Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Quickie: First welds on the shell

After the epic progress of the last post, the pace has slowed slightly in the garage. Whilst the paint cures on the chassis and it is too cold and damp now to paint the associated ancillaries, I have turned my attention to sorting out the shell. However, my approach to this is going to be crucial to the ultimate success of the restoration. I have been researching the best strategy based on the experience of others and have been drafting a workflow diagram in an attempt to get my repairs in a logic order. I'd be lying if I said that it wasn't a daunting prospect of this phase of the project. Intimidated, but excited!

To ease myself back into the swing of things I started by making some very minor cosmetic repairs to the dash section. Thankfully the shell uses largely the same gauge steel throughout so this gave me the opportunity to fine-tune the settings on the welder, which will be a good starting point for everything that follows. As you can see, at the bottom of the aperture for the radio blanking plate there were two holes that had been drilled by the PO, presumably to accommodate additional switches; 

Repairing this was a simple case of cutting a small circles of steel to sit within the holes. Here is one of my tiny patches clamped into position;

I then welded all the way around. It is important to note that I added just one spot at a time and let the steel cool down completely before adding the next. This was to mitigate heat build up that could lead to warpage;

Carefully ground down and linished to form an invisible repair;

Once the other side received the same treatment I sprayed some primer over the area to give a little protection. As they say around these parts "Jobs a good'n!"