Sunday 31 May 2015

New welder

Exciting times! Got myself a brand spanking new welder! After a lot of research and agonising I finally opted for a Clarke 151te:

Just need to get a few bits to adapt the welder to accept the big bottles of Argon/Co2 I will be using. All being well, I should be up and running next week. Now the real fun can begin!

Sunday 17 May 2015

Shot blasting the frame head

Ordered myself some affordable fine abrasive called ‘J Blast’ from Frosts to use on areas of this restoration where a wire wheel is ineffective. It was quite amusing when I answered the door to a flustered postman who had just lugged the thing from his van. He asked something like “what on earth is in this package, sand?” to which I replied “errm... actually yes!”. 

In typical unorganised fashion, I am switching my attention back to the chassis. I am sure you are all getting used to my unconventional approach by now! Anyway, I hope to get the entire floorpan in paint by the end of the summer. First up is to properly clean up inside the frame head area. Introducing my siphon fed blast gun that came with my compressor; 

The grit is disposable and only really intended for one time use, but with creative use of a decorators dust sheet I was able to capture and reuse the stuff a few times; 

Getting inside the end of the tunnel was difficult with the shot blast gun because of the limited angles at which I could blast. I was keen to clean up the first section of the base plate as that seemed to be where rust had set in the most. Fortunately the tunnel was in remarkably good health further back and did not require any stripping. I also switched to a drill mounted wire brush to get in where I could. Having really assessed the condition of the front of the spine base I was not happy to leave such heavy pitting in place and the years of corrosion had really thinned the metal work down. So out came the spot weld cutter and angle grinder;

With the small section removed it is clear to see the extent of the corrosion;

I will make a repair patch for this section soon, but for now I was grateful to have improved access, so I sandblasted what I could inside;  

That strange pink stripy thing in the upper left of the tunnel is actually an old pair of boxer shorts. I basically stuffed a load of old fabric back there to prevent all of the grit being lost down the back of the tunnel - it stopped most of it, but there was still a lot that made it passed the formidable underwear barrier;

Once I had blasted to the best of my ability (trust me, DIY blasting takes a long time!), I used FE-123 rust convertor to ensure that any hidden or small pitted areas of rust were eradicated;

Just applied neat with an old brush over the whole area;

Should soon dry into a hard black permanent barrier. I'll let you all know next week how it turns out....

Sunday 3 May 2015

Mirror image of last week's work

This week I focused my efforts on the right side of the car. I stripped the paint and rust off of the drivers side dash area, doorway and around the windscreen:

Then everything was given the standard 'once over' with the now ubiquitous red primer: