Monday, December 31, 2007

31 Dec 07

I worked on the driver's side of the mold all day today. I got the side window roughed in and filled in some holes with blocks almost all the way down to the back. I hope it will only take a couple of hours tomorrow to get the remaining holes filled in and the rough shape carved down the side to the back. My goal is the get the foam on the back to carve the 2nd butterfly panel with tomorrow. Aaron worked on the website today.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

30 Dec 07


I finally finished the butterfly panel today. After several hours of block sanding, I put the aluminum foil back on to analyze the surface. The highlights run much better now, and the separation between the major and minor surfaces are more defined. After finishing this, I started gluing in a few more blocks to start the driver's side. It will be nice to have a change from sanding body filler for a few days while I build and carve the final surfaces of the mold.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

29 Dec 07

Hunt and I worked on the butterfly panel the whole day today. Near the end of the day, when we had it all smoothed out, we came to the agreement that the leading edge needed to be lowered about an inch. This was a bummer, but it could have been worse. I ground that down before calling it a night. Tomorrow, I will work on getting it all smoothed out again.

Friday, December 28, 2007

28 Dec 07

I had to call in for reinforcements today. The butterfly panel has been giving us a really hard time, and I knew just whom to call. Bong-Il Jin, my industrial design professor, came out today at about 11 to lend a hand. He had us cover the surface with aluminum foil so that we could analyze it more easily. We did this by first applying a mist of spray adhesive to the surface of the butterfly panel. We then used body filler spreaders lubricated with soapy water to conform the foil to the surface. I was amazed at how well this worked with simple household aluminum foil. Having an instant shiny surface made it much clearer what we should work on. We spent the rest of the day trying to implement Bong's advise. I hope we can get the panel essentially finished tomorrow.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

27 Dec 07



We spent the first half of the day on a trip to High Point to get some fiberglass. We got some 9oz fabric, some fabmat, and some resin and MEKP. We plan to make a fiberglass mold off of our existing body mold which will give us more options in how we make our body panels. Also, being as our mold is solid wood with body filler on it, we suspect that the wood blocks will eventually swell and shrink, leading to surface degradation. This will not happen on our fiberglass parts, so we will always have something to make more panels with in the future. The butterfly panel is almost done, but one area is giving me a huge amount of trouble. My design professor, Bong-Il Jin, is coming out tomorrow to look at it with me. Wayne is coming out tomorrow to help Aaron with the website, too, so it should be quite a productive day.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

26 Dec 07


Great strides were made on the butterfly panels today. We almost have the shape the way we want after much body filler work. Wayne, a web guru, came by the shop today and agreed to come back on Friday and give us some pointers on how to improve our website. That will be a winner for everyone.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

25 Dec 07


Christmas Day today. I worked on the butterfly panels a little while Dad hung out in the shop and put the finishing touches on my present. He made a mount for a salvaged piece of trim from a 64 Ford. One of the coolest presents ever. I went to Aaron's for dinner.

Monday, December 24, 2007

24 Dec 07


This morning, I got made some dams on the backside of the mold to hold the foam that will form the butterfly panels. Hunt and I spent most of the second half of the day pouring a 2-part urethane resin on the mold where the butterfly panels will be. In about 3-5 minutes, this resin foams, expands, and becomes very hard. It is the perfect solution to building up a temporary surface on the mold. It sure looks like a mess now, though. Dad came in for a surprise visit tonight so we wouldn't have to spend Christmas by ourselves. We went to eat and Wendy's and saw Charlie Wilson's War, which was great.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

23 Dec 07

Caroline's parents and siblings came to whisk her away to Florida for Christmas, so we spent most of the morning showing them around and what we were working on. Today we worked mostly on the backside of the mold. We needed to prepare the surface that will be under the butterfly panels. This took most of the day. We also went to Harbor Freight, which took quite a while, also.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

22 Dec 07


Lots of good work on the mold today. The front is basically finalized; I spent most of my time working out the back and side today. I had to put a lot of wood on the floor today near the back, because we have concocted a new plan about how to mold the butterfly panels. The new plan is first to shape the wood mold to the shape it needs to be under the butterfly panels. Once this surface is correct, we will pour a 2-part urethane all over the area where the butterfly panels will be. The urethane will expand into a foam and create volume. From this foam we will sculpt the butterfly panels, and we will use the foam for the shape of a fiberglass mold which will fit in our Black Bros. press. This is a neat process which should save some time, but using it simply meant that I had to chisel, cut, grind, and sand away a lot of wood on the rear end that was built to the height of the butterfly panels.

Friday, December 21, 2007

21 Dec 07


We finally sprayed the nose of the mold with feather fill at about 4pm today. Having the surface a uniform color made it easy to see several areas that needed work. Fortunately, it made visualizing the finished vehicle a little easier, which gave us inspiration to keep moving. I think we need to mock up the front wing to see what it's going to look like in there.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

20 Dec 07

Unless there is nuclear fallout in Durham tomorrow, we will spray the feather fill. The nose is almost perfect after lots of body filler and sanding today. Life would be tough without a pneumatic line sander. Aaron worked on the functionality of the side scroll bar on the website. Zac went to Montana for the holiday.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

19 Dec 07

We worked on the nose of the mold almost all day today. We got a coat of polyester resin on it as the last thing tonight. Tomorrow, several slight touch-ups, then we spray feather fill. Its really starting to look nice. We went to the Home Depot this morning and had some 3/4" pipe cut to allow us to plumb air lines in the shop. Zac framed and poured a larger concrete pad around the compressor pad to allow us to put a vacuum pump out there. Aaron added a scrolling updates bar on the website. That is really going to be helpful. With the influx of rumors and misconceptions running rampant on the web, it will be good to be able to set things straight using this feature. Plus we can show any new pictures, videos or renderings that are of interest.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

18 Dec 07

We are almost ready to spray feather fill onto the nose. I thought we were going to get it done today, but we just didn't quite make it. Paul and Kendal both showed up to check on our progress. It was good to see both of them. Paul and Zac got the compressor moved outside, which is so much more convenient for us from a noise and space standpoint. Tomorrow, the nose of the mold should be in glorious condition. I will be greatly disappointed if we don't try to mold a part on it before the week is over.

Monday, December 17, 2007

17 Dec 07

We passed our final inspection today. That is a big relief. Now we can get electricity from the street instead of pulling it from the house. I worked on the nose pretty much all day today. The body filler gallon count is at 4.5. The nose is officially symmetrical with only minor surfacing issues left to resolve. Soon, like tomorrow, we will be ready to seal it. Zac cleaned up the shop, moved a stack of veneer, and worked on running wires outside the shop for the compressor today. Aaron worked on the computer 3D model. The renderings were updated to show the exhaust exits.

16 Dec 07

Mold work today. I got a lot done on the radii inside the front radiator hole. That has been an awkward section to work with.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

15 Dec 07

More and more mold work today. Putting body filler on, and sanding body filler off. Measuring a point on 1 side, and marking it on the other side. We had serious dust issues while sanding body filler, so we bought a birdcage blower. Caroline made us a huge dust filter out of an old queen-sized sheet and pillowcase which fits over the output hole of the blower. Basically, the blower sucks in dusty air and blows it out through the sheet, which traps the dust. It works really well.

Friday, December 14, 2007

14 Dec 07

It's hard to continue to come up with things to write about when all I do all day is work on the mold, even more specifically, the nose of the mold. My mom came up and visited for the weekend, so we quit a little early today and Aaron stayed for dinner.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

13 Dec 07




Zac and I spent the first half of the day trimming out the front garage door on the blue room in preparation for our final building inspection. The inspector never showed today, but it's nice to have that finished. Zac continued to work on the door after lunch, but I started back on the nose of the mold. I finally got the passenger side of the nose finished and put a coat of fiberglass resin on it to seal it and provide a base that a skimcoat of body filler will stick to. I continued to work on it tonight and get the driver side one step closer to symmetrical. Zac also a second coat of paint on the shop tables. Tomorrow he will cut the MDF tabletops for them and drill holes in the bottom of the legs for the leveling feet. Aaron finished a tight computer rendering of the Splinter with her doors and various panels open. Check it out in the gallery.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

12 Dec 07


This morning, I filled in the gap between the hood and the windshield frame. I glued a bunch of short blocks underneath the windshield frame and filled in the gap with body filler. For the rest of the day, I worked on the nose of the mold. Tomorrow, I should have the nose ready. Zac and Caroline painted our new tables for the shop. It will be great to have those finished and in place. We got a surprise visit from Joe Hoffer of Daubert Chemicals this afternoon. He is going to get a hold of some undercoating which we will use to seal the inside of our mold. Aaron worked on the 3D computer model of the car to illustrate how the doors and panels open.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

11 Dec 07

More work on the nose, and more work on the nose, and more work on the nose, just for a change today. If I can get the nose finished, we can start molding panels onto it while I finish the rest. We are feeling the pressure to get started on the body panels. Aaron started going through the computer model, adding thickness to panels and trimming out interior surfaces. This is in preparation for a rendering with the doors up. Zac did a nice job cutting shelves for the tables in the shop. Those are going to be lifesavers.

Monday, December 10, 2007

10 Dec 07

I started off the morning by working more on the radiator hole in the nose of the body mold. It's pretty awkward to work on because the corners are hard to get to. Zac spent some time cleaning up and arranging the shop, and Aaron tightened up a few loose ends on the website. Zac and Aaron got the second webcam up and running, which is a nice addition. I got the bump strip under the nose about halfway sorted. I also did a nice amount of work on the side of the car. The angled crease that runs down the side needs a lot of work, but not as much as it needed yesterday. Not too much exciting happened today, just work.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

09 Dec 07


I straightened the wheelwell bevel this morning before going to Home Depot to get some fiberglass resin. The body filler I had been using wasn't sticking to the wood very well, so we decided to coat the mold with resin to allow the filler to stick. I got the front passenger-side fender almost ready to mold today. All it needs is a skimcoat of body filler. I cut in the bevel that will surround the front wing on the front fender. We decided to explore molding the whole front end as 1 piece, meaning I had to break out the chainsaw and cut away the hole for the front grille. That was a big chunk.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

08 Dec 07


We left Mt. Pleasant at around 830 and arrived back to Durham around 1pm. I carved the negative bevel around the wheelwell on the wood body mold today. It's going to look nice. Not too much else to report.

07 Dec 07

We had a long day today. I won't go into too much detail about whom we saw and from what company, but I will say that our engine management and clutch questions have been mostly answered and that we saw more things that we would like to stick on the car than one can imagine.
We left the show before 5pm and got back to Mt. Pleasant at around midnight.

Friday, December 7, 2007

06 Dec 07

We left Mount Pleasant at around 8am and had a fairly uneventful pilgramage to Orlando. We arrived around 400pm and went straight to the show. We went straight to meet John McCrory at the Aurora Bearings booth and wandered around for the remainder of the show. The hotel I reserved was supercheap and rated at 1.5 stars, so no one was expecting anything special. When we pulled up to the place, I was surprised to notice that we were behind a Bentley Continental GT. As I looked around, I was amazed at how nice the place was. I felt like we had found the steal of the century. As we were waiting in line to check in, I looked at my confirmation sheet, and noticed that the hotel name was the Wynfield, as opposed to the Wyndham, in which we were standing. Fortunately, we left before we got to the front desk. When we found the right hotel, we no longer thought that we had found the steal of the century. In fact, it was hard to think at all over the noise of the freeway that ran about 10 feet beyond the doors to the rooms. After pizza for dinner and an adventure of getting locked out of the room, we went to bed ready for a big day tomorrow.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

05 Dec 07

I started this morning by working on the butterfly panel trim piece some more. I successfully tested the sharpness of one of my spade bits on the palm of my hand. I concluded that it didn't really need any sharpening. I spent a while getting ready and making sure that everything was packed. Aaron went to get the booklet for the PRI show, and Zac fixed the ends on the ethernet cable going to the blue room and helped me pack. Big Red is looking good. As soon as Caroline came home from class, Hunt, Caroline and I hit the road in Big Red with straps, our bags, and a wooden rear wheel in the bed. We made it to Whiteville Plywood at about 4pm, where we saw Dail, Malton, Billy, Dick, John, and Bob. They graciously gave us a load of rotary cut birch off-fall which we will use at the substrate for our body panels. From there, we went on to Rue de Muckle by 8pm, where Smokey, Cuda and the old man were waiting to go out to Poe's for dinner. To Orlando tomorrow for the PRI.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

04 Dec 07


This morning, I mounted the exterior lights outside the front and the back of the blue room while Hunt tied up some issues in the breaker box. I did some shaping on the side of the butterfly panel and fit a couple of pieces to trim the edges with. Aaron and I worked on preparing a booklet with pics of the car to take with us to the PRI show. Aaron also finally finished up the engine animation. Check it out below in the blog. Zac had the joy of crawling under the house to connect the ethernet, cable, and telephone wires to the blue room. He also cleaned up the blue room a bit and mixed and poured the compressor pad. He drilled the bolt pattern found on the compressor feet in a sheet of plywood and threaded j-bolts through it. After pouring the pad, he stuck the bolts into the concrete before it dried so that the compressor will sit directly on the anchored bolts. We had a surprise visit from our buddies, Ken Blake and Shane Wright of National Casein, this evening. They seemed to think the project was going really well, and it was good to see them.

Engine Animation

Monday, December 3, 2007

03 Dec 07

We had to work on the wiring in the blue room today to get it ready for inspection. Zac and I planed some wood to use for strips that will make up the butterfly panels. We later decided not to use them. I fit some removable blocks on the top of the car mold that will be part of the butterfly panels. These pieces must be removable so that we can mold the piece that lays underneath the butterfly panel, as well as the butterfly panel itself. We got two front tires put on Big Red for our trip to Charleston on the way to the PRI show in Orlando. We are going to stop by and see our buddies at Whiteville Plywood on the way. Zac framed up a spot for a concrete pad for our air compressor outside the blue room. Aaron worked on the website and the engine animation.

Zac Digs a Ditch


It was Zacs job to dig another ditch today, we are running another 220 line to the compressor. He is getting pretty good at this

Sunday, December 2, 2007

02 Dev 07

More mold work happened today; not too much exciting. We made a trip to Harbor Freight to get some much needed items and some not so much needed items. Hunt worked on the outfeed/crossfeed tables while I glued and carved blocks on the back section of the body mold. Tomorrow I am going to plane some juniper to use to make the edges of the butterfly panels. I need to build up and define the edges to be able to sculpt the rest of the surface.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

01 Dec 07


We tested out the bandsaw and the jointer this morning. They are going to be perfect for the blue room. I used them to make some legs for the planer from some rough 4X6 oak dunnage that we were planning on using for firewood. The legs will isolate any vibration from the planer to the floor and raise the planer's table height. We then went to J&D Recyclers to get some pipe for our dust collection system for the blue room. We also went to Home Depot to get some bolts for the outfeed/crossfeed table we have been working on. I worked on the mold some more today, as usual. We have decided to carve the butterfly panel into the mold rather than making it a seperate piece. Since it is a raised panel, there will have to be a molded panel that goes underneath it. In order to mold these lower panels, we will have to be able to remove the edges of the butterfly panel on the mold. It sounds more complicated than it is, but it may not be fully intelligible until we have done it and pictures are available. Aaron worked today, and he almost has the new and improved version of the engine animation completed.

Friday, November 30, 2007

30 Nov 07


We spent the first part of the morning working on the mold and running out for supplies. We got some plywood tops for our outfeed/crossfeed tables. Aaron and I also spent some time gathering points from our 3D model of the butterfly panels. Today turned out like Christmas, as we got a big shipment of tools from Delta and Porter-Cable. Zac and I spent the latter part of the day moving the tools inside and assembling them. We got a planer, a bandsaw, a jointer and a dust collector. It's all first-class stuff. I am going to got back outside to finish setting up the jointer and the bandsaw. We need those right away.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

29 Nov 07

This morning, I carved some on the blocks we put up yesterday. I also picked up 5 gallons of body filler in preparation for the weekend. Hunt scored a bag of peanuts. After lunch, I made a female template of the truss and took a few measurements to help me locate it on the body mold. Hunt and I then went to the Home Depot to pick up some PVC pipe and Cat5, Cat3 and RG6 wire to run to the blue room from my house. We hope to improve the reliability of the wireless webcam by hardwiring it to the router. When we got back, I made a male truss template from the female one. I then used a chainsaw to cut a slot into the blocks so that I could sink the template to its appropriate height. This will allow me to grind the surface to the correct shape. All I have to do is grind until I get to the template. Zac dug a ditch and ran the wires from the house to the blue room. Aaron got the engine animation sorted. It looks great, but we are going to try to make one even better. Stay tuned for that one.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

28 Nov 07

Today, Hunt and I almost blocked up the entire remainder of the car from the windows back. I made a frame with legs off of the floor and joists running perpendicular to the car. I have a lot of grinding to do, but the car mold no longer looks like a boat, which is satisfying. Zac did more work on the infeed/crossfeed table for the tablesaw and radial arm saw. Aaron worked more on the engine animation. It is starting to look hot.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

27 Nov 07

Crazy weather today. It was perfect for nose grinding and block gluing, so that's what Zac and I did all day long. We even had the garage door up in the shop all day. I also started applying the body filler to the front passenger fender and the hood, and Zac mostly filled in blocks where the driver's side window will be. Hunt went to North Wilkesboro for the day, so Zac and I got to listen to whatever music we wanted. Nice. Aaron wrestled with the computer most of the day. The body filler gallon count is now at 1.

Monday, November 26, 2007

26 Nov 07


First thing this morning, Hunt and I headed out to get some body filler. We also swung by J&D Recyclers and scored a 2" thick plastic tabletop that we will use as the outfeed table on our Delta Unisaw. When we got back, I began carving on the nose again. I had to reinforce some areas that has been ground pretty thin, but everything went fairly smoothly. We had a visit from our buddy, Archie Thompson, who brought us by a couple of tubes of hot melt. The visit was just in time because my last tube was in the gun when he showed up. We began working our way down the side of the car more, gluing in blocks where the side windows and roof are. Aaron did some work on the website today, and I think he has the webcam shaped up this time. Let's keep our fingers crossed. Zac cleaned up a ton of sawdust, began making parts for our outfeed/crossfeed table, and helped me on the mold by gluing blocks on.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

25 Nov 07

Dad made it home ok. Looks like it's back to nose grinding. First, I needed to glue some blocks on to build up where I messed up the previous night. That worked fine, but definitely reinforced the desire not to screw up again. I pretty much shaped the nose all day today; not too much exciting happened. Tomorrow I will get some body filler and start refining the nose shape. I got the nose to about 85% today, so tomorrow she should really start looking fine. I think I am almost ready to go pro at using the chainsaw cutter on a 4.5" grinder. I make it rain with that thing. I wonder when I will cut one of my hands of with it, though.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

24 Nov 07

Today, I spent the morning mounting an air hose reel to the ceiling in the blue room and carving on the nose of the body mold. Hunt and I showed my dad the progress, including the pink foam body and the exhaust headers. We went to the Home Depot to get some lumber to build an outfeed table for our Delta Unisaw and a crossfeed table for our Delta X5 radial arm saw. My dad left at about 130 to get see the UNC/Duke football game from the skybox. I was fortunate enough to be able to grind wood for the rest of the day behind a sweaty facemask while he did that. I misread one of my points and ground about 7/8" too much wood on the passenger fender. I look forward to fixing that tomorrow. It shouldn't be too bad, actually. Luke is stopping by on his way home from Elkin tonight; looks like Caroline is off the hook, seeing as I will have someone to watch the basketball game with.

Friday, November 23, 2007

23 Nov 07


Having to run errands for supplies on Black Friday is not my idea of fun. We got the wood stove up and running today, and not a moment too soon, because the temperature went down below 40 degrees today. The wood stove will run you out of the shop from the heat; we had to open the door at one point. It is going to be a lifesaver this winter. Zac did a real number organizing the shop today. It is really starting to look good. He also helped me mount the smokestack on the side of the shop for the woodstove. Aaron did more work on his engine animation. It is going to look killer if we can get the computer to spit it out. My old man showed up tonight from Charleston at about 8pm, and he and I ate pizza in the new shop and talked about the progress of the car with Caroline, Hunt, Jean, and Brownie. He was impressed with the wood body mold, our measuring system, the giant remote control for the tv, and just the shop in general.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

22 Nov 07

Thanksgiving today. I worked on carving the car until about 4pm before Caroline and I went to Aaron's parents' house for dinner. The nose is starting to take shape. I had to change into shorts halfway through the day because it was over 70degrees outside. Great day overall.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

21 Nov 07

I am a little embarrassed about how long it took me to locate the windshield today. To be fair, though, we did go to Curvemakers for a KFC Thanksgiving lunch, which slowed me down quite a bit. It was worth it. Luke stopped by on his way home for Thanksgiving. He gave the thumbs-up on the car and helped me locate the windshield. Zac cleaned up around the shop and Aaron worked on an animation of the engine.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

20 Nov 07


We got a huge amount done on the nose of the wood body mold today. The measuring system works like a dream. I also measured some points that will allow us to mount the windshield frame on the body mold tomorrow. Locating that will take a little time, but it will give us a lot of information to go by while we are carving the rest of the body. Aaron worked on the 3D modeling the exhaust headers and putting textures on the engine. Zac leveled out the ground in front of the blue room and poured a concrete pad in front of the door.

Monday, November 19, 2007

19 Nov 07

After finding every auto parts store in Durham that didn't have any 2.5" exhaust clamps, we finished rigging the measuring system on the wood body mold. We mounted pulleys and cables that keep the crossbar perpendicular to the table at all times. This setup, similar to that found on a drafting table, will save me from having to walk all the way around to measure the other side of the mold every time. Aaron worked more on the How It's Made section of the website, as he has for the last few days. Zac cleaned up around the blue room, helped with the measuring system, and filled in a ditch. I just sliced one of the curves of the car from Paul's ETemplate data into 2" increments, so tomorrow we will finally be ready to measure our points and shape the mold.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

18 Nov 07

Today we finished mounting the rails to the side of the platform on which the wood body mold sits. We also constructed the uprights that will roll up and down the rails. We put the crossbar on and are ready to start locating points. We spent a lot of time making sure everything was plumb, level, straight and square so that everything comes out well. The weather was perfect today, but I have a feeling that we had better get that wood stove burning pretty soon.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

17 Nov 07

No block grinding or gluing today. Today, we worked on making our measuring system for the wood body mold. The system will consist of a rail on each side of the mold with a crossbar that will roll up and down the length of the rails. This bar and the uprights that support it will allow us to measure any point we could need. Building this system involved welding brackets that we could lag bolt to the platform. We also had to make some cradles that let the rails sit on the brackets. Tomorrow we will build the crossbar. Also today, we received the points from Paul of ETemplate. We were all amazed; to be able to get that set of data that quickly and easily is mindblowing to me. Now that we have the points we need, we will be ready to start fine tuning the body mold as soon as we finish our rail measuring system. video

16 Nov 07

Today, Paul from ETemplate came out and wowed everyone with his digital measuring system. By photographing our car with various markers positioned on and around it, Paul was able to generate a 3 dimensional point cloud that we can use to model the body or draw points and measurements from. The process was extremely easy and fast, and it kills me that we haven't had it all along. We look forward to getting the data from him. The rest of the day was more of the same from the rest of the week. Gluing blocks down, carving them, and repeating. Aaron worked on the How It's Made section of the website, and Zac cleaned up around the shop and helped me with the blocks. Patrick came out and got the webcams going. There is now one in the blue room in addition to the original in the pink room. They were working last time I checked, but I probably just jinxed them.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

15 Nov 07


We had a visit from Paul and Roger of ETemplate this morning. They are going to help us digitize the foam body. Their system is more accurate and less time consuming than the system we came up with to gather points. We look forward to seeing what they can do. The rest of the day was essentially a continuation of yesterday. I added blocks and carved on the wood body mold quite a bit. Zac worked on organizing the blue room and got the wood stove closer to complete. Aaron worked more on the How It's Made section of the website. It's shaping up. Tomorrow, I think we will get the webcams whipped into shape. They have not been working properly.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

14 Nov 07

Everyone was back at work today. I glued and carved more blocks on the wooden body mold, as I have been doing for several days now. We found a great new tool for rapid stock removal today. It's basically a pneumatic hammer with an angled chisel tip that Hunt made. The hammer vibrates the chisel, and you can walk it right down a block if you go with the grain. It doesn't like knots, and you have to be careful not to go too deep, but it's amazing when used correctly. A tool like this will allow us the luxury of not having to pre-bandsaw every block. Zac spent the morning cleaning up block scraps, sawdust and wood trimmings off the floor and the afternoon getting our barrel wood stove set up. He had to plasma cut holes in a 55gal. stainless drum for the door and the chimney, along with mounting the legs. That is really going to be nice in a couple weeks. Aaron made great strides on the How It's Made section of the website. Everyone is excited about it. Even Brownie.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

13 Nov 07

Today I did a tremendous amount of grinding to shape the nose from a block to a nose. It felt like it was raining wood. Somehow, the chainsaw blade attachment for the 4.5" grinder seems to know the exact location of my face, toward which it evacuates about 90% of the wood chips. Fortunately, most of the massive stock removal is over with, because we will pre-bandsaw each layer from now on. We tried an electric chainsaw, but it really worked poorly. Looks as though we will stick with the grinder and palm planer for most of this job. Hunt made a monumental step today, as he finished wiring the Black Bros. press. We now have up and down motion. This will allow us to make the final major rear suspension component and come one step closer having the Splinter sitting on 4 wheels. Aaron worked on the website some more. Zac had the day off.

Website Updates


Aaron has made some big changes to the website in the last few days. A quick overview: A site map has been added to the page on the bottom left, within which you can easily access everything on the site. This blog has also been added, obviously. A 360 view of every shop is now available here http://www.joeharmondesign.com/complex.html . The whole process page is also being redone.

Monday, November 12, 2007

12 Nov 07


Early this morning I got the remaining points off the side of the car at the nose end. Next, we came down to the blue room to decide what to do with them. We decided to use a rail that runs down the center of the car, allowing us to measure points on each layer as we build up. We found a 14' piece of 2.5" square aluminum tubing at J&D Recyclers that worked perfectly. I spent most of the rest of the day making sure the point conversion was correctly placed on the wood mold and locating the wheel wells. We tried a few tools out to see which one we could use to most effectively to grind the mold into shape. We modified a power planer by rounding the front footplate, allowing us to use it to remove heavy amounts of stock. It works really well. Another tool we have is a small chainsaw blade that wraps around a 4.5" grinder wheel. It works pretty well until it gets away from you and cuts your leg off (which hasn't happened yet). Aaron worked on the website, adding some Quicktime VRs of most of the buildings. Pretty sweet. Zac had the day off.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

11 Nov 07


Today, we finished the measuring system to get the points off of the foam body. The laser measuring device we adapted was well worth the money we paid for it. It made getting the points so fast, accurate, and easy that I look forward to needing to use it again, which will probably be tomorrow, now that I think about it. The back of the car is pretty simple, so I may not need to plot points for that, but the nose will likely require some plotting. Assuming this is the case, we will have to move the rails from the side of the table around to the front and possibly adjust our measuring arm. In any case, having the points for the side will get me going on gluing some more blocks down on the wood mold. Yippee.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

10 Nov 07


I mostly worked on gluing blocks down today for the redwood body mold. I finally got a decent rhythm going, despite the fact that the UNC/NCSU football game was on tv in the shop. That was one intense game. I won't finish gluing the blocks down tomorrow, but hopefully I will be closer. It looks like I am building a boat right now. Grinding it into a car is going to be a task.

Friday, November 9, 2007

09 Nov 07

Didn't get too much done on the car today. I collected some parts for the wood-burning stove that we will use in the new shop, and Hunt and I went to a funeral. Aaron and Zac had the day off. I did glue some blocks down on the body mold, but not many.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

08 Nov 07

First post. Today, I worked on putting some more blocks down to build up the wood mold. I haven't gotten on a good roll with it yet, but I feel pretty sure it will start going fast. Long way to go yet. I am using Daubert's PUR out of our pressure pot in combination with a small amount of PUR hotmelt to hold it in place since clamping is not possible. I think we found a laser measurement device that will ease the process of measuring points off the foam mold. We will find out how well it works soon, as it shows up tomorrow. Zac assembled a bandsaw and dug a ditch for a power line for the 350amp welder. Aaron worked on the process page of the website. Brownie just hung out.