|Check out that "hard" body...
I was excited to get started on the body for the
tender. Don't know why. It was a pain-in-the-ass. My fingers/hands
were sore for days doing all the drilling. I started by cutting 16
gauge sheet steel to an approximate shape.
radius corners were bent before any drilling started. A jig was made for the jagged
rivet pattern on the sides. Here it is being held on by clamps and clecos.
Made another jig for the outline
of the oil tank.
And here it is. One side done.
One more to go.
Both side are drilled and the
corners bent. Copper rivets (3/32") are going to be used and are only
for looks. Drive screws (#2) will be used on the bottom to fasten it to
Marked what needed to
be cut out on the end where the curved radius needs to be welded to.
A jig was set up to bend the
upper rear radius. A 4-1/2" diameter PVC pipe was used as it was the only
thing in the shop close to what was needed, A 3" diameter
steel pipe (also laying around the shop) was inserted into the PVC to keep it from bowing in the middle when
down on the bolts. As you can see below, a 1/4" angle iron was
used to pull in the pipe to make the radius needed.
Almost there. Took a couple
tries at getting the bend where I wanted it but at the end, it turned
Here's the left side temporarily
fitted to the frame. The triangular cutout is for the radius corner.
Saw this on a web site which
said that this is how they used to do it on the real ones. A
5"diameter metal disc was hollowed out and then a 108
degree "pie" piece was cut out.
It was then fitted in
preparation to be welded.
Here's the right side welded
up. A 1" diameter tube was cut and welded in place next to the "pie"
piece to continue the radius.
Next step was to grind away
until it looked like what I wanted it to look like. Still needs a bit of
What a Riveting Experience!
Well, it was time to try some
riveting. Never did that before. The way the rivets were
installed is probably backwards from traditional ways to peen rivets but
it worked better for me. Rivets were installed in a line of holes (long ones on
the right) and taped to hold them in place so when it was flipped over
they wouldn't fall out.
The rivets were too long so they
were snipped (top row)...
A tip from an air hammer was
modified with a Dremil tool to
match the profile of the rivet head. A heavy hunk of steel was used as
the backer plate. The body panels were placed on top of the backer plate
and peening was done from the outside. In order not to destroy the
copper rivets, the air hammer was set at 25 psi. A couple seconds
on each rivet did the trick. The tape was peeled off
as as the rivets were peened so they wouldn't pop out from the vibration. This
worked great and was fast. Dozens of rivets could be installed at
a time which helped as this 16 gauge sheet was large and heavy to keep
Well, here is one side done, one more
Here are both sides done.
Now to figure out the wiring for the battery, air compressor and
switches. Then it will be time to weld the body to the frame.
After welding things up, plans
are to sand blast it clean, give it a coat of primer and then coat the
water tank with "bed-liner". Once that's done, a fresh coat of paint
will be put on, then to re-install all the piping, trucks, hoses,
Then..... It's time to test it out.
Well, need I say that this will
"still" take a few more months.