Monday, December 16, 2013

First Article Welding

Wow…Looking back on my build log, I didn’t realize that I hadn’t updated it with any of my activities in as long as it has been.  Over the past couple of months since my last update, I have not been simply been idle.  While progress is almost never as fast as I would like, it is still happening.   It never ceases to amaze me how quickly time slips away. 

That’s not to say that all of my time has been productively moving the project forward by any means either.  As SWEETA (She Who Enables Every Thing Automotive) will readily attest, I am constantly researching various aspects of exciting and interesting (to me) ideas.  The theory behind this is to gain an understanding of the idea to the point of identifying the obstacles or shortcomings, and devising a method for overcoming them.  However, frequently this obsession gets in the way of making other physical accomplishments as well.  Some of the research does end up being for ideas ultimately related to this car, but are not really of concern for quite some time to come.  The irony being that much of the time taken for the research now, subsequently pushes my actual timeframe to use the information gleaned even further out.  Beyond that I often become totally obsessed with unconventional ideas for a period of time, completely unrelated to completing this project whatsoever.  These will typically last anywhere from a couple of days to a few weeks.  The most frequently recurring of these relapses are the ones that are most likely to be attempted as future projects…Provided I can stop researching them for long enough to finish this project first.  

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, when we last left the project I was just getting ready to add blocks to jig the tubes in place prior to welding.  These blocks are not built into the table itself, but rather are all on a separate sheet of (cull) MDF that can be stored separately without taking the jig blocks off.   Following that was tube prep for the first attempt at executing my planned method for building the chassis sides.  This would serve to prove out a host of ideas and methods I’m attempting, be they successful or not.  More specific details will follow in subsequent entries over the next few days.


Once my first article was tacked together, I then focused on improving my welding skills until I could regularly run a bead that wouldn’t make me afraid to drive the car.  I did decide to abandon my attempts at perfecting the ‘weave’ welding technique for now, which produces the stack-of-dimes look, in favor of sticking with the structurally equivalent but less attractive ‘stringer’ welds.  I’d like to be able to say that the time saved was making up for the time I spent researching and gave me more time to work on the car, but there is no amount of time saved that can make up for the time I spend researching…And the reality is more likely that the time saved, just gave me more time to research.

With my welding skills turned all the way up to ‘adequate’ it was time to finish weld as much as possible on the first article piece, to see how badly it would potato-chip.  As it turns out, almost not at all!

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