Monday, July 14, 2014

The sabbatical is over....progress resumes.

After a 2 year hiatus, progress has resumed on the shop truck.  I built a 1963 Chevy II wagon for the wife and that sort of derailed progress for a while.  The good thing is, that I have a new excitement for the build.

I don't think I have ever posted a picture of what I envision the shop truck to look like.  So here you go.  The paint scheme is more what I am after.  It's practical and different. 

 The lighter color on top makes sense in the Oklahoma heat.  I will differ mine slightly.
The hood will be chocked full of louvers and the lower color will be a coffee brown suede, while the top is retaining the gloss.

I have always loved this truck.  Stay tuned for more details as I progress.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

You made your bed.......

Wow, what a week. We have had some crazy weather this last week.  I took off for week of vacation to get some stuff done.  I make a punch list and try to stick to it.  That was great right up until we had 5 tornados this week.  Kinda changes your outlook on your priorities.  These are from my back porch.  This is about a mile away.  It's hard to see all of it, but it was over 1/2 mile wide.  This is some big circulation that ended up destroying a lot of the town of El Reno, OK.

It was time to run for cover!

So, we had this 3 out of the 5 days I took off from work.  This was followed by 100 mph winds and 5.25" of rain according to my trusty rain gauge.

Hang on to your hat!  100 mph winds and  the ditches are full.....
Anyway, back to the subject at hand.  Hot rods. So we decided to attack the very item that started this whole build.  My bed. 
 A friend of mine, Bob Owens,  owns the ultimate salvage yard in the universe, Owens Salvage Company, in Wellington, TX.  Here's a link to his website.  You won't be disappointed. 

  Bob calls me and tells me about this friend he has in  Fresno, CA. who has recently passed away.  He had a bed, a set of running boards and the panels that go between the bed and running boards for a 35-36.  His estate was being sold off and Bob was helping connect the right people with the right parts.

  The only catch was this bed was a shop truck bed back in the day.  It had tread plate welded inside the bed sides and the floor.  It was well done, but it was super HEAVY.  Which is not a bad thing , since the 35-36 are a little light in the rear and some extra weight could make it ride better.  It is going to work out great for throwing swap meet parts in the back and letting them roll around without worrying about it.

Bed sides are pretty decent.  Not something to make a concourse car out of, but perfect for a driver/shop truck.
 Most of the wood is in excellent shape. It looks bad, but it cleans right up. One small piece missing behind the sending unit access door.
Here it is in all her glory.  Tread plate mania.  It has been sitting for 30 years, so it has a lot of time to oxidize.  Someone got crazy mounting stuff to the bed flanges up top.  I'm thinking this may have had some sort of signage on it or maybe the guy had a fetish for tying things down.
 It had 2 coats of red paint and multiple layers of primer.

It's gonna require some DA time, but overall it looks ok.
I added a quick coat of satin finish enamel to preserve the bottom side.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Summer break....

I haven't been able to get much done lately.  
I have been trying to get my garden in and the weather isn't cooperating.  Weirdest weather to date.  Snow and freezing temps in May.  
My daughter is in her Senior year and she graduated at the end of May.  We had prom to deal with and needless to say, the truck has taken a back seat.
Rules for dating my daughter....#1.  You can't.

So, Jr. came home from college and said he wanted to work on the shop truck.  Who am I to turn down free labor?  Well, technically I am paying for his college, food, lodging and transportation , so I guess it's not free after all. 
 So he was a sanding fool for about 6 hours.  We did a little bondo work and blocked it.  It is in decent shape for being 78 years old.  It still has it's share of dents and dings.
Spotted fever.......
So we decided to try something new.  I have been doing some research on different rust primers etc. and so this truck is going to be a test bed to try several different things.  The first is Rustoleum's rust primer.  I have found that it shares the same base components as some of the other name brand "Rust Preventers" according to the MSDS sheets.  
 The best thing it is $8 qt. at Wally World.

 The finish is a semi gloss and it lays down pretty smooth overall.

Jr's first solo shot at primering.  The funny thing is I cut my body work teeth on a 36 cab.  My dad did also.  It's genetic, I suppose.
 The action shot.....
Looks better already.  It still has a lot of hours of body work in it's future, but we have a good start.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


The cab is starting to come together.  I don't have a lot of free time, so I have been chipping away at it in the evenings.  I welded up all of the fatigue cracks and filled a few more holes.
 This is my rat rodder trap.  I put a PBR for bait under it and wait patiently....

The rear brace that is behind the fuel tank is pretty banged up.  It is supposed to be spot welded to the floor, but it is floating free.  I went ahead and removed it so I could straighten it.  I may have to build a new one.

 All straightened up.  Still not sure if I am going to use it.  I may build one a little more substantial.

 The  hat channels below the rear window are kinda jacked up.  Pieces are missing from years of vibrating.  These things can't be thicker than .020" steel.  I tacked it back in place to keep it out of the way.  I'll have to add some L brackets to help shore it up.

 The main difference between the pickup cabs and the big truck cabs is the fuel tank location.  The pickup tank is located under the rear of the bed, while the big truck is inside the cab.  It doubled as a seat riser.  A buddy of mine, Bruce, did this recently, so I am going to steal his idea.  He retained the tank, but removed the top of the tank and used it for storage.  It's a good place for my stereo amp and my powered subwoofer.
 I drilled four holes withe a hole saw to give me a starting point.  I used the sawzall to remove the lid.  I purged the tank with shop air for a few minutes to see if there were fuel fumes present.

 The shape of this tank was pretty amazing.  I felt bad about cutting it up for about.......10 seconds.  The baffles are spot welded in.  I underestimated the quality of the spot welds.  I tore a hole in it trying an air chisel.  Gonna hafta cut it just above the floor and grind the remainder out.
 The carnage after about an hour.  It's a pain, but it needs to be done, so I can make sure I can locate the critical pieces.  I hate having to rework stuff after it's done.
It still needs some clean up, but I ran out of sawzall blades and time.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Getting Nekkid......

So what did you expect to see you pervert?

I have been pretty busy lately on everything but the shop truck.  I got a few hours today to get the cab outside and throw some sand at it.
  I got a quote from a local blasting company and the sound of $400 just about knocked me over.  I decided to buy a few bags of sand and do it myself.  There's always those that swear against sand blasting due to warpage of the sheet metal.  Here's some advice....don't take it to a oil field sandblaster and you won't end up with warped sheet metal.
This cost me $30 worth of sand and $200 for a sandblaster pot that I bought 15 years ago.  I have blasted 10 or more cars with it.  It paid for itself after the first car I blasted.
I started welding up the holes in the firewall earlier this week.  I still have a few to finish up.

I have a grand total of $10 in my body dolly.  It's a free pallet and some Harbor Freight wheels.
After a few hours of nasty blasting, the final results are pretty good.  No bad previous body work or dobber welding to contend with.

This was a big truck cab, so a lot of the problems associated with the pickup cabs are missing on this one.  The lower rocker panels are in decent shape, the back of the cab that usually gets rubbed thin, due to the bed front getting pushed into the cab is almost perfect.
 Whatever this was bolted to, must have had a ride equivalent to a buck board.  There are multiple fatigue cracks on the cabs mounting areas.  I'll weld these up later this week.
The bracket stiffeners on the back of the cab have fatigued and broken loose at the bottom of the cab.  These may be tricky to weld up.  Space will be limited for a torch head.
I uncovered something written on the firewall during production.  Not sure what it says.  It looks like someones name, possibly.  Kinda cool.  I'll probably be mostly welding for the next few days. Nothing exciting.

Monday, February 4, 2013


It's been a while since I have had time to post.  I have been traveling with work and in our free time, we have been scouting college campuses for my daughter.

I got a few warm days in a row, so I decided to take advantage of them and get the frame in paint.  I'll post a few pics of my progress.  Nothing earth shattering, just the frame stripped and then a few more with the front suspension etc. installed.

The first thing I did was fab up a cheap rotisserie for the frame.  I had a couple of old engine stands laying around, so I fabbed a receiver hitch mount for the rear and a cross brace for the front.  It made it a little easier to make sure everything was good and covered.

It made it easier to roll around, as well.  Not the best in the world, but way below average.

I always hated those poly bushings that everyone sells for the front ends, so I started researching to see if there was anything better out there.  That's when I stumbled across these on Limework's website.
These were made from "Oilite" stock.  They should hold up way better.  They were cheap enough.  I paid $25 for 8 bushings.  That not much more than those el cheapo nylon bushings and they will live 10 times longer.  Here is the link if you would like to order a set.            

 I always like to give credit when I buy something that is a good quality product.  Everything I have ever gotten from Limeworks has been top shelf.

Nice and tight.  Should be a vast improvement.

Hard to tell from this pic, but everything is hung.  I hung the spindles and I used the roller bearing king pin sets.  It's a nice upgrade.  Definitely worth the extra. 

I try to  finish 2 or 3 things every time I go out to the shop.  I figured this would be an easy one, so I had the tires mounted up.
I found these online.  I think they are pretty standard on Volkswagen Bugs.  It is a 165 85 R15, if memory serves.
I'll try and get more done in the future, but I am kinda slow.