Slow progress.

June 23rd, 2013

Well, I am making some progress but very slowly. Doing the body work is hard and you have to be in the right frame of mind. I also can’t do too much hammering in the evenings so have to wait till the weekends to really have a bash at it. This weekend I did a little but was recovering form a cold so I couldn’t do too much in the cold garage. Hammering and filing warms you up though!

I have modified the rear axle covers now to shift the firewall. It comes forward and at more of an angle. The firewall will be the rear of the passengers seat now with just a pad on top of it. I also managed to get the skin to sit properly. It was sitting very high at the front previously.

IMG_3921_1 Front sitting too high.

Of course everything should fit on the frame as it was all made in pieces to fit but after welding everything things distort so you need to reshape things. To get the front sitting correctly took a while as I had to to work out why it wasn’t sitting properly.  Eventually I worked out it involved curving out the front left corner. This was pulled in slightly after we hammered the skin around the front of the frame. Sometimes it’s not obvious where to hit things to get a totally different part of the skin to behave.

I started smoothing and filing the tail also. This is very hard to explain how to do and even more difficult to actually do. The idea is to get the metal smooth and flat again. You run the body file lightly over the skin in one direction to show where the hollows are (the grey low spots below). You then hammer up the hollows. To do this you put an appropriately curved dolly behind the panel on the low point then you hammer around the edges of the hollow while pushing up hard on the dolly. This should bring up the low points. In practice it’s tricky to do. You do a little, tiny bit at a time and it takes ages! You stop often to rub the flat of your hand across the panel to feel where the hollows are.

IMG_3940_1 Lumpy panels.

So lots of hammering and more filing. The file is just to show the lows. I am not trying to file it flat with it. I had some issues where my weld split. This was where I didn’t have good penetration of the welds so I needed to re-weld a few parts.

IMG_3937_1 Welding.

Eventually things start getting smoother. It takes a long time and you really have to be in the right head space to do it. If you’re not there is no point bashing away since you can easily mess things up!

IMG_3934_1 IMG_3935_1 Filing and hammering.

I still have a lot to do and that’s just on this one corner. There are still 5 more to go!

IMG_3932_1 First corner slowly getting there.

IMG_3924_1 Starting to get finished.

Since the aluminium work is so difficult I decided to do something easy and so welded up the smallest of the holes on my side panels as they are now in the way of the new firewall. Also last week I went to the army surplus shop in search of a new bag and I found some old army packs that came with nice, long leather straps and buckles. They’ll make perfect boot and bonnet straps.

I also looked at my rear axle and finally worked out why I had so much trouble assembling it. One of the half shafts is bent! It also has a crack in the key-way meaning I couldn’t use it even if I had it straightened. I am going to see if the Austin club here has any suitable second hand spares, hopefully next weekend.

One Response to “Slow progress.”

  1. Duncan Grimond Says:

    I found your blog by chance while looking for interesting images for austin7. I’ve built a Pembleton Brooklands (
    and am almost finished building a Grasshopper SS.
    For my next project I’ve bought 50/50 with a pal a 1934 rolling chassis c/w engine/gearbox with a view to building a special.
    I’m very impressed by your work and would be most grateful if you could include me on your mail list for further instalments from your blog.

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