Wednesday, April 30, 2008

30 Apr 08

Hunt and I went to the junkyard first thing this morning to get some pieces for the loom. Ben resumed work on his water lines. Luke went to work on the loom, which he stayed on for the whole day. Zac ground off a layer of veneer from one of the wheel well straps that didn't pull down properly and got another one glued on it. I spent the morning measuring points on the engine to get it properly mounted, and I located and drilled 4 1/4" holes in the side of the rear wheel wells where the halfshafts will come through. Hunt made a sliding miter box for the tablesaw, and we riveted a plexiglass guard to it. Aaron had various computer tasks to do. Hunt and I made a Home Depot run to get supplies for Luke and Ben, getting lunch on the way back. After lunch, I glued the final bent reinforcement laminate inside the driver's side gas tank area. Zac removed some bolts from the passenger's side gas tank area and from the rear cross-section, which we glued up yesterday morning. I glued the rear window frame on this afternoon, using nothing but a bunch of sliding c-clamps and some strips of oak to spread the load of the clamps. After dinner, Hunt and I came back out to the shop. He glued some blocks together for use on the loom, and I edge sanded the wheel well straps. After, we hooked up air to the bead blast cabinet in the back of the room, and I spent a while installing the last several pieces on the inside to get it ready to spray. I finished at about 10:30pm and called it a night to write some emails.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

29 Apr 08

Good production today. I drilled the rest of the holes in the 5-sided pieces this morning and took the whole cross-section assembly out to prep it for gluing. Ben showed up and started working on running his water lines, and Luke showed up and started cleaning off the radial arm saw table. Zac arrived right as I had spread the glue on the cross-section piece and just in time to help me get it riveted and bolted into place. We spent about an hour and a half getting everything pulled in tight. The rear end is incredibly rigid now. Luke worked on finishing out the fence on the radial arm saw tables, and I started sorting out a way to rout the inside of the rear window frame. By lunch, Luke had finished the fence, and I had the frame all set up to rout. Zac glued up some plywood, and Aaron worked on the website and modeling new chassis pieces for the first part of the day. After lunch, I routed the frame. Luke and Zac worked on cutting some pieces for the loom, and Ben trucked along on installing the water lines. I put some radii on the rear wheel well straps for Zac, and he took them out back and put a finish layer of veneer on them in the vacuum bag. I helped Luke assemble the frames he made for the loom until about 7:15pm, at which point he headed out, and I ate dinner. Ben got to a stopping point with his water lines, and he cut 200 stainless steel ribbons for use in the loom. Hunt and I made a Home Depot run to keep Ben going in the morning, and I went back out to fit and locate the rear window frame on the chassis to be ready for glue in the morning. I finished that at about 10:15pm and came in to answer emails and write this blog for the next hour. Time for bed.

Monday, April 28, 2008

28 Apr 08

I took all the through bolts out of the rear cross-section this morning. Sounds like a quick, easy job, but most of them were epoxied in place and difficult to remove. Some of the heads broke off of the screws, just for added enjoyment, I suppose. Ben came and cleaned up for an hour or so, but took the rest of the day off to take care of some business. Aaron and Zac cleaned up for a while, before Aaron began work on making videos from our animations, and Zac started another hat section trim piece. The last one went bad during the 2nd glue-up, so we had to start over. I worked on fitting pieces inside the passenger's side gas tank area and had all the piece cut by lunch. Zac and I worked from about 1pm until about 4:30pm on drilled holes, spreading glue, sinking rivets and wrenching bolts to clamp and secure all of the various pieces. When we finished this, we put the rear cross-section piece in the back of the chassis, along with the glued-in 5-sided pieces. We located the original bolt holes in the transmission hanger and bolted the cross-section in. We spent the next hour or so cutting and drilling angle brackets to support the joint between the rear wheel wells and the cross-section before Aaron and Zac made a trash run and went home. I stayed out until dinner time, drilling more holes through the transmission hanger and 5-sided pieces to prepare for gluing tomorrow. After dinner, I wrote an article and answered emails for 2-3 hours. I came back out to the shop to drill and cut some square holes in the back of the cross section for ventilation and internal access. I finished a little after 11:00pm.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

27 Apr 08

Finally, the 5-sided pieces are glued to the rear cross-section. I spent the morning cleaning up the 5-sided pieces by trimming the plywood that I glued on last night and using a spindle sander to clean the radii. Next, I drilled 192 holes in the cross section that would correspond with 192 holes in the 5-sided pieces. Hunt made an MDF mold for another tie-in piece in the gas tank area, and Caroline came out and glued up 2 pieces on it. After lunch, I made some shims to further help mount the 5-sideds to the cross-section, and further cleaned the pieces by beveling the edges and sanding glue and tear-out around the holes. I glued one piece onto the cross-section this afternoon using a combination of rivets and through bolts. With so many holes to fill and edges to check, gluing one on took me almost 3 hours. I knew I was in for a long night. I went inside to eat and recruited an unsuspecting Caroline into helping me glue the 2nd piece on. She didn't show any signs of getting tired, so I had to pretend that I wasn't either, until we finished at about 10:45pm, when I was ready to zonk out.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

26 Apr 08

Hunt worked on frames for the loom this morning, while I straightened the table up and checked the shims for the 5-sided pieces. I measured the location where the half-shafts will go through and drilled a 4 1/4" hole to accommodate. I ran a 45deg bevel around the edge to dress the holes out. We glued the frames for the loom up right before lunch. After lunch, Hunt and I glued the pairs of 5-sided pieces together using a combination of through-bolts and clamps. Caroline came out and glued up another wheel well bracket from the mold we made yesterday. For most of the afternoon, I worked on mounting the rest of the bracketry inside the driver's side gas tank area. This was an unexpectedly tedious process due to the number of pieces and the limited working space, but I finished it before dinner and started getting the pieces ready for the passenger's side. After dinner and accidentally falling asleep for about 45 minutes, I came back out and cut the shims to size for the 5-sided pieces. I glued and clamped them using almost every 6" clamp I had at my disposal, which is really saying something. I finished just before 11:00pm. We need to get them glued onto the car tomorrow.

Friday, April 25, 2008

25 Apr 08

More good parts came off molds this morning. Another 5-sided piece is ready, the hat section trim piece was a success so far, and, most importantly, the rollbar tie-in glue-up from last night did the trick. Ben showed up to fix some leaks in his compressed air piping, and he added some legs and worked on leaks for most of the morning. Zac glued the first half of the last 5-sided piece, and Aaron finished loading pictures to the Flickr site. He and Zac then put tin on the roof of the front lean-to on the new building and glued up a flat piece of plywood shim stock for me right before lunch. After lunch, I made a mold for a tie-in piece for the outside arm rest to the front wheel wells. Aaron and Zac glued a part onto it, and then Aaron went to working on the tunnel animation. Ben spent the afternoon mounting a water fountain and a sink to the walls in the blue room. Zac managed to get the 2nd half of the 5-sided piece glued up, along with another stage of the hat section trim piece. I worked on fitting bracket tie-ins inside the driver's side gas tank area and trimming 5-sided pieces until it was time for dinner. Ben and I went to Hardee's and came back to glue another layer, which Aaron and Zac mysteriously left out, onto a 5-sided piece. Ben did most of the work on this while I glued my brackets inside the gas tank area. We finished by about 11:00pm.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

24 Apr 08

We pulled several good parts from their molds this morning. Not to jinx anything, but we have still never made a bad part with epoxy. I trimmed up a 5-sided support and riveted 2 mirrored pieces back to back. I worked a while on fitting them inside the cross-section piece in the rear. Gluing those in and getting all 5 sides of each piece to pull tight will be a chore, but it will be one stiff unit when we are done. That shall be left for tomorrow. Ben worked all day on running the air fittings again. Aaron started work on the videos this morning, which he spent most of the day on. Zac glued up 2 more layers of the 5-sided rear suspension supports today, along with a plywood shim for fitting them in the back. I helped him bag a trim piece for the rear hat section, which seemed to work well. In the afternoon, Luke came out and laid the 2nd and final layer of cherry backer stripping around the edge of the buttefly panel. I helped him glue and clamp it down. Next, I focused on fitting and gluing the roll bar tie-in piece. I spent what seemed like forever fitting it and drilling holes, while Luke and Hunt worked on figuring out how we are going to weave the skins for the buttefly panels. I had to make a Home Depot run for some through-bolts to clamp my part on, and Luke cut a bunch of pieces to start the loom that we will weave on. He and Hunt headed out around 7:45pm. Ben was still out working, and I wasn't that hungry, so he and I just kept rolling until almost 10:00pm. He got to a stopping point and cleaned up, and I finished my work about 45minutes later. It was a long day, but we made some good headway. Having that part glued on will allow me to glue several more parts on top of it tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

23 Apr 08

The piece that we glued up last night turned out well this morning, and I slid it roughly into place to check the fit, which looks like it will turn out well, also. I added another piece of MDF to the underside of the mold, and Hunt routed a radius on it so that we can make a mirror image of the same part. Zac made a trash run to the dump and glued the first 4 layers on when he got back. He also glued several more flat spacer panels and put them in the press. Aaron and I had to do a little video work this morning, but nothing too major. Ben spent the morning and most of the day working on running hard lines from our compressor throughout the shop. It will be nice not to have to step on air hoses all day. We had to make a run to see our buddies at Durham Brazing to get some steel for a guard for the giant sprocket that Ben mounted yesterday. I worked on trimming out the new roll bar tie-in panel right before lunch. After lunch, Aaron and Zac glued up a stack of poplar veneer for one of the seats, and we put it in the big Black Bros press. I cut, ripped, jointed and plane some cherry backer board into 1.25"X.375" strips to use to trim out the hole in the roll bar tie-in piece. I then made an MDF jig to allow me to glue the pieces together in the proper shape. I essentially made a frame which we will glue to the back of the plywood panel and use to route the hole out of the panel. Zac and Aaron clocked out and went to lunch, while Ben worked on the air lines as I mitered corners and spread glue for the frame. Zac and Aaron showed up in time to help me clamp the pieces of the frame down, and we broke for dinner at about 8:15pm. After dinner, we came back out to shoot a few video clips, and the guys packed it in when we finished. I came in to finish editing the video by about 11:45pm and am currently more than ready for bed.

22 Apr 08

I ripped the piece that we glued on yesterday off of the car this morning. It hurt me to do it, but we had a bad glue bond in one area, and we needed to fix it. Ben showed up and brought out the mold we need to make another piece as I ground the area down. Zac and Aaron cut a lot of veneer today. I made a pattern for the mold that Zac put in the press last night, and he and Aaron cut 16 pieces for it. Zac also cut pieces for a patch that we made off of our seat mold, which just happened to fit the engine cover curvature. Aaron, Zac and I got the replacement piece into the bag, and we put the patch pieces in a seperate bag right before lunch. After eating, I glued a reinforcement bracket in between the rear driver's wheel well and the box channel. Ben worked on mounting a sprocket and a winch to the rotisserie system. Luke showed up while I was working on the bracket, and he got the 2nd butterfly panel out and began trimming around the edge with cherry backer board. He finished the first layer, which is nice to have out of the way. Aaron and I shot some video while Luke and Ben worked inside. Zac managed to get the first 4 layers of veneer glued and on the mold that he and Aaron cut 16 pieces for earlier. He left after making 3 flat pieces of plywood for spacer material. After I was finished with working on the video, Luke and I helped Ben get the chain mounted to the sprocket. This was a cumbersome act, but definitely ended with a cool looking result. The guy headed out, and I went in to eat. I started editing video on the computer after dinner, and Caroline went out to add 4 pieces of veneer to the piece that Zac started earlier. I helped her get the part in the bag and came back inside to finish editing at about midnight. We really need to get some serious parts glued onto the car tomorrow.

Monday, April 21, 2008

21 Apr 08

I glued on a laminate that ties the truss/roll bar to the S-panel this morning. I drilled a bunch of holes into a sheet of MDF that was used like a clamp, and transfered and tapped these holes into the S-panel. We ran 1/4" bolts into the S-panel, which pulled the MDF down, clamping the laminate to be glued. This took until almost lunchtime. Ben worked on his rotisserie, and Zac worked on getting a female mold glued up to fit the male mold for the seats that I made last night. Aaron had some computer work to do. After lunch, I took a lot of measurements on the rear cross-section to make a mold for a tie-in piece to be used to support the half-shafts. I made one piece, and Zac copied 4 more, glued them, and stuck them in the press. Ben, Sean, and Hunt welded the spindles onto the rotisserie while Aaron and I shot some video outside. Ben and Zac cut some veneer for the seats and took the clamps off the piece that was glued on from this morning. After everyone went home, I went inside and started editing the video. Most of it was pretty good, but we will reshoot a couple of sections tomorrow. I then went back out to the shop and ground on the chassis in a place where we need to fix something and called it a night.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

20 Apr 08

Hunt and I spent the first 3 1/2 hours gluing in the transmission hanger this morning. It already had alignment holes drilled, but it was still a time consuming glue-up. It involved 9 pieces total, each of which had to be aligned with the others and clamped with through bolts and blocks of plywood. When we finally finished this, I glued the plywood cap on the driver's side box channel and went in for lunch. After lunch, it was time to look at the seats. I made a simple mock up from 2 sheets of osb with a hinge in the middle to help get lengths, angles, and heights for the seat dimensions. Caroline came out to help me measure. Hunt worked on a reinforcement plate for the transmission mount while I started on the mold for the seats. Hunt used a router and a follower bit to cut a circle out of a giant hunk of plywood that we had originally intended to use for a wheel over 18months ago. I cut 15 2X6s to length, rough bandsawed them, and disc sanded them to a pattern line. I used a simple jig on the drill press to drill the same 3 holes in each piece, and used pva and 3 26" long pieces of all thread to clamp it together. After dinner, I came back out and sanded the mold and used body filler to smooth it out a little bit. Next, I took all the blocks, through bolts, and clamps off the transmission hanger glue-up. I put a couple alignment rivets in the box channel caps and called it a night by about 10:45pm. Gotta keep pushing tomorrow.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

19 Apr 08

I set about gluing the box channel to the firewall and S-panel this morning. This involved a lot of measuring, drilling and riveting. I had the driver's side glued on by lunchtime. Ben worked on a set of braces for the truss system for most of the morning and helped me along with the gluing. Aaron worked on the animation of the tunnel, and Hunt worked on the mold for the trim piece for the hat section. We had lunch at the airport and came back to get to work. I started gluing the passenger's side of the box section and worked on it until about 4pm. Ben was welding his braces onto the steel truss system while I worked. Hunt worked on restoring an electric winch to use on the rotisserie that Ben has built the truss for. I started fitting the transmission hanger until I got called in to eat dinner. After dinner and until about 10:30pm, I came back out and fitted the transmission hanger, the rear hat section, and the rear cross-section, including several plywood shim plates and 2 angle brackets. We will be ready to glue them on tomorrow. The chassis is becoming megarigid.

Friday, April 18, 2008

18 Apr 08

Hunt and I test fit the transmission hanger this morning and measured the size that the spacer blocks will need to be to accommodate it. I spent most of the morning disassembling the rear end and getting it ready to be glued. I also layed out a lightening/access hole pattern on the box channel caps. Ben had some work to do on his trusses before we would be ready to hang them, so he went to work on that. Aaron had some website issues to deal with for most of the first part of the day. We had Zac glue some plywood to the right size and thickness for them when he showed up. We helped him get the second piece under pressure right before lunch. After lunch, I cut the holes out on one of the channel caps and fit it on the driver's side. I inset it more to get it to the same depth as the gas tank cover so that we can tie the 2 together. Ben came in, and I helped him and Hunt hang all the steel trusses in the building. They look impressive, so hopefully they will work as well as they look. I worked a while on the passenger's side channel cap and had the holes cut out by dinner time. Aaron and Zac got the rafters and plywood on the front lean-to during the afternoon, and Aaron hung a window in the new shop while Zac went to Home Depot for supplies. After dinner, I came back out to finish fitting the cap, and found a slight correction that needs to be made in the chassis which I will address on a fresh brain tomorrow.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

17 Apr 08

I pulled the recently balsa covered butterfly panel from the bag this morning, and Hunt and I had a layer of birch on it and in the bag by 900am this morning. Not half bad. Ben showed up and got the bag ready for us and started and started on his trusses again, which he worked on for basically the entire day. He got his plates lag bolted to the wall and should be ready to weld the trusses in tomorrow. We had a visit from Joe Hoffer of Daubert to discuss the layout for their booth at the IWF show in Atlanta. It's going to be a great setup as long as we don't die trying to get the car ready. Aaron wove cherry veneer for the butterfly panel skins for most of the day, along with helping Zac with the front lean-to on the new shop. Hunt and I made a Home Depot run before lunch to get some supplies for Zac, and I glued up a block of MDF for a new mold when we got back. After lunch, I took the truss and the rear cross-section piece off the chassis to work on fitting the transmission hanger. Luke came out and took the butterfly panel out of the bag from this morning, drilled holes along the trim lines in the mold, and transfered them to the part. He them jigsawed the mold and used a router with a straight bit on it to trim away a band of the balsa around the edge. Caroline came home from class and helped with the weaving, as is her nature. Meanwhile, Hunt and I worked on cutting the hole in the cross-section for removal of the rear differential, and we cut a hole in the transmission hanger to let it slide up and around the transmission to the place where we will attach it. I took the transmission out of the car and replaced it with our empty transmission case that has the shifter box fitted to it, and Ryan showed up in time to check us out and eat dinner. After dinner, I went out and putzed around in the shop for a while and didn't get much done, so I called it a night.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

16 Apr 08

Ben, Aaron, Caroline, Hunt, Zac and I worked on cleaning up the shop this morning in preparation for a visit from Lori and Ross from the Discovery Channel Canada. They came out to film for a show called the Daily Planet, and I spent the first part of the morning going over the game plan with them and doing a few interview questions. Hunt and Zac got a butterfly panel mold ready for balsa while I did this. Ben worked on his trusses, and Aaron and Caroline started weaving a panel of 1/4" cherry veneer to cover a butterfly panel with. They worked on it all day, and I suspect it could take a couple more days. Yikes. Ross filmed Hunt, Zac and me gluing a layer of tessellated balsa down, and we broke for lunch. Lori got pizza and subs for everyone, even Brownie. After lunch, we shot some B-roll and answered some more questions about the car until about 4:30pm. We really had a good time with Lori and Ross today, so hopefully they will be able to make it back when the car is rolling. Zac assembled our new blast cabinet, which showed up today, and Ben continued working on his truss. Hunt and I went to the junkyard to get some steel for Ben, and we released our bamboo-layered butterfly panel from yesterday when we got back. It came out to be a really impressive piece. We talked about some plans for what lies ahead and called it a night. I worked on the seat design for a few hours tonight, and it should start coming together very shortly.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

15 Apr 08

The part Zac and I glued yesterday came out well this morning. I started off by perfecting the fit of the engine covers, but when Zac showed up, he and I glued another 3 layers down to yesterday's part. Afterwards, I went back to work on the fit of the engine covers. I pulled them up to the truss accurately and began drilling and tapping holes to mount them. Hunt and I had to go see our buddies and Durham Brazing to get some plates for Ben to weld to the steel trusses. While we were gone, Zac ground off the maple weave that we put on the underside of the butterfly panel 2 days ago. The veneers were too thick, and we really hated the way it looked. After lunch, I went back to work on the engine covers and got them fitted and mounted by mid-afternoon. Luke came out and helped Zac and Hunt glue a bamboo weave on the underside of the butterfly panel to replace the maple weave. I worked on figuring out how to cut a hole in the engine covers for the hat section and began laying out the cuts while Luke mounted our chopsaw to a stand and Zac glued the last 2 layers of veneer onto the piece we started last night. Aaron left at about 600pm after working on more animations all day, and Zac headed out, too. Caroline came home with some Arby's for Luke, Ben and me, and we ate happily in the shop before getting back to the grindstone. Ben worked right up until dark on his steel trusses and will finish them quickly tomorrow. Luke helped me fit the passenger's side engine cover over the hat section and headed out at about 9:30pm. Hunt came up as I was finishing up the driver's side, and hunt out until about 10:00pm. I worked for another hour or so to clean up the area behind the rollbar which will feed the superchargers before calling it a night. Time for sleep; another big day tomorrow.

Monday, April 14, 2008

14 Apr 08

I did a big clean up this morning, as the shop, especially the lofting table, was getting a little out of hand. We had a visit from Russell and John of Alcan, our tessellated balsa sponsors, this morning. It was good to meet them in person. After they left, I started on the next mold. I cut a bunch of pieces of MDF about 1/4" bigger than I needed, and drilled a bunch of holes in them so that I could run bolts through to act as clamps. Aaron came out and helped me spread glue and bolt everything up right before lunch. Ben worked on his steel trusses all morning, and Zac made a dump run and a Home Depot run and started digging holes and setting posts for a new lean-to on the front of the new building. After lunch, I test mounted the truss. I had to drill holes in the new cross-section piece that correspond to the holes in the base of the truss, and everything lined up well. The glue was now dry on the MDF block, so I removed the bolts and ran it through the tablesaw to dimension the width and chopped the length in the radial arm saw. I used a 1" radius roundover bit in the big router and ran it all the way around the top of the block. I filled in the drilled holes with body filler and sanded everything smooth to finish it off. Zac finished setting his poles and cut some veneer for the mold. I got the bag ready, and Zac and I spread glue and got the part in the mold while Hunt and Rick Fuller hung out and kept us entertained. We think the part will be good, but we aren't totally sure. Zac and Aaron headed out, while Ben continued on the steel truss, and I worked on the position of the rear hat section. Ben finally left at about 7:30pm, and I went in to eat. After dinner, I went back out to fit the engine bay covers, and Caroline came out to help. Hunt came up and helped for a few, and Caroline and I called it a night when we finished at about 10:00pm.

13 Apr 08

This morning, I spent a couple of hours straightening out some misconnected wiring in the new shop. I put the butterfly panel with the balsa core in place on the mold to transfer the trim holes. I used a jigsaw and a couple of grinders to get the edge into shape. Hunt worked on framing out the doors for the new shop while I ground the upper control arm brackets. As I finished this up, Jenna showed up to talk about the interior fabrics for a while. After Jenna left, Caroline, Jean and Brownie came out to assist Hunt and me in weaving the inner skin of the newly trimmed butterfly panel. It took the 5 of us about 2.5 hours to get it in the bag, at which point we called it a night.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

12 Apr 08

I fitted the new rear cross-section piece this morning. Ben showed up soon after, and he and I went down to Hunt's to get some steel tubing that he is going to use to make a couple trusses with. I trimmed the edges of the rear hat section and fitted it between the wheel wells next. Ben was working on cutting pieces for his truss, and I began laying out a bolt pattern for 2 stainless steel reinforcement pieces that will fit on each side of the tunnel tower. It was time for lunch, and Ben, Caroline, Hunt and I went down to the airport to eat. After lunch, Ben washed and waxed the 2nd butterfly panel mold to prepare it for a glue-up. He and Caroline put down the initial straight and cross layers while I drilled the holes in the reinforcement pieces for the front of the tunnel. Hunt came up, and he and I glued one of them on by drilling and tapping all the holes into the tunnel tower and bolting it in. After finishing this, Hunt and I went out to finish running the wire to the new shop. I dug some more trench to get the conduit the rest of the way to the building, and we ran the tubing up the wall and mounted a couple boxes. We had a visit from a couple nice guys who were visiting the engineering school at NC State for the weekend, and we hung out with them for a while. Once they left, we looked at the wiring for a few minutes, and, after a run to Home Depot for some breakers, Hunt finished it up. After dinner, Caroline and I came back out, and she proceeded to glue up some 45degree layers on the butterfly panel mold while I went about gluing on the reinforcement piece on the other side. When I finished, I went out to the new room and helped her finish up. We almost finished by 11:00pm and are tired again tonight.