Sunday, November 29, 2009

Out of gas

Last night's performance was a big success. It was also a marathon. The day began with a reception at Pak Susilo's house for brunch, followed by moving the gamelan, followed by a 4:30 call. The performance began promptly at 7:30 and went non-stop until eleven. In Indonesia a wayang kulit performance lasts eight to night hours ... all night. So we had to cut a lot. Even so it is demanding. After the show we had to move everything back, so we finally got home at 1:00AM. Fourteen hours is a long day for me!

As you can imagine, I was not up for a full-on attack on the E9 today. I did make it to the shop after a leisurely breakfast with my wife and her sister (who were off to Costco to shop the Christmas coupon specials), and I set myself the goal for welding in the patch I began last time. I almost made it. I would have, except my welder was out of gas.

I actually spent quite a bit of time tweaking the patch. It needed to be ground to fit and it required both a twist and some curve. That is why I cut the pattern from thin cardboard. I got it to where it fit without springing or flexing, so that I could just weld it on. I guess that is where I'll begin next time.

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Monday, November 23, 2009

Gamelan performance

No work done today (well, yesterday) because I was in a rehearsal for the upcoming UH Gamelan performance. Maybe next week ...

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Badge mount finished, started on LH rear corner

I never wrote up last week's work, probably because it was so simple.

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I began by sanding down the POR-15 Epoxy Filler a bit only to discover the area was still too low, so I added another layer and worked on the badge mount while it set.

I bought a propane torch to heat the badge mount but I could not get it to burn properly. I tried a hot air gun and it seemed to help. The basic technique is to create the dish by hammering on the shot bag, then flattening the warps with a hardwood or steel dolly. Soft to curve, hard to flatten. I don't know how general that rule is.

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After sanding down the new material I could tell that the low area was finally filled. I stopped short of making it final because I lack the necessary sanding blocks for good concave work. I finished with a coat of etching primer.

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Today I began by working on the badge mount. During the week I learned that my problem with the torch was that I had the gas on too high. Now that I had a nice blue flame I could take out the work hardening. When I had the shape close to finished I drilled some holes for the badge mounting studs, polished off the surface rust with a wire brush in the die grinder, and gave it the POR-15 clean and prep routine.

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Next I turned my attention to the rusted areas on the LH side between the tail light and the trunk lid ... pretty much the same area as I have been working on the RH side. There is one big area and a lot of small rust-throughs, especially along the top edge of the tail light opening.

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After grinding a bit some of the smaller rust-throughs merged. In this respect I was more agressive than in the past -- my goal used to be to preserve as much original metal as possible, but now I prefer to remove rusted areas back to full thickness steel.

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As the damaged areas were removed it became apparent that there is a tricky place where a doubler panel attaches to the rear deck, where the weather seal goes. This area is rusted through and will be difficult to repair properly. A lot of bad stell needs to be removed, making a large, structuraly sound, welded on patch a requirement.

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There was still some time left so I decided to make a pattern for the patch I was thinking about. The patch will need a spiral twist. I got as far as cutting out the piece and getting close to the finished size. All in all a very good day.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Tail light almost done, hammer forming badge mount

Last night was Halloween and our usual decoration thing morphed into a big block party. Very cool. My son Mike carved an intricate pumpkin in his original avatar style.


You can see the rest of the pics in my Halloween 2009 set on Flicker.

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After a bit of sanding I could tell that there was still a low spot in the center of the area I was trying to raise. I took the radical step of adding filler in the middle of the session, hoping it would cure enough to work. I used a steel straightedge to check depth, which shows up as a couple of grooves.


While the filler was setting I got started on a practice run at hammer forming the badge mount area for the hood. More abount that later.

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After the POR-15 Epoxy Filler cured I went back to sanding, and finally I could feel a continuous flow from one side to the other. After a lot of sculpting with my long sanding block and soup can (for the concave curve) I added a little more filler, mostly along the top edge, then shot everything with Evercoat Acid-Etch primer.

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During today's session I got started hammer forming a replacement for the badly rusted hood badge mount. I'm a little deaf now, but it turned out a lot better than I expected. I even stayed late working on it. I need to figure out how to tighten up the radii. I also need to pick up a butane torch to heat the piece to relieve work hardening.

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