A chop top, requires a lot of work. Typically, you want two cars/trucks tops before starting. Why? Because, when you chop it and lower the roof, then it becomes wider, if you have another roof, now you have a top that is the same curve as the filler piece your going to need. Also, most posts are wider lower down and you may need to fill in a gap there to. It saves you from fabricating a new piece and appling twice the required bondo. Your going to take one top cut it into a puzzle and use the second one to fill in the puzzle pieces.
The glass can be cut down, but as Pimpoligy stated it requires a wetsaw to do it. Your most likely going to have to send this out or find a glass shop in your area.
I don't know if anyone else seen last week Discovery channel show called American Hotrod, but in the episode the guy made a template out of aluminum and sent it off and they made the window exactly as needed. This maybe out of our league for us backyard/partime shop workers, but I am sure worse case senerio that a person could have this done for a price!
Here is a link with pictures to deminstrate what I am talking about with needing another top to use to fill the gaps, look at how much smaller the top is once 3 inches was removed. Although, this may not be the same type of vehicle the amount of work is the same or more for a bigger topped vehicle. Hope that this shine some light on what your doing.
Check out this link. Go to the "Little off the Top" Parts 1->3.
It's a pretty comprehensive step by step process. The other link shows a different method of chopping, which is apparently not the normal way of doing it. (sectioning) Usually they just move the position of the back window to a lesser angle.
I've never done a chop myself...I understand it's not something for the beginner bodyman. I've shaved handles, blended bodylines and rolled fenders, but chops kinda scare me. You can destroy a ride real quick if you don't know what you're doing.
I've seen a couple of other ways that guys do it too....one car in particular, a 53' belair, the dude cut it all around the base of the roof and dropped a roof from a 69 eldo in it's place. It looked pretty tight.
first off, for anyone to help you properly, you should tell what kind of car you're attempting to chop. i guess you could use a donor roof like Dvlshtndcy stated, but the right way to do it is sheetmetal filler pieces (most often wedge shaped). either way, you would need an english wheel or a shitload of luck to make it come out right, as well as some hand tools/dollys and a strong grasp of welding sheetmetal and correcting sheetmetal distortion. it's true that most pillars (posts) are wider at the bottom than the top, that's why they are most often cut near the top, it's not always necessary to use a filler piece for the post, but most times it is, and sometimes you get lucky. you absolutely want to do your research here and measure everything four or fives times before you cut (assuming this is your first attempt at this sort of project). either way patience and brain power are required, but it can be done. when it's done right, man does it look good, almost any car looks better chopped. GOOD LUCK BRO !
go into Yahoo.
Type in HAMB (Honkey Ass Message Board)
Its a Hot Rod forum.
It'll take you to the forum, a few weeks back we went over all types of ways to shave glass.
One way in particular was to use a sandblaster after duck taping what glass you wanted to save, then taking the piece to a glass shop and have it polished so it doesnt crack.
Also check out Car Kulture Deluxe Magazine, they had an article in a past issue for just what your looking to do.
Pretty in depth step by step stuff, would take me forever to try and explain, and I probably wouldn't be 100% corrrect
As far as chopping tops, man you could read 50 books on it and still have a hard time, other dudes say, that its really not that bad once you start.
Good Luck and I hope my info helped!
ive done a few chop tops. the first thing i always do is, and its gonna sound crazy, get 3 pictures of it, one from the side, one from the front, and one from the rear. now chop each picture/drawing like you were cutting across the top to chop and remove a little bit of the metal/paper, and put it back where it belongs. now you should have an idea what is gonna come into play. more than likely you will have to cut again going the other way to accommodate for the taper of the roof and make it wider. most chops require cutting the roof in to 4 pieces and then filling in the gaps either with a donor roof or sheet metal.
Originally posted by hot$tuff5964@Dec 21 2006, 01:44 PM~6798712 ive done a few chop tops. the first thing i always do is, and its gonna sound crazy, get 3 pictures of it, one from the side, one from the front, and one from the rear. now chop each picture/drawing like you were cutting across the top to chop and remove a little bit of the metal/paper, and put it back where it belongs. now you should have an idea what is gonna come into play. more than likely you will have to cut again going the other way to accommodate for the taper of the roof and make it wider. most chops require cutting the roof in to 4 pieces and then filling in the gaps either with a donor roof or sheet metal.
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here's how the drum...