Thursday, June 25, 2009

Front Board and Tailgate Built

Today I finished building the front board and the tailgate. Everything appears to fit fine and work as it should. Here's a picture of the tailgate in place in the closed position.

And here's one with the tailgate partially open.

The tailgate is built as dad described it to me, and the latch is my design. I doubt that the latch would hold up for long under harvest use, but for the light duty it will encounter in retirement, it should do fine.

I've dismantled them now and am in the process of applying the finish. Meantime, there are still a few small things to do. Additionally, Galena has a list of honey do's as long as my arm, so maybe I can work a few of them in, too. We're going to Inlow to see the rest of the family for a few days sometime Saturday. Mike, Dana and boys are coming in from Alabama, so everyone is getting together to visit and see them.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Today I got the sideboards installed. Now that they're in place and aligned, I can get the measurements for the front and the tailgate. Here's a picture taken down by the windmill.

And here's one from a little closer showing the sideboards.

I miscounted the number of bolts required, so will need to pick up some more the next time we're in town. I'm hoping to get the front piece and the tailgate built this week so I can start putting the finish on them. It takes six or more days to complete the finish, as I put three coats on each side and each coat requires 24 hours drying time. Once that's done and they're installed, all the major work will be complete. As you can see, the hood is off, as I'm working on one of the panels where the paint got cracked. I'm trying to fix it myself, but my paint and body talents are pretty limited. Also, I need to do some touchup in several places, then give it a good cleaning before we'll be ready to hit the road.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Battery Box Built, Bed Floor in Place ....

This has been a pretty productive week. I built and installed the battery box early in the week. Here's a picture of it on the truck.

Yesterday I spent the day screwing the floorboards to the bed frame. Everything went smoothly. The tongue and groove boards Charlie and I made last week worked great. Here's a picture of the bed before finishing. The screw holes are plugged and all the holes are drilled to fasten the sideboards to.

This picture is of the bed after sanding the floor and the first coat of finish. I also glued up the pieces that will be the front and the tailgate.

Galena and I took it out this afternoon for its first drive on the highway. We went up to the top of Senorita Divide and a little way down the other side. The total distance was maybe three miles. It ran well. I think I may need to adjust the coils, as it runs better on the battery than on the mag.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Saw dust and more sawdust .....

The last few days have been spent making sawdust. I've taken three large bags to the dump, and have one more to get rid of after today's work. Today Charlie came over and helped me work the oak lumber into tongue an groove boards for the floor of the bed and the sideboards. That took all day, but now the boards are ready to go.

Here's a picture of the setup we used. The poor little Makita table saw was overworked pretty badly, but made it through. Charlie's help was critical, as I couldn't have worked the eight foot boards by myself. This pile of sawdust is in addition to three bags that came from the thickness planer. I'll also have a sizable pile of oak scraps for kindling next winter, as well as several larger pieces for future projects. I also have a lifetime supply of beautiful sticks for making kites if anyone's interested.

Here're the boards we produced. The narrower ones on the far left and the narrow stack further right are for the sideboards. The three short boards are for the end gate, and the glued up short wide board is for the front of the bed. The double stack of wider boards on the right are the floor boards. The old bed makes a great work surface.

The next step will be to lay out the floor boards, bottom side up, and apply three coats of finish to them. After that I can start screwing them to the frame of the bed. Of course, the side boards and end gate have to be glued up, the cut to their final size before finishing. I'm also continuing to work on sandblasting and painting the metal parts, and still have to build the battery box.