17 Jul 2011

It was all going fine…

Until I decided to trim back the big side panel since it no longer needs to turn inboard at the front – the “gills” now cover that area. Since there was already a bend crease where it turned inboard, it was easy to know where to cut… not.

I forgot that the bend line isn’t where the chassis tube is behind it and so it got cut wrong. “Wrong” is okay if it means too long, but of course in this case it meant too short and suddenly the rest of the day was planned for me. Either do nothing more with it, buy another 8′-sheet of aluminum next week ($$$) and trace the old one onto the new sheet, or, weld the cut-off piece back on. Being a cheapskate by nature and somewhat pissed at myself, it was welded back on which went about as expected, with weld distortion and my dusty aluminum-welding skills doing a barely-acceptable job. Then out came the files, die-grinder and sandpaper to try and erase the ugly weld bead, which cracked whenever it was bent even slightly. At the end of the day it was fixed “good enough” though it’ll still need a touch of – ugh – Bondo before painting. If there’s a good side to this it’s that only one side was cut wrong before catching the mistake.

Besides that, all that was accomplished was closing up the gills just slightly and squaring up the edges so they’re both straight and parallel to each other.

Speaking of paint, the time to choose is getting short. Two colors popped up this week with one being a sea-foam sort of color seen on a Jaguar (“Botanical Green”… I think); very nice though a bit on the light side. Another was – once again – a metallic burnt-orange. The trick is spotting the “right” color, noting the make and model of the car it’s on, having some clue about what year it is, and all before it gets too far away. Midlana’s chassis will probably be navy-gray just like Kimini (not a lot of colors in powdercoat can handle full sun and UV.) Whatever color’s chosen for the panels needs to complement a gray chassis, probably red suspension tubes, and some black inner panels. Both the above colors do this.

And finally, work is resuming on the book manuscript. It slowed down but never really stopped, with notes about what to include added nearly everyday. There’s plenty to do.