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The Day We Had Some Very Special Guests

10/26/2017
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Like I’ve mentioned in about 17 previous blog posts, I’m pretty crafty and detail-oriented. Due to my love for hands on projects, I knew taking on the upholstery kit was the job for me. I told you about our glue conundrum week’s back, but let me recap:

While it seems that gluing wood blocks to fiberglass sounds like an easy task but let me tell you, it’s NOT. We struggled to find the right glue to use that would stick- We started with an RTV silicone, JB Weld, and a wood-on-wood glue. We decided to try the wood-on-wood and as it turns out, that type of adhesive is VERY thin and will run down the inside of the car body. Even with clamps holding the blocks in place, the glue will get everywhere! The corner areas of the car are a real pill- since the blocks don’t lay flush against the body, all of the glue runs out and nothing is there to hold the blocks in place. What to use if that happens to you? Ask a friend if they have any silicone adhesive. It’s a more cushioned type of glue that won’t be affected by gravity. (Did I say recap? Sorry – condensing words is hard.)

So after we glued in the blocks, we sent the body to paint. The outer shell of the body was all that was to be painted, but we wanted the blocks in there just so they were ready to go when we got the body back. Plus, there’s less having to clamp things onto your beautiful new expensive paint job.

Now remember, we followed the directions of our T-Bucket manual to a ‘T.’ (Ha! See what I did there?) The pictures showed us that the blocks were to be glued about a 1/2? below the flange, so that’s what we did. With the blocks already glued in, and the Velcro strips, carpet, and seats ready to go in a box in the corner of our shop, we were ready to assemble.

On this particular build day, we had some very special guests join us – three of ‘Speedy’ Bill Smith’s youngest granddaughters! In between volleyball camp, swimming practice, and just plain ol’ summer fun, they agreed to come help us for a day in the shop to see what this car buildin’ nonsense is all about. AND they even brought bagels! Carb loaded and with an extra few sets of hands it was bound to be a great day.

Here’s the rundown of what they did to prep our upholstery: With the blocks already adhered to the inside of the body, the girls applied the Velcro strips (provided in the upholstery kit) to the blocks. The back of the Velcro had a sticky back, but our manual suggested using a staple gun to attach it more securely. After a few test runs with the staple gun, the girls got all of the Velcro secured while also having lots of fun and lots of giggles. (So many giggles).

These ladies were MASTERS of the staple gun.

According to the manual, the back of the seats (that also have a Velcro strip on the back) should fit right up along the strips that were adhered to the inside of the body. One problem – the flange on the inside of the body sticks out farther than the wood blocks do, so the back of the seat can’t fit up against the block because the flange is in the way. With a lot of muscle, you can work the seats in and get them to stick, but in this situation, glue might be your best friend. The girls had nailed (stapled?) the prep work. Velcro was in. We had a vision of what the final interior would look like (woo!) and we knew we had plenty of work left wiring/gauges/etc before we were ready for final install.

The windshield was part two of ‘interior’ fun. We ordered two short windshield posts (all chrome and so beautiful!) and a 39 5/8? frame. When trying to position the posts and frame over the front of the body to make sure they would all fit together, we had just a bit of trouble. (Yep, again.) The frame of the windshield wouldn’t fit in the posts like it should. Thanks to one of our handy dandy T-Bucket expert friends, we learned that the inside corners of the posts were too rounded for the square corner of the frame. He helped up grind out some of the middle of the post and it fit the frame like a perfect puzzle. We called a local guy to have a custom piece of glass cut and the rest is history! (Another pre-paint reminder: the holes for your windshield posts will need to be drilled BEFORE painting.)

Guess what? We’re getting closer to being done! Thank goodness, #imrunningoutofyogapants

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