THE ART OF THE ABSTRACT

OilAbstractThis project has become a seemingly endless process of cutting, shaping, and welding together oddly shaped abstract pieces of metal to form a larger work of art – a 65 mustang. Right now however it still resembles a bunch of oddly shaped pieces of metal. Hopefully six months from now it will look more like a mustang.

This has been a busy week with much multi-tasking, so let’s get to it.

The major project for the week was to repair the fresh air vent under the cowl. It was very similar to the same repair on the other side only less horrible by mere degrees.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOf course the first steps were cutting away the side to gain entry to the rusted out areas and then to dispose of said rusted areas. In the photo above the rusty stuff has already been removed and a couple of interior patches have been applied. This little project required plenty of pattern making and metal cutting and so forth.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAbove you can see the base sheet metal that I cut for the fresh air intake. Kind of looks like a Picasso hobby horse doesn’t it? Later I added a circular collar (which prevents water from flowing into the floor on rainy days) and I welded in three studs for the mounting of the vent tube. It only took about a hundred test fits and adjustments to get it to fit properly. Then it was bonded and welded into place, sealed and painted and sealed again with truck bed coating.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is what the piece looked like as it was clamped into place. It’s always a challenge when working in confined spaces.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd here it is after all the bonding, welding and sealing. It’s not the prettiest thing but it should last another 20 years or so and keep my feet dry when it rains.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThen of course it was just a matter of buttoning things back up.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is the final repair after paint. I did a little clean up in the wheel well area and on the suspension and painted that too. The frame will get cleaned up and painted later and hopefully sometime in the not too distant future I will be able to replace all the suspension components with cool new go-fast parts. But for now this area is finished.

Another little side project was to repair the fresh air intake vent.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAs you can see in the photo the mounting flange has seen better days. Rather than spend more money I on a new vent I opted to repair this one.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo I made a template and cut out a new flange. I changed the location of the mounting studs for easier access so the flange had to be drilled accordingly.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThen I just spot welded it in place and sealed the seam.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd with a little paint it looks almost new.

The remaining project was to get the right fender painted on the underside and the brace welded back into place.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe inside of the fender is no pretty sight. It has patches and areas with the original undercoating (which I couldn’t get off so it stayed) and a tiny bit of sand from the sandblasting which conveniently blew off the saw horse and onto the wet paint. (That’s why I don’t like sand blasting. It always comes back to haunt me.) But again, not too many folks are going to be crawling around under the fender, although there’s always the odd one at the car shows.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is the inside corner that was patched and needs the brace re-attached.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd here it is with the brace welded on and painted. Yes, it’s ugly and pitted but it will last and be sturdy and do it’s job and I didn’t have to spend more money on a new one.

So that’s about it for this weekend. Unfortunately it was mostly ugly work and run-on sentences this week. Maybe next week  I can do something nice like the outside of the left fender and perhaps refine my writing skills a bit. Until then just enjoy the pretty abstract paintings and ignore the bad grammar.

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