Saturday, January 16, 2016

That was bloody exhausting.

After today's exertions, I am absolutely exhausted. Heaven knows why but I find welding very tiring. I suppose that could be because it wasn't particularly warm today but it was very dry. I didn't complete everything I would have liked to have done but I got closer to completing a lot of things.

The first task was to climb up on the bus roof to reseal one of the seams. That took a complete cylinder of silicone sealant. Ideally I'd have used something other than silicone but since I've used silicone everywhere else and it seems to be working, I've stuck with silicone. This motorhome will only ever be a 20 year old vehicle. It will never get younger so imperfections aren't that important.

After that, I thought about my plumbing. I decided that for the moment I'll plumb for a bucket under the bus. It should be straightforward to add underbody tanks. The plumbing didn't go quite as planned as it was the last thing done today. Needless to say, I cut the tubing too short after having previously cut it too long. It's currently an inch too short after being an inch too long. Having said that, this is what it looks like.

The long horizontal is an inch too short. It would be usable with a small block placed between it and the attaching point. The jubilee clip I bought to attach it turned out to be way too small. I'll have to buy a couple of bigger clips. Now the attachment point was the first thing I made this morning. Basically, it's two steel brackets welded together. 

Welding was where I made great progress today. I started using 6011 rods rather than 6013 and started getting an arc every time rather than having to fight to get an arc. Most things needed a second pass to get the weld to look good but I burned through fewer sticks and had better welds. I ended up making four tube mounts. Two are to hold the downpipe and two more to hold horizontal pipes when I get the tanks installed.

This was part way through my welding progress. Welding small stuff was way easier than I thought it would be. It was important to keep moving the rod though as I did burn the edge of one of the brackets away a little in one place. 

This is how the mounts looked when completed. After welding them and clearing the slag off the welds, I sprayed them with cold zinc plating. Now that's quite expensive but if it stops rust then it's worthwhile. One is already installed but the second isn't yet as the battery in the electric drill expired before I finished drilling the second hole.

Another task completed was to weld the two parts of the roller shutter top that I'd previously cut into two pieces. I welded with 6011 rods both at the top and the bottom of the join. I did several runs with the welding rods in order to make the welds look good. In between runs, I wire brushed the slag off the welds.

After brushing the slag off, I sprayed with my zinc spray. I would have liked to have cut the construction to fit the battery/cable box but I didn't have time. After I'd worked on the plumbing, it was just too dark. The sun had escaped from me again. I'm just hoping it appears again tomorrow!

I have concerns over whether my underbody work will be too much for the skeleton. I might complete what I'm building for the underneath and then ask my mechanic for advice and maybe get him to weld the underbody stuff. I really don't want stuff dropping off as I'm driving!

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