28 November 2015

Hot Rod Alchemy

So there's this 1930 ford pickup back in the shop.
Ya may remember it from a summertime post.
t's a compilation of 2nds and 3rds,
the parts that are borderline castaways,
usually needing extra time to massage into place.
The end result is coming out pretty cool.
Another builder Tony did a good chop, some cool pipes,
and a slew of mechanical feats.
 I got it and have been trying to get it 
on the road for James,
balancing efficient time with the parts at hand.
More of a form follows function build.
As long as it doesn't break.
The clutch linkage was also reworked.
Much better.
James had scored a deal on an early mallory distributor,
and we found out why it was cheap.
The advance assembly is attached to this oval plate,
which had loosened up over time.
The quick fix was making a D slot,
matching the shaft to a welded up hole.
Please work...
After some grease monkey magic,
we got the flathead running smoothly.
Hopefully it will make Mooneyes in 2 weeks!

24 November 2015

11 month Mercury challenge

As the shop progressed into a working space,
there was one huge thorn in my side,
waiting to be pulled.
In the past 11 months,
you may have noticed this giant 
black hole of a sled in various spots
in the yards of our house and shop.
Like a car version of "Where's Waldo?"
As soon as the doors opened up,
this 1963 mercury filled the void.
The owner had been extremely patient,
and it was fine time to pounce on it.
I had more stress reparking this thing
around the neighborhood,
then the actual repair needed.
Way back in February I had cut out the rust,
and welded in the secondary panels,
starting outside under the canopy.
This project stimulated the shop renovation,
as working in the dirt wasn't as fun as I thought.
This was before the wood chips.
While the restart to the patch panels
started off slow,
once I got into the groove,
the work was actually soothing.
Probably cause it's mainly tin snips,
then tig welding.
Quality time spent on tight fitting patches
cuts hack time welding bad gaps.
It is rewarding to cut out cancerous rust,
and know the new metal will last another 50 years.
The toughest spot was this corner,
somehow eaten away over the years.
There was nothing saveable.
Fortunately a Ford corner patch panel was made,
which was a close enough match,
needing only a little massaging.
The rest was basic templates,
filling in the gaps with sheet metal.
There were a couple more patches,
but I'm sure you get the idea.
Weirdly enough,
most of the repairs are covered with fat trim.
The main reason moisture had
accumulated to such an extent.
And another reason to not need perfect bodywork!
The rolled epoxy would be enough protection 
until a proper paint job.
When Hans picked it up,
he acted like I had it for a couple weeks.
I felt like 2 tons was off my back!

17 November 2015

shop life - episode 5 - winterize

One thing that can change the course of a day,
is an ad for free bricks.
This was a good load!
By 1145 the bricks were at the shop.
Thanks Theo!
By 5pm a few were laid out,
not perfectly even,
just a quick lay.
Way nicer than the rocks.
Over the weekend the kids busted butt.
The idea was to flatten out the area.
A slow start gained momentum.
The ground isn't level,
and a 1-3" plate of asphalt like dirt 
made things difficult to pick and shovel.
Once the challenge was understood,
hammering, prying, leveling and laying,
this tough section was almost conquered.
There's still a fat stack of bricks left,
but the rains stalled progress.
The next day the wind whipping the tarps off.
Holey chit!
It looks naked without the canopies!
The big box was floating in the stiff breeze.
So much it moved the two 50 LB weights,
and ripped the stakes out of the ground!
Time to winterize...

06 November 2015

shop life - episode 2

My stake on the new location began in March.

For months Jason had been baiting me,
but things were too hectic to settle down.
A single slot inside was cleared out.
The larger corner section had been claimed the month before.
In exchange I wanted this spot!
This was like a Wild West land grab,
stake it,
claim it,
Clean it!
The kids really busted ass.
They've had a lot of experience moving chit around!
The task seemed daunting.
Fortunately it was mainly a lack of organization,
a relatively small amount of stuff,
strewn over a big area.
Uh yeah...
This is the guy that scooped the corner spot.
We'd show him who got the best deal!
In one day we had cleared a huge chunk.
At the time this was a big deal!
The following weekend we continued on.
And proceeded on to the next spot over.
The drawback was the dirt floor.
A fine silty dust that got everywhere.
The first remedy would be wood chips,
sourced from the local landfill.
Now the free mulch is crap.
Full of palm frond casings and junk.
The good stuff is ground up wood.
It must be a cash cow.
Separate free wood,
grind it to various particle sizes,
and sell it for $50 a bucketful.
The pricey chips are dyed red or brown.
We settled for the plain jane.
Again the kids kicked major ass.
We spread chips everywhere.
Super proud of their hard work.
Now projects could get resumed...
As summer moved along,
the wood chips moved as well,
mixing into the silty dirt.
Shoes and socks could not stay clean!
Pavers and bricks were transferred 
from our house to the shop.
Then in summer we got the motherlode.
Free rocks!
The kids again pulled through.
That was a blazing day!
We spread the rocks as far as possible,
redistributing the chips elsewhere.
Wow what a difference!
No more dirty shoes!
The drawback was dragging out the welder,
tough on the rocks.
For the summer it worked well enough...