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.