Friday, May 17, 2013

The Return of BUG - Getting Ready for Texas (Yellow)

Texas Yellow, VW Code L10B, that is...
I wonder what made them think of Texas?  What was Texas to 1960s Germans?
In any case it's a nice color, bright as hell but muted with some gray.  Bug left Wolfsburg that way back in 1971.

It has been an exhausting couple of weeks.  "Almost Done" stretches into an infinity of repetitious and sometimes dangerous tasks, punctuated by life's duties.
But, where would we be without hardware?  Our machines would fall to pieces but for a few 10 cent nuts and screws. 
 The fumes made me conclude: the greatest invention was not fire, nor the wheel.  It was most certainly sandpaper.

Towards the very end of Bug's sanding duties...transformed by mere sheets of paper.

It is a relief to run out of things to do, but like raising a toddler, the next steps of development are always more challenging.  But, breaking it all down into simple steps makes this big project seem less crazy.  I try not to think too far ahead.  And of course this is taking a lot longer than I expected, making me pretty crazy. You just can't win.

  The changing lineup, Don's new '71 Camper

In between the rain sheets, Portland is suddenly blessed with an instant summer!  With a week of 80's forecast, it is time to get Bug out of the shop and into the sun again, and wash off some of that filth.

This also gives me a chance to really clean out the shop.  This was last done on Feb. 4, 1947 soon after completion of the building.  I couldn't reach the dusty webs way up on the rafters.


It was time to pull out the windshield.  Funny, after all the surgery into this car I was nervous cutting into the tough old windshield seal.  Too late, buddy.
It took some serious cutting to get that seal to give way, but eventually I won the battle.

 Luckily only surface rust on the windshield channel.  It was on the verge of becoming serious, good thing I caught it when I did.  And then a mini-POR Party finishes off that rust for good.  "Rust never sleeps", argues Neil Young.  And he's right, and especially in places that collect water.
Not pretty, but permanent.  Don't worry, it will be hidden under the windshield and seal.

Take 10 breaths, 
and back to work.

Light?!  What is this?!?!  This shop is supposed to be a dank Sasquatch Manor.
Bug looks nervous, "what the hell is that?!!?!!".

Thanks Hal.  Some people you could never repay.

With vivid lighting and clean floors, this is starting to look like a good place to paint a Volkswagen.
Kirk has lent me his trusty 220v air compressor, but it is unknown and needs a little setting up.
In between the showers and sunshine, and attention given to a lovely kid home from school, we both travel over hill and dale to amass the right fittings and electrical connections.  It roars to life!

But wait, what is this?  A RUST SPOT?!  Oh man I'm done with that stuff.  No, somehow in the excitement I have missed a couple.  Nothing serious, but it means more dust and sanding into my former clean room.  Clean-ish room.  Ok a room. 
It was a good thing after all, because it allowed me to fix a couple spots that needed it, and give a final hand sanding to the entire car.  It's really amazing how much hand work is needed in a project like this, your fingers and hands can really accomplish some amazing things.  400 grit sandpaper is like magic in your hands as it transforms, just a tool of it's creator.

And today, after washing Bug again (and trying not to get water into the windshield opening), and washing out the shop, she is truly ready for paint.

But, no.  What the hell is this oil stain on this fender!?!!!??!?!
Oh man.  
Well, an hour later it's gone and back in primer.  Only a 6" spot, but what a mess.  It had really soaked into the porous primer, making me sand it down, again.  


Spring is going nuts out there!  Get busy, you!!!

Next, paint!  We'll see how that goes.