Monday, January 26, 2015

MattMobile - More Gun Door Progress and Drive Shaft Tunnel Work

January of 2015 is shaping up to be a very productive month in the history of the MattMobile. In hindsight, 2014 was pretty slow, but I accomplished MANY great things on many other fronts. The MattMobile definitely languished, though I am hoping to correct that this year.

One of the tasks that has been on the todo list is knocking out the two circular windows on the canopy

I started with this drill bit. The goal here is to drill a big thick hole that the skill saw blade can fit through.

Like this one.

Ye Olde Trusty Skill Saw comes out to play. They make special blades for fiberglass.

And here it is. A bit of work with some files and sandpaper, and it'll be perfect. I need to go in from behind and sand down the fiberglass on the back side so that it's the proper thickness.

And now back to the gun doors.

Here's where it stands after a couple of coats of primer. I did a TINY bit of sanding on the holes at the front end to make them more uniform, but overall I'm extremely satisfied with the shape and symmetry of this master.

I used a pencil and a t-square to mark off where the new louvers are going to be placed. I used the one that came with my Batmobile shell as reference.

Here's the mold of one of the louvers being made. As you can see I build a box out of foam core and hot glue, a technique I have discussed numerous times previously on this blog and my videos.

After a night of curing, here's how the final mold came out. It's absolutely perfect.

I use Smooth Cast 300 from Smooth-On to cast up a set of the louvers.

Here's how they look after they come out of the mold, before they are cleaned up.

After a little bit of sanding, they all look great and are ready to be glued down to the MDF master.

Almost done now. I still need to do a tiny bit of work with the spot putty to soften up the seam between the resin louvers and the MDF master, but you get the general idea.

Switching gears, it's time to do a little welding! I'm trying to build out the cockpit, and I've decided the first order of business is to build out the tunnel for the drive shaft. Best way to start that process is with a selfie. Duh.

Before building out the tunnel, I wanted to see how much clearance I had for the seat. I put the seat into the car in approximately the location it will end up. By my calculations, it should fit. It'll definitely be tight, but it should all work out.

Hashtag famous last words.

I've fabricated this "ladder" thing to act as a support for the tunnel. It might be overkill. I could probably just build the tunnel out of sheet metal, but I've decided to build a support system to which the sheet metal will be attached. The right idea?? Unsure.

Here's the tunnel, all assembled welded and ground, fit into place. I have a little bit of work to do to make it fit perfectly, but overall I'm very happy with the progress. It looks great!

As I have mentioned in previous blog posts, metal fabrication is SLOW GOING. It's very time consuming and meticulous. You'd never know just by looking at that last photo that it took about five hours to do that work. Madness.

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