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Measure Twice Cut Once

How to Chop the Top on a Custom 50’s Pontiac

Now that everything is securely tacked in place with full bracing above and below your cut areas, it is time to choose exactly what you will cut and where. Based on my drawing, the plan is to cut 4″ from the A-pillars and 6″ +/- from the C-pillar, the B-pillars will essentially fall into place from there. When choosing the proper place to make the cut, your best option is choose the straightest part of the pillar to cut. These pillars have curves and tapers which are a nightmare to align further down the road, so save some trouble and make a few extra measurements here. Usually the center of the pillar is where the cut will have the most even width and shape. I am laying out my cuts with 3″ green automotive painter’s tape, this allows you to take an equal cut from each pillar and if you take the time to wrap the tape nicely it will ensure that your cut is parallel. again, not such a big deal now, HUGE time savings later if your pieces fall into place nice and square. Even though the plan is to take 4″/6″ I am laying out a 3″ cut to stay on the safe side, and I’m adding a strip of 3/4″ tape for a secondary cut. It is always easier to remove more later than it is to add more.

After all of my cuts taped off, take a sharpie and put some marks on the tape showing you to where to cut, I prefer to make all of my primary cuts at the top edge of the tape line. This technique makes it way easier to stay consistent, if you don’t mark these you will forget where your last cut was once the sparks start flying. With the first cut at the top of the tape lines you can remove the top entirely and make incremental cuts on each pillar, removing more and more material until the roof line is where it needs to be.

Now that all of the preparation work is done, it’s time to go “all in” and start cutting.

With the cuts carefully planned and laid out, its it finally time to chop

With the cuts carefully planned and laid out, its it finally time to chop

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