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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys. My dad and I found this '56 Nomad in a barn last year, but we weren't ready for another project at that time (I was still working on my F100, and we had just finished a 56 Chevy pickup the year before). BUT, because the owner is a friend of a friend, he was willing to give it up at a very reasonable cost, so... you know how that goes... We knew we wouldn't get another chance at owning a Nomad, so we made a deal.

Part of the reason we could afford this car is because it needs a bit of work... okay, it needs a LOT of work. But we have almost all of the trim (even multiples of many parts), all of the glass and multiples of most parts of the car (the PO had 2, one was in a crash, so he took all the parts and put them in the top of his barn for a couple decades). Most of the work is going to be metalwork and figuring out the drivetrain and suspension.

The PO also had a shop graft on a Camaro front clip and a Corvette IRS. I'm glad he did, because now we won't be tempted to make this a bone-stock original restoration, and we can have some real fun with it :)

Anyways, here are some shots of the Nomad when we bought it:

This was the best shot of the car I could get when it was still in the barn - everything was packed in so tight, couldn't get a large shot.




And yes, the front fenders and rear quarters were being held on with wire, not actually attached to the car.
Here area couple shots from a few weeks ago, still before we did any work on it, when I decided it would be fun to take it to our local cruise night to show the guys.


Like our other projects, we will be doing ALL of the work on this, except having a guy in town do a bit of sandblasting in some areas. This is going to be a slow, relaxed project. Our current goal is to have it in flat black primer and on the road in 3 years, and will drive it like that for a couple seasons to make sure everything is the way we want. After that we will start with the final bodywork and paint. I am in no rush, because I can’t even drive the darn thing for another 6 years (I can’t get insured until then on a modified vehicle).

I’ll be posting more shortly about what I have been doing on it so far, once I get more pictures onto my computer.
Thanks in advance for all the help I know I will get, you guys are a great resource!

Brian
 

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That is a good plan.....I always say plan your work and work your plan! Initiative, drive, and enthusiasm are key and we all know that money, time and energy are also a big part of the mix....but it all starts with a plan. Of all three of the tri-five Nomads it is tough for me to have a fave but a 56 done in the right colors will get my attention. I love em' all equally though. Good luck with the project ,having most of the parts is critical with these cars as they are an expensive endeavor. Seeing them in the rough stage certainly gets the mind build going.......amazing how fast we can build them that way! .....Greg.
 

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Looks like an awesome project to me! You and your dad have your work cut out for you but will end up with very cool ride you can be proud of. Good Luck!
 

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looks like a nice project, have fun with it. thanks for sharring brian. :tu
 

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Brian, sounds like a great little project for you and you dad over the coming few years. Glad to hear that you are wanting to enjoy it for a while before the body goes in to the painted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The Metalwork Begins

Thanks for the encouraging words, guys!
I had a few days off last week, so I was able to start on some of the long list of metalwork to be done. Here is what I accomplished:
The rear wheel wells had a decent amount of rust-through at the top:




I made new patch panels on the English Wheel so they match the compound curve of the wheel well:




I did the same on the other side:


You may notice there are still some rusted out parts right where my patch panels are supposed to weld onto the rest of the body – I will make patches for those, I just couldn’t do them all as one panel very easily, so I made the large pieces and welded them in to give back some rigidity to that section (wouldn’t want the window frame getting out of whack!). Here are the new panels tacked in place:




The inner splash aprons were in really rough shape:


Someone had riveted on a patch panel on the passenger side:


I wanted to make it look original, so I made a wooden buck with a router that matches the raised sections of the original splash aprons:


Here is one of the two new splash apron tops I made (I didn’t worry about planishing them too much because I will be coating this with bed liner, which will hide the tiny bumps and scratches completely):






The outer skin right below the windows (I guess you could call it the window sill) on both sides was really pitted, to the point of being rusted through in a couple spots:




I made two patch panels to replace those tops, but will wait until my dad is around before I cut out the old parts – I will need to reinforce what’s left of the rear quarters before I go cutting off their tops.




So that’s most of what I have done so far with the metalwork. I also started stripping surface rust off of one of the half floor pans I got on Kijiji for $140 :). I’ll post more soon.
Brian
 

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Great job on the patches. What other metal forming tools do you have besides the English wheel? I have a bead roller and a harbor freight 40 inch 3 in one slip roll, brake,shear along with a shrinker stretcher and have been thinking about getting a English wheel if I decide to tackle the 56 Nomad I have when I finish the 57 project. My Nomad will need most of the same patches you are making along with most of the floor pan. Keep posting progress pictures as you go as I am interested in how you tackle some of the repairs you will be doing. Good luck.
Tom
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Great job on the patches. What other metal forming tools do you have besides the English wheel? I have a bead roller and a harbor freight 40 inch 3 in one slip roll, brake,shear along with a shrinker stretcher and have been thinking about getting a English wheel if I decide to tackle the 56 Nomad I have when I finish the 57 project. My Nomad will need most of the same patches you are making along with most of the floor pan. Keep posting progress pictures as you go as I am interested in how you tackle some of the repairs you will be doing. Good luck.
Tom
Thanks Tom! Other than the wheel, I have only basic hand tools. I am starting to buy things as I find them used or on sale (on my list is a bead roller and a shrinker/stretcher). Who makes the shrinker/stretcher you have, and the bead roller? Do you find they work well? My issue is my funds are very limited (I'm a university student) so I usually can't afford the good tools.

I also have a small break (~36", and it can only handle up to 20ga), and I made myself a small metal work/welding bench (sits about 42" tall 3'x2.5', top is 5/16 plate). It is about 130lb, sturdy but not too big that it gets in the way.

The English wheel is really handy, if you know how to use it. On Youtube there is a great set of tutorials on all sorts of metalworking, including the english wheel, by a guy named Lazze (search Lazze metal shaping). He shows how to stretch and curve the panel exactly the way you want to.

I will keep posting pics and progress updated, but it will be slow because I am in school now, living a half hour away from the nomad and my garage...
Brian
 

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Brian, my shrinker stretcher is the Harbor freight Heavy duty one with the deeper throat and interchangeable jaws. Same for the bead roller. The shrinker stretcher works well but the bead roller needs to be beefed up. I plan on adding some square tubing to it and adding a variable speed reversible drive to it with a foot pedal to control it so I can guide the metal with both hands. Goggle "Harbor Freight Bead Roller" there are many stories on how people have beefed them up. Got my bead roller at 50% off during a sale and the shrinker/stretcher with a 20% off coupon. They are not top quality tools but work OK for the do it yourselfer.
Tom
 

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:tu:tu:anim_25::anim_25:
Thanks Tom! Other than the wheel, I have only basic hand tools. I am starting to buy things as I find them used or on sale (on my list is a bead roller and a shrinker/stretcher). Who makes the shrinker/stretcher you have, and the bead roller? Do you find they work well? My issue is my funds are very limited (I'm a university student) so I usually can't afford the good tools.

I also have a small break (~36", and it can only handle up to 20ga), and I made myself a small metal work/welding bench (sits about 42" tall 3'x2.5', top is 5/16 plate). It is about 130lb, sturdy but not too big that it gets in the way.

The English wheel is really handy, if you know how to use it. On Youtube there is a great set of tutorials on all sorts of metalworking, including the english wheel, by a guy named Lazze (search Lazze metal shaping). He shows how to stretch and curve the panel exactly the way you want to.

I will keep posting pics and progress updated, but it will be slow because I am in school now, living a half hour away from the nomad and my garage...
Brian
:tu:anim_25:
Hey Brian:
Work looks great! I don't have an English wheel....yet. Been debating on getting one, in my neck of the woods, Princess Auto has them, not too badly priced either. After seeing your work, I'm thinking I should grab one! Appreciate the pics! Eugene
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
:tu:tu:anim_25::anim_25:

:tu:anim_25:
Hey Brian:
Work looks great! I don't have an English wheel....yet. Been debating on getting one, in my neck of the woods, Princess Auto has them, not too badly priced either. After seeing your work, I'm thinking I should grab one! Appreciate the pics! Eugene
Thanks Eugene! The wheel I have is one of the Princess Auto ones - works great! I would definitely recommend it. Ive seen them go on sale a lot at Princess (I got mine on Kijiji for 200 bucks :) )
 

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Looks like a nice project! Good luck and have fun!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Brian, my shrinker stretcher is the Harbor freight Heavy duty one with the deeper throat and interchangeable jaws. Same for the bead roller. The shrinker stretcher works well but the bead roller needs to be beefed up. I plan on adding some square tubing to it and adding a variable speed reversible drive to it with a foot pedal to control it so I can guide the metal with both hands. Goggle "Harbor Freight Bead Roller" there are many stories on how people have beefed them up. Got my bead roller at 50% off during a sale and the shrinker/stretcher with a 20% off coupon. They are not top quality tools but work OK for the do it yourselfer.
Tom
I think if I see them on sale at Harbor Freight sometime I may have to get them. Or at Princess Auto (they seem to be mostly the same things, sometimes with a different paint colour). Thanks for the info Tom!

Brian
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Metalwork Update

The metalwork continues! We decided to work on improving the quality of our homemade panels, so we picked up a cheap router from the classified ads, and after a bit of figuring things out (neither of us have ever used a router before) we made this buck:




We cut a small piece of steel rod, and rounded the ends to make a forming tool:




And clamped the steel down and went to work with a hammer:




After a few mistakes, and some trial and error, we started to come up with formed panels like this:





In order to size up the panels in the rear wheel well, we needed to get an idea of the clearances we would be dealing with. The car came without the rear quarters on it:




So it was time to make a couple of nice, straight cuts on the spare quarters that came with the car, and do a test fit:




Now back to that wheel well. This was clearly going to be a bit of work. The wheelhouse outer lip (the part under the rubber seal) was shot, as was part of the inner lip. Part of the wheel well was gone, along with the inner panel (beside the rear seat). These bad sections were cut out, leaving a nice, solid edge to weld to. As for the floor, well, this picture will give you an idea…….




That’s enough for now. The work on that wheelwell is coming along nicely, and once we have a more finished product we will post another update.


Brian and Stephan
 
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