Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Whittling Away

After a couple more sessions in the garage, I’m finally feeling like work on Ringo is heading in the right direction. Sunday afternoon, I cut out and welded in the rocker panel patch in the driver’s front fender. Then, using the cutout piece as a template, I traced an outline on Betty’s scrapped hood and cut out the odd-shaped patch to fill in the leftover opening in the fender. After a bit of time on the grinding wheel, it fit the opening perfectly. Time on the wire wheel resulted in the surface rust removed from the backside and metal exposed on the patch’s perimeter. This will ensure a clean, quality weld. The last task for the afternoon was to prime the back of the patch.

The lovely Loriann and the patient Ariel have become a little frustrated with my lack of progress on Ringo. I explained my desire to keep family time in balance with work and play (car stuff). In response, my wonderful wife urged me to spend three evenings a week in the garage. We settled on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

Last night I spent two hours fashioning two more patches for Ringo’s driver’s side. The first of the two was to fit on the rear fender just ahead of the wheel opening. Like the previous patch, I used the piece that had been cut from that area as a template. However, since so much had rusted out, the edge along the opening was non-existent on the old piece. That meant I had to leave plenty of extra and then carefully grind away little bits until the part properly fit the opening. With that patch wire brushed, I moved on to the long vertical patch for the inside surface of the rocker panel. This one was easy – a four inch wide by thirty-three inch long rectangle would form the basis, so that what I cut out of the scrap hood. The edges were deburred and the backside was brushed clean before priming both it and the previous patch with rust-converter. This evening, I’ll notch the long patch to fit around some of Ringo’s structure that hadn’t rusted away.

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