Sunday, 11 July 2010

Estate Progress

I haven't done much on the estate recently, two reasons really, pressure of work and working weekends, and also not wanting to "damage" the pristine shell.

I have had a kind of mental block, as the body looks so nice after the ecoating, that I cannot bring myself to spoil its appearance with the leadloading and other remedial work. I had some visitors yesterday to look at the estate, and Colin summed it up by saying that I had got the "Holly Grail," effectively a brand new pristine shell that everyone hopes they will find in a barn somewhere to rebuild back into a car.

In another excuse to put the work off I have been having discussions with other CT members who have said that I should be using filler instead of lead because its better and more modern and easier to work. I have kept arguing for using lead, but I was allowing myself to be persuaded.

Anyway I thought I would try my hand at leadloading again, to see if I had the old skills, in the hope that would give me confidence to lead load the shell rather than cheat and use plastic filler.

The real difficult trick with lead is to be able to put it on a vertical surface to some depth, and then smooth it off, so I dug out an old sheet of 1mm steel and set to work, tinning it first and then applying lead, so with the steel sheet vertical I tinned it and applied lead

The area of lead is about an 6cm diameter circle. I did forget to take the flame away from the work as I dabbed the lead stick on - hence the "burn mark" above the lead top right, but I did manage to get a decent thick covering over the area about 5mm deep.

This was then reheated and smoothed with a tallow coated wood spreader to give this

and then finally filed flat with a "rasp" type flat file

That'll do nicely, the vertical work is the hardest to do, and I had forgotten just how nice it is to work and shape after application, as its not rock hard like filler.

So I am convinced and happy now, it will be lead loading - forget plastic filler, and I will be starting on the shell, probably not for 2 weeks or so due to work, but August should see a completed flat body shell all loaded and ready for painting.

I am sending a few more parts off for powder coating this week, including the large vacuum reservoir, which as Colin confirmed is not from a PI, does anyone know what it is off ?

I had some news this week from the people who are remaking the brake disks for me, the first attempt had failed, because the large piece of cast irom had turned out to have internal defects when machined down. However they have now obtained more material, which has been xrayed to check for defects, prior to machining, and they are confident I should have the disks within 2 weeks

Where am I?