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April 13, 2005
3.0 Hours

One Year Ago Today

Get Back in the Trunk!

Restoring a car has taught me a lot of skills. It has also taught me a lot of lessons and I've learned a lot about myself during the process. Tonight, one thing was glaringly obvious: I'm an impatient perfectionist. My desire to make things perfect often gets in the way of actually achieving that goal because I have a hard time waiting for the results. 

Perhaps tonight's project will explain this better. I still have a great deal of work to do in the trunk, not the least of which are the rust holes that are too fragile to weld closed and too small to patch. Then there are all the repairs I've already made which need to be dressed and ground to make them invisible. Of course, I realize that the trunk will be upholstered inside and hidden by the gas tank underneath, but someone, someday, somewhere may notice the weld seams, so I want to make them disappear. I thought that meant grinding them...

I started out grinding down the spot welds along the trunk lip that
looked like a row of rivets. No problem with that.

Unfortunately, I often don't know when to stop grinding. In the last two days, I've blown through some of the seams and ground some of the metal paper thin. Then I get the welder back out, zap them closed again, then grind some more. The bottom line is that I'm trying to make the repairs invisible by simply grinding the welds instead of filling them and making them flush with the surrounding metal.

Unfortunately, some of my welds end up like this: kind of lumpy and,
once ground down, thin in some areas.

I've seen some of the beautiful work that the guys at do, and obviously assume that I can achieve the same results as a beginner. So I grind and grind and grind, hoping to make a perfect repair on my first pass. Well, it ain't happening.

My solution is simple: I'm going to use some filler. Again, since the trunk are will be out of sight, I figure it is an ideal place to practice my lead-loading skills. So instead of grinding the seams down to nothing, I'll use some lead to fill the cracks. Hopefully, it'll give me the results I'm looking for without leaving me with paper-thin sheet metal as well as giving me some valuable experience. I need to always remember that it takes more than one step to achieve perfection and that it will take some patience to live with the imperfect surfaces until I can take that next step.

Grinding down the repairs to the driver's side trunk floor. Tough to
hide, but I'll try some lead loading to hide the seams.

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Last modified on 04/14/2005

Thanks, Fidget!