The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'Traditional Customs' started by JohnnyDeuce, Dec 19, 2014.
End of the work day yesterday ~
Progress throughout the day today - Got her up in the air and got quite a bit done on the driver's side, which is not nearly as bad as the passenger side - THANKFULLY!!!
NEW PARTS - YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!
Got a box from Kool Rides today - New '59 Cadillac taillights and bullets for my grille. These guys have GREAT products - Check them out: www.koolrides.com
Close-up view of one of the clear lenses shows why you definitely need to check your parts when they come in - Those little black flecks are inclusions - Actually molded into the plastic. I called and they're sending me another lens, free of charge.
End of the day on Thursday, 18 Aug 2016 -
Did quite a bit on the deck lid, which is mostly in good shape - Except for the bottom of it, where the extra piece was bolted on.
I'm really enjoying uncovering her and getting down to the bare metal!
Pics from a short time working on Saturday, 20 Aug 2016 -
Got the front bumper off, grill separated from the bumper, the back seat out and the hood off.
Tomorrow will start with removing the door panels, and taking the hood and grille to be soda blasted.
Pics from this week ~
My partner Bill came through, we ordered the following parts for the Caddy from a salvage yard in Vancouver, WA and they were shipped today:
Passenger front door
Passenger rear door
Trim piece between passenger doors
Top front door hinge
"Doglegs" - Front of rear wheelwells on both sides
Here's the pics I sent the salvage yard
Got to work with this cool tool this week - It's a recirculating sand blaster - Works pretty well, too!
Dropped off the hood at the blaster's ~ Gonna lay it all out and get it louvered, once it's all clean - Can't wait!
Doors off on the passenger side (PITA!!!), door panels off those doors, worked on the passenger rear quarter with the hammer & dolly a bit, and got it all sanded down to bare metal - Feels pretty good!
Took off the tail lights, rear inner fender braces, and driver's side rear chrome. Also worked a bit more on the passenger side rear bodyline spear - Getting closer!!!
Starting to identify little spots that will needed to be repaired by welding - There's thankfully not a ton of them - Just enough to keep it challenging!!!
I'm here to learn how to do this metal fabrication thing, so - I'm Drivin' On ~
OK - Work from today on the Caddy ~
Stripped the driver's side rear quarter and part of the rear door. Found that the quarter on this side is actually WORSE than the quarter on the passenger side, which was the one I was initially worried most about.
Lots of deep surface rust and pinholes showed up in the spear on the side, after removing the chrome. Also found quite a bit of rust through on the lip of the wheelwell.
The good news is - This will give me more practice with metal fabrication. The bad news is - I only have until 20 Sep to get all the metalwork done.
Wish me luck!!!
I really enjoyed reading this. Couple of questions. You buy the car for your class, or just to have? I see your planning to sell? Did you take this school to further your skills for your hobby or for employment down the road? Looks like a good school. Anyway, good stuff. Keep it up.
I bought the Caddy from another student at the school. Initially thought to keep her, but now definitely planning to sell her. Looking to take her to the Viva Las Vegas show in April 2017 and put a "For Sale" sign on her while there.
Attended classes at Hot Rod Institute as part of my transition from military service, and also due to my love for the hobby. Not specifically interested in employment, but hoping my skill set at the end of class makes working at a good shop a viable option.
Thanks for the nice comments - Driving on with the build, for sure!
A lot has been done on the car since I last posted - Internet has been cut down at the school, so I can't post from there anymore and I've been totally smoked when I get home each day.
Here's the updates since the end of August:
Happy to be working in my NEW GARAGE!!!
I'm still working on her at school until mid-Sep, but I just recently got a room in a new place that included a 2 car garage in my lease - Excellent!!!
Ordered and received parts from All American Classics - A salvage yard in Vancouver, Washington:
They were super easy to work with and gave me some GREAT deals - I highly recommend them.
Both passenger side doors, the B pillar strip between them, the front right top hinge, and "Doglegs" (front portion of rear wheelwells) on both sides
They all cleaned up nicely and look great now
Got the hood soda blasted, nosed and ready to be louvered - I'm keeping the stock spears, with the louvers starting right behind them - Should look pretty cool!!!
OK - The REALLY BIG JOB - At least for someone who's just learning Body Fabrication
Cutting out and replacing the rear "Dogleg" on the driver's side.
This "Dogleg" has been a supreme confidence builder. It's the most difficult bodywork I need to do, and I'm pretty happy with it - Everything I have left will be easy, after this - Really enjoyed it, too!!!
These are the before and in progress pics, as well as my Facebook post:
* * * * *
Man-O-Man ~ What a day!!!
Started out planning to cut away the old "dogleg" on the driver's side, so I could replace it - As I was cutting it away, I found that the entire edge of the wheel well - Both Inner and Outer portions - Was severely rusted through and compromised. Focus shifted to repairing that area, as it needs to be stable for the outer "dogleg" area to be replaced.
Even though the day didn't go as initially planned, it was good to find the damage, so it can be properly repaired. It was also a really good learning experience, and one that really boosted my confidence in the process.
Wheel well and quarter panel patch pics- Most are still just tacked in, at this point:
I have some nerve damage in my hands from Service-connected injuries, and it flares up every once in a while - Especially if I'm overworking myself.
I had that problem recently, so Danny LaRue (Son of the Owner and Founder of Hot Rod Institute) stepped up to assist me with the final patch panel over the driver's side rear wheel well.
Danny has been metal working since he was very young and watching him work was both a pleasure and a great learning experience.
He used the school's Lazze Bead Roller, hammer and sandbag, cut-off wheel, body saw and a Lincoln 140C MIG welder to fabricate and attach the part - Which came out looking GREAT!!
Here's the pics:
Working on ideas for a custom grille ~
I thought about a tube grille, but didn't really want to take the time to do the fabrication. Then I thought about a late 50s-early 60s drawer pull grille on perforated - But ruled that out, because I didn't want to have cooling issues.
In the process, I found some chrome bullets available from Kool Rides and decided I'm going to give those a try as bolt-ons to the stock grille - Once I disassemble and polish all the pieces.
Here's some pics and a photoshop rendition of the planned final version:
Driver's side "Dogleg" - Before, During and After
Posting these pics together, to show differences - Only partially finished in the after shot, but still really looking good
Feels great to be able to accomplish this - I've really learned a tremendous amount here at the Hot Rod Institute.
Review Items for the end of Hot Rod Body Fabrication class:
Overworking metal will cause it to become fatigued, work hardened or thin
Impact causes Direct Damage – Indirect Damage is caused by it, too – Distressed
Oil Can Effect can be caused by: Displaced Metal (look for this first), Stretched Metal and/or also Shrunk metal
Hammer off dolly method – Dolly on low, hammer on high
Stretched metal must be shrunk – Use heat as the last resort
Use a butt weld for best metal finishing results
Use hammer on dolly method when necessary – On top of sharp wrinkles, or on shrunken metal
Use vixen file to identify highs and lows – 30 degree angle, staying parallel with body panel
75% Argon, 25% Carbon Dioxide for MIG welding
Contaminated TIG welds can be caused by: Boiling the puddle, contaminated metal, dipping the tungsten, insufficient welding gas
Tail Pan – Weld-on panel; Bolt-on adjacent panels must be attached prior to welding prior to installation
Use 18 Gauge sheet metal to build panels here at HRI, because it's more malleable
Oxy-Acetylene torch – Use Neutral flame for dime-sized shrink and most welding, Use Carburizing flame for leading, Use Oxydizing flame for cutting
Use beads for strength in panels
Compound bends and curves have contours that go in more than one direction
Planish – To smooth
Tracking – Staying “on track” when planishing
Oxy-Acetylene settings: O2 = 5-7 psi for everything except cutting; Acetylene = 4-5 psi for everything - - O2 for cutting is 20-25psi (has extra O2 for hotter flame and more pressure to blow through the cut)
Anything can be a bending tool – Don't need special tools
Good aluminum to use for fabricating: 3003-H14 @ .0063”
Frenching – Always make the part first, then cut the hole
Cold Rolled Carbon Steel – Easiest to work with is 20 gauge
Firewall – Keep original and fill holes, or build a new one
Aligning Panels – First remove striker, then make adjustments
Rocker panel replacement – Be sure there's no sag and make sure all panels are aligned
Decking – Removing everything off the trunk lid
Nosing – Removing everything off the hood
Stretching – Makes metal thinner
Shrinking – Makes metal thicker
Use templates when making floor panels
English Wheel – Shaping of the metal depends on shape of the anvil
Latest Plan of Attack ~
Fix the dents in the Passenger side rear section, including the reverse curve on the inside side of the tail light, which is pushed in about 3/4" farther than the other side (according to the contour gauge).
How? Cut off the tail light housing, fix all the dents in it and align the trunk, then weld the housing back on - Simple, right?!?!?!?
Actually - It's another HUGE project for a beginner, BUT - No Guts, No Glory!
OK - I'm finishing up the Hot Rod Body Fabrication class at the Hot Rod Institute - Only one more class day, then it's on to clean-up Monday and graduation on Tuesday.
I learned a tremendous amount in this class - Really enjoyed it, even with all the frustrations associated with my injuries. Shout out to Danny LaRue and B-Rad Westergard for some truly excellent one-on-one instruction and continuous assistance.
I highly recommend Hot Rod Institute to anyone wishing to learn Hot Rod and Custom Car fabrication. I am incredibly confident in my ability to do most anything in the field now - With the exception of Refinishing and Paint, because I haven't completed those classes yet. But they're next!!!
Hot Rod Body Fabrication class link:
Hot Rod Body covers both automotive and motorcycle custom sheet metal fabrication. Students will gain valuable experience from lecture and extensive lab (hands-on) opportunities, including studying the skills necessary to design and fabricate custom sheet metal panels. Students will again begin with educational competencies in metal finishing along with MIG, TIG and Oxy-Acetylene welding. Other competencies include sheet metal panel restoration and fabrication of miniature roll pan. Complex curves are further examined while students fabricate a custom motorcycle gas tank from scratch. Student will learn to use the tools of the professional sheet metal fabricator. Sandbag & mallet, English wheel, bead roller. Student will also learn to utilize the Shrinker/Stretcher, and venerable combination of the hammer and dolly. Automotive body construction aspects including firewalls, floor boards, rocker panels, and pillars are all explained as students prepare to execute basic sheet metal customization tasks. Frenching, channeling, nosing, decking, shaving, are covered. Live work can include any of the above depending on the skills of the student and the student projects in the shop. Students are required to keep an hourly work log and document their work with pictures for portfolio development. A resume building seminar is given during Hot Rod Body class; and any student not enrolled in HRB throughout their program may also attend.
3 months - 400 hours
Automotive and Motorcycle Sheetmetal Welding
TIG (sheet steel)
MIG (sheet steel)
OxyAcetylene Welding (sheet steel)
Learn to use sheet metal fabrication tools and equipment
Bag and Mallet
Breaks and Rollers
Shrinker & Stretchers
Custom Motorcycle tanks
Interior sheet metal (dash, center console)
Advanced sheet metal fabrication (hot rods & custom bikes)
Nice door panels, they are turning out good. Glad you didn't call the car mary jane
Thanks, desotot - The door panels have been done for 2 years now. They were the first things I did on the car.
Hot Rod Body Fabrication Class pics from yesterday - Which was the official last shop day of class.
Got a LOT done, with the expert help of Danny LaRue and my badass Veteran classmate Joe Hicks - Thanks very much, fellas!!!
Joe expertly welded up a few areas in a short time that would have taken me at least a day to accomplish - I can't thank you enough, Brother!!!
Danny and I "cracked the code" on the tail light housing with the help of a special tool he made, then we got it tacked back in and got the trunk gap squared away. Just have to do the finish welds on it now.
One more big job left - Right side rear "dogleg" (just the outer skin) and a few small things, then she should be "good to go."
Lucky thing I can work on her this weekend - Might be able to finish up all the welding, which is definitely the goal.
Planning to move her to the house either Sunday afternoon or Monday.
Wish me luck!!!
A few more shots - We finally got the deck lid properly gapped - Woo-Hoo!!!
Finished the class and got her home to the small garage I'm renting
Plan is to buy a MIG welder and get her all squared away and ready for me to take the Hot Rod Refinishing class from Jan-Mar and get her all painted up nice
Here's the checklist of items which will need to be done before then:
Fill in and grind all the tack welds
Fill all the trim holes, antenna hole and shave the new door handles
Shave the driver's door and install the solenoid and popper
Deck the trunk lid and install a remote cable opener
Repair the spot welds in the front fenders
Patch the driver side rocker panel
Complete repair of the bumpers
Rewire the entire car
Remove and recover the dash
Install new headliner
Strip the interior door caps and prep them for recovering & paint
Rework all the shiny chrome so that it's brushed finish
Install the '59 Caddy tailights and backup lights
Pick up the newly-louvered hood from the local rod shop
Plus tons of small stuff...
The plan is for her to be FOR SALE as a completed project at the Viva Las Vegas show in April 2017
I'd also sell her before then - If anyone is interested, just send me a PM here through the site
A lot of work but it sure looks good.
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