Skin and Skirt Fitting

I finally got around to fitting my newly painted skirt and skins to the frame. Overall I’m happy how they came out and can’t wait to get the panels fitted.

For some strange reason there’s now a gap where the skirt meets the bottom of the frame which wasn’t there before. I’m not sure if it’s something I can fix easily or if I’ll even notice once I get him back on 3 legs.

I still need to glue on the small panels with silicon, but that should be relatively easy. For the larger panels I’ll probably use silicon too, but I’m hoping to hinge some of the front one’s.

Now that the skins are on I could mark the holes on the frame rings for adjustable brackets that hold things like the octagon ports and power couplers in place.

Posted by Chris on January 23rd, 2008 in Body | No Comments

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Mounting Body Detail Pieces

I’ve started to peel away the masking on the skins over the weekend and mounting the various body detail pieces.

I even temporarily mounted a door to see how well the hinges work.

Overall, I’m very happy with the finish and how the aluminum shows through from the inner skin layer. The only real clean up I had to do was on some of the green self etching primer that had leaked underneath the tape, but it was easy to remove with some acetone and a q-tip. I did spot one place on the rear skin that I may sand down and give it one more coat.

I also started to mount the detail pieces to the skin and frame. For the octagon ports and power couplers I plan on permanently attaching them to the frame and have the skins press up against them.

I took some 1″ x 1/16″ alu stock bar and made some slotted L brackets. The aluminum is easily bent in a vice.

I ended up elongated the holes to make them adjustable.

Posted by Chris on December 3rd, 2007 in Body, Finish/Paint | No Comments

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Unwrapping Blue Bits

I’m still behind on blogging what I’m currently working on. There’s plenty of new photos in the build section of the gallery and I’ll eventually get some down time and catch up.

I finally unwrapped the remaining blue parts I painted over the weekend. They came out okay, but not great. The power coupler shown below had some paint leak underneath the tape and I had to clean it up. I used my old friend “Acetone” who seems to work great on a lot of stuff these days, like oozing silicon and epoxy. I just have to remember to use it in a well ventilated space.

Power Coupler

Cleaning up the blue

The tape also lifted up a chunk of paint on one of power couplers, but I think it’ll do for now.

Here’s the coin slot and octagon port, note the paint lifting at the edge again. I’m gonna have to learn how to do this masking right someday.

And, I couldn’t resist trying some of the parts out for size

I also assembled some of the other parts now that they’re painted. These are Daniel D’s small vents, they’re very cool and over engineered to make my life a little easier to install them. They should be a snap to get into the frame.

Side Vent

On the other hand, the large side vents don’t have any screws to hold the plate in place. I’ve tried silicon to hold them together, but I’m not sure if it’s going to hold and I may need to try epoxy. I’m hoping to bond a bracket to the back to allow me to screw it to the frame somehow.

I decided to redo the front vent louvers. I’d originally hot glued the pieces together, but it didn’t hold so I borrowed another trick from Victor and used some silver foil tape instead. I’ve no idea why I had this in my tool bag, but I did and it saved me my daily trip to Ace Hardware 🙂

This stuff is super sticky and seems to hold the structure together really well. I’m not sure if you can see it in the picture but along the sides and corners are strips of the silver foil tape.

Click on the image to see a close up shot.

Once the piece is flipped around and in place you’ll not be able to see the tape

I also forgot to post this photo a few weeks ago where I sanded down the surface of the front vent surrounds. I’m pretty sure these are water cut or something, and the finish will be beaded when you get them – they look more like they’ve been painted with rattle can aluminum paint instead. A quick once over with some sandpaper fixes it.

In closing here’s a quick photo of a bunch of parts ready to install in the skins

Posted by Chris on November 28th, 2007 in Body, Finish/Paint | 3 Comments

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Cutting Skins and Rear Door

Last week I finally got around to cutting out the skin panels and tackling the rear door. After I’d figured out the right tool for the job, removing the panel was a breeze and clean up was quick and easy.

Next up was the rear door. The outer skins already have it partially precut, but the inner skin is solid and it’s up to the individual to decide if they want to add a door or not.

I really wanted a rear access panel/door to make it easier to maintain things, but I’d been dreading cutting but it had to be done. The plan is to have a totally removable door fixed with magnets.

I started off by fixing the outer and inner skins together, outer skin door panel, and marked out where the back panel sits on the inner. I then drew a line just inside that by about 1/8″.

It’s probably worth noting that the only panel I removed from the inner skin was the two long doors. I wanted to keep the skin as ridged as possible, and if I’d removed any more sections before cutting it would have been very flex and prone to bending while cutting.

I then clamped on a scrap piece of aluminum from one of the front door panels and used it to guide the dremel.

Here it is after cutting – not bad and pretty straight.

I did the same to the top edge and the other side

Here’s the door cut out and shown with the outer skin

I cleaned up all the edges with a file and I was done.

I also cut out some extra space on the inner skins for the octagon ports and power couplers to help them sit flush with the outer skin.

I have two different versions of the octagon ports, the old tacked box version and another set from Michael McMaster. To be honest I really like the newer version from Michael but it requires a lot more work on the frame to get it to fit, so I decided to use the older version.

Posted by Chris on November 26th, 2007 in Body | No Comments

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