Friday, October 31, 2008

Finally - Right Side Finish Foam Installed

Well, I finally got the stars to align! Well, actually - it was the alignment of warm weather, not working or not working overtime, some energy left to do the job, and some space in my workshop (The parking lot of our building, which empties earlier on a Friday, due to the early closing hours of the Rehab Center, downstairs)!

I have been letting my electricfly sit for a couple of weeks, doing a battery power loss test, checking the losses from self-discharge, but today I wanted a bit extra space in the parking area, so I moved it next to out building while I worked, and noticed the power level on the pack went from 100% to 95% with that small draw to crawl over and re-park the car, so - it seems that there is definitely some loss after about 2 weeks sitting, but the pack still shows the batteries not significatly below 12.8V.

I am gradually getting the idea of how to work with the Gap Filling Expando Foam, as a filler and glue in attaching the Pink Extruded Polystyrene Foam sheets onto the Expaned Polystyrene Foam base.

This time - when I had the final piece of Pink Foam set up with clamping sticks to spread the pressure better, and sat aside, and similar sticks stuck on the opposing side to spread the pressure of the camping belts and keep from leaving deep compression marks, I laid out the belts under the AeroCap, as it was tilted up to prepare for foam gluing.

Then I cleaned off any residue of expando foam from previous gluing of the forward half of the side skin cover, and used a can of compressed air to blow it clean, I started with the expando foam gluing trails, but this time, I made a specific effort to keep the flow slow and of small diameter exiting the straw on the nozzle - this is to help reduce the expansion mass of foam under the cover sheet I am gluing.

Then - when I applied the foam sheet - I moved it up/down a bit to spread the contact patch of the foam glue, and to make it a bit thinner, as well, so as to allow the foam to lay tighter, and better fit to the base foam curves. Then I squeezed it down and pushed it up to but against the forward half that was previously installed, but with a big bulge in it due to the excess of foam deposited at too large a diameter (from triggering it out of the can too fast).

This looks like it worked out well, in that the foam clamped down very well with the straps, and curved to fit will. Of course - the outside of the foam was scored about 30 - 405 of the depth at least, in both a series of cuts parallel to the bottom, and a group of cuts that follow the top curve, criss-crossing the other cuts, and allowing relief in the curvature when clamping to the curved base foam.

When it had cured in place under clamping pressure for a couple of hours or so (the expando foam says it sets up in 15 minutes, and is hard cured in 8 hours), I began to unclamp the ratchet straps, remove the wood strips, and then I trimmed the foam that bubbled out at the but-joint with the forward piece, and began to use my stanley shaper tool to take down the high step from the forward skin, to bring it at least, to a rough, but reasonablly well fit, smooth joint.

After getting that taken care of, I remounted it back on the Truck, using the squeeze clamps and C-clamps to secure it in six places, with a total of 4 C-clamps, and 10 squeeze clamps, along with some foam rubber strips to enhance the gripping and holding power of all of the clamps.

In the end, even though I have more shaping work to do, the skin now looks more finished on the right hand side, and leaves but one major piece left to deal with - a thin skin of Pink (Extruded Polystyrene) Foam to be glued onto the forward bulkhead of white foam. That, and a little bit of aditional Pink on the tailgate area, for shaping to the curve match of the tailgate skin.

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