Battery box.

April 20th, 2013

Today I did one of those jobs that I thought would be quick but took me all day. By the time you work out what to do, measure, measure again, cut, mark out, cut out, fold, hammer, come inside to ice the finger you hit with the hammer, test fit, adjust, weld and finish all bloody day has gone.

First I made up a cardboard mock-up of a battery. I found a box the approximate size. It’s about 20mm bigger all around that the 6 volt battery I shall be using. I cut that down to simulate the bottom of the battery box and checked it didn’t stick down too far and wasn’t going to hit anything like the gear shift.

IMG_3759_1 IMG_3760_1 Box mock-up.

Next I marked out and cut out the hole in the scuttle. I didn’t want just straight edges as that leaves the hole a little floppy so I cut it small and made flanges that I then folded over. First I used my flanging tool to bend the edges to a right angle then hammer and dolly to flatten them off.

IMG_3761_1 IMG_3763_1 Hole.

The folded over flanges make a nice smooth and rigid hole on the top.

IMG_3765_1 Folded over edges.

The good thing about this hole is it even works from the other side too.

IMG_3766_1 IMG_3768_1

Next I drew out the pattern for the box on some steel. The steel wasn’t long enough to to the whole box so I left off the front for now. It was lucky I did.

IMG_3770_1 Box pattern.

Folding it up took some time. There are flanges on the top and bottom as well as having to fold the corners too. It took a lot of fiddling with clamps and steel bars. I made good use of the edge of my steel plate to do the flanges.

IMG_3772_1 IMG_3775_1 IMG_3778_1

Folding box.

I ended up with a box without a front.

IMG_3779_1 Box.

I did a test fit and it was too big! I needed to shorten it by about 1/4 of an inch so I straightened the front flanges and re-bent them. I then made up a front and spot welded it on. To make everything nice I welded in corner pieces, rounded the corners and then sanded everything smooth. You can see where the corners were welded in which, as a terrible perfectionist, annoys me. I might put a thin layer of lead body solder over them then file them smooth just so everything is pretty. The floor of the box is a piece of plywood left over from the floor offcuts. The box needs to be attached permanently to the firewall. Unfortunately I can’t get the spot welder in to do that so it will probably be riveted. I will pop rivet it in temporarily. The other alternative is to punch holes in the flange and plug weld it in with the MIG welder. I might also make the flange smaller. It probably only needs to be 1/2  inch instead of the 3/4 it is now.

IMG_3781_1 IMG_3782_1

IMG_3784_1 IMG_3787_1

The battery of course sticks up out of this battery box. There will be a tie down of some kind to hold it down and then there will be a wooden box that covers the scuttle top to cover it in. The passenger side half of the box will cover the battery and the drivers side will be a tools/parts box. Each side will have a nice hinged lid.

The size of the top flange was bothering me so I went and trimmed it down to 1/2 inch. I couldn’t hammer it flat as it is late now but I will tomorrow. I think it looks much better now.

IMG_3788_1 Trimmed flange!

2 Responses to “Battery box.”

  1. Paul Gray Says:

    Hi Simon,

    Nice job on the flange! I came across your blog when I was looking for information on line to repair my vacuum cleaner, in particular the motor. I found your detailed description of the motor stripdown really useful and ended up changing the bearings – they were totaly shot on mine. I’m lucky enough to have a Raglan 5inch lathe in my workshop so was able to clean up the commutator, although mine was in much worse condition than yours – harder life I suspect.
    Yesterday I happened to come across an Austin 7 near to where I work, I hadn’t realised just how small the car is – it really is tiny.
    Good luck with the rest of the restoration – well, more of a build-from-scratch project.
    Paul – South Wales UK

    PS – If there is anything I can get you in the UK I’d be happy to oblige – I go to an number of auto jumbles and there is always Austin 7 stuff for sale.

  2. admin Says:

    Hi Paul, yes they are tiny cars. I think of them almost as toy cars. I would like to do something bigger one day but will finish this one first! Glad you were able to sort out your vacuum cleaner. They are nice machines. Is good to be able to fix them. Thanks for the offer too. I am good for things now. Am getting close to the end!


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