Log in

No account? Create an account
Working on it

Minor update

I now understand why people say that 90% of the work of respraying a car to a decent standard is in the preparation. This past week I've spent many hours working on Fenchurch's driver's door, sanding out the rust-spots, rust-killing, zinc-priming, filling, sanding (repeat the last two steps over and over until it's perfect), fine-surface-filling, more sanding with several grades of paper to get it really smooth, another coat of zinc-primer, and finally flatting it down. Apart from drilling the door-mirror mounting holes and doing a little bit more fine-surface-filling (annoyingly some of the pinholes in the filler only become visible when you paint over them), it's finally ready for me to spray the grey high-build primer and topcoat on it. The filler has hid the seam very well - I think you'd have to open the door and examine the back edges to tell that the bottom has been replaced - but I'm really glad it's the only panel that needs a lot of filling. Hopefully preparing the rest of the panels and the body shell itself is going to be easy in comparison to the front wings and driver's door.

See if you can spot the seam:


Ooh, ooh, me, pick me! I can spot the seam. Do I get a prize?
Actually, no I can't. You are right- a decent spray job requires a lot of prep- this would be why I sanded down the orange-peel topcoat on mine (beneath which was primer, beneath which was another topcoat, beneath which was an undercoat, beneath which was, I think, the original primer) and painted over the top in Dulux Weathershield, thinned down, with a big clean brush. Don't look too close...
I take meanness to exciting new heights.
My landlord has restored a few classic mercs, and he uses brushed synthetic enamel, flats it down, then varnishes it. He says that's basically how the old coachbuilders did it (except with real enamel not synthetic). The result is pretty incredible - no brush marks anywhere.
I can and have done that, but only on vintage pushbikes. It's a lot harder on large surfaces, although a friend of mine can do it immaculately. I use a thinner called terebine Liquid Driers, which is great, cuts by a quarter or so the drying time. I used that on the Minor.
BTW the passenger door turned out to have been painted very poorly (not the original factory paint), so I wound up taking it back to the bare metal, which took ages but looks very pretty. Sort of Delorean-esque:

I'm going to have to do the same thing to the passenger-side rear wing.

I can't decide whether to get hold of a larger quantity of etch-primer to spray it with (I only bought one spray can of the stuff, thinking I would only have to touch up small areas), or risk using zinc primer straight on top of bare metal.

Those little spray cans of zinc primer don't go very far at all, so I might thin down some of the big tin of Zinc 182 I have (which came first, the band or the paint?) and use it in the spraygun instead.
Oooh, oooh- just occured to me. If you're shooting your Travveler in trafalgar Blue, does that mean you're changing the upholstery? If you are, and it happens to be green and cream fleck (not sure when that was discontinued) then may I voice a purchasing interest? Maybe even if it isn't, I've got a wretched mishmash of types in mine at the moment, the only thing they have in common is that they're all shot to bits.
This is what the seats look like (before and after cleaning):

It's usable but not immaculate, and I don't have a carpet. I probably will be changing it at some point, but a full new reproduction interior is hideously expensive so I've no idea when I'll be able to afford it. Those Newton Commercial reclining seats are gorgeous but I'd probably have to sell a kidney or two to get them... I bid on a set of second hand blue Trav seats a couple of months ago, but they went for a surprisingly high amount. One option I'm seriously considering is fitting some blue fabric front seats from a more modern scrapper, recovering the original back seats myself, and replacing the rest of the trim with reproduction stuff. That would save a lot because the seats are the most expensive bit. I put some very nice Volvo front seats in my first Moggy (after spending a couple of hours going round the scrap yard trying them all out), and they made the car much more pleasant to drive on long runs (the originals gave me backache after a couple of hours).
That's it! That's it! If you ever dispose of them, I beg you give me first refusal and I will pay you muchly.
Er, stone me, that's a bit of a colour difference. I'll keep me eye out for blue traveller seats. Wait... I may know of a set. Watch this space.
As regards interiors, I came up with a typically mean brainwave- I am making the panels with new hardboard and wallpaper (I know) but, it's a coloured vinyl wallpaper from Homebase, in the Linda Barker range. perfect colour match, with a weave texture that looks pretty kosher as a replacement for the old Rexine (which is costly.) If you have a look at that pic of me radio, it's the stuff I covered the panel with.
I tell a lie, it is Homebase but not Linda Barker, it's in their Textures range, they do just the right shade of blue (I went and had a look) and it's about £8.oo a roll.
I may or may not know of the whereabouts of a set of blue covers as well, bear with me on this one.


that's a really b-e-a-u-tiful job Alex :D Frame that photo!

wibble xx