Monday, June 23, 2008

Two shows and a little progress

A restoration like mine takes patience and perseverance. Progress has been glacial lately, but after last Sunday's work I sense a big leap forward. I think I have solved the problem of fabricating a patch for the rusted out rear windowsill.

Before I go into that I want to update a few things. Three weeks ago my wife and I attended a birthday party at the sandbar in Kaneohe Bay. The company was great, the food was great, but the sandbar was a disappointment. At low tide it was at most a hundred yards long and six feet wide. On the ocean side the shallow bottom continues out maybe a quarter mile. Interesting, but that's all. There is nothing to do that can't be done on shore, and no bathrooms or showers ... am I a wuss for wanting to be able to pee someplace else besides the water where dozens of people are swimming?

Not long after we had been out there some people reported a strange encounter with a school of sharks. I wouldn't go there expecting to have such an encounter, as it is very rare. You'd be more likely to be hit by a flying beer bottle.

I don't have pics of the sandbar because I did not want to chance getting my Nikon wet, but I do have pics of my Lotus at a couple of car shows. The first was British Car Day at Kapiolani Park, May 25, 2008. The second was a show called Build the Track Day, in support of building a race track on Oahu, held the Saturday of Fathers Day weekend at Aloha Tower Marketplace. You can see more pics, including a nice rolling slide show, at the group's web site. If you watch long enough you will see a a few shots of my Europa, and there is even a picture of me admiring a red open-wheel race car. Look for the guy in a black shirt and black Piloti shoes with red laces. The yellow Esprit and the blue Ford GT got a lot more attention, but at least I'm in there.

Now back to the task at hand. I began by finishing what I had started the last time, cutting the one long patch for the rear windowsill into four sections. After that came a lot of fiddling to see how to make them fit. I ended up doing what my friend Tom had suggested, making a series of cuts most of the way but not all of the way through. This will allow me to flex the piece upward near the ends. My plan is to get it welded in next time. In the last pic you can see the wire hook I made to pull the end up into place. Tom suggested I pre-bend the end pieces and weld the gaps closed rather than messing with it in place.

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Delays and Distractions

Looks like I am in another delay phase. Last Sunday was spent attending a birthday party on the sandbar in Kaneohe Bay, This Sunday is Fathers Day and my family wants to take me to brunch which ought to usurp any work at the shop. I may also loose July 6th due to the holiday.

Here's a thought. How about inviting my sons to go out to the shop after breakfast this Sunday and teach them how to do something basic, like an oil change. I'll think about it.

Monday, June 2, 2008

New Approach to Rear Window Patch

Yesterday ended up a milestone in my approach to repairing the E9's rust damage even though it did not start out that way. I decided to abandon my plan to make a one-piece patch for the area under the rear window. What prompted the change was the seemingly insurmountable problem of getting the piece to curve in both a fore-aft direction and laterally. The new plan is to cut most of the way through the patch, leaving the bottom edge intact, to allow the piece to flex, turning a straight line into a smile.

Before I reached that plan I cut the patch into two pieces to try to achieve the same thing. It was really hard to make that first cut.

Last week was All British Car Day and next Sunday is an outdoor birthday party for one of my wife's friends, so progress has definitly slowed a bit. I did manage to get the Lotus safety checked yesterday, but it needs new rubber pieces for the side marker lights. Dave Bean doesn't have them, so getting that straightened out may take some time.