In this installment I finish the left rear fender panel. And by finish I mean I had to completed replace the outer fender I had previously welded up. I added a strap to attach the inner fender to the outer fender.
The outer fender’s welds were compromised because I ran out of shielding gas halfway through. The panel was 16 gauge and I swapped it with an 18 gauge. The right thing to do was replace it and “do it right”.
Now, I’m no body man and right to me is probably not right to someone who actually knows what they are doing. As I mentioned in the video I need another 10 or 20 years of welding experience to be “competent”. Over all I’m a lot happier with this replaced panel. The 16 gauge panel would not have worked. It would not have been watertight no matter what I did.
I covered everything with yet another coating of primer. I also put seam sealer in the appropriate places. This only seemed prudent as I am almost certain this will rust again. My hope is it will take at least 20 years to rust out.
I thought some of the welding went a lot better than the previous attempts. I want to say, “I’m getting better.” but I’m pretty sure I’m fooling myself. Most people could probably weld if shown how and a little practice. Welding WELL however is really hard.
So add to the fact I’m saying welding is hard…and welding UPSIDE DOWN is another level. We did not go over this scenario in my class. I’m half tempted to take the class again and do the entire class upside down. I finally figured out the I could weld sideways that worked pretty good. Even with my new sideways technique it didn’t stop me from getting some new holes in my PPE and my skin from hot slag dripping down. My grandson Grady was horrified by the scab in the crook of my elbow. The chunk that got me on the chest made a similar hole there.
I also did quite a bit of cutting and the sparks flying back on me warmed me up a bit. Thankfully my Round House Overalls1 deflected the sparks and only “warmed” my family package. If you remember this post from December 2010, “The one where I catch myself on fire in the furtherance of Land Rovering” [Okierover] I caught myself on fire cutting the passenger side floor panel. What I learned from that was:
- Blue jeans are not safety gear and are a sad substitute for PPE.
- Longjohns [IBC] (aka long handles [Collins], thermal underwear, etc…) will keep the flame off you for a brief time.
- Your best friends don’t want you harmed, but also want to take videos of you when you are on fire so they can tease you later.
Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering
1This is my unsponsored review of Round House Brown Duck Overalls. It is a solid 10 out of 10. They are made in Shawnee Oklahoma (Home of Brad Pitt) and at $60.00 a pair (on sale at the time of this posting) a real bargain.