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@Patrick Tipton Inspirational 👍 You probably already know but there is a footman loop to be added to your new sponson. Pictures tell the story.

Missing Footman loop 1.jpg

Missing Footman loop.jpg

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41 minutes ago, M29C3284 said:

@Patrick TiptonAre going to reinstall the tabs for the insulation, or leave those for later after you have primed the hull?

I will reinstall all of the tabs before I prime.  I need to make them.....

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John - that would be awesome thank you.  I think the T24 had a fixed, welded strap in the back (presumably what is pictured) and a similar removal one in the front to facilitate gas tank removal.  It has a separate part number that I found but have not been able to cross reference.  Still working on it.  I am going to put together a quick post/article when I finish my research so we have it for future reference.

 

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Sorry for the lack of posts.  I have been busy building a better rotisserie and planning for repairs of the left side.  Longer update soon!Rotisserie.thumb.jpg.cc47158a9200c4d376c8206359aa8bb7.jpg

 

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I have mostly finished the rotisserie.  I have a few more tweaks to make to the balance adjustment but it is working pretty well. 

I have turned back to the left side repairs and have started removal of the entire left side of the hull. It is a big job, but I think no more work than do a patchwork of repairs. 

My plan is to replace the entire side.  I will make it from a 10 ft section of 18 gauge steel.  The side will be almost identical to the original but I am going to weld it in at the top of the side along the edge.  The reason for this is that removing the last section right by what I would call the "cockpit coaming" or the upper edge of the hull looks like a nightmare.  My plan is to i) fit the new side, ii) install hat channels, iii) install and finish weld the side using simulated spot welds and pre-punched holes, an invisible seam on the top corner of the hull and the original visible seam on the lower hull and iv) use my PanelSpotter spot welder to spot weld/simulate spot welds as appropriate on the upper and vertical hat channels.

I have cut away the side to the bulkhead.  More spot weld drilling tomorrow.

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I finished removing nearly all of the left side of the hull over the last several days.  I have cleanup to do around the vertical hat channels,  removal of the floor in the rear section and then the joint between the sides/upper hull and the lower hull.  Onward!

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Picking up a piece of 10 foot 18 gauge steel on Friday.....so I have plenty to do before the new side will be ready to install.  I am fortunate that a friend has a 12 ft brake and we are going to bend up the new side at his shop.  I will video it and post soon.

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More cutting and grinding.  For those following along at home, I was nervous about replacing the whole side.  It just seems like such a big job and I was worried about alignment and making the new side and on and on.  The deeper I get, the easier this now looks and while I can't do the victory dance (yet🤔) and still may goof it all up, here is what I have learned.

1.  Unless a Weasel is coming from a super friendly climate, the lower corners of the hull and the metal under the hat channels/gussets is going to be thin.  This left side looked pretty nice and yet the metal has a lot of rot. I didn't poke around this area that much before I started cutting, but much of this damage was not visible from the side or bottom.  You could see a few pin holes, but the metal felt solid and I was certainly tempted to just try and weld up the pin holes and then spray something into the area to try and stop the rot.  Replacing the side is a lot of work, but I am super happy to have all of this rust gone.

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2.  The effort difference between replacing the entire side and just the sponson floor (as I did on the right side of the hull) is marginal.  I am guessing the entire left side is going to take less time than the right side because I will spend almost no time working on dents and smoothing seams.  I will have one very visible seam along the top edge of the hull, but I think this is going to be pretty easy to hide.

3.  10 foot x 4 foot sheets of 18 gauge will make a complete Weasel side (exactly like original) and are available for about $100.

4.  You need to find a large brake to bend the sides.  I have drawn several versions of the side and will likely make a pattern for the lower section of the hull.  With respect to the rest of the side, I will be able to trim in place and adjust.

5.  Drilling spot welds is a thing. 

My work order:

- Music

- clean/polish the area so that all of the spot welds are clearly visible (or if you can see them in glancing light, mark them with a pen),

- drill pilot dimples

- for the hundreds of spot welds that you have to remove, the cheap spot weld cutters will work just as well as expensive ones (with the dimple drilled)

- lubricate the bit

- look for the puff of "rust smoke" to let you know that you have successfully drilled through the outer sheet metal.


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On the last two pictures, I thought this lower seam was a carefully made butt joint between the lower hull and the sides.  On further exploration, I am beginning to think that it is a lap joint.  There is a hat channel on sides of the lower hull that is a combined 45 degree gusset to support the lower edge of the hull, then a hat channel with a large upper flange that supports the joint between the sides and the lower hull - where all of the spot welds are in the second to last picture.  The significance of this being a lap joint is that as long as the floor goes more or less in the right place, I don't have to worry about a super fitting butt joint - just need a nice straight edge to run a weld bead.  

I should have all of the old metal removed next week and then am heading to a buddy's shop to bend up the side.  Woo hoo!

IMG_6431s.jpg

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1 minute ago, F.Janssen said:

A lot of work Patrick!
I don't envy you at the moment....

Are you going to replace / substitute it with 1 plate profile?

Ha!  Yes - lots of work, but not bad if you do it in 2-3 hour chunks.

I am replacing the side with 1 piece of new steel - it should be pretty indistinguishable from original when done.  The only difference between what I am doing and the original construction is the very top edge where it meets the coaming/top of the hull....at this point (still thinking about it), I am leaving that and will weld/grind the top corner of the hull.

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These pictures really give a good view of basic hull structure of a Weasel.  For those of you contemplating a similar project, it really is not so bad.  Note that the sides of the upper hull are just lapped over the lower hull.  This means that within reason, the shape of that overlap (ie the side below the floor) is not particularly important - which means that fitting the side will be easy as long as the floor/sponson width is bent correctly.  I "overcut" and cut a little of the lower hull sheet metal when I cut through the weld seam - no problem because it is double thick with the inner hat channel and I will add metal back when I weld the lap joint.
 

Overall, the hat channels are in nice shape.  The pressings that make up the front and rear of the center tunnel of the hull are pretty pitted, but are still fine for the use that this hull will get moving forward.  I will treat the metal.  I am still thinking about using a good seam sealer in here just to help minimize the opportunity for moisture in these areas.

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More progress on the cleanup and starting to think about repairs and the assembly sequence for the new side.

The front floor and bow section around the drivers compartment had been reskinned at some point.  Lots of extra welds and sheet metal that needed to be removed.  Underneath, there are a few doublers that need to be repaired, but overall the metal is in fine condition.

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I cleaned up two of the 4 vertical hat channels - I will prime the flanges (at spot weld locations) with hi-zinc.  I like the rust converting primer better for the areas that will not be welded. 

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This is an untouched section of the inner hat channel.  I amazes me that any metal is still shiny and clean after 77 years.  I have seen discussion over the years that the entire hull was dipped in linseed oil prior to paint.  Perhaps this process explains it.  I am going to wire wheel the cavity and prime it before putting the side back on.

IMG_6461S.thumb.jpg.73955584a5de07d64daf2e0e8ab03eef.jpg

 

 

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@Patrick Tipton Interesting comment about floor skinning. Do you think it was a Military repair? One of the T24 hulls that I worked on was reskinned. The job was very professional.

Unfortunately the skin accelerated the corrosion. BZ on the sheet metal work👍

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