Just to get you in the right mood for the day, Windows 8.1 takes it upon itself to send you round the houses to download a few pictures from your phone. This happens after the good people at Microsoft have sent you an important security update. So at 6.25 in the morning, I plugged my phone into the computer and at 6.58 I had the pictures where I wanted them – more by luck than judgement – a process which normally takes about 3 minutes.
The interior cards were a simple job. A layer of scrim foam attached with a spray glue to a plywood panel, then a layer of the seating material again spray-glued to the foam. It was worth getting the slightly more expensive foam which has a sort of fine net backing. When the corners and edges are turned over, the contact adhesive I used to get a good fix, had something to key to and the foam didn’t rip when the sticky stuff was applied.
Each of the panels will be attached with ‘Hidem’ banding which finishes everything off neatly although I’ll have to be careful not to overdo it because it could look a bit fussy and I need to paint or varnish the wooden structure before it’s closed up.
While all this was going on, The Ambassador’s Daughter was feeling her way through the problems of the upholstery. It’s not a simple job and although there was a pattern to follow, because the springs and horsehair had been dispensed with and substituted with foam for the basic cushion, getting around the corners and accommodating the tapers was still a bit of a task. After a few sessions of unpicking and a couple of rethinks, the seats are well on the way to being as good as anything I would expect from a professional upholstery shop.
I started making templates for the body panels from a couple of sheets of stout cardboard.
It was nice to see what the car was going to look like with its clothes on and it was important to get the horizontal cheat line absolutely right. Unfortunately, aluminium sheet is just short of the length that I need so I’ll have to joggle the forward edge of the panel and attach another bit with a few flush rivets.
And, whilst my mind was on the job, I started by cutting out the offside panel. Thank goodness for air shears is all I can say! I’ve used 1.2mm aluminium and the shears go through it like butter but are very controllable and gentle curves aren’t a problem.
The strip of wood at the bottom of the panel is there to temporarily hold the panel in place although everyone who walked past said ‘Ooh, I like the wood’. The nearside panel was a bit more tricky because it has the door. Luckily, the body is pretty well symmetrical so the pattern for the offside fitted the nearside without a lot of fiddle.
I remembered, when cutting the door out, to leave some surplus for folding over the frame (the sort of thing that in my enthusiasm I could easily overlook) and I’m pleased to say that the two panels meet in more or less the same place at the back.
And suddenly the weekend had gone.