Well here we are, the jalopy and my good self, at the local burger joint. This is one of the few pictures I have taken since the old gal came to live at my place, but I will start taking more soon. The first week of October and the jalopy is starting to show the benefits of all those jobs that kept me busy over the last few months.
My pre-occupation in October would turn to timber, a material I love working with, and get a great degree of satisfaction from a day on the tools. I hope you enjoy the postings.
5th October - Fuel Lines
I was planning to have a look at the fuel lines tonight after work but didn't get the chance. I had a conversation regarding painting the jalopy with one of the members of the antique car club who suggested I drive the old truck as is for awhile (there is always time to re-paint her), and make sure this is the one and only vehicle I'll want before sinking a small fortune into it. He suggested driving her in parades if that is what blows my skirt up, etc. He evidently put a small fortune into the restoration and although he knew he was getting in deep, he went straight away and did it anyway. So, I am going to think about it for awhile. Yes it is the right vehicle, just don't know if I want to sink lots and lots of money into it.
Food for thought.
10th October - The smell of Gasoline
Last night I was looking around the jalopy again trying to locate the source of the gas smell. I could smell gas in the cab but could not see any wet spots anywhere. Even a slight should have a wet spot. I also looked at the filter and the bulb is not overflowing, and the fuel pump is not leaking and only runs when the key is on. The fuel lines look dry but the smell is still there.
13th October - My First Club Meeting
I attended my first meeting of the Tallahassee Antique Car Club. A lot of interesting antique car enthusiasts. About 40 people attended the meeting and everyone wanted to know what kind of car or truck I had. It seems there are some very old cars and trucks around here...some of which are garage disciples and not drivable. Hummmm, been there and already done that. Don't want to be that again either! When I walked in last evening, the two gentlemen in front of me asked me what kind of car or truck I had. When I said a '28 Chevy pickup, their eyes lite up and they said, "hey, we like to see Chevy owners, most of everything around here is a ford." I was an immediate hit and when I told them that I drove it around, they were really excited.
Another gentleman and I talked about the wood bed. He said white oak is real good but said I could use cherry, red oak, maybe even ash. Wow, now I am really confused. So, if my wood guy doesn't pan out then I may take a different route. We'll see.
I emailed one fellow today in particular that has a '31 Chevrolet Special and I told him about my gas problem. He suggested I go see my doctor! Just kidding. Seriously, the first thing he asked was if my gas cap was tight. I told him no and that I had tried twice to replace it and both times it was the wrong size.
Yesterday I ordered a conversion kit for my headlights. They are going to be halogen. I probably need to do something with the reflectors but it is too expensive to re-chrome them and it would take 6 months or more. I am not willing to wait that long.
15th October - Headlight Conversion
I took my headlight buckets apart and polished up the aluminium reflectors (they shined up surprisingly nice), and tomorrow will make the bulb hole a bit larger and start the rebuild with my new halogen lights.
15th October - Timber!!!
Today I am waiting for my wood guy. He is passing through town and is supposed to have some white oak for me to select boards and finally, Finally I will begin the rebuild of the truck bed. It has been months and months in waiting for that precious cargo and supposedly I am sitting here waiting for him to call me when he is near so I can go meet him and bring these little beauties (boards) home with me.
17th October - Happy as a hog in, ah, well, you know what
Yesterday I worked mostly in my shop, cutting, chopping gluing, clamping and wiping down boards. Most of them are about 12" wide and 76" long. They are rough cut with a pass or two through a planer but still tough on bare hands if you aren't careful. I have unclamped most of the boards... from cutting a biscuit and gluing two boards together. As soon as I picked out the 14 boards I wanted, I noticed how most of them were bent or curved even on the supposed planed side. So, I had to figure out a way of cutting the board in such a way that it would cut a good straight edge. I was going to use double sided tape and secure a straight board on top of the crooked one and run the straight board against the fence of my table saw and then the other edge (of the crooked board) would pass over the saw blade and would then be cut perpendicular to the straight board...giving me one straight edge to glue to another board with a similar straight edge.
Next I'll take the clamps off and re-look at the (now) wider planks, do some sanding and/or run them through my own planer if necessary. I really don't want them much thinner than they are (about 3/4") I was hoping for thicker, roughly hewn wood but oh well you get what you get and this is what I got Still with me? After sanding some to remove the worst of the roughness, I am going to paint the entire board with oil-based black satin paint. Then, as I sand the board smooth, all the roughness, the grain, imperfections will make the wood look old and distressed (like I am). I've already tried a sample piece and the misses gave her approval. That is like having Henry Ford tell you that he likes that cherry red colour on th '30 roadster that you just chopped , channelled and dropped in a 350 hp engine.
Anyway, I spent quite awhile at Lowe's (hardware, everything store), yesterday buying some of this and that and looking to see if everything is compatible. When I have sanded down the second time, obviously the wood is going to be raw and unprotected so I bought a sealant to put over the entire four-sided board(s). This should help protect it from the elements (when it is outside and in the elements), but that will not be often. Most sealants have to be put on the board first and with about a 30 day wait before they can be treated with the black paint. That was not an option with me because I don't want to be "down" for that amount of time. I looked and looked until I found a brand that would allow me to put the sealer on AFTER I painted and sanded.
The rear fenders are attached to the bed. I'll have to remove them to get the bed off. The bed will have to come off in one piece and re-set onto the truck when rebuilt. A more than one person undertaking. I will look everything over on the chassis and paint anything that needs it at the same time while I have the chance.
I also have installed the halogen lights but don't have a dimmer switch yet. My engineer friend suggested a dashboard mount switch but I was kind of thinking on the floor like the old vehicles used to be. I did manage to get the holes cut into the head light buckets and the entire reflector mounted into the bucket.
19th October - Woodwork is my Therapy
While I am in timber and staining mode I will pull each wheel off one at a time, sand and stain finish the wood spokes. I've seen pictures of them painted, and all that beautiful wood (painted?), I don't think so. I am thinking of putting a natural sealant over them so that they look new and stay new.
After I sand all the boards for the jalopy's bed I will paint the entire board, let it penetrate the wood and then sand it down again. This will "antique" the look and most of the paint will then sand off except in any of the depressions, nicks and low areas. When that is done, I will come back and seal the wood to preserve it. I tried it on a board and really liked the way it looked.
23rd October - Let the Tray Rebuild Begin
Tomorrow is Sunday and I will check all of my glued-up boards, maybe sand a bit and get ready to dismantle the truck the rest of the way. With each piece of dismantled bed, I can start measuring each board and get ready to cut each piece to the correct size. Once that is done I can drill the pilot holes, paint the boards with black paint, wipe it off and after sanding one more time, seal it. Then the assembly fun will start, hopefully with some terrific looking lumber to replace the damn plywood that is on there now!
25th October - Working with my Apprentice
Did some work on the boards for the jalopy,s bed yesterday afternoon. Linda helped me a little buy standing on the outboard side of my portable planner and grabbed the boards as I fed them through. I wasn't able to get both sides as smooth as I would have liked but one side of 2/3's of them will be underneath the truck. I'll have to pick out two of the best for the sides of the bed (because both sides will show). I have discovered however that I've miscounted the number of boards I needed, and am going to be two boards (about 6 foot long) short. i don't know what I am going to do yet. Dang it!
No idea yet about painting the old gal while the bed is off. I'll have to just do the frame, rear end and whatever I find needing attention under the covers.
27th October - Cough, cough , Sorry about the dust
I am glad you can't see my jalopy right now because it has dust on it from me working wood around the garage, which is bad on my part because my wood shop is in the back of the yard. It was just easier to bring one chop-saw down to the wood than it was to carry each piece of wood to the shop. By the way, after cutting all the pieces.....yup, I carried them up to the shop to glue them together. That is, I carried everything up except the dust? Ha ha.
My friend the engineer has been helping me get the halogen lights and dimmer switch hooked up and we did get them hooked up. Now I will have to wait to see if they hold. I also told him last night that I realise I will eventually need to rewire the whole truck one day and use all the correct coloured wire. I ran out of some colours and had to splice a different colour into it so one end might be brown and the other end red.