Saturday, 22 May 2010

Silver Machine...

With the end caps now back in it was time to polish... Some panels shone up much better than others...
There seemed to be no difference in the panels, so that ALCLAD script on the reverse of one made no difference. Unfortunately the Zolatone had etched worm-like pits into the surface.
Some were shallow enough to polish but others were too deep
 Its worth getting out a magnifying lens and having look
and its soon pretty obvious that some are there to stay. They may look like moon craters up close
but I'm happy to think of them as beauty spots; a sign of her 57 years.
But back to work - Insulation
I'd opted for aluminium foil, bubble-wrap insulation. 
There seems to be a wide choice out there. This was Airtech from Screwfix. 
Easy to cut, easy to fit with a few dots of flexible mastic.
Although its only 1/2" thick its supposed to give the same insulation as 6" of Rockwool.
I plan to put another layer on the inside of the inner skin & run the wires through between the two

and I hope its a little less inviting to those uninvited, nesting critters
The polishing had brought one thing to light...
... that there's a central frame missing. So the outer skin flexes a lot when compounding with the polisher.
We debated putting in a new frame but instead decided to beef-up the cross-frames with another C-channel inserted  & riveted to the old one.
We'd replaced the steel panel that ran up from the bellywrap at the front, inside the outer skin, with a thicker alloy plate so this was then riveted to the cross-frame
Other problems to sort before the inner skin goes back on - the hinge mounts and the bizarre tear (or cut) to the left of the door.
We can't work out how or why this scar is there, it almost looks like someone started to cut out a section as there's no creasing from a collision. But who or whatever made, it needs fixing.
Since we'd decided that the simplest way to fix the problem of how to strengthen the sieve that had been left by at least 3 sets of door hinge holes, was to put a heavy (3mm) plate behind the outer skin to take the weight of the door, it seemed sensible to run this plate up behind the tear too.
Short of replacing a vast panel the only way was to make an 'honest' repair. Its always a tad worrying drilling new holes in your outer skin but it has to be done...

... and the end result; an honestly stitched scar.  And though it'll never heal perfectly as the skin has stretched a little, it should look even better when polished.
And speaking of polishing...

Kelvin's made a good start. This panel has had 2 cuts... not bad at all, even if the reflection leaves a little to be desired !
So she's starting to get a little of her former shine back...
And inside, definitely a Silver Machine...


  1. Looking good, Chris. Endcaps look just fine with those craters--I'm learning to like mine as well.


  2. The polishing looks great. Nice job on the bubble foil too - much cleaner and seems easier to work with than the fiberglass.

  3. Chris, I love your photos. I just look at them over and over in astonishment. You are one hell of a fine photographer!!! The work you are doing is fabulous also. I like the scar in the skin. That's history baby and like so much history we can only speculate on what really happened. Histories mysteries...
    As far as the reflection... well, a tragic turn of events there. Have you considered just not living with the scares and shoot it with the medicine? That is why they used Zolatone in the first place. I would not be surprised if they used the crap and scrap to build those interiors knowing full well it was being covered by a thick coat of Zolatone. These polished end caps seem to very popular these days. A prospective client wanted his end caps polished too but I had to break it to him that in 1964 the end caps were fiberglass.

    Now stop showing those Vickers in your photos....

  4. Nice work indeed and I, like Frank, love your photos. A friend is using Airdex and loves its simplicity of installation. He's also doing the double layer with the wires in between although you're working at a quicker pace.

  5. Cheers guys...

    I'm glad you like the photos. Yes, I've said it before, its sort of my job (moving pictures) but I do try hard to get something that really captures the spirit of 'doing the restoration' (and I know you're all doing it too) - hence lots of one-handed shots (some more successful than others) of my other hand doing something. But I'm dead chuffed you like them.

    Glad you spotted the 'tragic turn of events' in the reflection, Frank - any restoration tips there ? Maybe involving a young lady in a crisp white uniform ?!

    Hoping to get Zolatone UK (yes they do exist) to respray the interior. Its seems their options are limited by new regs. This means their characteristic splattery finish is a little less splattery... but it still looks good - I hope.

    Aluminium bubblewrap is great. Airtech, Airdex, Air-stream - I'm sure its all made in one factory in China & branded differently. But whatever its called its easy to fit & not a snug home to those stylish (well, they've clearly picked the classiest trailer) critters.

    Enjoying this vicarious banter & hope we do meet (in or out of aloominum) one of these days. And if ever any of you are over this side of the pond... a pint of fine (warm) English beer awaits.


  6. Chris, I'm speculating on your mystery scar, which you sutured very nicely by the way. Could it be the start of an exterior electrical receptacle placement, the old Leviton type, then someone changed their mind?

    No matter. Those kinds of character marks are badges of honor.

  7. Thanks Dacia... my wife's a doctor and I'm sure she'd mark my rivet-stitching pretty low but I'm happy with the honest scar.

    Had to Wiki your Leviton comment (we have none of their brand in the UK) & yes, who knows what it was but it certainly wasn't for any powder room access.

    Good luck with his Elvis'ness