Sunday, August 16, 2015

Shifting gears

Here's our darling delightful daughter one morning when she just couldn't wake up. Usually she's awake when I go into her room, but this one day last week she just kept sleeping and sleeping until we had to wake her, about when we felt very sorry too. Kids are pretty cute when they're sleepy.

This coming week is the last full week of summer before the fall term begins. Our in-service training days are the week after, and classes start on the 31st, which also happens to be Roo's first birthday. I don't suppose she will mind very much. She doesn't really know what a birthday is yet. Considering I'm coming up on my fifty-fourth, I'm not sure she should begin counting them anytime soon. Ignorance is bliss.

It will be good to get back to work, though. Mentally rested after a summer of more mundane but physical activity, I'm ready to teach again. Accordingly, however, I'm declaring partial victory on the VW project and shifting gears mentally. It doesn't usually work out that well to go straight from a demanding, long-term technical project back to work without a rest and a period of mental regrouping. Plus, the weather is slated to be sticky hot until at least the end of the week. I already fried my head, and cooked off a quart can of expensive primer paint, trying to make progress in the summer heat.

The paint thing was interesting. I had been late getting out to my job and the morning heat had begun to build. Trying to make progress, but frustrated by my own tardiness, I worked fast to strip the remaining paint and corrosion off the rusty roof with the wire cup wheel on the angle grinder, a nasty dusty job made worse by the dark hot metal surface. Although I was feeling rushed, never a good feeling in any technical situation, I did a good job, and proceeded then to spray POR-15 primer, which essentially cooked off and turned to dust before it could properly adhere to the roof! What a waste of expensive paint.

In the afternoon, after things had cooled off some, I went back and removed the offending POR-15 with the dual action sander and applied instead a quart of white Rustoleum primer, which, although it dripped and ran and will require extra sanding as a result, at least it didn't turn to dust. Here's the finished effect:

The body of the vehicle is now straight and rust-free.

There remained the two front fenders to do, and they hadn't been delivered yet, but they arrived Thursday and I knocked them out Friday.

Here's the driver's side. You can see the weld-through primer can in the background. That stuff sure makes your job easier. Fitting the fenders required to doors to be rehung to get the lines straight and to make sure the doors would shut.

Here's the passenger side.

The two panels that make up the passenger side fender assembly are made by different firms and don't match. They still require a section of right-angled tin to be welded across their tops to complete the fender shape. I can't bend a decent right-angle in my shop because I don't have a bending machine, so I went to our local Amish roofers for a section of their right-angled metal trim, which they'll make up for me and which I can trim down with the air shears. The young guy that sells this product was a little confused by my request, though, because I told him the paint color didn't matter. Usually people are more worried about color selection when they buy roof trim.

So that's the VW chassis and body properly repaired and mostly primed if not painted. There remains the finish paint to do, the engine to rebuild, and the rolling gear and brakes to service, but this is a good time to quit for now. We'll get back to the paint job when the weather has cooled off a little in the fall.

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Welcome to our Farm Blog.
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