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!

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