Thursday, 13 August 2009

Sliding Door? No More

He who would travel happily must travel light.
Antoine de St-Exupery

I made a template of cardboard first and then used that as a guide to make a filler piece from scrap 1.6mm steel for the recess behind the sliding-door handle. I also cut a (roughly) round slug to fill the hole where the handle spindle used to be.

Here are the bits ready for the welding process.

The bits have been welded in. First just four little tacks to hold it together and double-check alignments. Then gradually longer welds to fill in around the edges. Despite the care taken there was still a little warping of the main door body panel - I'll sort that out when I get to the body filler and panel-beating stage.

It looks and feels a lot better after a rough grinding. (Don't we all?) I'll finish it off later when I teach myself panel-beating and body-filling - still have a few textbooks to read before then!

We finished off the interior bracing with the right hand panel welded fimly into place.

The narrow floor piece has been tacked into place. It's not really a stressed part or a support so that'll be all the welding that it gets. After I've cleaned up the join nicely I'll fill in the gaps with some good, paintable goop. I'm planning to cover the floor completely with layers of felt, plywood and carpet so this join will not be visible.

The pressing that is down each side is not consistent - it is smooth and even across the doors, the middle section wedges out to a wider arc and the rear section maintains the wider arc to allow for the sliding-door mechamism. Because I effectively have two middle sections I have a taper that occurs twice - very unsightly. I was planning to make a stepped filler piece but decided to have a go at evening out the wedges.

The pressing down the sliding door has been cut along the underside (door is upside-down in this pic).

The pressing was then bashed into the approximate shape and size using Marigold's gear linkage as a dolly. Dino made a simple wooden template of the correct curve that we used as a guide.

The pressing is laid flat and ready for welding. I placed the wooden block with the correct curve onto the pressing and stood on it while Dino welded alongside the block.

The pressing has been welded and the door has been fitted into it's final resting place. The curve of the pressing is not quite right and will need a little more work before it's perfect.

The gaps between the sliding door and the frame were too large to weld across directly so I got some offcut pieces of 6mm steel bar to fill them. They were individually bent to match the curves and angles on the door.

The bars were then tack-welded into place on the door and the frame.

The sliding door was tack-welded into place and then it started getting dark. It's been a really long day but we got a lot done. We'll have to finish it off next week. Once again I owe a tremendous debt to Dino for his cheerful optimism and skillful labours, thanks mate :-)

Thanks for stopping by

Monday, 3 August 2009

Rust In Peace

Travel teaches toleration.
Benjamin Disraeli

A lot of rainy days have put paid to any chance of working on the project recently. And it's been a bit of a downer to sit and watch my lovely new welds turning to rust... We still have a lot of welding to finish and then I hope to start with the filling, rubbing, sanding and priming.

The left-hand sliding door is being lined up and the edges sanded and smoothed to prepare for welding permanently into place. The indentation for the door handle shall be filled and smoothed.

Thanks for stopping by
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