March 4, 2013
As promised, we spent this week sanding the frame down all silky smooth. Despite leaving the chassis in various shades of mottled green and gray, it still looks better than it did right after we painted it. That's because it's smooth. Also, we eliminated all the drips and runs, which it turns out were all over the place, not just places you could see. Our goal this weekend, besides ending up with a shiny green chassis, is to replicate only a small percentage of those drips and runs in the final coat.
Sanding the chassis was at least as big a chore as we'd imagined, but we won't bore you with the details, because a) there really weren't any details, and b) it would be boring. So our report will be a little bit short this week and we hope you'll understand. Overall, sanding the frame took about 20 hours, and we managed to get every nook and cranny on the frame at least scuffed up, so we expect the new coat of Rustoleum to adhere really well and look great. At least until we start installing parts and scratch it all up.
Naturally we're not just sitting around idly while the chassis waits for paint. Well, some of the time we are, but at least we managed to install a brand new rear view mirror onto the scuttle. The mirror we decided on is a classic reproduction of the dash-mount style popular with many British cars of the early 1960s, and abandoned shortly after that because they were too small and too low to be able to see anything behind you. In the Locost, of course, the mirror will sit even lower, but it'll look cool and that should make up for its lack of usefulness.
We should also be cutting up and installing the dashboard about now, however our repeated attempts to purchase the requisite aluminum have not to date resulted in any measureable success. Our latest order, placed sometime last month, seems to have been lost by our long-time but soon-to-be former metal supplier. Luckily we have very few bits of metal left to buy, mainly the aluminum body panels, but I think we'll be getting those from another outfit. Our old metal supplier served us well in the early stages of our build, but in recent days their service has fallen off dramatically. Maybe it's the sequester.
In any case we're anxious to start putting the car together, and we won't be deterred by the lack of a dashboard. In addition to our classic M.G. mirror, we also bought some brand new pre-cut, pre-flared brake lines. They look good, but might be a little tricky to install. They came in round loops, and they actually need to be in straight lines with a few bends here and there. We ordered a $10.99 brake pipe bender from Speedway Motors to help with the bends, but nobody seems to make a tool for straightening out loops. So, one more challenge to face.
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