19 Feb 2010

I thought I had pretty much experienced everything that can happen when TIG-welding. I was welding some 1/8″ material, which requires decent current. I was feeding the rod into the puddle and it stuck briefly, then sprang free, welding itself onto the tungsten. Thing is, I was leaning into the chassis at an awkward angle, so the other end of the rod was against a grounded chassis tube. So until I was able to get my foot off the pedal, there was about 100 amps flowing through the rod… that was in my gloved hand… boy did that get hot in a hurry! The thumb of the glove has a nice burned line across it – could have been my fingers.

Finished the welding, at least all the missed spots I could find – some of them are hard to spot. Anyhow, today marks the transition into the next phase, paneling the floor. For some reason, the local aluminum supplier doesn’t stock 2024, which is what I really wanted, but since it isn’t structural, I just went with what they had, 5052.

This place has the strangest pricing structure. If you want a 4 x 4 ft sheet of the stuff, no problem, they keep that size in-stock, cut down from 4 x 8 ft sheet. So I asked for an uncut sheet, figuring it would be slightly cheaper since they don’t have to cut it. The surprise was that it’s  nearly twice as expensive per pound. I asked the counter guys about half a dozen different ways to make sure I wasn’t misunderstanding what they were saying, and that they weren’t misunderstanding me. Nope… sigh.

Fine, so instead of the floor using a 4 x 8 ft sheet, it’s two 4 x 4 sheets. I’ll have to figure out something for the side panels – those will need to be 8-ft. Sooo, anyhow, the first sheet’s been cut and the first row of Clecos installed. I actually enjoy this part of construction, probably because the parts involved are once again larger in size 🙂

Also picked up a small sheet for the dash. Between wiring the dash, making the fuel tank tray, and drilling lots of rivet holes, I’m set for now.