Art Car Progress: June-August, '08

  •      July 30: Most of what follows is in a bit of disarray as I'm trying to make the transition from editing with Arachnophilia (a grand system but no longer supported) to WordPress (which is full of BUGS!!). Gotta get something down and published, tho, so DMV and others can see all of the changes I've been making to my mutant vehicle lineup.

  • July 29: Took a (short) break from Short John Silver to finish up the
    Emergency break: Bob dog to E-vet for removal of beef bones from his asshole!
    Wednesday, July 30, 2008:
    Just dropped RV off in Petaluma for servicing prior to Playa run. Last night managed to do all fiberglas reinforcements to Very Short John Silver (the name chosen in great haste for the people-hauling mini wagon); used yellow pigment to help conceal it under paint which should happen after sanding, later today. After that it's on to decoration phase with lotsa EL wire on edges, CCFl beneath and maybe some sort of illuminated 'flag' or some such nonsense for the stern. Gotta remember to do something to enhance night visibility of the tow bar, too. Following are a smattering of construction photos and text, along with a checklist of stuff that's yet to be done.

    Very Short John Silver done list:
    Photo #1: July 20 Trial fit of 1/8" plywood hull pieces to 3/4" plywood keel.
    Photo #2: July 24 Made transome and its framework. Glued and screwed. Trial fit of edging: it's ugly; gotta do something else...
    Photo #3: July 27 Jigsawed, sanded, bent, secured and glued joints of 1/8" plywood hull, then glued in a second (segmented) layer of 1/8" ply on inner sides to strengthen hull and transome.
    Photo #4: July 28 Welded and painted manual tow bar. This will be used to drag the cumbersome contraption as needed around camp.
    Photo #5: July 29 Made bow lower and upper "decks"; the latter with essential cup holder holes. Reinforced critical joints with fiberglas tape; pigmented yellow to make over-painting match better.
    Photo #6: July 29 Welded, primered and bolted in bow reinforcement.
    Photo #7: July 30 Reinforced hull edges with half-round trim, then sanded edges smooth prior to painting.

    As yet undone:
    Paint plywood hull bright yellow and glue on name
    Attach art work; do something to illuminate stern better at night
    Secure Gel-cell battery in bow; include on/off switch and charging jack
    Attach CCFl beneath chassis
    Make EL "fish" with waggly tail for sides/back of trailer??

    Short John Silver done list:
    Photo #8: July 4 Figured out a trailer hitch that works despite centerline location of boarding ladder.
    Photo #9: July 5 Removed bow brace, welded on two 8" extensions with plates on ends. Plates provide more secure fastening points for sequenced arrays of EL wire. Positioning arrays this way makes it a lot easier to access the lower driving position.
    Photo #??: July 6 Got Squidly set to rights with new brighter EL wire in the tentacles; no photo yet; gotta set up a camera on a tripod to get good night lighting shots...
    Photo #10: July 13 Replaced gas and brake pedal chains with stainless stuff that won't foul from lubrication.
    Photo #11: July 15 Added fuse holders to both ends of instrument panel. I'll use them to mount special instrument lights that are shaped like fuses. Blob in the middle is distorted reflection of holder attachment screw.
    July 17 Soldered up new yellow EL wire for gun ports and hull profiles. Lancelot got most of 'em installed by himself!
    Photo #13: July 21 Installed new battery with Lancelot's help. Still gotta include charging jack of some kind...

    As yet undone stuff:
    Make new knobs for throttle linkage: #10-32 and electronics hatch cover
    Replace fuel filter with the small, better one
    Make looooong adapter for carburetor intake rubber hose
    Replace muffler strap with a better system
    Mount inverters for AC EL sequencers
    Make tethers with small carabiners to attach squidly; include bowsers to adjust
    Find missing lower section of umbrella; put two together and try out
    Add laser arrays to umbrella pole
    Add cup holders!
    Add socket for air filtration power on upper deck
    Add EL to piratical duds

  •      In addition to all of the above I've been working on Clarisse, aka the Blood Vessel, building hardware for its fire effects. Kudos to the various pyro tribes on for the knowledge to keep us from blowing ourselves up! And a big thank you to my pal Bart Smaalders, whose designs we copied for pilot lights and poofers. Here's a brief summary of what I've done there:
  • Photo #14: Overall shot of installation about mid-way complete
    Photo #15: Machined and welded up pilot light supports to standard 3/4" Sched 40 pipe.
    Photo #16: Bent, mashed end, brazed 1/2" copper tube to form pilot light rings. Each has 8: .050" dia holes on its i.d.
    Photo #17: Complete pilot light assy connected to upper standpipe. Copper pilot light propane delivery tube is 1/4" dia.
    Photo #18: Decided that copper sucked as it was hard to fit the stuff inside the stacks once the bronze wool had been added. Found an old unusued stainless steel stack economizer from my steamboat and proceeded to cut it up with the idea of welding it back together as a bunch of smaller diameter, sturdier pilot lights.
    Photo #19: Stainless ring o.d. is about 5", which fits easily within a 6" stack, even when covered with bronze wool. The trick was to clean up the sawed ends and weld 'em together to get a gas-tight seal. To get the gap as small as possible I put each ring in this arbor press, then with Lancelot gently bearing down on the ram lever I could tack weld the two ends tightly together. Couldn't have done it without my Miller Maxstar and its pulser function, which I'm still figuring out... Photo shows one a little further along, with 1/4" stainless tube attached. I join this tube to copper supply tube with a Swageloc coupling.

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