22 April 2014

Dyngus Day

Easter Sunday.
One of those days when it's tough to sneak in a couple work hours.
Even the egg coloring kit was teasing me.
This year the wife even had the day off,
which is rare in her retail world.
A fun filled family day,
we hung out with my mom's side of the family,
then had a mellow movie night - The Pirate Fairy.
Now we know the back story of Captain Hook and Tinkerbell,
how pixie dust is made,
and the birth of Tic-Toc the croc.
Good times.
I'll admit there was a brief thought I could get a couple hours in,
and I'm glad I didn't,
as there's always Dyngus Day.
Whatever I thought could have done would have backfired.
Didn't I warn you yesterday my preplanning doesn't always work?
The idea was to bolt on the running boards,
drill a few holes,
and slap on some filler after hammering the panels.
What ended up happening was creating the backing plates,
which helped to reinforce the real fender curve to the running boards,
and redoing the flap rods/tabs to keep the fenders from flaring out.
When I tried to half-ass it,
there was no way I could continue.
The quick couple hours extended into the evening.
And the waiting paid off both ways.
Dyngus Day!

21 April 2014

Early Morning Psychobabble

One thing I know,
if there is momentum on a project,
don't stop.
It's like curling,
that ice and broom sport.
Do whatever you can to smooth the path.
In this case,
it is freeing up a block of time,
and getting my butt down to the shop.
After that I'm pretty much on autopilot,
just like that heavy curling stone.
The explanation is simple.
It may take days or weeks of subconscious planning.
It's like cranking an old wind-up toy.
The trick is to seed your mind to use that free time.
Go to sleep thinking of the project.
Have some pics on the phone to study and remember details.
When the solution hits clear the path.
Of course this doesn't guarantee success.
Far from it.
What it does is give mental preparation,
so there's no thinking needed to do the job,
that parts already been done.
Overthinking is usually what screws everything up!
In fact this thought process bleeds to the work time as well.
Instead of thinking of the cut or the shape,
I'll unintentionally think of a family,kid or the neighbor issue.
It helps to bring a notepad!
Some great ideas don't seem so great later on.
So instead of acting on them and being foolish or mean,
the better choice can be made.
I don't know if this is insight or crazy talk.
What the heck it's 3 am I'm going back to sleep!

18 April 2014

A new leaf

I've never been known to have a green thumb.
I've tried and have good intentions,
but there's a certain amount of patience,
and upkeep I tend to forget about.
Even house plants tend to whither away.
However one of us has to have the magic touch.
A couple weeks ago we started our seedlings,
and it's taken about the same time
to weed this little stretch of dirt,
partially anyway!
The sprouts were transplanted,
and now we'll reap the benefits.
Maybe over the weekend we can finish that last part too!


17 April 2014

bottom's up

As you have read in the back to black series,
over the week a major milestone had passed.
That was the easy part.
Over the weekend,
some negative energy fueled an even stronger push.
I'll get to that story later,
for now let's focus on the good stuff.
Back in February I started to tackle the bottom rust.
Piece by piece sections were replaced.
Patch panels were rough hammered out,
and fit into place.
These pieces had only been mig tacked,
Waiting for finish welding.
Funny cause here was a time 
I could have lived with the rot.
As each corner became whole,
there was no turning back.
Finally the last of the easy pieces was finished,
and the big TIG was brought in.
So much nicer to use the tig for sheetmetal,
even if wind blocks are needed.
The finish welding took a couple hours each day.
At this time the corner points were also buttoned up.
A big step.
You know what happened next.
A little hammering and sanding...
...and time for some black primer.
So cool to see it like this after all these years.
Now for the hard part.
The front end is a mess.
The lower sections are toast,
And they aren't simple flat pieces.
The good thing is after I've got a plan,
Totally different from a month ago.
Stay tuned...

16 April 2014

Back to Black - part 2

The boundaries were pushed for the rear transformation.
The rear decklid is a rust pit.
The outer edges are disintegrating,
The inner structure is nonexistent on the lower portion,
and the surface looks like a dirt field.
I've seen decklids in the $200-400 price range,
and figured after all the time in metalwork,
that may be the wisest direction.
The only mod is rounding the corners.
Two hours of grinding and scouring,
and this is as good as it was going to get.
Holey Chit.
Bring out the Ospho!
The phosphoric acid based rust converter is magic.
The liquid penetrates deep into the pores,
the oxidation process put on hold.
Out came the killer 2-part epoxy.
So much better even with the dents and holes.
The primer is amazing.
The next day it was sandable without clogging!
The wavy fender to body joint was reworked,
and the second coat rolled on.
While this was not the ideal procedure,
it felt right to get it done.
The rust is underneath there,
but will be in long-term hibernation with the chemicals.
In a way this is the perfect experiment,
to see how the steel, rust and paint coexist.
Mark your calendars!
The fender to body line still needs a bit more work,
and you may have noticed the unpainted bottom section.
The patch panels needed finish welding,
so stay tuned for part 3.


15 April 2014

Back to Black - part 1

For years I have been torn
on how to finish the rusty 40.
Can you tell from this pic the direction changed a little?
No more rusty 40!
This has been my problem from the get go.
A solid surface rust layer.
I've seen media blasters clean up rusty bodies,
but in many cases there is still root rust,
deep in the pores.
Instead of risking any warping of the body,
I decided to chemically combat the rust,
the same procedure I had used on the roof section.
After almost a year it is still holding up.
The surface was massaged with a wire wheel, scouring pad and sand paper,
then topped off with a dose of ospho.
It was like putting aloe on a sunburn.
Meanwhile Jaxon had removed all the rubber
from the runningboards.
Awesome job!
Next up was my secret weapon.
That military/marine grade epoxy,
and a cheapo roller kit.
At this point I was still working on the lower patch panels.
You may cringe at the application method,
but I've got a technique!
This is a primer,
and the goal is to apply the thickest layer possible,
basically suffocating the sheetmetal in plastic.
So far I've gotten two coats on.
I'm happy to have bitten the bullet.
I loved the patina,
and had thought about a waxed or oiled surface.
Living by the coast with the salty fog,
it's a never ending battle.
I want to be able to leave this outside,
and not watch it deteriorate after all this work.
At least now I can also experiment with paint.
Next up the back half...