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Sunday, May 5, 2019

More Small Jobs | Roundtail Restoration

Getting a little behind here, so I'll fix that. To the video:

As I get closer to assembly, I'm trying to do little things that need to be done, but that I may forget about. What I do not want is to have the car painted and then miss some big ticket item that also needs to be refurbished and painted and all that. Once I get Dorothy in paint, I want to minimize any "mess making" activities.

This is all pretty random. No real method to my madness here, just trying to get it done. I started with removing the crossbar support from the bonnet. I need to do another round of build primer on the inside to try to smooth out the paint a bit more and the crossbar will be in the way of sanding. Since I struggled with this thing so much trying to get my gaps set, I took some measurements.

Passenger's side gap between end of crossbar and wing support. Note the cracked paint where I bent the support during gap setting.

And the driver's side.

After that, I fired up the blasting cabinet. It was acting up on my the last time I used it forever ago, which I attributed to worn out media. However, I changed the tip in the gun and it was like a new machine. The air compressor runs continuously when I'm blasting so I don't get too much time before the moisture in the lines starts to clog up the whole operation, but enough time to get stuff done.

Various pieces-parts that have been blasted and readied for paint.

Next up was the driver's side seat frame. Dorothy's was cracked and corroded at the bottom and needed to be repaired. I discovered this soon after buying the car and made the mistake of cutting away a lot of the good metal along with the bad.

Close up of damage to Dorothy's, also showing the metal rod on the edge that broke away.

Because I cut away too much of the bottom, I struggled (and still haven't fixed) the complex curves as the seatback attaches to the bottom frame. I talk about this more in detail in the video (starting here).

Attempt at repair - complex curves that I couldn't get right.

Fortunately, a gentleman in Rhode Island was getting rid of his old restoration parts and had two seat frames, which I grabbed. The driver's side of these was repaired with brazing which appears to be sound.

Seat cleaned up with various mechanical stripping methods.

Closeup of the brazing. Obviously a design weakness in these seats.

There were a lot of dents and dings in the seatback, which I found interesting. Not sure if they were there because of repairs or what, but it just seemed an odd place to have dents.

Another thing I wanted to do was get the "paint booth" set back up in preparation for getting back at painting and body work. I changed my design a bit (booth is longer but a bit more narrow now) but my method, using cup hooks in the ceiling to suspend the plastic, was the same.

Between this visit and the next, I soaked the seat frame in some vinegar to get the heavier rust out, as I did with Dorothy's seat frames. This method works well for me to get the gross rust off of heavier parts. I did discover a nice tear in the seat back which I'll need to address. Brazing and MIG welding do not get along (you can MIG weld over brazing) so this may involve some pain in cleaning the area up...we'll see.

Screen capture, showing the tear up close.

The headlight buckets also need attention. Thankfully, both Dorothy's and the black car's are in good shape. They are prone to rusting out from what I understand (I think more so on the later cars), so I'm lucky there. There is only some minor surface rust to remove and some painting to do.

Dirty, but corrosion free!
That was about it for the visits. Lots of prep to get back into painting as the body is a mess, dust-wise. Excited to get back into it, though!

All the little parts, ready for epoxy.

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