Monday, October 31, 2011

Rear window rails

One of the small things I have going on the side, while I work on the rotisserie, is some small detail stuff.  These are the galvanized steel window rails for the rear quarter windows.  They never have rolled up and down too good, so I took some sandpaper and smoothed out the rails.  I then cleaned them thoroughly, and coated them with POR-15.  They look much better than they ever did, even at the factory.  I am likely going to do this with as much of the interior window hardware as I can.

More Rotisserie Fun

Got some great work done on the rotisserie.  It's almost done, I just need to build up the brackets to attach the car, and get some casters on the thing.  The pic below is one of the basic stands, minus the pivot and casters.

It's not too pretty, here at the end.  My pivots are going to be solid, but the retaining rings on the back aren't the greatest.  But it's going to be a solid piece of equipment.

I burned out my cheap Harbor Freight drill, and ended up going to Lowes and picking up a replacement.  I also decided that cobalt drill bits are a waste of money for this kind of work.  I snapped several of them, and the black oxide replacements I bought worked every bit as well on the mild steel.

So, if all goes well, I'm going to try and have the car on the rotisserie by the end of the weekend.  I need to take some time off to get the casters and the rest of the steel I need to finish the brackets.  I basically need about 24" of the 3" square tube, and a quantity of 2.5" square tube.

I welded the rings onto the rotating 'pins' by setting them on my steel table, and placing the ground clamp near them.  It worked perfectly, conducting plenty of juice to get a solid weld.  You can see a finished one in the back, and one of the tack welds on the front piece.  I just eyeballed the spacing, but I got it pretty darn close to perfect.  The space left plenty of room to get good penetration, and a solid weld.

Here you can see the top of one of the stands, with 1/4" pilot holes drilled.  I drilled these out to 9/16", to accommodate the 1/2" bolts I'll use as stops.  That's how I murdered the Harbor Freight drill.

Below you can see the sloppy welds and crooked bolts on.  I have these perfectly lined up on the other one, believe it or not.  Looks like hell, but it will work OK.

And below, you can see where I drilled and tapped a hole for a zerk fitting on the side, for a little bit of grease.  May not be necessary, but it sure won't hurt anything, either.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Rotisserie Rolls On

I finally got a minute to get the round tube steel I needed for the pivots for the rotisserie.  There's a nice little remnants shop next to the Metal Supermarkets store.  It's a little out of the way, but easy to find.  They had all kinds of odds and ends in there, all pretty darn cheap.

Here are the components for the pivots.  There's an outside sleeve, an inside pin, and a couple of retaining rings.  The inside ring will be welded on, the outside ring will get drilled and tapped for a retaining bolt.

Here's a picture of my cutting rig.  It's pretty tight, especially with the long sticks of square tubing.  But the Craftsman chopsaw does pretty good.

I have all the steel I need, except for the mounting brackets.  I won't worry about that until I get the uprights closer to completion.  I need to get the pivots drilled, a friend with a drill press is going to help me out with that one of these next days.  Once that's done, the only other thing I'd need would be the casters.  Looks like there might be a great local source for those as well.

The process of cutting the round slots for the pivots was a little tricky.  I planned on using a hole saw, and drilling the tops out.  That required trimming some extra material off the uprights, but I don't think that will be a serious problem.

I marked and center punched a hole 1/2" from the top, and center.  This is where the drill bit on the hole saw went.  I only drilled far enough to get just far enough through to do the job.  I then trimmed off 1" from the top of both pieces with the chopsaw.  That made for a nearly perfect cut.  The 3" round stock fits like a glove.  I will bevel those edges to improve penetration/holding on the weld.

Having all the pieces precut makes a huge difference in final construction.  I welded part of the upright last night, and welded in the inside leg this morning.  I have the wheel mounts tacked in, and I expect to have both uprights to this stage before the end of the day.  Then all I'd be waiting on is an opportunity to get the pivots drilled so they can be mounted.  All in all, this seems to be going together very nicely.

Last night's progress:

Current progress:

Monday, October 17, 2011

More Rotisserie

I have a good part of the steel I need for the rotisserie, and I got all the parts for the uprights/supports measured and cut.  I still have to get some round tubing for the swivels/pins, and some of the 2x2 square tubing for the body mount brackets.  I already had to weld some of the 3" tube together, because I misjudged my lengths at the store, and came up short on one of the uprights.  But I got that settled OK, and I'm pretty satisfied with that weld job.

This thing is going to be so overbuilt, it's not even funny.  But that's OK.  A little overkill never hurt anything.

Photos of the construction process will follow.  I should be able to start tacking the uprights, supports, and wheel mounts together tonight or tomorrow.

So far, the damage on the steel is $365.  But that includes a $95 3'x3' plate that I'm using for a construction table, which really should count as a tool/supplies cost, not necessarily a cost toward the restoration.  But right now I'm counting everything.  I'll keep a tally together.  Since buying a new rotisserie of this stoutness would set me back as much as $2,000, I think I have room to move.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Long Time, No See, and a Rotisserie

Well, work has conspired to rob me of valuable car building time, so it's been awhile since I had anything worth updating.  Progress has not significantly changed since my last post, except that I did receive the floorpan repair panel from Ricks' Camaro.  And I made a decision about the nature of this rebuild.

Compromise is a dirty word.  Sometimes you're forced to compromise, and sometimes it works out in your benefit.  However, I don't really want to compromise too much on this car.  The whole point is to end up with something that is virtually brand-new.  So crawling under it to do a hasty overhead job on the floor pan simply will not do.

So I'm going to build a rotisserie, and do this up right.  I found this guy's plans and buildup: Rotisserie plans/buildup.  I took the list down to MetalMart, because they're open on Saturday and Wasatch Steel is not.  Looks like I could be into the materials somewhere around $300.  Which is outstanding.  Retail, a rotisserie would run me at least a grand.  And, if I build this thing right, I can either keep it for the next car project, or turn it around and make a small profit.

I'm going to check Wasatch Steel's prices.  If nothing else, I'll buy the long, long sticks from them, as I don't fancy having a 24' piece of 3" square tubing riding on the top of my pathfinder all up and down I-15.  Wasatch is just up the road.  Also, MetalMart told me they didn't carry the round tube (which seemed funny. . .).  So we'll see if I can cut work early one of these next days and do some checking.

It may be a tight fit in the garage, but we'll see.  If I have to flip the car 90 degrees, it's no big deal, since this project has totally taken over my garage anyhow.