Saturday, June 25, 2005

Ok… I feel much better now….

I spent the past several hours hammering, grinding, nibbling and fitting sheet metal for one side of that old truck’s bed. It’s in the upper 80’s here now, and the sun has the metal so hot I can’t work with it any longer, so, I’m taking a break. It’s amazing to me sometimes how much some real physical labor, a ton of sweat and some tangible, visible results can improve my mood!!

It’s looking good too, as soon as the temps start to drop (and if the thunderstorm they’re predicting doesn’t happen, I’ll have the rough in of the custom work that one side of the bed done. I’m not as fast as I once was, that’s for sure. Also, working with precise fitting is a bit more difficult with only one set of hands.

Normally my wife would be out there working with me and being that second pair of hands. But, with her back troubles, I don’t want her aggravating it over this project. So, I use a lot of tape, some magnets and take a lot of measurements instead. Works out fine, just takes about three times as long.

I’ll post some of the pics I took along the way later today, once I’m done fitting and ready for the final attachment. I need to get the fit perfect and aligned so I can take the panel back off, and then use the sandblaster on the interior metal before painting it with a rust preventative paint. I use a product called POR-15 for that. It’s expensive, but so is having all your hard work ruined by some rust eating through it in a year.

I’ll sandblast everything I can get at and then either spray, or brush it on all the bare metal. I’ve never had anything I’ve coated with this stuff rust again (in that place anyway). It’s pretty toxic though, so, if you decide to try it, be sure to wear an approved mask. You can even paint it right over rust; it’ll bond with it and stop it.

Anyway, it’s good stuff; I don’t want this sounding like a commercial!

I’m going to use a new product to attach these panels I’m forming. It’s an actual ‘Panel Adhesive’ that’s purported to bond the two panels, allowing the use of ‘pop-rivets’ and eliminating the need to weld the panels. What that means is that I can prepare all the ‘back sides’ before final fit up and not have the coatings ruined by the heat of welding. I’m a little skeptical, but, I figure given all the work it’ll save, it’s worth a shot.

I’m headed off to relax a bit…. I hope you’re all having a great weekend!

5 comments:

Beth said...

As a person who works out in the heat daily, I know how sweaty it can get! Can't wait to see the finished pics, Bill!

~ Beth

Firehawk said...

Bill,

Sounds cool. I'll have to keep that rust inhibitor in mind. I have to get under my old truck and stop the rusting trend before winter. Just spen $900 on the damn thing. Can't have it falling apart now!

Look forward to seeing the pics. Have a good one.

Spirit Of Owl said...

You da man, Bill! LOL

I'm in awe. Seriously. :)

Cylithria™ said...

Okay i want pics, especially after the use of the panel adhesive... I've heard of it but I am dying to know how it really works.....

Yummy........ vehicle talk....always gets me all happy lOL

Bill said...

Knitter - I can assure you I was a sweaty mess.

Firehawk - It's one of the only 'rust' products I've ever used that lives up to the claims. You can drop me an email if you ever want more info.

Spirit - With this stuff, it's more like I used to be the man. These are definitely skills that get 'rusty' with lack of use!

Cyli - I'll be awhile before the panel adhesive. In short, you flange the cutout (a vice-grip type tool) the panel sits in the flange. You pre drill for the rivets, apply the adhesive with caulking gun, put the panel on, rivet in place and clean off the excess. We used to do something similar with expoxy resin, but it was a mess, and, could set up before you were done.