Posts Tagged ‘Tremclad’

The soapbox car has reached a state of completion. It isn’t pretty but it is fun and functional. I feel as though I need to reiterate that this was a quick, dirty, and unplanned project made from scrap. In the end it all worked out and with about 2 months left until the snow flies it will still give us some enjoyment this season.

 Previously the rolling chassis was complete and the skeleton was in need of a body. Disclaimer; I am not a body man. I admit it but have not accepted it. Someday I would like to learn some basic skills. I spend some time on the forum and read, in amazement, what some of the members are capable of. Shrinking, stretching, bending, and cutting are 4 components whose intertwined relationships I have not figured out yet. So the gravity racer got outfitted with a 20 gauge sheet metal skin. Nothing fancy. All the metal was plasma cut to fit. The nose and tail bends were done on a 2 inch piece of pipe therefore all I had to do was weld 2 seams on the left and right sides. The top was plasma cut out and I guessed at the cockpit opening. I think it was cut a bit on the big size but oh well…quick and dirty.

 I knew that the metal was going to warp when it all got welded together. I was prepared to accept any warpage that would occur before I began running beads. In the end the body wave was not as bad as I thought it would be but it was still significant. The hood has got a huge wave through it, the sides turned out not bad. It is what it is and it’s not getting fixed.

 Next came the high quality paint job. No sense in spraying it when a brush works just as well :). The paint theme was created by the 5 year old designer which consisted of a red base coat with yellow lightening bolts on the sides topped with a couple of stripes on the hood. The red Tremcald was laid down in 2 coats. Lightening bolt templates were created and the yellow highlights were taped off. Next 3 coats of Tremclad gloss yellow were applied. The exterior visible steering and axle components were brushed with semi-gloss black. The interior was left completely unfinished, too much work at this stage.

 With the paint job complete and dry it was time for reassembly. The steering knuckles were installed and an alignment was performed. Zero degrees of camber, approximately 10 degrees of positive caster and toe was set straight ahead. The rear brake was installed and adjusted as well as the rear wheels.

 The cockpit had sharp edges on it from the 20 gauge sheet metal. I wanted to ensure there would be no injuries upon entry and exit so the hole was ringed with a chunk of flock lined automotive weather-stripping I had laying around. I had made a trip down to a local automotive parts store to pick up some hardware when I stumbled upon a set of plastic fake exhaust pipes for $2.99, smoking deal! The pipes were backed with adhesive and just stuck on, they were the perfect addition to the racer. The nose got decaled up NASCAR style advertising everything that the car is not equipped with.

 Since this is not an anti-gravity racer I needed to come up with a tow system. I have no problem towing the car and driver up hills behind my hardtail. I decided to use another seatbelt from the seat project and custom build it into a tow rope. I built a couple of metal tabs that allowed me to rivet a loop into the belt in order for it to slide onto my seat post. The other end was outfitted with a quick clip to allow for easy hook up to the vehicles tow hook.

 With on the finishing touches in place it was time for a few test runs. Other then a minor brake rotor adjustment the car ran flawless. The steering is responsive, the straight line stability is great and the braking performance is fantastic with great modulation. The designer appears to be quite pleased with the build. Although this car will never run a soapbox race nor will it win any competitions it has managed to fulfill its original intent. It gave my 5 year old daughter some joy. Time for me to get back on schedule with completing some half finished projects.


Well I am pleased to say that I have seen completion on my metal lathe stand project. The bulk of the work had already been done and all that was left were the finishing touches. I am actually not too sure what I can say about it all.

 The fabrication was complete except for the light mount. I had an extra flexible light holder left over from a grinder so I thought I would weld up a mount for it and attach it to the lathe stand back splash. I cut a hole through the back splash to allow the cord to exit on the rear of the stand. The 2 lower trays were lined with some expanded metal I had leftover from the BBQ project.

 I still needed to close the sides in. In the past I would use G1S plywood however I am growing tired of using the stuff in the workshop. I opted to go with more of a “metal shop” look and picked up a section of aluminum checker plate. This stuff is awesome! Easy to work with and looks great…I think. It has me thinking that I may need to recover the milling machine stand and the work benches with the checker plate. I am envisioning a new garage theme however it will need to wait till the 100 other projects I have lined up are completed. The checker plate was plasma cut to size and riveted into place.

 The stand then received 2 coats of Tremclad gloss black paint. Once dry the stainless steel got a polish and the toolbox was slid into place. The stand then got moved into place and levelled. All that was left was to transfer the lathe to its new home.

 In the end I am pleased with the results. The project somewhat cut into time that I set aside for other things. The only reason it actually got completed was because I stumbled upon the tool box deal. Anyway…I am looking forward to working with the lathe set a few inches higher, my back will thank me. The majority of this post is mostly pictures of the completed project so enjoy the visuals. Time now for me to regroup and get set for the next job, hopefully I will fill you in next week with the details. BTW the title picture of this post is a shot of the thread pitch guide on my Craftex B2227L lathe, for those of you who aren’t familiar with it the guide tells you how to re-gear the lathe to cut certain thread pitches.