Monday, December 31, 2007
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
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
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
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
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
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
Monday, December 24, 2007
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Saturday, December 15, 2007
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
Thursday, December 13, 2007
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
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
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
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
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
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.
We left the show before 5pm and got back to Mt. Pleasant at around midnight.
Friday, December 7, 2007
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
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
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.
Monday, December 3, 2007
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.
Sunday, December 2, 2007
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
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.