More welding.

May 19th, 2013

Still going with the welding. I should have taken two weeks off work really! Today I ground down the first welds and gave them a quick file. Nothing serious yet but I needed to make the panel the right shape so it fits over the frame. After filing the welds a bit of hammer and dolly work makes the skin fit the frame. It’s still all wobbly and has highs and lows but it fits on the frame OK. The fine finishing will make the entire surface smooth but all the panels need to be welded first.

The tops of the welds are ground off with an angle grinder. You have to be careful that the aluminium doesn’t clog the grinding disc. The little bits clog the disc then heat up and expand and can make the disc explode! But if you’re careful and keep the grinding disc free of the bits it is OK. Every so often you just pick the worst of them out with something like a pointed scriber. After grinding you use a body file to smooth things out.

Before that though I welded the tail to join the two sides of the back. Same drill as before. Clean and flux the edges and clamp together. Start tacking from one end. Joss would hold the other end and bend the panels to line up the panels for the next tack. Then I went back and welded it all.

20130519_105348 20130519_113102

Then it is ground off and filed.

20130519_115110 20130519_115551 Welding tail.

With the tail done we put the front back on the frame and marked around it so I could trim it all neatly. We then boofed over the front edge so it is up against the front frame. This all gets covered by the firewall when the car is put together. Now the front piece always sits in the same place on the frame. I then put the tail back on, marked, trimmed it and welded the tail to the front. So five pieces are now one. Two more to go!

One of the side welds went a little wonky. The weld is fine but I was uneven in applying the heat from the torch so the panels are all distorted but this will be fixed later when everything is hammered into shape. This was due to how the skin was sitting when I was welding it. We had it on one side and I was welding it from above and it was hard to get a good position. For the other side we stood the skin on it’s nose so I was able to weld it side on which I find much easier. You have to apply the heat from the welding torch evenly to both panels at the same time or else one will distort and the edges pull away from each other.

20130519_192736 20130519_192756 Skin on frame.

As I finished the last weld the acetylene gauge was pegged so I will need to go get a new cylinder tomorrow.

I still need to grind and file the side welds and hammer out the worst of the wobble. Then fit and trim then weld the middle top piece. Then the top of the tail. The final part will be making a little curved cover for the tip of the tail and welding that on.

2 Responses to “More welding.”

  1. peter cogill Says:

    before grinding aluminum apply beeswax to grinding wheel, you will have no problems with grinding discs. regards peter.

  2. admin Says:

    Will have to try that! To be honest I haven’t had an issue with the wheels clogging anyway. I’ve been using a Makita grinding wheel and they are the best I have used. Unfortunately they only seem to come with a new tool. I’ve never found anywhere locally I can buy them separately.

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