Thursday, November 27, 2008
Sorry for the lack of updates recently; I sometimes forget that people read this blog. With Phase 1 of the Splinter project complete, I am concentrating on graduating next month and getting a job before plunging fully into Phase 2, which is getting the car running. We have been having a good time taking the prototype version of the Splinter around for sponsors, colleagues and friends to have a look at. Thanks for sticking in with us over the last couple years, and look for the Splinter at the PRI show in December in Orlando and at the AWFS in Las Vegas in July. We are also looking forward to seeing a small feature by Robert Cumberford in the January issue of Automobile Magazine.
Friday, September 26, 2008
Spent most of the morning getting my laptop running again. It failed in the middle of the presenstation at VT last week, and we are going to be seriously needing that thing. Aaron was up to the job, fortunately. In the afternoon, I worked on the butterfly panels some more. The inner edge of each panel has some waves that show up in the clearcoat where I clamped the trim piece on. I was cognizant about not clamping them on too hard, but I think it would have been impossible to do it without reblocking that area. The amount of difference it takes to become a visible dip or wave in the surface is probably something like 10 thousands of an inch, and it was bound to move that much. Next time, the trim should definitely go on first.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
I spent most of the day at school today, because I have a lot of stuff to do for graduation and other things. Before I left, I cut some triangulating brackets for the steering arm bosses on the front suspension uprights that will beef up the joint. I have a lot of block sanding to do tomorrow.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
I jacked the Splinter up this morning took the front tires off. I had a bunch of errands to run and emails to write, which took me most of the middle part of the day. Ben came out to work on some benches, and we went to Wendy's for lunch. Chris came by to drop off a piece of glass that we might be able to use as a spare, and he fixed a small crack that was forming in the windshield while he was here. Later in the afternoon, Ben and I moved some steel with Hunt at his place, and Hunt and I took it to the scrapyard and dropped one of the wooden wheels off at JT's on the way to get the tire taken off. That one wheel has a leak, so we wanted to take the tire off and reinspect the seal around the center section of the rim. When we got back, I took the uprights off the front suspension so that we could reinforce the steering arm boss. I called it a night at about 7:30pm.
Monday, September 22, 2008
I had some major cleanup work to do in the shop once we got back from VT, so I spent most of the weekend doing that. It feels good to have the shop mostly back in order. I had the shop clean enough for the car to be rolled back in by Sunday, and Ben helped me pull her out of the trailer. We have a bunch of work to do on her yet, so it will be back to it starting today. I really want to get the headlights and taillights in soon, and the whole body needs to be resprayed. Time to get to it.
Friday, September 19, 2008
We just got back from Blacksburg, Virginia late last night after taking the car to Virginia Tech's Wood Week. I met Paul Winistorfer, the director of VT's Wood Science department, at IWF several weeks ago, and we decided that the car would be a good thing to have at their event. After spraying the car again on Tuesday night, we got up early on Wednesday to get everything ready to go. Ben and Aaron helped, and Aaron, Hunt and I left a little after lunchtime. We showed up in Blacksburg at about 5:45pm and went straight to the Inn at Virginia Tech, where I gave a short presentation about the car at a scholarship reception. We went to the hotel to crash that night and got over to the school at 7:00am for breakfast and a meeting. An hour later, we rolled the caravan over to the drill field and unloaded the car right onto the lawn underneath a tent. We spent the day hanging out around the car and talking to people about it. At about 4:00pm, it was time to head out, and we loaded up the car and hit the road by 5:00pm. We got back at around 8:45pm and were all tired. Paul and all the students and faculty at VT were some of the best people we have had the pleasure to talk with about the car, and we wouldn't hesitate to go back.
Monday, September 15, 2008
I had some clean-up on the car to do this morning, so I started by sanding the taillight surrounds and going over some of the areas on the body that needed to be blocked. When Hunt came up, we finished adjusting the front suspension. Ben came out and put some flush-mount eyelets in the floor of the trailer to get use for holding the car down. I had to go to school this afternoon, but I fit a piece of bent plywood inside the rear body section to support it better. When I got back from school, I riveted and glued the piece onto the car. I also added some angle brackets inside the rear wheel well. Once I got this done, I took the rear wheels back off to make sure everything was locked down on the suspension and to get the wheel wells cleaned up. Hunt came up and sanded on the body with 400grit to prepare for spraying tomorrow. I finished at about 11:00pm and called it a night.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Front suspension work all day long today. Hunt and I both crawled under the car at least 217 times between us, because when you adjust 1 parameter, all the other ones move, too. Once we finally got the front wheels located properly front to back, we saw that the caster was off, so we had to readjust that. Then, we found that the leaf spring wasn't centered over the upper A-arms, so we had to pull it out, shave it down, and stick it back in again. Everything turned out well by about 10:00pm, and we called it a night.
More suspension work today. Hunt and I worked most of the morning getting the driver's side back tire located properly. We also went to the Home Depot to get some D-rings to mount to the bottom of the car as tie-down points. It was about lunchtime by the time we finished the rear suspension, so we took a food break. After lunch, Caroline came out to help me tighten the plates around the bearing that holds the steering column before it comes through the dash. This is not the first time that her long, lean arms have been a big advantage on reaching tight areas on the car. Once this was finished, we took the driver's side front spindle off and began adjusting the A-arms to locate that tire properly. We had the spindle centered in the wheel well by dinnertime and checked the tire fit. We decided that we needed to bring the tire out a touch more and to give it slightly more negative camber, so we broke for dinner. After dinner, I came out, took the knuckle back off, and unscrewed the heim joints to push the lower A-arm out. Hunt came as I was ready to get the tire on and checked things out with me. We had a few more issues to correct, but the tire was pretty much in the right place with respect to the body, so we called it a night at about 9:30pm.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
I went to school this morning and picked up some jam nuts and all-thread on the way back, showing up at about 2:30pm. Hunt worked on the suspension while I was gone. He and I continued work on the suspension for the afternoon, getting one of the rear tires properly located and the other side disassembled. I called it a night at about 7:00pm to go to dinner for Luke's birthday.
More truss trim-out detail this morning. I had to scrape epoxy out of the corners of the truss for a while, modifying a scraper to fit in the process. Once I had everything all cleaned up, I started to trim out the leading edge of the truss by chiseling the front edges of my trim laminates square and cutting a piece to run across in front of the them. I also cut a piece of veneer to run over the whole area. Right before lunch, we went to the junkyard to look at the rear suspension of a torn-up Corvette. After lunch, Hunt and I went to work on the rear suspension of the Splinter. We had to snake in and take off a panel on the box channel to gain access to the trailing arms where they mount to the s-panel. Once we had access, we removed the trailing arms and cut off one end so Hunt could weld a different nut onto the end. I did a little work on the driver's side suspension and finished up at about 9:30pm.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
I went to school for most of the day today, getting back to the shop around 3:30pm. When I got back, I got the truss trim pieces glued down. I had to cut a bunch of wood blocks to spread them apart and to hold them down. I finished at about 8:15pm, right as Caroline got home, and called it a night.
I routed the lightening holes back out of the truss, as they were covered over by the new layer of cherry veneer we added a day or 2 ago. It took me a while to get the tacky tape off the borders, but it all looked good when it was finished. Hunt cut the truss trim lamination into 2 pieces using the tablesaw and the planer, and I started fitting it. Before lunch, he and I went to Strutmasters in Roxboro to check out their products and look at using them on the Splinter. When we came back, we cut up an old trailer and put some steel on a trailer to go to the scrap yard. I cut some boards to help me clamp the truss trim pieces down and called it a night at about 8:00pm.
Monday, September 8, 2008
I went to school this morning to work, and came back to go to Huntersville with Ben and Luke. We got an invitation to visit Joe Gibbs Racing last week and took them up on it. Rick Orellana graciously showed us around and gave us the full tour, from the car haulers to the engine room to the body shop. That is one incredible organization to see from the inside like that, and all the guys who worked there were really cool to talk to about the car. It was the most fun we had had in a while, and we got back at around 11:00pm.
I planed some cherry backer this morning to 1/8" thick and laminated it to the curvature of the truss to make a trim piece. After this was glued up, Hunt and I molded a wheel well. After the wheel well, I laminated a piece of cherry veneer over the truss using 6mil polyethylene on each side of the truss. As I worked on this, Hunt glued another wheel well, and we called it a night after we got it in the bag at about 8:00pm.
Saturday, September 6, 2008
I block sanded the body all morning, concentrating primarily on the front fender lines. Hunt researched air springs and made the last 5 sided plywood pieces before lunch. After lunch, we dug one of the wheel well molds out of the storage shed, and Hunt cut the bottom radii off of it and ground it flat and straight. I continued to clean up the body lines on the front of the car and along the edges of the butterfly panels, and we made a gameplan for how to refine the truss. We called it a night at around 7:00pm.
Friday, September 5, 2008
I block sanded the body this morning and got Caroline's assistance in putting a mold away this morning before going to school. When I got back, Hunt had made another 5-sided piece that ties in the rear cross-section. I went back to block sanding, which is likely to be the joy of my life for the next 10 days or so. Ben was out back working on the installation for his art exhibit, and Hunt glued up the final 5-sided piece. I finished up at about 8pm, and went in to eat with Ben and Caroline. After dinner, I came back out, block sanded and answered emails until about 10:30pm.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
It looked like the sun got us on the rear cross section piece yesterday, because we found out that the part was bad this morning. Not terrible, just not worthy of over 200mph. The sun was hitting that side of the mold hard while we were laying the part up yesterday, and I feel sure that the resin kicked off before we had the part vacuumed down. We started over on it, putting down 5 of the 8 pieces this morning. We had a visit from a nice guy named Doug Foster today, who asked Hunt and me some questions about the car and recorded some of it. After lunch, I sanded the car a little bit, and Hunt got ready to lay up the last 3 pieces of veneer on the cross section. After we bagged that, I sanded a little more while Hunt laid up an angle bracket. At 6:30pm, Luke came out, and he, Ben and I went to play some ball. Ben was on my team all night, so I didn't get the opportunity to dunk on him. Maybe next time.
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
I went to school this morning to work on my portfolio, and Hunt glued up more plywood pieces while I was gone. When I got back, I went to work on more trim pieces and figuring out how to mount the headlights. That is going to be a complicated part, but it should be doable. Luke, Christina, and Ben came by to watch the piece about the car on the Discovery Channel tonight, which everyone was pleased with. Ken Hamm and his crew made me look about as close to a normal human being as is possible. Hunt came back up to glue up one last part, and Caroline, Luke, Christina, Ben and I went out to eat.
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
I worked on trimming out the car some more this morning and helped Hunt get a part in the bag before going over to NC State to check some things out. When I got back, I worked on trimming some more. Hunt reworked an old mold while I was at school, and I helped him bag it after he had cut the veneers and spread the glue on them. We finished up at about 8:30pm and called it a day.
Monday, September 1, 2008
I went back to work making trim pieces for the butterfly panels, and Aaron and Bimal worked on laying up more box channel pieces and dug a couple more molds out of storage. The produced a new firewall piece and the final 2 box channels by the end of the day and also sealed the rear cross section mold in preparation for making a part. I helped them on and off and trimmed out pieces on the car. Ben put our disc sander back together and modified the trailer hitch from the van to fit the Suburban. He and I put it on at the end of the day, finishing up at around 7:00pm.
Sunday, August 31, 2008
I worked on trimming out the butterfly panels, and Hunt worked on the rear suspension for most of the morning. Ben weedwhacked until lunchtime and took the motor off the 20" disc sander for Hunt to look at. Hunt fixed the motor in the afternoon while I glued the middle trim piece on the 2nd butterfly panel and fit the rear trim piece on the first panel. The panels are starting to look much, much better. I went in to eat around 7:00pm and came back after dinner to finish the rear trim piece on the 1st butterfly panel. I came inside to write at about 9:00pm and called it a night.
Hunt and I went to the junkyard to get some pieces that we needed this morning, and I went to work on gluing a trim piece to one of the butterfly panels. I had this on by lunchtime, and we ate at the airport. After lunch, I made a trim piece for the front of the butterfly panel that I had glued to, and Hunt and I finished gluing up the transmission hanger and made a 4th box channel. We finished at about 7pm and went to eat. After dinner, Caroline and I went to Home Depot to get some 6mil and then went to get her a new laptop for school.
Friday, August 29, 2008
We had pretty good production today. Hunt and I pulled the first box channel off the mold to find a good part, and Aaron and Bimal went forward with laying up another one with the same method. I got a little work done on the butterfly panel trim piece in between helping the guys with glue-ups. After the 2nd box channel was under vacuum, Bimal and Aaron got into making the first half of the transmission hanger. We had it mostly in the bag when Bimal left at noon. After lunch, Aaron cleaned up and made a dump run while I finished up the butterfly panel trim pieces. He got a corner bracket ready, and I helped him get it in the bag. Next, he spread glue on the next set of box channel veneer, and I took the box channel from the morning off the mold. We finished laying it up right at 5pm, when it was time for Aaron to hit the road. Hunt and I worked on taking apart the front suspension for the next hour or 2, and I went in the eat at around 7pm. After dinner, Caroline and I went to see The Dark Knight finally, now that the schedule is a little less rigorous. It was pretty good, especially the Joker and the LP640.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Hunt and I talked about what needs attention on the car this morning until Bimal and Aaron showed up at around 8am. They prepped the box channel mold lay-up by cleaning off the table, cutting veneer and collecting some pieces for the mold. In the meantime, I worked on fitting a trim piece inside the butterfly panel, and Hunt took the rear suspension apart. Hunt and I helped Bimal and Aaron get everything sorted, and we had a successful dry run finished by lunch. After lunch, Bimal and Aaron glued the part, and Hunt and I helped them vacuum it down. Ben came out to work on his art, and I worked on the trim pieces more while Bimal and Aaron got more pieces of veneer cut and ready for tomorrow. After dinner, I worked on the trim pieces some more and taped off a headlight cutout to look at for a while. Caroline helped me get one butterfly panel back on the car, and we called it a night at about 9:45pm.
Everything is pretty close to back to normal now. Bimal showed up at 8am this morning and cleaned out the loom room to get ready for some work. Hunt and I cleaned out the blue room. Before lunch, Bimal and I dug out the box channel mold and spent a while cleaning it off. Bimal sanded it, and Hunt and I got some more scuba tanks to cut into rear uprights for the suspension. After lunch, Bimal went about covering the box channel mold in peel ply, much like he did on the trailer canopy. This will stop any leaks that come through the mold. We spent some time getting the car off the trailer and onto the table this afternoon, and everything went smoothly with that. When we finished up there, Bimal headed out. I took the 2 back wheels off the car to work on the rear suspension some tomorrow, and Caroline and I went to replace my broken cell phone at about 7:30pm.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Sorry that I haven't posted in a while, but the 3 days preceeding IWF were somewhat of a blur. I only remember certain things, so I won't try to list everything that was done. Monday night, Ben, Caroline and I stayed up until about 4am getting the chassis together and ready for the body. Tuesday, more sanding on the body, and Luke and I went to get the rental tow van. We added some stiffeners to the z-panel and steering column and brought the body in. The body went on the chassis that afternoon, and we started mounting the corner blocks inside the wheel wells to tie everything in. I climbed inside the car and fit the interior body panels one last time, and ground the edges of the butterfly panel. Hunt helped me mount the 2nd panel, and I ground its edge, too. Hunt worked all night on the running boards, and turned out some unreal results in the time we had. He also helped Luke get the front plywood chin glued onto the car. Aaron and Caroline ground the edges of the wheel wells, and I took the butterfly panels off to hit their inside edges with a power planer. The sun was coming up, and the guys went in to sleep for a couple of hours. Chris came by to check on the windows, and a gentleman from NBC17 came by to do a quick pre-trip interview with me. I was completely filthy, but he said it was cool because I was in my element. We got permission from the guys at the Georgia World Congress Center to move the car in early Wednesday morning instead of Tuesday night, which made all the difference in the world. I went inside to take a shower and fell asleep for about 20min. I came back outside ready to tackle the rest of the car. I had some more pieces to fit inside the car, and Hunt and Jean stained and sprayed the new running boards. Jason and his brother, Robbie, from Custom Refinishers came by and saved the day by spraying the car body with 40 gloss Becker Acroma 2-part polyurethane, finishing up at about 10:30pm. Chris and his buddy, Kenny, went to work putting the glass in the car after the clearcoat flashed off, and they successfully finished at about 11:15pm in front of the lights and pressure of the Discovery Channel cameras and a big audience. As soon as they finished, I mounted the butterfly panels, and we started loading the car into the trailer. We finished and hit the road at about 12:50am. My ability to drive didn't last long, and I passed off to Luke. He passed it back off to me before getting the honors of driving the rest of the way through Atlanta morning traffic. We got to the door of the World Congress Center at about 7:45am and were escorted to the appropriate door. We had the car in the booth by about 8:30am, safe and sound. We floated around the show that day and walked around Atlanta a little bit. After being entertained by Spencer Lancaster and his handtastic hands, we finally crashed hard at the Red Roof Inn that night around 11:00pm. We enjoyed several full days of show, including a party in the Delta/Porter-Cable booth with Norm Abrams and Scott Phillips, and came back to Durham after a day at the beach to unwind. The show was a big success, and we look forward to the months ahead as we set about getting the car on the road. Thanks for hanging in there with us, and keep checking us out.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Saturday, August 16, 2008
I finished mounting the headrests this morning by gluing the plywood to the frames and drilling the mounting holes. When I finished this, it was time to get back to work on the body. DP and Bimal worked on the canopy for a while, and Luke built boxes to space the wheels off the lofting table. Zac picked up the taillight grilles from Glenwood and sanded the glue off them. I marked the location of Luke's front splitter and cut it very roughly into shape. Aaron sanded, collected samples, and helped Bimal on the canopy. DP came back to the body shell and masked the taillight holes off so that Hunt could spray feather fill on them. I replaced the windshield and marked a trimline around it with electrical tape. After I ground and chiseled out the the line, DP evened out the depth of the window openings. Zac and Aaron planed a bunch of walnut backer board, and Caroline and DP glued the logos onto the side intake panels after I ground the edges and marked the locations. After lunch, our buddy, Chuck Messer, showed up, and we gave him a look around. Sean came shortly thereafter and went to work fitting his taillights. I mounted the grill and mounted the front wing with a little help from DP and Bimal. Bimal spent the most of the afternoon working on the canopies with Jean. Luke worked hardcore with Hunt on the front suspension, mostly the steering linkage. Chris came out right as I was finishing up mounting the front wing, and we looked at trimming out the lower side window edge with the F-250 window trim pieces that we ordered. We tried hot melting urethane a piece of the trim to a piece of wood, but it peeled off too easily. Chris cleaned the windshield off with a razor blade on the surface and a belt sander on the edges. We went in to eat, and came back out to find Hunt working on suspension pieces in the shop. We got the lower control arm heim joints secure and went to the back to look at the glass. Chris left a little before midnight, and Caroline and I rolled epoxy on the tail of the car and a few minor nicked areas and called it a night at about 12:45am. Big day tomorrow. The car needs to be rolling, and Chris is coming out early to start work on the side window glass.
Friday, August 15, 2008
I fed Hunt with some parts to spray this morning, and we left them to dry. Afterwards, I went to work on the body shell, and Hunt went to work on the suspension. Caroline and Kendal sanded the interior body panels, and Zac and Aaron wet sanded the butterfly panels. DP showed up to help me on the body shell, and BP went to work on putting the fabric on the canopies. Ben helped Hunt with the rear suspension, and Luke worked getting the wheels ready to go, taking them to get tires remounted. DP and I got the guys to flip the car rightside up again so that we could mark the ground trimline of the front and back edges. We marked these and flipped the car upside down again to grind them. DP worked on the lower rear surface while I ground the edges, and we were ready for lunch. After eating, DP and I flipped the car rightside up again, and I went to work on the window openings while DP worked on the taillight openings. Kendal came back to work on the 2nd canopy with BP, and DP and I got the windows set into their openings. Luke spent the afternoon setting up to make the front air splitter, and Caroline helped him glue it up and put it in the press. A good guy from NC State named Adam came out to check out the car and got put to work helping BP tape the canopy. Everyone finished up what they were doing at about 9:00pm, and we all ate pizza. The guys headed out after dinner, and I went back out to work on the headrests. I cut and machined all the pieces for mounting them to the rear rollbar cover, but needed help to drill the holes in the right place and decided to call it a night at around 12:15am.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
We needed a good day today, and, despite the day-long rain, we got one. I started off the day by fitting the center console, and Dave and I drilled a hole in the middle of it to accommodate the shift linkage. BP, Chuck, and John worked on zip tying the fabric to the canopies while DP and Aaron sanded body panels. Dave sanded the interior of the car and the chassis. Zac moved some things around and cut some bi-ply for Glenwood to laser cut for us. Luke worked on sanded and organizing pieces that we are going to need. He went to the junkyard in search of window molding, but didn't find any. He got some overnighted to a local Ford dealer, and we hope to pick them up tomorrow. I worked on the taillight surrounds until the guys came back with lunch. After lunch, we flipped the car right-side up on the table and went back to work. Aaron wet sanded the shell while I ground the window surrounds. DP worked on the taillights surrounds, and Luke machined the cherry running board pieces and glued them together. Ben continued trailer work in the rain. Hunt bored the center hole in the back of one of the back wheels with some help from Luke. Chris came out in the afternoon, and he and I worked on getting the windows ready to go in. He helped me work on the reveal around the glass and masked off the 2nd triangle window with black primer. While we worked on this, Ben cut pieces of balsa and backer board to make a wooden version of a pinchweld for the windows to mount to. Caroline cooked dinner for the guys, and we ate about about 9:00pm. After dinner, DP, BP, and Dave went back to sanding, and Ben and I glued the pinchwelds to the body shell. The guys headed out at around 10:00pm, and I went in to help Hunt spray the chassis. We finished at about 11:30pm and called it a night after a very long and productive day.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Holy schnikes. One week remains until we leave for the show. Caroline and I block sanded the sides with 320 this morning and got the top ready to spray. Aaron helped wet sand with us, and also on the butterfly panels. DP and BP prepped the canopy for fabric, and Luke worked on the grill. Kendal finished caning the headrests, and Caroline worked on the interior body panels. She sanded and squeegeed more resin on them. After lunch, Chuck and John showed up, and we gave them a brief tour and put them to work with BP and DP putting the fabric on the canopy of the trailer. Hunt sprayed the front, top, and both sides of the body, and we took the body shell back off the chassis for likely the final time. Chuck, John, Hunt, BP and DP finished putting the cloth on the canopy. Dinner was ready at about this time, and we all ate some chicken off the grill cooked by Jean. After dinner, Luke and Caroline glued up some plywood that will be laser cut into mesh screen for the taillight openings, and I started to sort out getting the center console mounted. Nothing went well with this, but I worked on it until about 11:30pm, at which point I went to help Caroline bag her glue-up for a piece of plywood that will tie the nose of the body into the chassis. We finished at about midnight and decided to call it a night. We are in dire need of a really good day tomorrow.
Caroline and I block sanded the shell this morning. We added some resin in low spots and waited for it to kick. When the guys showed up, a massive cleanup took place while I sanded. Ben and DP worked on the trailer for most of the day, and BP and Kendal painted sealer on the wooden canopy arches. Zac and BP glued another set of cherry boards together in the air bag press, and Caroline and BP glued the woven cherry skin onto the side intake scoop. Luke worked on sanding and staining the grille. Kendal sanded various parts and caned the headrests. Sean came out and began to fit his taillight bars that he had already machined. Caroline and Jenna worked on the interior body panels, sanding and squeegeeing the surfaces, along with one of the side intake panels. I continued to block the body of the shell, trying to get it ready for a polyurethane spray. Ben, Hunt and I continued to work until about 9pm, and Hunt sprayed a coat of polyurethane onto the passenger's side before we went in to eat. After dinner, Ben and I came back out and went to work on our respective tasks. Hunt came back up, and we sanded both sides of the car, and Hunt sprayed the driver's side and another coat on the passenger's side. We finished at about midnight, and Ben finally quit on the trailer and headed out as well.
Monday, August 11, 2008
I started the morning off by adding balsa blocks to the front windshield support to fill in a couple gaps, and I fit a piece of cherry backer around the front edge. Hunt had already pulled the bird's eye maple dash tie-in out of the bag, and it was wrinkle free. Caroline, my old man, and Hunt sanded on the body shell. Ben showed up, and he and Caroline worked on reskinning the side intake panels with 1/4" woven cherry. I cut holes for the front turn signals and mounted the lights in them while my dad sanded the shell. After lunch, I helped Caroline skin the side intake panel with cherry, and she helped me glue together cherry boards the Hunt and I ripped and planed for the side skirts on the car. We used a fire hose for an air bag on the I-beam cart. When we finished this, we went back to sanding the shell for a while and broke for dinner. After eating, Caroline worked one side of the shell while I worked the other. Hunt worked on the butterfly panels. At about 11:00, we mixed some epoxy to spread on the low spots, and Hunt was ready to spray polyurethane on the butterfly panels. We finished up at about midnight, and I purged the hot glue gun and called it a night.
Saturday, August 9, 2008
Hunt was already outside sanding this morning, and I found that the glue didn't stick the top layer to the steering wheel spokes. Caroline got prepared to recover them, and when Luke showed up with some urethane glue, she bagged the wheel. Hunt stained the side of the car that he and Caroline sanded back down The executive producer fit and sanded parts to the front of the trailer. Ben and I went to pull the fiberglass molds off the glass, but I cracked one and decided to wait. Hunt came back after a while, and we used a water hose to get them released the rest of the way. Ben went to work cutting balsa and fiberglass to make some parts off the window molds. DP worked on the body shell, dabbing epoxy into low spots and sanding high spots. I started on a mold for an angle bracket that will tie the bottom of the side intake to the floor of the car. Luke sanded parts and organized wheel hardware. After lunch at the airport, I finished up the angle bracket mold, and Ben and DP went to work on infusing the window pieces. Luke and I fit the front grille piece, which looked really good. Hunt and Jean sanded one of the butterfly panels, and Hunt sprayed a couple of coats of polyurethane on it. Ben and DP got their panels infused, and DP and Luke headed out. We broke for dinner, except for Ben, who worked through on the trailer. After dinner, dad and Hunt sanded the side of shell, while Caroline cut pieces of bird's eye maple to cover the center console. I fit a piece of angled plywood to fill in the bottom of the side intake, but we didn't like it too much and made a new plan. Dad helped Caroline and me glue the maple to the console, and we finished at about 11:30pm and called it a night.
Friday, August 8, 2008
I picked up where I left off last night and finished fitting the driver's side inner body panel this morning. Caroline line sanded the body shell while I worked. Aaron went to work on making the photo book about the car, and Ben went to work on the trailer, as per usual. Zach laid fiberglass on the side windows that Chris brought by yesterday, and DP went to line sanding the body shell. Kendal also sanded various parts and polyurethaned plywood for Ben on the trailer. I got back in the car and trimmed an edge on the inner body panels where they will mate up with the dashboard and also spent some time figuring out a shape for headrests. Aaron and Kendal glued up another skin on the side intake panel, finishing right before lunch while DP sanded the lumps out of the other one. After lunch, I went back to fitting the dash in between the inner body panels. This took a while, as I had to crawl in and out of the car about 50 times to fit and test, fit and test, fit and test. Aaron and DP took the pieces that I trimmed off the edges of the dash and used them as a mold to glue up some strips of bi-ply to use as a trim piece for between the dash and inner body panels. Jenna sanded edges of the body shell while Caroline hand sanded the front brake ducts. Hunt and Caroline had a polyurethane session, coating a bunch of parts, including the newly skinned side intake panels. When I finished fitting the dash and inner body panels, I started mounting the side intake panels to the car. Jenna, DP, and Ben worked hardcore on the trailer top until about 8:30pm, when Caroline came back with some Chinese food. After we ate, DP and Jenna used their mixed epoxy up on the roof of the trailer while Ben fit some plywood to the side. I continued work on the side intake panel, and Hunt came up and line sanded on the shell. Hunt let Caroline take over at about 10:30pm, and she sanded on the shell until I got about halfway done fitting the 2nd side intake panel at about midnight.
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
I took the dash back off this morning and glued a block onto the top of the Z-panel to tie it into the dash. Hunt worked on a bracket for the steering linkage. Aaron prepared an album photos for a book about the car, and Ben went to work on the trailer. DP and Caroline sanded the body shell, side intake panels, and various other chassis parts. Zac and I spread veneer softener on our figured eucalyptus and ironed it, but we still felt nervous about the possibility of vacuuming it tight to the steering wheel spokes, so decided to go with another veneer. After lunch, everyone cleaned off the lofting table and the chassis and brought the body shell in. Chris showed up at just the wrong time and got roped into helping. After we got the shell set on and rotated over, DP and Aaron went back to block sanding, and Ben went back to the trailer. Luke and Chris spread urethane windshield sealant around the wheels to stop the leaks, and afterwards, I talked with Chris about the side windows that he brought out that were cut from a school bus windshield. It looks like they will work well, and we ordered a power lift mechanism for them. Luke got the hot melt urethane gun fired up and started laying out the pieces for the front grille. Jenna sanded and picked tacky tape off the car before helping Caroline paint polyurethane on panels for Ben's trailer. The side intake panels looked lumpy and bad under the surface when Hunt sprayed the urethane on them, but we found another sheet of the same veneer way down in the pile. Jenna and Caroline dug the sheets out for us and put them safely in the loom room. I crawled inside the car and fit one of the interior body panels while Hunt blocked the body shell. Luke worked the grille and Ben worked on the trailer until Caroline and Jenna came back with dinner. We ate, and went back to our respective tasks. Luke got his grille slats glued on by about 10:30pm and headed out, and Ben cleaned up outside and left, too. I got a good start on the interior body panel on the driver's side, and Hunt and Caroline called it quits on the block sanding at about 11:00pm. Time for bed, but the clock is ticking louder and louder.
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Dun dun....DUNNNN. 2 weeks from today, the car has to be loaded onto the trailer and headed to IWF. Fortunately, we only have a couple of months worth of work to do in that period of time, so it could be worse. I started the morning off by drilling the holes in the S-panel to mount the dowels in the seat backs. I had to notch out the U-channel to accommodate them, and it turned out to be a nice detail. I also put a potential fix on a small wrinkle in the top layer of maple that covers the dash tie-in piece. I hope it works. On his first day back from overseas, Aaron did a lot of research on trailer registration and worked on the blog pictures. DP and Zac laid up another side intake panel, this time out of 4 sheets of bi-ply, and Luke located rear suspension parts and pressed longer studs into the rear spindles. Caroline sanded on the body shell and got another coat of epoxy on it. I got inside the shell and ground the A-pillars and window frames into shape a little, and made a template of the rear exhaust mold to locate the ground line for Andrew. Ben painted the trailer in classic black Rustoleum, and we broke for lunch. After lunch, Caroline and DP laid up another side intake panel and went back to sanding and epoxying the shell. I trimmed up both side intake panels with a power planer while Luke worked on laying out the array of cherry strips that will make up the front grille. Jenna came out and sanded several chassis pieces, along with the dashboard with Caroline, and Hunt put a coat of polyurethane on it when they finished up. Hunt ripped some plywood for Ben for the trailer looked at the finish on one of the butterfly panels with me before we broke for dinner at about 9:00pm. After dinner, I came back out and remounted the dash board, and Hunt came up and sanded the rear window cover for the interior. I sanded the gauge pod and used a scrap piece from the side intake panels to make the face that the gauges will mount to. Hunt headed out, and I made a collar for the underside of the steering column out of a piece of scrap from the engine covers. I got this in decent shape by about 11:30pm and decided to call it a day.
Monday, August 4, 2008
Caroline and I glued the hat section onto the Z-panel this morning using rivets to clamp and locate the pieces. Afterwards, spiderarms Ben and I riveted the seat brackets to either side of the tunnel. Caroline went to sanding the body shell, and DP prepped the side intake panel to get ready for its reskin. Ben worked on the trailer, and Zach ground all the rust and welds to prepare for paint. Caroline went to Curvemakers to pick up the arch laminates that John Thomas made for us that will go on the the trailer. I worked on getting the seat backs ready to locate, and Luke cut blocks to use to hold the U-channel to the S-panel. After lunch, I went back to work on the seat backs, cutting, drilling, and tapping 4 dowels and inserting 3/8" threaded rod into them. I then epoxied each unit into the backs of the seats. These dowels will hold the seat backs off the S-panel. Luke drilled the holes in the U-channel and mounted it to the S-panel. Ben and I took the trailer for a test drive, and it towed like a champ. It is so wide the I can touch the inside center and the outside white lines on the road at the same time, so I am going to have to pay some serious attention on the way to Atlanta. Zac finished up his fiberglass mold of the tail for Andrew today, adding OSB to it for stiffness and grinding the edges. Zach and DP reskinned the first side intake panel with imbulia, and it had the same wrinkle problem, so it looks like we will have to figure out something else. Luke cut the ends of the arches to length, and Hunt and I ripped them on the tablesaw right as Caroline had gotten the shell ready for stain. We stained the shell and cleaned all the dust off the table to get ready for Hunt to spray a coat of epoxy onto the body. After Hunt sprayed the epoxy, it was time for dinner. After dinner, I came back out and mounted the dashboard, and Hunt came to work on the steering linkage. We worked on this until about 11:30pm and have it pretty well figured out now. Time for bed.
Sunday, August 3, 2008
We found a wrinkle in the maple we glued on last night, so I started off the morning by grinding it out, smoothing it out, and giving it to Caroline and DP to reskin. Hunt and I spent a little more time fitting the steering linkage and got everything ironed out except the heim joint mount. Next, I started fitting the steering column bushing into the dash. I spent a while on this getting the joint right so that we didn't have to make molding for it. Once I got it fitted, I used 5min epoxy to glue it to the dash to temporarily locate it. Caroline sanded and filled the body shell all morning, getting a coat on the roof and pillars. Zac worked on fiberglassing a mold that our buddy, Andrew, will use to make an exhaust exit shroud out of stainless. Zach cleaned up and removed tacky tape from the body shell, and DP sanded the side intake panels. Ben worked on the trailer all morning, as usual. After lunch, Hunt and I made some pieces to tie in the steering wheel bushing to the dash panel and glued them on. Caroline and DP prepared a piece of imbulia to use to skin the side intake panels, and Zach, who had cleaned the table under the chassis off, took over for Caroline on the glue-up. I went to work on mounting the Z-panel, and I had it about half way done by dinner time. The first glue-up of the side intake was a failure due to a bubbly warp in the imbulia, so we selected a better piece of veneer, and DP and Zach glued it on right before dinner. Zac finished his exhaust shroud mold, and we peeled Ben away from the trailer. Jean and Caroline cooked out for us, and we all ate for about a half hour. The guys all left, and I went back to work fitting the Z-panel. Once I finished this, I mounted the hat section that sits on top of it, and I trimmed the U-channel that runs behind the seat backs. I also cleaned up the reinforcement that we glued onto the back of the dashboard. I finished up at about 11:15pm and called it a night. Tomorrow, the body goes back on.
Saturday, August 2, 2008
I spent the morning fitting the dash tie-in panel. I put a little body filler on it to smooth out the balsa and have it ready to be skinned. Luke showed up and went to work on the seats, and Ben went to work on the trailer. Caroline sanded and filled the body panels like a crazy person all morning. I made a piece of polystyrene foam in the shape of the grille opening to use to plan out the grille slats that we will make and had it finished up by lunchtime. After a big lunch at the airport, we got back to work. Caroline, Ben and Luke went back to their respective positions for most of the afternoon. Caroline and I skinned the dash tie-in panel with a piece of maple, and Caroline went inside to make dinner for everyone while I pulled the gauge pod off its mold. Luke finished up the final seat at about that time, and he, Ben and I went inside to eat. After dinner, Hunt and I cut pipe for the steering linkage and got it mostly into place. Hunt headed out, and I stayed out to work for a while on a few odds and ends like trimming the gauge pod up until about 11:25, at which point, Caroline came out and told me it was time to come inside.
It is time for me to switch back to the interior of the car now. Most of the body work can be left to the other guys, and I need to get as much of the interior done as possible before the body gets in my way. I trimmed the dash tie-in piece this morning, and I fit the backboard U-channel. Luke worked on putting the side backer trim on the dash tie-in once I had shaped it, and Zach helped him glue the trim on. Ben worked on the trailer, and DP worked on gluing the veneer on the A-pillars. Zach wove seats, and Caroline sanded body panels. Hunt and I went to Home Depot to get some plywood for Ben's trailer and got back just in time for lunch. After lunch, DP went back to gluing weave onto the car, and I spent a few minutes taping some things off for him. Luke spray painted the rims of the trailer black. I worked on perfecting the taillights bezels, which took a couple of hours, while Caroline and DP sanded body panels. After everyone left, I cut trimlines while Hunt sanded body panels. After dinner, Hunt came back up, and he, Caroline and I glued up some plywood in the Black Bros press. We also made a quick, simple mold and laminated a piece of trim for the side of the dash tie-in piece. We called it quits at about 10:30pm.
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Hunt had pulled the bag and peel ply off the side panel this morning when I came out, and everything looked good. It is a relief to know that the chances of having to weave more material are that much smaller. I worked on the trimlines this morning while the guys cleaned up the loom room and the area around the body shell. Ben started in on his trailer, and DP went to work on making an extra front wing out of woven maple. Zac sandblasted the trailer wheels, and Zach and Kendal pulled tacky tape off the body shell. Caroline sanded all morning on the butterfly panels. When Luke showed up, Kendal and Zach went inside to weave seats. I glued together the templates that DP made of the nose yesterday and traced them on a piece of tempered board. We will use this to glue up a front splitter out of backer board. After the front wing glue-up, DP and I started laying out the A and C pillar skins. We had them taped out, trimmed and ready to glue on before lunch, but we went ahead and ate to let the stain dry more completely on the weave. After lunch, DP and Zac glued the 2 C-pillar skins on while I ground on the taillight bezels. Luke started prepping the cherry backer for the front splitter and made a jig to use to glue them up with. We had a visit from Jenna, who just came back from Japan and Hawaii. Everyone headed out at around 7:00pm, and I kept working on the taillights. It hit me that I really needed a 1/2" belt sanded, so Caroline and I headed out to get one. I worked on the taillights until it got dark while Hunt worked on the side. We took the butterfly panels inside to grind off the edges, and I went in to eat at about 9:00pm. After dinner, Caroline and I came back out to stain and coat the butterfly panels in epoxy. We finished up at about 11:20pm and headed in to go to bed.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
I got back to work on the side of the car redo this morning. The skin for this side was ready to go, so I needed to finish prepping the surface. I ground on it for about an hour and switched to getting the roof ready. Hunt and I went to get some plywood for Ben's trailer, and DP worked on skinning a side intake panel with 1/4" woven walnut. Luke worked on the seats, and Zach pulled tacky tape off the body shell. Zac helped DP lay his part up, and the 2 of them vacuumed the roof on with me right before lunch. We pulled a full 27" of mercury on the roof and were really pleased with the lay up. After lunch, Zach and Luke wove seats, and I sanded the side of the car one last time and painted it with epoxy to seal it. While I worked on this, DP and Zac skinned another side intake panel. Caroline came out to help DP and me finalize the trim on the weave and run tacky tape around it. Zac finished cutting the screen, peel ply, and 1mil for the part and came out to help us finish it up, too. We layed up the part on the car, pulling 27" again and breathing a sigh of relief that we are probably finished with the major skins. I still have to cover the A-pillars and C-pillars, but that won't be a big deal at all. When we finished, Zac, DP, and Zach planed a bunch of cherry for the trailer, and Luke and I collected a bunch of aspen to take to Curvemakers, where they will bend some arches for us. I dug a bunch of electrical tape from the front fender edge and worked on seams in the roof and tail for a couple of hours, heading in to eat at about 8:30pm. Hunt worked on one of the butterfly panels while I was eating, and he and I looked at some cars and turned the lights out after I was done with dinner.