By Mike Peake.
When I write these blogs, I have always tried to picture the readers and their reactions. Recently this became a bit traumatic when Windy Woodward told me he read them sat on the toilet which lead to a short bout of writers block.
This time though, I hear that Phil Allin has finally got himself some reading glasses so I am picturing him sat in his comfy chair, with his slippered feet up on the pouffe, snuggled in his beige cardigan, a tartan blanket over his knees and wearing his new reading glasses with a string round his neck. A bowl of Werthers original within easy reach.
Are you sitting comfortably Grandpa Phil? I SAID, “ARE YOU SITTING COMFORTABLY GRANDPA PHIL?” Then I shall begin
As you may have already read, our recent tour of the Cotswolds and North Wiltshire took us through my home town of Royal Wootton Bassett.
As we were so close, I thought I would show the gang the unfinished results of all my hard work on Poppy. So we all piled into my street and parked up. Everyone gathered round the entrance to my tent ready for the grand reveal. I opened the zip, pulled back the doors and waited for the reaction.
It appears that everyone has learned the lesson that if you have nothing nice to say, say nothing. The silence was deafening, eventually broken by Gar saying “it’s a great tent isn’t it? Really sturdy.” I’m pretty sure I could hear them all thinking the same thing. “Yep! That’s what happens when a bumbling incompetent fool sprays a car!”
I can’t say I wasn’t a little disappointed by the reaction, but after a good look over the car, Paint Guru Tosh took me to one side and ignoring my trembling bottom lip, said “Its ok. Its saveable that is”, before offering lots of practical advice on how to do so and telling me where I’d gone wrong in such a kindly way that I didn’t blub like a baby.
So, yet again, my report card read “could do better” and I had a lot more work to do than just spray the boot lid red, finish flatting back the car, flat back the boot lid, compound polish and wax the whole car, put the light lenses and front grill through the dishwasher, wash and polish all the chrome trim on the polishing wheels and then put it all back onto Poppy. I had a lot more work to do before I could even begin that.
I have to admit, I was starting to consider the benefits of vinyl wrap. However, I soon put this blasphemy out of my mind and cracked on. Well I tried, but the week’s holiday I had after the tour was a failure because I’d developed a problem with my good knee and was in too much pain to work on the car. After several visits to the doctors and hospital, I received a diagnosis. Apparently, I’m old and fat. Who knew? Emily Fleur took pity on her old Dad and flatted back those difficult-to-reach lower parts of the car.
Anyway, I did manage to rub down some of the areas with the worst sanding marks. The ones on the bonnet stood out like the proverbial in a punch bowl now they were red. Then Anita masked the car up again and I was ready to re-spray the rubbed down areas with even more high build primer. The trouble was, we forgot to tell the weather that it was JUNE for the gods’ sake! Three weeks of torrential rain and temperatures constantly below 14°C prevented me getting my spray gun out.
Saturday 22nd June. It wasn’t raining. It was 18˚C. Amazingly, weather I could spray in. So the bonnet and the 2 other patches were quickly covered in 2 coats of high build primer and left to dry overnight. Sunday had me flatting the primer back and in true bumbling incompetent style, I also had to flat back the over-spray on the wings and doors which I had deemed too far away to need masking. I was wrong. Then the weather closed in again.
Poppy missed another group tour to the northern Peak District. I missed her terribly especially as the EVIL ONE took an instant dislike to me and tried to kill Tosh and I repeatedly.
The weekend after the Peaks tour I managed to get a coat of red on the whole car. Looking back on my earlier coats of red, I realised that I had used much too high a pressure and most of my paint was lost to the environment and what was on the car, Tosh had told me had gone on too dry. I think I over compensated. So instead of getting 2 or 3 coats on, I had to wait for the 1 coat to dry so I could rub back all the runs and a dead spider.
A week later I managed to get another 2 coats on the whole car without too many bad runs except on the bonnet! Some really bad ones here and as it’s the bonnet I couldn’t leave them. It looked awful. Can you tell I’m getting a bit fed up with it now?
So, the bonnet was flatted back yet again down to primer in some places. As the bonnet has given me problems with runs at every stage but the sides of the car haven’t been too bad, I decided that the next coats will be sprayed with the bonnet open.
The weather intervened yet again but not how you would expect. It was actually too HOT! Yes too hot. Met Office had forecast 30˚C plus and for once they were right. 23rd to 26th July it was 39˚C in my tent when I got home from work. Not at all pleasant for a Fatbloke to work in.
Also, I’m guessing it would mean that the paint would be dry before it hit the car, or flash off too quickly when it hit the hot metal. Well, that’s the excuse I used to sit in the garden with a G&T instead and panic at how quickly the date for the Gloucester Steam Fair was coming around. Poppy has missed out on 3 great tours this year and I really don’t want her missing out on that too. What has really got me fed up though, is that Tosh Brooks has just turned Apollo - a P5 motor home - round and got the Rover bit fully painted in about a week! I’ve been at this since April!! Blooming show off. I’ve gone right off him.
The weekend before the steam fair arrived and I was determined to get it all done. So bright and early I was out with my spray gun and having another go at the bonnet. As I said earlier, I tried spaying the bonnet with it open to avoid the runs I’d had on earlier attempts. It didn’t work, I got the biggest horiblest run ever in the history of car paint runs and really horrendous orange peel. I wasn’t best pleased as it was worse than my last attempt that I’d just rubbed back!
While I was waiting for the bonnet to fully dry, I decided that I would start the flatting process at the back of the car. To be honest, I was really fed up with the whole thing and the thought of flatting back the whole car again wasn’t filling me with a feeling of joy or enthusiasm. Therefore, I decided to do baby steps and do the complete flatting, compounding, polish and wax process on one panel at a time. This way, I would start to have finished panels and this may boost my enthusiasm.
Shiny, but not Shiny Paul Shiny.
This method was working, somewhat, right up until the moment I decided to move the car to make room to spray the boot lid. At this point it became apparent that I had a flat battery. So, my new, super-duper 4000amp jump leads were employed. At this point it became apparent that my fuel pump had packed up again and all the fluid had vanished from my clutch. I blubbed and called it a day. Over a pint of G&T and through teary eyes, I withdrew Poppy from the Gloucester Steam Extravaganza line up.
Sunday morning; I was out in my tent to see if I could rectify the mess I’d made of the bonnet… again. I’d been out to buy a couple of nib files and attacked the run. It actually worked quite well and by the time I’d finished with the files and flatted back with wet 1200, the surface actually felt really smooth. You could still see the difference in the paint though. However, I pressed on with trying to flat the orange peel out of the rest of the bonnet with wet 1200 grit and machine compounding. It didn’t work! Even after hours of effort, it still looked pants. So I gave up. The bonnet is the largest panel on the car and the focal point for anyone looking at it. It had to be right. I decided to flat back with 800 grit and give it another couple of coats. (YES AGAIN! No! I don’t know which attempt this is. I’ve lost count. JUST LEAVE ME ALONE!) I needed to buy yet more paint first though.
I was getting close to giving it all up and was desperate for some cheer-me-up work. So, I decided to start putting the back of the car together.
I started by polishing my over riders on the special polishing wheel I’d invented.
I wasn’t hopeful as most of the chrome was a dull grey but I gave it a go anyway. I was right not to have high hopes as I ended up with clean dull grey rear over riders. I really need new ones but at nearly £200 for the pair, I’ll put up with these ones for now and change them at a later date. It’s only 2 bolts on each. Oh and the removal of the fuel tank to get to them.
Next job was to fit my brand new rear rubber bumpers. I wasn’t looking forward to this bit as all the stories on the internet suggested it was a real horror involving boiling water and KY Jelly. For once though, this wasn’t the case. They went on quite easily with only minor blood loss once smeared liberally in the KY Jelly. In fact, the worst part of the job was the embarrassment of asking for KY Jelly in the chemist. Not for me of course. There was no way I was subjecting myself to that level embarrassment. I made Anita get it for me. After that it was just a matter of bolting on the over riders and fitting and wiring in the rear light clusters. It all went very well until I couldn’t find 2 of the 4 screws that hold the light clusters on. I ordered 4 shiny new ones from Canley Classics.
The back end is starting to come together and I’m almost pleased with it. Well, almost pleased enough to enthuse me to carry on anyway.
To be continued…
Filter by Author
Filter by Month