Here's a little update with some photos. I haven't had as much time as I wished to work on the chassis, but it is progressing.
This has been a huge journey and I'm getting significantly closer to the end of the road and the big payoff now. When I started, I didn't have much at all, just a few basic hand tools. My garage had two pitiful 15 amp, 110V circuits, one shared with an adjoining bath room. You just know some day I'd be welding a critical part and someone would turn on a hair dryer on the same circuit, don't you? I had to do so much just to prepare for, and get to, this part - actually building the car.
During the journey, I've learned how to weld and run 2 very sophisticated 3D software programs and have actually created two cars. The first was the standard Haynes Roadster in the Gibbs book and the second, the one I'm building, is a custom version that shares many dimensions with the Haynes Roadster, but is also very different too.
I was very fortunate in my youth to see excellent race car building being done. It gave me something to shoot for in terms of my own work. Achieving a high degree of craftsmanship is a major goal and I feel I'm inching towards achieving that objective. Welding can cover up a lot of mistakes, but the mistakes are still in there and you just can't be sure they won't come back and bite you in the future and of course it will always be at the worst possible time as we know from Murphy's Law and O'toole's Corollary to it.
You'd think with modern manufacturing that a millimeter would be a millimeter and a degree a degree and it would be very consistent across tools from different makers, but that is not the case. Over the last few weeks I've learned which tools are accurate and reliable and which are not. One tape measure turned out to be off just about 1 mm in 500, which I think is pretty bad. However, I'm now past that and consistently making parts and joints that I'm happy with. Provided I get my welds to be consistent and sound, I know I'll have a very strong car that should handle the real world quite well.
File comment: Cuts without chamfer for welding
BR-Joint-1.jpg [ 71.66 KiB | Viewed 719 times ]
File comment: Chamfered and tacked.
BR-Joint-3.jpg [ 70.19 KiB | Viewed 719 times ]
File comment: Complex joint with all members non-square to each other.
BR-Joint-4.jpg [ 67.52 KiB | Viewed 719 times ]
File comment: Chassis as of this morning.
03-13-2010-Chassis.jpg [ 129.22 KiB | Viewed 719 times ]
I was never fully satisfied with the front frame and decided to revisit and improve it in terms of accuracy and fit. Now I need to modify my old jig or make a new one to reflect the changes I made. Once I have the front frame built I can proceed with the top rails although I might do the back half of the tunnel first (off the build table) and install it while I have room to work.