Progress with the Herald is turning out to be a little slower than I’d planned. With a crowded and unheated garage the problem at this time year is waiting for reasonable days on which I can work on the car outside. Some jobs can be done inside, but whenever possible I prefer to do any cutting, grinding or wire-brushing outside and keep the garage reasonably free of muck and dust.
I’ve borrowed a MIG welder and started repairs to the chassis, though its already clear that my welding skills need improvement! I attended evening classes at the Royal Agricultural University a couple of years ago which have stood me in good stead, but there’s a world of difference between welding up an old plough blade and trying to repair sections of thin, and sometimes rusty, car bodywork. Still, practice will hopefully make perfect and once completed most of my chassis repairs will be hidden out of sight and hopefully I’ll improve before I have to start on the bodywork.
I’ve managed to tuck the bonnet and bulkhead/scuttle away in a local barn to keep them dry until I start work on them. The main body/tub will follow once I’ve made sure that my chassis repairs are accurate and the body will eventually fit back on the chassis once all the cutting and welding is finished. I’ve decided to replace the driver’s side floor, which is fairly rotten, and I’ve bought some other minor repair sections for the bonnet and tub but, those aside, I’m hopeful that the body won’t need too much in the way of welding.
Rather than spend the thick end of £1,000 getting someone else to soda blast the bodywork I’ve decided to splash out on a grit/soda blasting setup and do the work myself. It will also mean upgrading my compressor, but even so the cost will be less and it will be much more convenient doing it this way. In the meantime I’ve had already had some parts blasted and primed by a local business who normally deal with massive RSJs and the like – £40 well spent.