Sunday, 4 December 2011

I am back in the saddle!

I spent the majority of the afternoon fabricating a patch for the offside wheelarch but, fraustratingly, I forgot to photo it. It was quite a nice insert with a number of angles. Then I used some metallised filler, which I am trying out for the first time. I am not a huge fan of filler because it smacks of bodging, but I am determined to make a quality job of it, and quite honestly my welding wasn't brilliant. Welding virgin steel is easy, but welding 60 year old rusty crap is challenging. Anyway, it needs more sanding and some refilling, but it is going to be sound.

Lastly I drilled holes in the top of the quarterlight so that I can spot weld from the outside before welding a line on the inside. But that is one for later.

So, that is satisfying progress for this weekend. I am definitely back into the swing of the project and need to concentrate all energy on getting the cab scuttle sorted first. I was pleased to note how much of the scuttle is metalwork done by me. It is amazing how little there was of it when I started out and how close it is, now, to being complete.

Today I have finished fabricating the top of the quarterlight, though the proof will be in the welding of the rather thin, corroded steel.

Now, before I weld, I am fabricating a patch for the wheel-arch. I'll then weld both repairs together.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Quarterlight repair

Several years ago, I made a repair here, which as you can see, just would not take. The steel was very thin and I couldn't get the temperature right...and just kept blowing holes in it. So today I decided to try to put it right. This is at the top of the off-side quarterlight.

I started by cutting out the offending part.

Then inserted cardboard to mark the radius.

The replacement part needed two bends, one of them an offset, for which I used the edge of a spanner.
Putting a radius in the part requires shrinking and stretching, which will make the part brittle along the edges, so I made the stretched edge quite wide (far as possible from the bend), but this leads to distortion of the bend, which needed regular re-hammering.

You can buy the stretcher and the shrinker jaws and insert them separately in this lever tool, but as I knew this would be a faff, especially as many jobs need both stretching and shrinking alternately, I bought two of the lever bodies. It was well worth the investment of a couple of hundred pounds.

To be continued tomorrow.

Let's get this show on the road!

June 2010 was the last time I did anything on the van....that is, wait for it..... 17 months! And before that I think it had been another two years! Flying has taken over my life...that and my career....and thoughts had turned to selling the project and letting someone more enthusiastic finish it.

But a couple of nights ago John phoned and, when I said I had lost the drive, he managed to convince me that it would be a terrible shame, after everything I have done over all these years, to let someone else steal my thunder, when really I have turned it from a scrap-heap into a viable Meccano set, which just needs assembling.

So I am going to start the tank re-lining today. Then I need to do a proper critical path analysis...planning exactly what needs to happen, when, in order to get the whole thing bolted together.