This week I made me some 406 art:
On Friday, it seemed like a rainy weekend in the making. It turned out pretty nice, but since it looked overcast, I decided not not paint the frame. I've had this idea ruminating about a 406 patch on the outside of the skin. It needed a patch, so rather than make it square, I decided to make it artistic. Here's what I did:
On the old photo below, the top grill next to the door was not original and not done well. Plus the door handle had repeatedly slammed into the skin when the door caught the wind, creating a large dent. The bottom grill needs love, but it is original, so It will stay..
So first I needed to make the patch itself. Sara found a $10 projector at a garage sale a few months ago. It only runs for about 15 minutes before overheating, but that was plenty of time. I found a map and projected it on my aluminum in my darkened garage.
I put masking tape down and used sharpie to trace the pattern. It pulled double duty - easier to mark on and protection against scratches. After I had the pattern, I cut the straight borders of Montana with my pneumatic shears. However, it's impossible to make curves with those. I tried just about every tool I owned to cut curves (first on scrap metal) like the western border of Montana. In the end the scroll saw worked the best.
After that I had a helper. We drilled the holes for the future rivets and removed the old grate. Sorry about the gratuitous photos, but I'm a dad and his face makes my day.
Under the grate, the hole was rough and jagged. So I evened it out with my pneumatic shears and and cleaned it with steel wool. After that, we put the new patch up on the side, drilled the holes and filled them with olympic rivets. Eventually, I'll need to shave down the rivets to match the look of bucked rivets. But that's for another day.
I'm not an Airstream Jedi, yet. Airstream Jedi would have sounded presumptuous, like I know what I'm doing. That couldn't be further from the truth. Padawan is a title I can hope to live up to.
Knots Per Hour
My friend Mike is building an airplane. Check it out.