The first part of the session on Saturday Phil demo’d the skills and tools he uses to do most of the metal shaping. Then we broke for lunch which Sandi kindly came out and cooked up for us. The afternoon saw us shaping sills (rocker panels) for the Austin J4. The crew all got a hand in on cutting out the steel and then forming the reinforcing swage and closing it off, doing the flanges around the curve and shrinking the steel. Great fun and we for first timers we all did pretty good though it was nice to have Phil there to tidy up our work. At the end of day one we had two panels made and they fit the van.
Sunday saw us plug welding some angle iron onto the bottom of the sill as reinforcement. The inner sills on the van are badly rusted so we’re doing a modification and bracing is much like a Chevy Pick up. That meant we got to use a zip cut wheel and take off most of the remains of the inner sills. We then tackled the drivers floor. The tricky curved bit Phil made up and tacked in and while he was helping some make up the removable panel over the clutch and brake lines the rest of us took turns cleaning up and zipping out some of the rusty steel. Phil worked on forming the replacement floor panel and that did end up with a lot standing around as there was only so much room in the cab. Next time we’ll have to see if we can’t have people forming stuff while the others work on the van. But all in all it was a good course and I know I slept really well after that so we must of been doing some work. Phil even said we should have another course and as there were some people who were interested but not free on the weekend we may just do that..