Friday, May 30, 2008

30 May 08

More loomage today. We needed some more threaded hooks for the heddles, so Hunt and I made more this morning. Caroline and I got them installed, and we started weaving again. Luke, Caroline, and Zac wove most of the day while Ben and I manned the splices in the rear. We worked on our system quite a bit and still have a few things to figure out, but things were going well by the end of the day. We managed about 9 feet of fabric today and spliced enough to quickly weave several more in the morning.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

29 May 08

Caroline and I went to the pink room this morning and finished splicing the rest of the warps on the loom. Luke and Ben showed up early, and Ben helped me clean up the section of weights in the back while Luke, Caroline and Hunt started weaving. We came to the conclusion after a while that the warps were getting torn up a little bit because they were going through the rapier in pairs. Ben, Caroline and Luke spent the rest of the day fixing the problem by restringing the front of the loom and adding more divisions to the rapier. Jenna came by to go over the final game plan on the seats before she goes to Japan for next few months. Zac came out and started wet sanding the body molds with 500grit and helped the guys and girl with the loom. Hunt and I went to Roanoke, VA, to talk to Vaughn and Bill of the Cloverdale Company, which specializes in edge-banding. We were interested in seeing how they splice their veneers to get a continuous strand and also in how they slit the veneer to a given width. We learned a lot and got back at about 7:30pm. After dinner, Caroline and I went to the pink room to work on straightening out the loom a little, and Hunt came out to check it out. We wove a few picks and got a game plan together for what we need to do to fix the situation up tomorrow to get back to weaving, finishing up a few minutes before 10:00pm.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

28 May 08

Caroline and I got to work on the loom again today. We had a little work left to do mounting the take-up device after Hunt reversed the direction of the lower winch. Ben and Zac moved around a lot of engine parts out of the welding room while we got the loom ready. Caroline and I cut off and reglued all the strings to the lower take-up pulley, and the weaving finally commenced. It didn't take long to realize that we made a good decision when we decided to make the loom. We rolled along at a rate of about 1ft per hour, resulting in roughly 8 sq. ft. and nearly double what it took 3 days to do by hand. Not including the splicing, the loom makes up about 48 days of work per 8 hour day. We wove and spliced until dinner time, and Caroline and I came back up to splice some more. Hunt came out, and we wove until about 11:15pm. We had big success with the loom today, and everyone is somewhat relieved to see it work. It's one more question mark behind us.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

27 May 08

Everyone worked on the loom all day today. I started drawing more warps through the heddles, and Zac showed up early this morning to help. Luke and Hesterberg showed up at about 930am, and we got a production line going. Hesterberg threaded the tails over the roller tensioner and tied the lead weights on the end while Luke glued the tails on the veneer strips. Zac made more weights for us while I tensioned and glued the lead-in cords to the take-up roller. We worked non-stop on getting everything threaded and finished at around 2:15. We made some trial runs for an hour or 2, and decided that we needed to work on the take-up roller. Kendal came and helped out, and we took some parts off the loom and cleaned up the pink room a little bit. I made a new block to insert into the end of the take-up roller for increased stability, and Hunt worked on reversing the direction of another winch to use to keep tension on the bottom roller. Zac and I split at around 7:15pm to play some basketball with Berg, Luke, Ben and his buddies. We had a good time, and I have that out of my system for a while. Tomorrow, we should have the take-up roller worked out hope to be ready to weave.

26 May 08

We had a long day today. I went down to the pink room this morning to lag the roller tension assembly to the infeed table, and Ben showed up to help me go down to the airport to get a drum of lead parts to use as weights on the tensioner. Ben and Zac sorted through the drum to get several hundred of the same style weight out and began punching holes in them and stapling string to them. After lunch, Kendal, Hunt and I worked on getting about 16 pieces of warp drawn in for a trial run. The tensioner worked well, but the heddles needed some adjustment. Kendal and I adjusted them and brought everyone in to get the weave started. Ben worked in punching holes and gluing string in the weights. Zac glued leader strings to the veneer strips. Kendal and I glued tail strings onto the veneer and threaded the tensioner, and Luke and Hesterberg showed up to draw in the veneer in the front through the heddle eyes and the reed. After everyone left a little after 6pm, Ben and I went to Hardee's to grab some food. When we came back, we went back through the work that everyone had done and began to put tension on everything. We worked until about 1am, and got about 1/3 of the work completely finished on drawing the loom in. Hopefully Luke, Zac and I can get it finished at a reasonable time tomorrow and get the weave going.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

25 May 08

I glued the same type of bracket from last night on other opposite side of the car this morning. Hunt came down, and he and I went to work on the loom again. We decided to make a tensioning device consisting of a lead weight that will be attached to each strand of warp and hang over a roller. We need 1 roller for each heddle since they move independently. I have to knock some bearings out of some tubes and weld hex-rods together that will fit inside the bearings and serve as axles. I finished these up right around the time that Jean had lunch ready for everyone. Ben spent most of the morning cleaning up the yard around Hunt's place. After lunch, Jenna came by, and she and I talked about the seats some more. She then helped me slot 4 PVC tubes that will be the rollers for the tensioning device. We had to run slots on the tablesaw all the way around the pipe that were 1" on center and offset 1/4" on each pipe. When we finished this, she headed out, and Hunt and I went to work making the frame to hold the tensioning rollers. We put together a 2"X4" and plywood frame that stands 8 feet tall with slots to hold all 4 rollers. I assembled the rollers on the welded axles, and we test fit everything before dinner, finishing at around 815pm. We ate dinner, and I went to the house to do some computer work. We have got to get that loom rolling tomorrow, so I am crossing my fingers.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

24 May 08

I glued 2 large angle brackets inside the engine compartment to start of the day this morning. Aaron showed up just in time to help me by holding the backer washers on the rivets that I couldn't reach. After finishing this, it was time to work on the loom. Hunt and I removed and restrung all 4 of the heddles. We also realigned the heddle levers and swing stops. Ben started work moving a shelf and mounting a parts bin that we found at the junkyard a few days ago. Aaron updated the website and the 3D model of the chassis. After lunch at the airport, everyone went back to work in their respective areas. Hunt and I set the height of the heddles, adjusting a slight stagger in height to account for the angle of the warp. Hunt turned a stop on the lathe for the heddle levers, and we installed it shortly thereafter. Hunt drew the loom in while I installed the heddle shims, and we wove for about an hour, albeit only about 15 rows wide, to test the setup. We broke for dinner, and I went back out afterwards to cut some brackets for the rear wheel wells to reinforce the holes cut for the trailing arms. Hunt and I studied the loom for a while, and we came back up to the blue room. I glued a bracket on while Hunt experimented with the tensioning device. I finished at about 11:30pm, ready to go to bed.

Friday, May 23, 2008

24 May 08

I started the day off by cleaning the table this morning. Hunt set up a jig to slot the wood blocks for the tensioning device on the loom. Hunt and I had to get some supplies from Home Depot and Harbor Freight, and we got back around the time the guys showed up. When we got back, I continued cleaning the table off in preparation for mounting the truss of the rotisserie. Ben had some welding left to do on the truss, and Luke had to go get Zac, whose motorcycle chain broke. When Luke got back, he went to work cleaning up the heddle for the loom. Zac worked on gluing short aluminum U-channels to the blocks that Hunt machined this morning. Ben brought the truss in, and we got it mounted to the rotisserie and measured where we were going to bolt the chassis to it. After we broke for lunch, Ben and I used self-tapping screws to mount plywood pieces to the truss in the places that we wanted to mount the chassis. When we had them mounted, Zac, Luke, Ben and I lifted the chassis onto the truss and centered it up. Hunt and I had to get some bolts to use to secure it, along with some muffler clamps. When we got back, Luke and Ben had centered the chassis on the truss and laid out the location of the bolts holes. Luke went back to work assembling the heddle while Ben and I drilled holes and bolted the chassis down. Ben went out to weld muffler clamps onto some square channel that would serve as outrigger supports for the chassis. He and I spent the next hour or so mounting them, and he headed out around 7:30pm with the rotisserie and chassis fully rotational. I mounted an angle bracket between S-panel trailing arm brackets and went inside to eat. I came back out and mounted a bracket on the other side, finishing up at around 11:00pm. The rotisserie is really going to be nice.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

22 May 08

I started the morning off by taking some points off the rear suspension uprights in order to figure out where the trailing arms would have to come through the rear fender wells. Luke went to get some more veneer from our buddies at Tramway Veneer this morning, and he showed up at about 11:00am. Ben worked on the truss that will support the chassis on the rotisserie, and Zac cut some more string to glue to veneer strips for the draw-in process and assembled the new drill press. When Luke showed up, he started making 1 more heddle for the loom, and Zac made some parts for a tensioning device that will go on the backside of the loom. After lunch, Kendal showed up and glued string to the veneer strips that Luke picked up. Zac cut a bunch of pieces for the tensioning device, and Luke and Kendal glued up the new heddle. I cut the holes in the rear wheel wells for the trailing arms using a 2" hole saw, a pull saw, a rasp and a couple different grinders. Let's hope they are in the right place. After finishing this, I went outside and cut a few pieces to feed Ben with material as he welded on the truss. We finished at about 9:00pm.

21 May 08

Ben and I went to the junkyard this morning to get some u-channels to use to mount the chassis on the rotisserie. When we got back, Ben got started working on the rotisserie while I made some slight modifications to the truss to accommodate the engine cover access panels. I worked on these off and on while I helped out with other tasks and had them finished by about lunchtime. Hunt glued a part of a winch to one of our round, fluted columns, and Luke mounted it to the loom to use for the take-up roller device. Zac hot-glued strings to one side of 180+ strips of 1/4" wide cherry veneer so that we could draw in the loom. After lunch, Luke and I moved the nose mold into the shop to start thinking about it, and Hunt and I made a run to Harbor Freight to get a couple things. When Luke and Zac finished up their work on the loom, Hunt and I went down and began to figure on setting it up. Zac and I started drawing the loom in, but Jenna showed up just in the nick of time. Luke kindly took over for me while she and I discussed more seat options. Ben plasma cut holes in the rotisserie brackets for 2 16' pipes and began welding crossmembers in between them. Luke and Zac headed out in the early 6pm range after getting the loom drawn in, and Hunt and I went to work tweaking its operation. Ben finished up around 8pm, and Hunt and I worked until a little after 9pm. We have decided that the 1/4" veneer needs to be more like .240 or .230 to work properly with our setup. Luke is going to go see our buddies at Tramway Veneer tomorrow, and hopefully they will get us set up.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

20 May 08

Hunt and I made a shim this morning, and Ben and I glued the truss on immediately thereafter. This was a huge step for the chassis, which is steadily nearing completion. Luke cleaned up the heddles that he glued yesterday, and then he and I glued in the trim rings onto the access doors for the box channel caps. A big challenge that we wrestled with was how to locate them precisely during the glue-up. I couldn't glue them on while they were in the holes in the box channel, because we would inadvertently glue them to the box channel. Using tape to mask the box channel off was not an option due to the tightness of the fit of the trim rings. Drilling holes for rivets was an option that we considered, but we didn't want any holes in the trim rings if we could help it. We ended up mounting the doors in the box channel for proper location, spreading PVA glue onto the rings and putting a small dot of hot melt glue in the corner of each ring. We then stuck the ring onto the door for a few seconds and removed the door from the box channel. Last, we put each door in the vacuum bag and let the PVA cure. The hot melt was easily strong enough to hold the rings in place until the PVA took over. Luke, Hunt and I went to Curvemakers for lunch and picked up some cylindrical, fluted posts to use as a roll-up device on the loom. Ben and Zac cleaned in and around the glue room for most of the day. After lunch, Luke and I glued the trim rings into the engine cover access doors using the same method described above. Kendal showed up, and scraped some glue and wrapped and cut some string for the loom. Hunt took the valves out of the cylinder heads using the drill press, and Zac and Bob worked on organizing all of our engine parts. Luke made some brackets that will hold the roll-up cylinders on the loom while I worked on fitting the engine covers for about the 73rd time. Each time I fit those is more fun than the next. If I build another one of these, I won't touch the engine covers until the truss is actually glued on. Everyone broke for dinner, and I came back out afterwards and got the 2nd engine cover pretty well fitted. Tomorrow, we work on getting the chassis on the rotisserie.

Monday, May 19, 2008

19 May 08

I notched the Z-panel around the shock tower first thing this morning. Luke showed up and started making a set of 3 more heddles for weaving 1/8" veneer. Zac came and made 5 bolts for the rotisserie system and went down to Hunt's to move wood and steel pipe around. I started preparing the truss to be glued on. I had several brackets to fit, along with making sure the truss was aligned properly in the rear. Jenna came out at lunch to talk more about the seats. We nailed down the materials that we plan to use and figured a way we can fix them to the seat frames. Kendal came after lunch, and Jenna went over the process for making the headrests with her for several hours. Luke got all his pieces straight for the heddles and began gluing the together. Zac brought the engine hoist down, and I jacked the table about 3/16" off the ground to let the legs of the hoist slide in far enough the grab the engine. We removed it and set it on the floor. I continued to fit pieces on the truss and check the alignment until dinner time. After dinner, I made some final trims and adjustments on the truss and should be ready to glue her on tomorrow. I finished a few after 10:30pm.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

18 May 08

I started off the morning by beginning to refit the Z-panel. The seat brackets interfered with the brackets I originally intended to use to mount the Z-panel, so I had some trim work to do. We made a shim with a routed slot for a stainless bracket to bring the surface out to the same level as the seat brackets. When I finished this, I went about gluing the shock tower on. This should have been pretty straightforward as a result of Friday's precision drilling, but a little bit of arm wrestling was still involved. We used an 8' pipe clamp to pull the fenders together, and the part fit perfectly. Hunt worked on the lathe, boring out the center of the plug for the headrest screw. I took lunch when we finished the glue-up and came back out to start getting the chassis ready for the rotisserie. We took the truss off, and I made a couple of marks and took the differential out of the hole in the rear cross-section. It is a super tight fit, but it comes out as planned. Next came the transaxle, and then the cylinder heads, intake manifolds, and 2 of the intercoolers. I took the screws out that hold the chassis to the table, and Hunt drilled some holes in the steel mounts that Ben finished up last night. I went to Hunt's machine shop and drilled a 5 on 4 1/2" bolt pattern in a piece of MDF to transfer to the mount to allow us to bolt to the spindle on the rotisserie. I transfered the holes while Hunt mounted a 3/4" piece of plywood to the bottom of the steel mount. We broke for dinner, and I came back out and secured the steel mount to the rear of the chassis with 4 bolts 3/8" in diameter, finishing at around 10:30pm.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

17 May 08

I pulled the parts that Luke and I bagged last night and set them aside for my dad first thing this morning. Then, I started in on the seats. We want to get the brackets for them finished and glued so that we can glue on more of the front suspension and the rest of the front end of the chassis. I spent most of the morning gluing the driver's side brackets on, since they were already trimmed and ready to mount. Ben worked on 2 steel structures to allow us to mount the chassis to the rotisserie. My dad came out before lunch and started on the trim rings for the engine cover access doors. After eating at the airport, we went back to work on our respective tasks. I had to cut the centers out of the 3 passenger's side seat frames, then trim the mounting brackets and drill the hole patterns in them. Hunt mounted the router and crossfeed vise onto the lathe and turned a chunk of cherry that Zac glued up Friday. We will eventually use this for the headrest mount. Dad and I went to Arby's to get some food, and Ben, he and I ate for a few minutes at around 7:30pm. Dad finished his final trim ring and went inside to clean up some things. Ben finished his 2nd rotisserie chassis mount and left at almost 10:00pm after helping me sink a few rivets. I brought up the rear, and finished gluing the passenger's seat mounting brackets a few minutes before 11:00pm. My old man came out for a few minutes, and we called it a night.

Friday, May 16, 2008

16 May 08

I pulled 2 pieces of plywood from the vacuum bag this morning, which came out well. I set them aside for Luke and mounted a couple of angle brackets that I trimmed last night outside the rear fender wells. Ben worked on a mount for the rotisserie for most of the day and went to Durham Brazing to get some steel for it. Luke made trim rings for the box channel cap access panels. These took him until 4pm but looked good enough to eat. I laid out holes in a double block of MDF to transfer into the tunnel tower. The holes were tricky, because they had to go through the shock tower without hitting the wrong part of the radii, down through the upper control arm mounts without interfering with the cross bolts, and through the outer lip of the tunner tower without hitting the wrong part of that radius. Laying the holes out on the MDF not only allowed me to thread the needle with the hole location, but it kept me drilling squarely down through the material. Because of part interference, I had to drill down through the tunnel tower and up through the shock tower at the same point, and this would have been nearly impossible without the MDF setup. I was set to drill right before lunch, but decided to wait until after lunch to actually bite the bullet. We had a visit from John Collins, a Morgan enthusiast and heck of a nice guy as we finished lunch, and we showed him the car and talked about his Morgan for a few. When he left, I drilled the holes that I had been planning for. Everything went well with them, and I went ahead and drilled holes for the spring brackets and the front upper control arm mounts. Hunt and I went to get some bolts that would allow us to glue these parts on. When we got back, Ben headed out, and Luke and I glued some plywood that will be used for trim rings in the engine cover access doors. After Luke left, I drilled holes for the dowels in the back of the passenger seat and went to eat dinner at Hunt's. We came back to the shop, and I glued the upper control arm mounts on. I worked on this until about 11:20pm. My dad just showed up at about 11:45pm after a long day and drive, and I am going to finish this entry now and go to bed. We were the Hyperventilating Hyperlink in AutoWeek this issue, and our spot aired on NBC 17 tonight, so Brownie is feeling pretty famous.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

15 May 08

Rolling right along today, as usual. I started work on fitting the access panels on the engine covers this morning while Hunt routed the edges of the MDF chunk that Zac glued up yesterday to create a new mold that will allow us to trim out out the gas tank area. The skins that Ben and I glued on the last night turned out well, and I clamped the first set of access panels inside the engine cover, traced the lines of the holes, offset the line 3/4" outside the hole, and cut the panels out. Then, I clamped a piece of wood to the table of the drill press that held the panel off the center of the drill bit by 7/16" and drilled away. Hunt and I had to make a supply run to Home Depot this morning, but I had the first set pretty well finished by lunchtime. Luke worked on gluing a trailing arm, while Zac glued up a panel on the new mold. Ben worked on plumbing water to the glue room. After lunch, I worked on sanding and cleaning up the passenger's side engine cover and access panels, while Luke got started on duplicating the process for the driver's side. Hunt and I made a run to get some fittings for Ben and a piece at the junkyard that we need for the final piece of the loom. Zac glued another part on the new mold and went to help Bob tear the 2nd Northstar apart. I fit the new piece that Zac glued earlier today. Jenna showed up to show us some potential twill patterns for the exterior skins that we would be able to weave with 3 or 4 heddles on our loom, and we made our final decision on which one to use. She and I also talked about the seats and the headrests quite a bit, and she is probably going to come back out on Monday to meet with us again. Everyone is impressed, as she is really doing a heck of a job. After she left, Luke and I headed out to get some dinner. When we came back, we glued a couple panels together to make trim pieces for the box channel access holes. Luke left shortly thereafter, and I went back into the blue room to fit some pieces. Hunt glued some pieces together for the trailing arms, and I worked on fitting some brackets on the passenger's side. I called it quits around 11pm.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

14 May 08

We had a big cleanup in the shop this morning in preparation for Frank Graff of NBC 17, who came out to do a short story on the Splinter. It should air tomorrow night on the 7pm news, so be on the lookout. Zac glued a piece of the small wood angle channel and spread screenings out under the glue room lean-to while Ben plumbed water lines to the glue room. Luke machined some pieces of wood for the trailing arms and mounted the headers to the welding jig we have for them down at Hunt's house. Bong came out to be interviewed by Frank, too, and we finished everything a little after 11am. Hunt and I made a run to Home Depot to get some supplies for Ben and came back in time for lunch. Zac made a run for everyone while I worked on fitting the doors on the box channel caps in the driver's side. After lunch, Luke and Hunt machined some more wood while I worked on the box channel caps. Zac made another piece of angle and machined and glued up a chunk of MDF for a new mold. When he finished this, he went to sanding the body molds up to 320 grit. Bob came out and got 1 of our Northstars disassembled, with another in store for tomorrow. I finished up on the driver's side by mounting an access panel to the side of the roll bar and went to work on making the access panels in the engine covers. I got the access holes cut out on one side by about 7pm, at which point Ben and I decided to glue 1 more layer of bi-ply to the outside of the laminate that will be used as the access panels. We finished by 8pm and headed to Hardee's for dinner. Hunt was looking at mounting a gear reduction unit to our wood lathe to make a 3" diameter acme threaded screw for our headrests. I marked and cut the access holes on the driver's side engine cover, finishing by about 10:50pm.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

13 May 08

Hunt and I had to make a run to Home Depot early this morning to get some supplies for the guys, and when we got back, I started fitting the cover for the rear opening to the passenger compartment. I cut it 3/4" bigger than the hole all the way around and evenly spaced some holes all the way around. I then drilled and tapped these holes into the frame that we glued around the backside of the opening several weeks ago. Ben worked on plumbing the air lines to the back shop, while Luke worked on the infeed/outfeed tensioners of the loom. Kendal drilled some holes in a piece of plywood that we will later use as nuts, and Zac sanded the body molds. After lunch, I went to work on the box channel caps. I cut one more access hole in each piece, then I started making covers for all 6 of the holes. I made these 3/4" bigger than the holes and evenly spaced some holes all the way around each one. Ben continued plumbing duties, and Luke continued loom work. Kendal swept in the shop and took over sanding for Zac, who helped Bob tear the engine apart. I continued work on the access covers until dinner time. I came back out and finished drilling and tapping all of the corresponding holes, then began on the upper mount for the engine cover. I had to fit a cover plate over the side of the roll bar, then fit the engine cover to this. I worked on this until about 11:40pm before getting it to a stopping point. The passenger's side of the car is looking pretty righteous. Hopefully, the driver's side is only a few hours behind.