top and side of the framerail to prepare it for the initial 90-degree cut.
It’s important to ensure that the framerail is properly supported up front prior to cutting. While wearing protective glasses and work gloves, he used a Hypertherm Powermax 30 plasma cutter to make the incisions followed by a small air-driven grinder topped with a 40-grit disc to deburr and clean up the area. With the framerail slightly bent open for access, it was determined that a 1/4-inch pie-cut would be needed. Using a square and black marker, the cut was marked to both the side and top. A smart tip from Cornell was to use a small section of 1/8-inch angle iron clamped to the ’rail to act as a perfect straightedge when making the required cuts. He followed with a plasma cutter to trim and disc grinder to clean up the area. Once completed, the ’rail was bent back in place and the angle iron was clamped back atop the ’rail starting at the cowl.