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Posted (edited)
On 6/9/2022 at 10:22 PM, stuart said:

And Honeybourne mouldings already do a very good fibre roof anyway so no point in competing with them.

Stuart.

Indeed ..but probably no more convenient than the original ..to carry within the car or on/in the boot .? 

Honeybourne prices for, just, the grp Surrey-hardtop-lid is £570 (unpainted / non-black or white gel finish) + £15 for fastenings + £55 for rubber seals + P&P  ..so what's that - around about £660 or more.?  And then the cost to get it painted to colour.  I can no longer gauge if that is expensive or not, because I'm out of it, and values within my head are some 15 - 20 years out of date.  Anyways, it is what it is and one can either take it ..or not.

As for me, well I'll fudge something together on a budget. It'll just be a lightweight / unlined single-skin affair, and probably in three parts.  How easy it will be to fit, and how watertight remains to be seen.  :unsure:  B)

 

I'd fibreglassed just two more layers of 450g/m2 csm (chopped strand mat) on the surface, before I went out for lunch on Thursday, and then trimmed off the sharp fibreglass bards around the edges a couple of days later. 

P1420794s.JPG.67fec1000f035b273c2aef37b4dc2e6b.JPG

^ Today, I was moving the flash mould around into the sunshine and noted it coming loose from the steel panel.  it didn't take much finger and thumb to open up the gap you see above, so I thought it best to now gently pull the mould off. . .

 

P1420795s.thumb.JPG.4d60d0376af0165f1e32b2962cdabc61.JPG

^ I wasn't planning on releasing the mould just yet, but it being partly on / off wouldn't be good ..because the heat, or cooling, from the steel panel would no longer be even (with some places touching and others not) so it's better to let it be free.   I figure its final curing might also be better achieved with both faces open to the air,  but it does now need to be carefully placed ..as such a lightweight mould will be prone to twist &/or flattening out.

P1420797s.thumb.JPG.f5e5d58bad83152c5faf0bbf06597098.JPG

I can hardly say 'Job done' because I just gently peeled the two apart..  Tbh I'd have more of a struggle opening a packet of peanuts.!   . . . but still I'll give myself a little   tick.png.73759d31e60dd6d3917e09a01de3af00.png for the mould not having stuck to the filler I'd used to fair the pattern. 

Bidding you a good evening,

Pete

 

oh yeah . . .

      P1420801s.JPG.56ad860d5f7cf706c1abe600aca0c458.JPG 

^ this apartment's bedroom has 'period' wallpaper befitting a 1970's semi-detached-suburbia home's lounge (..1970's may well be the last time this place had a make-over) ..so this 60 year old lid is now an exclusive  wall-sculpture worth tens-of-thousands.!   Yeah I know., abstract art is not to everyone's taste - but then it may be celebrated ..simply as something that mostly only us bachelors are free to do  :P 

 

 

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Pete - DON'T give up with owning a TR - there are other cars out there - just put the word out on here and elsewhere and I'm sure something will come up Chin up  Cheers Rich

Or these people? http://www.leacyclassics.com/parts/classicmini/engine-components/2k7440.html Roger

. Carrying on from TR4 -v- Tr4A engine, and my purchasing a 'spare'  < here >  ..so that I might get on and have an engine ready by the time the Chance is actually bought and shipped,  we h

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18 minutes ago, Bfg said:

Indeed ..but probably no more convenient than the original ..to carry within the car or on/in the boot .? 

Honeybourne prices for, just, the grp Surrey-hardtop-lid is £570 (unpainted / non-black or white gel finish) + £15 for fastenings + £55 for rubber seals + P&P  ..so what's that - around about £660 or more.?  And then the cost to get it painted to colour.  I can no longer gauge if that is expensive or not, because I'm out of it, and values within my head are some 15 - 20 years out of date.  Anyways, it is what it is and one can either take it ..or not.

As for me, well I'll fudge something together on a budget. It'll just be a lightweight / unlined single-skin affair, and probably in three parts.  How easy it will be to fit, and how watertight remains to be seen.  :unsure:  B)

 

I'd fibreglassed just two more layers of 450g/m2 csm (chopped strand mat) on the surface, before I went out for lunch on Thursday, and then trimmed off the sharp fibreglass bards a couple of days later. 

P1420794s.JPG.67fec1000f035b273c2aef37b4dc2e6b.JPG

^ Today, I was moving the flash mould around into the sunshine and noted it coming loose from the steel panel.  it didn't take much finger and thumb to open up the gap you see above, so I thought it best to now gently pull the mould off. . .

 

P1420795s.thumb.JPG.4d60d0376af0165f1e32b2962cdabc61.JPG

^ I wasn't planning on releasing the mould just yet, but it being partly on / off wouldn't be good ..because the heat, or cooling, from the steel panel would no longer be even (with some places touching and others not) so it's better to let it be free.   I figure its final curing might also be better achieved, with both faces open to the air,  but it does now need to be carefully placed ..as such a lightweight mould will want be prone to twist or flatten out.

P1420797s.thumb.JPG.f5e5d58bad83152c5faf0bbf06597098.JPG

Can hardly say 'Job done' because I just gently peeled the two apart ..tbh I'd have more of a struggle opening a packet of peanuts.!   . . . but still I'll give myself a little   tick.png.73759d31e60dd6d3917e09a01de3af00.png for the mould not having stuck to the filler I'd used on the the pattern. 

Bidding you a good evening,

Pete

 

oh yeah . . .

      P1420801s.JPG.56ad860d5f7cf706c1abe600aca0c458.JPG 

^ this apartment's bedroom has 'period' wallpaper befitting a 1970's semi-detached suburbian home's dining lounge (..which is probably when it last had a make-over) ..so this 60 y.o. tin lid has been upcycled as an exclusive sculpture worth tens-of-thousands.   Yeah I know., abstract art is not to everyone's taste - but then it may be celebrated as something mostly only a bachelor would be free to do ! :P 

Wow Pete better than any Banksie got to be worth a cool million!

Andy

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Posted (edited)

   yeah ! :lol:  ..for the TR enthusiast who (..thought he) had it all  :D 

 

Actually I do like much of (attributed to) Banksy's work ..often poignant, and equally as often - makes me smile. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Bfg said:

Indeed ..but probably no more convenient than the original ..to carry within the car or on/in the boot .? 

Honeybourne prices for, just, the grp Surrey-hardtop-lid is £570 (unpainted / non-black or white gel finish) + £15 for fastenings + £55 for rubber seals + P&P  ..so what's that - around about £660 or more.?  And then the cost to get it painted to colour.  I can no longer gauge if that is expensive or not, because I'm out of it, and values within my head are some 15 - 20 years out of date.  Anyways, it is what it is and one can either take it ..or not.

As for me, well I'll fudge something together on a budget. It'll just be a lightweight / unlined single-skin affair, and probably in three parts.  How easy it will be to fit, and how watertight remains to be seen.  :unsure:  B)

 

I'd fibreglassed just two more layers of 450g/m2 csm (chopped strand mat) on the surface, before I went out for lunch on Thursday, and then trimmed off the sharp fibreglass bards around the edges a couple of days later. 

P1420794s.JPG.67fec1000f035b273c2aef37b4dc2e6b.JPG

^ Today, I was moving the flash mould around into the sunshine and noted it coming loose from the steel panel.  it didn't take much finger and thumb to open up the gap you see above, so I thought it best to now gently pull the mould off. . .

 

P1420795s.thumb.JPG.4d60d0376af0165f1e32b2962cdabc61.JPG

^ I wasn't planning on releasing the mould just yet, but it being partly on / off wouldn't be good ..because the heat, or cooling, from the steel panel would no longer be even (with some places touching and others not) so it's better to let it be free.   I figure its final curing might also be better achieved with both faces open to the air,  but it does now need to be carefully placed ..as such a lightweight mould will be prone to twist &/or flattening out.

P1420797s.thumb.JPG.f5e5d58bad83152c5faf0bbf06597098.JPG

I can hardly say 'Job done' because I just gently peeled the two apart..  Tbh I'd have more of a struggle opening a packet of peanuts.!   . . . but still I'll give myself a little   tick.png.73759d31e60dd6d3917e09a01de3af00.png for the mould not having stuck to the filler I'd used to fair the pattern. 

Bidding you a good evening,

Pete

 

oh yeah . . .

      P1420801s.JPG.56ad860d5f7cf706c1abe600aca0c458.JPG 

^ this apartment's bedroom has 'period' wallpaper befitting a 1970's semi-detached-suburbia home's lounge (..1970's may well be the last time this place had a make-over) ..so this 60 year old lid is now an exclusive  wall-sculpture worth tens-of-thousands.!   Yeah I know., abstract art is not to everyone's taste - but then it may be celebrated ..simply as something that mostly only us bachelors are free to do  :P 

 

 

Looks good, why didn’t I think of that. Love it.

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FWIW the Honeybourne roof comes in colour either black or white finish for £585 so doesnt need painting. Your going to need a front and rear rubber anyway for yours and the rubber over the top of the widows could be made up from scrapyard pieces from moderns. front and rear bolts are nothing special just need the right length.not knocking what your doing but just for a proper illustration.

Stuart.

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^ yes indeed. B)

 I, perhaps mistakenly, assumed most owners would have wanted a coloured Surrey top, rather than (Ryland) black or white.  Possibly not racers but then Honeybourne do a one-piece hardtop (I think without the detachable lid panel) specifically for them.

 

I was out this morning, but this afternoon I cleaned out the residue PVA and wax that had transferred from the pattern . . .

P1420802s.JPG.5359a02682b6d465c40fcf3a4cba8392.JPG

^ surprisingly to me, a little of the red paint from the pattern transferred. No worries, it was soon washed away with a little soapy water and a light rubbing over with 320 grit wet n' dry.

I then spent some time refinishing the mould edges, which is to serve as an extra 1/4" of flange all around the edge. This will make it a little easier to laminate / fibreglass the moulding.  At the same time I trued up the rain gutters and the front n' rear edge detailing of the steel pressing ..mostly working by hand (files, wet n, dry and a rubber sanding block) rather than with power tools, after all we're mostly only cutting plastic (albeit with nasty glass filaments).  

P1420804s.JPG.1e8fd2fce02cd619acbd2585b9f40c96.JPG

^ flatted with 320 grit wet n' dry, mostly on the curved back of the rubber sanding block.  

Although overall fairing (true curvatures) of the pattern is the same as finishing bodywork, the smoothing process is simpler with fibreglass mouldings..  Firstly sand off the high points off the pattern.  Take a mould off that ..and what were open blister pot marks or chips i the paint, pinholes, &/or sanding-down scratches in the pattern become high spots and fine ridges in the surface of the mould.  Take those off and the remaining surface is mid-level and now smooth.  Any such indents or scratches in the mould will likewise come out as high spots and fine ridges in any moulding ..and they can likewise be easily cut back to the smooth mid-level. 

And just because I could, I did have a quick looksee . . .

P1420810s.JPG.f97de4a841d78eebdf4531fa6e9b47aa.JPG

^ despite the flanges being a little longer all around it looks a pretty good fit.   I could of course refinish (smooth &/or vinyl cover) the outside face and be done with it.  I'd retaining the smooth finish inside, but loose the definition of the steel panel I wanted externally.

With the inside surface exposed, the mould presently sits in the sun to cure some more.

Pete

 

 

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I sort of lost track of this thread, but have found it again, and been lurking for a while. 

Impressive work, Pete.

Ed

 

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Thanks Ed, I learnt a whole lot from your own Bullfire web-pages. I am indebted to you for sharing, inspiring, and educating. 

Much respect  B)  

Pete

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Posted (edited)

Not a lot happening on the Eastern front. The Surrey-lid's mould is still curing as i await fresh gelcoat to come in ..and as planned I've diverted my attentions to working on the boat. . .

  P1420842s.JPG.27d960e298dd5cce778141d53e2438d0.JPG

^ the 30ft catamaran is mine, and she was first commissioned in 1972.  I bought her knowing structural work was required, and I've done 99% of that now, so it's 'just' a case of replacing the systems, putting together the new rudders I've made, adding safety lines, refurbishing the rig and most likely replacing all the sails, and recommissioning or replacing the outboard motor.  Well that's not all but they're the things that spring to mind.

 A few years back, the boatyard's  'dry-storage' park salt-water-flooded (5ft deep), and so things that should have been kept dry got wet and very muddy. A lot of stuff and tools of some value were destroyed. Nevertheless, I had planned on getting back to work on the boat in April, two years ago. But just then strict Covid restrictions were introduced and I wasn't allowed (..even though I would have been working on my own access to the boatyard was closed).  And then just for fun I was also told to move out my home.  Moving out of a house and into an apartment didn't help because much of 'the stuff' off the boat had been stored at home, and so it had to come back.  Because that was done in haste, and again around Covid restriction, those things were never sorted.  I then bought Katie.., a tidy and driveable car.   Well as you know "there's always a few jobs to do"   ...now, a couple of years later - it's time to move on.

You'll be glad to hear that I'll not bore you with recounting all the tasks I'm doing, on the boat, save to say that it will occupy the rest of this year (..at least ! ).  I've come around to the boatyard in the TR a couple of times, but usually I'm in the old Chrysler Voyager workhorse that I drive as a (20 y.old) modern.  The boatyard is either dusty or wet.  On the first occasion the former, and on Sunday afternoon, when I came down to do just a few hours work,  it was mostly dry but with heavy rain showers. . .

P1420848s.JPG.7dd59a23c92addd710849421f3888bfe.JPG

^ although the Surrey back-light is still on, without yet having a workable infill panel - we managed just fine. :) 

Still, the drive back home was very pleasant in the freshly cleaned air,  and when I got home it was still a glorious evening. . .

P1420854s.thumb.JPG.c04e2e74697f9d25819853253b4f7662.JPG   P1420856s.thumb.JPG.d0dbc6d1932555088c29ff06a145754c.JPG

Pete

 

 

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Well I got the new gel-coat and surfacing tissue in and so could proceed with work on the Surrey-top lid on Thursday. Tbh it didn't go well, perhaps because I was trying to get things done in a rush before I went out at midday.  I didn't make that appointment because me be me.. I first wanted to do a little more flatting on the inside of the mould.  Looking afresh at the inside surface - I decided to rubbed it down some more with 320 grit wet n' dry and then to go over it again with 600 grit.

That done I was behind schedule by an hour, but still keen to get the job done and to go out. My back-ache, which had been giving me serious jip on Wednesday, had abated quite a bit and so this rubbing down, followed by a couple of very vigorously worked-in (Mirroglaze) wax (..to seal pinholes and provide the first barrier between the mould and the panel chemically bonding together) gave it plenty of stretching exercise. 

P1430005s.JPG.89c4bc1ad0d9e58ce9af8fdd6c2bee43.JPG

^ I then wanted to fill in a few blemishes around the edges of this mould, for which I used Plasticine (kiddies modeling dough, which is better for this work than than any subsequent clone I've come across (such as Play-Dough).  It was just applied with a metal paint scraper, and it does not go hard, but in the above instance it reshaped the very rear-end of the rain-water gutter. 

Next then, as previously described was a couple of coats of the PVA release agent.  By this time of day it was 23 degrees ..outside the polytunnel and much warmer inside. The weather forecast has said 40% chance of thunderstorms, but that never happened here, instead we had 98% humidity. My face and hands were literally dripping with perspiration. Anyway the conditions were not favourable for coating the mould smoothly. And the brightness of sunlight diffused through the clear plastic polytunnel plastic onto a white mould made things so much more difficult..  

I gave the mould two coats of PVA and then phoned my friend to advise him that I'd not be able to meet him for lunch.  Instead I washed the PVA off again (fresh water and soft cloths), dried the mould and erected a dark-cover over where I was working (so that I might better see what I was doing).  I then gave it (the mould) another two coats of Mirroglaze, repaired the shape of the now dented Plasticine patchwork, and eventually got to gelcoat the mould (for what will be the outer skin of the moulding.

P1430006s.JPG.f4f162770ed08b04f3f150458eaa8a4d.JPG       P1430007s.JPG.7f44e32493a5bf78507155ef68752819.JPG

^ The boat-yard was kind enough to provide (sell me) 1/2-litre of clear gel-coat (ie. without pigment) in an ice cream tub I'd provided. It comes as a vibrant but translucent magenta-pink colour, but as you can see when painted on it is all but clear.   I have never liked dark interiors to my cars, and so I wanted this lid to be as translucent as possible. It will probable look 'terrible' (..please feel free to substitute your own word there) and will end up being painted, but I thought I'd at least give it a go.

That was on Thursday. And then yesterday I gave it a layer of surfacing tissue ..bought from the marina's chandlery (shop by any other name) at a yachty-inflated price. . .

P1430011s.JPG.a40ee0400794171ba2e96cf589909f53.JPG

^ Like most other things, there differences in different supplies and this 'fibreglass tissue' ( 30g/sq.m ) was tight and heavily starched. That may be fine for flat surfaces but for compound curves it was a right nuisance.  In the bottom right of this photo you can see how loose my old-stock tissue had been, conversely the new stuff ..which I'd had to specifically cut to the curved shape around the front of this roof was like a regency collar. When wetted-out with resin was of course much more flexible but still it's brand that I'll avoid next time. 

P1430016s.JPG.f0d4c614a26d31f49da96e465ef3c18a.JPG

^ Anyway, one layer of tissue was applied all over and then another layer all the way around the edges to help create the tightly defined shapes from the steel lid's front edge roll, the side rain-gutters and the joggled-step across the back edge.  Again it didn't go on particularly well but it'll have to do.  That was left to cure before the next layer of glass-fibre was applied.

and so onto today. . .

P1430021s.JPG.5cbb28d8a8f68902fd1863b262c367c0.JPG

^ the chopped-strand-mat (glass fibres) layed out and roughly trimmed to shape.  The glass mat is again starched flat and to fit it to the concave shape I hand tear down from the edges. The loose fibres can just be seen overlaying others. when wetted-out with resin these hand torn edges will hardly be seen, whereas scissor cut edges would have shown pronounced edges.

All the glassfibre to be applied (..one layer overall, plus two additional layers around each edge, and also a centre strip) were prepared ready to pick up and bond in place.  Around the edge, I prefer to use a scissor cut edge outside and a hand torn (feathered) edge to the inside.

P1430028s.JPG.7a03773823b1d5244053c7e42f466ab8.JPG    P1430029s.JPG.4c164b561f5b15b8b824dc4032cbd7be.JPG

^ job done for today. The top skin of this lid moulding is mostly there ..presently very lightweight but with edges reinforced. Down the centre you'll see that the additional layer was both scissor cut and hand torn.  The scissor cut edges were overlapped and, even when laminated, are more clearly defined than the hand torn (feathered) edges to either side.  The surfacing tissue is of course under all of this and is used to cling to where there's definitions and to the the mould's edge ..whereas as you can see in the top RH corner of the inset photo, the heavier chopped-strand mat tends to stick out rather than cling to a tight radius.  I've used blocks and packing to try and hold those edges in tighter to the rain-gutter, but I expect to have to do some reworking of those.

That's it for today, now I need to go grocery shopping.  (I'll re-read and check / correct my typos / grammar tomorrow)

I bid you a pleasant evening and a good weekend.

Pete      

   

 

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Can't wait to see the finished roof. 

Gareth

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Posted (edited)

Me too Gareth.! B)

P1430037s.JPG.d5cd22e547260be0ca64fafd114a0701.JPG

^ As the moulding cures a little more in the polytunnel's warmth under the honeysuckle ..and for just an hour or so this Sunday afternoon, I did a little more, starting with my removing the windscreen frame's cap rail. . .

P1430033s.thumb.JPG.fb4cea4ecbc4fb1553a56051d7f31292.JPG

^ This is the TR6 type cap rail, without the front overhang for the fabric Surrey top (which creates a wind noise above 50mph), but with its dip recesses for the securing clamps (in these photos the masking tape is covering the holes).  I've waxed it a couple of times with Mirrorglaze and filled over the rivet / screw holes with raised blobs of plasticine, and then given it a couple of coats of PVA.  The plan is to take a moulding directly off of it and to bond that to the underside of the top-skin I've made.

P1430035s.JPG.c7d3506c9b4eb5edb789b6de86d95b2c.JPG  

^ Similarly I've masked up, the rear window seal of the Surrey-top backlight, over its forward facing vinyl-wrapped weather-seal flange, and also covered the surrey-top attachment holes.  I've used a plastic sheet to protect the car's interior and rear wings from drips of resin. Again a couple of coats of Mirrorglaze and a couple of coats of PVA release agent.

P1430036s.JPG.7308da218aa152af6b14929131f1ee6a.JPG   P1430038s.JPG.74e6c49c882a05d4daa608abe5678675.JPG

^ each are now clear gel-coated and set aside to cure. 

I'm winging it, so I look forward to seeing if this lightweight version of a hardtop Surrey lid, when it's all together, actually works.!?  ;)

Pete

 

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Posted (edited)

P1430045s.thumb.JPG.51d87652505a4546739fd1d8d9f7e1ae.JPG    P1430044s.thumb.JPG.925b1d6f7ba3321c13adc75533277dd8.JPG

^ Surfacing tissue applied, ready for tomorrow's heavier glass-fibre laminates.  Again, this very fine glass-fibre 'tissue' is being used as a first layer - because it's better able to follow the shape over hard corners and down into local depressions in the pattern.    

Often cars and hardtops made in fibreglass have very rounded panel and edge definitions ..and so look like fibreglass cars.  The objective here, is to make a Surrey-top lid with the edge-definitions of a steel or aluminium panel ..which to my eyes looks more authentic on a a 1960's classic.  Only by physically touching the panel (..its warmth and its duller sound) might another person realise that it is not made from metal.

Having said that.. I'm blowing it - by trying to make it semi-translucent !

Hey-ho that's me .. trying to achieve more than is possible with the limited resources I have.  ..But if anyone has a large enough vacuum forming machine and the right colour of ABS sheet.. then please drop me a line.   

Pete

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Not a whole lot to report on, not least because I've been lazy these past few days and have enjoyed reading a book (well., half way so far).  That's not something I've done very often in my lifetime, mostly I think because as a dyslexic my reading ability has always been incredibly slow.  However, as I've written more over these past few years, it seems to have greatly improved.  Still, aside from a dozen or so car orientated books, I guess I've only ever completely  read a dozen or so others ..including the bible and those required in schooling, so it is enlightening and refreshing to now be able to read ..and to let my imagination paint the pictures. 

My reading this book started when I was aching so bad, in my lumber and sciatic nerve regions, that I skipped getting on with the workshop tasks in hand.  I placed loose chocks under a chair to tilt it back and that helps with the discomfort, and the enthralling tale has on the whole otherwise kept my mind distracted. That is until I try to get up ! 

Anyway, aside from that, I've not done a whole lot because the temperatures in this poly-tunnel result in my perspiring to the point of blotting vision (..the inside of my spectacles) and literally pouring out of the short nitrile gloves I'm wearing for fibreglassing ..whenever my hands are upturned.  A weak excuse for sure.  But this is all I've done since Sunday . . .

P1430051s.thumb.JPG.01340d3862e83572641ba5b0020b84b2.JPG   

^ fibreglassing the windscreen header-rail proved to be right pain in the xxxx.  That of course is my fault because foolishly I was trying to fibreglass a lightweight, long and unstable piece of aluminium ..which moves around as I tried to work the resin into the glass fibres.  In retrospect I should simply have screwed it to a block of timber that could be clamped in the workmate. #2 mistake was in my not extending its edges. This can easily be done with strips of cardboard, or even just masking tape. Then once the surfacing tissue is applied and its resin cured, there there would have been a flange on which the 'flash' (untrimmed edge ..to be cut off) would have laid flat.  As it was., I fought to get the short strands of fibreglass to conform with the short down-turned edge ..and then to keep it there rather than for it to spring back again.  I ended up running around and using sprung clips and battens to hold the edges down, along with blocks and weights.  In short my laziness in preparation, made for far more more work and stress than there ought to have been. Not at all a professional approach and this will yet again reflect in more trimming and rework being required, before the part is usable.    

In contrast, the fibreglass laminates over the backlight's top rail went very much easier. 

P1430050s.thumb.JPG.8a81b41e56f630f9eb1646fb6644d794.JPG 

^ That's better !

Today, I was better prepared, and of course Katie  is making herself useful as well. . .

P1430046s.JPG.e1228b7c17391cc3566b02fda7771074.JPG

^ a work-table is quite necessary for marking out and cutting the fibreglass mat, irrespective of the limited work space.  NB. I'm using scissors and hand tearing the fibreglass rather than using a Stanley-knife to cut the glass mat on the bonnet !

 I do try to keep the sticky resin and paint destroying acetone off the car though.  

My task today was to add a backbone spine to the lid moulding being made. The idea being that this will end up as a T-bar, to brace backlight rearwards from the windscreen. And that in turn ought to keep the rear window glass from falling out ..which'll add a little to peace-of-mind when driving along the motorway !  For a lightweight beam I'm using 1" thick 'foam-core' (hard urethane foam ) that I have left over from replacing the balsa-core structure in the bridgedeck throughout the boat. 

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^ I've cut a strip, just a little narrower than 4" to go from front to back of the hardtop lid, and rounded its edge corners.  This rounded-edge will be face down in the moulding.  As seen above.. I've bowed the foam to open the pre-cut kerfs (slits) and painted catalysed resin into them, on both sides. 

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^ the balsa core was then placed, centrally, over a 6" wide strip of glassfibre, and another lightweight layer of glassfibre applied over the top of it. The kerfs in foam-core are to allow it to conform (under pressure) to compound surface shapes.  On my boat I used a specific purpose polyester adhesive to 'goo' the balsa-core down ..and then used numerous 25kg lead weights placed on plywood boards, which were laid over a part inflated air bed - to hold the core down (the air bed of course complied to the curved shapes of the boat while at the same time applies equal pressure all over).  It worked well.  On this occasion I'm hoping that a wrap around of glassfibre will bond the foam in place, but I still needed to hold it down while the resin cures. I'd preplanned this to use the primitive resources I have to hand. . . 

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^ a tubular steel beam (left over from my making a camping-trailer chassis) clamped down at either end to the workmates the hardtop-lid is resting on.  And thereafter packing / wedges between that and battens laid the length of the foam core.   The 1" edge of the 6" wide glassfibre strip that was under the foam core has been lifted up the sides of the core.  Another 1" wide strip of glass fibre was added over those vertical sides and then two more layers of glassfibre (their top edge scissor cut, outside edges hand torn / feathered) placed down the sides and to spread out on the moulding's inside surface. 

I think it went well. ! :ph34r: ..but I'm worried that the shape may be more bowed than it should be.   The pre-planning (unlike my effort on the windscreen cap-rail) paid me back with this task being easy. 

That will now need to cure, before the underside of this 'beam' can be shaped to the two new fibreglass windscreen and back-light cap rails.  And then the bottom face of the foam-core can be fibreglassed over to create a very stiff (..but light-as-foam) box beam.  

As this place is now looking like a fibreglass workshop mess, that walks into my home, I'll now do some tidying up.

Accordingly.. that's it for today.

Pete

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Edited by Bfg
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I'm liking your progress, always an enjoyable read. 

Gareth

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Cheers Gareth, ;)  Hopefully something of this 'making myself a Surrey hardtop lid in GRP' will be useful information some day.

 

Since Wednesday I've continued to potter, between finishing reading the historical novel (..575 pages is something of an achievement for me) and the sciatica, I'm steadily moving along with shaping the lid's fitting structure of the lid to the car.  As it's a sorta bitsy process, I'll try to run through photos as a comic strip ..

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On Wednesday, I'd signed off after having just bonded and side-laminated the foam-core, which I plan to be a T-Bar between the windscreen and the Surrey-top back-light.  Above  is later that same evening when the fibreglass resin had cured to a hard cheese consistency (ie. before it goes really hard) and I was able to green-trim those edges of the flash.  Timing when doing this is quite critical insomuch as the resin has to still be soft enough to cut with a craft knife (note the angle of the blade as it's drawn along) and yet not be too soft whereby the resin pulls / crumbles off the glass fibre strands ..which then leaves a frayed edge.

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^ I released (just peeled off) the laminate from the top rail of back-light, which thankfully hadn't stuck to the paint at all.  That fibreglass could then be safely trimmed. 

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^ Similarly I released the laminate from the TR6 windscreen's cap rail, for it to be trimmed.  Fibreglass doesn't stick to aluminium very well at all (which makes it a really useful material for quick n' easy moulds when making flanges, fibreglass brackets, etc) ..so I wasn't concerned about it sticking.  However I did have to careful prise it off (with thin wedges / battens of softwood) because the glassfibre laminate had wrapped around the underside edges, and I didn't want to use a power tool for trimming those edges for fear of damaging the (soft metal) cap rail (..which is to go back on).  Twisting the cap-rail & moulding, snapped the bond between the two, so the softwood wedges were mostly to prise the aluminium out ..before I could get fingers in to pull.

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^ the new fibreglass windscreen cap rail trimmed, ^^ trial fitted,  and then ^^^ (loosely) fitted with the latches.  In the latter two photos the fibreglass piece is sitting on the aluminium cap rail. 

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^ with both the aluminium + fibreglass cap rails in place, as well as the fibreglass cap rail for the backlight, the hardtop lid (still in its mould) was placed on the car, and marked where the foam core of the T-bar beam needed to be trimmed back.

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^ with the T-bar's foam core shaped, whereby the lid sat down on the two new cap rails, I closed-in the underside of this box-beam.  The above shows a laminate just wetted-out, but before its side overhangs were stippled (with brush) down to form sides of the box.  Once that was smoothly achieved the wet laminate was paddle-wheel rolled to squeeze the air out from under and between the glass-fibre filaments.

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^ while I had the glassfibre out, I laminated three layers over a rolled length of angle (salvaged from the skip).  This is one of two such fibreglass angled-flanges to be made ..which will soon be bonded along the inside of the lid moulding, in place for the door-glass weather-seals.

I've spoken of the foam core, now within a box-section fibreglass beam as a T-bar.  The plan is for that to be screwed to the windscreen header rail and the back-light's cap top rail, and then for the two side panels (over seats) to be qd removable Surrey-lids, that are lightweight and small enough to carry within the car or on a boot rack. To achieve this I needed two more inside edge weather-seal flanges. . .

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^ hardboard was used as faces to laminate against, and to hold those in place I used blocks, with weights where necessary to keep the pressure on.  You can hardly make it out from the photos but the outside face and edges of those pieces of hardboard have been covered with aluminium tape (left over from when I insulated my container). As previously said, the fibreglass doesn't stick well to aluminium so this tape is a cheap and easily shaped release-face for something like hardboard, which grp would normally stick to with a vengeance. The inset photo simply illustrates my fibreglassing up this flange face, inbetween the blocks.  

When the resin of those first thin layers had kicked off, the blocks could be removed and the fibreglassing of these flanges properly done. . .

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^ the new flanges have been laminated against the aluminum-faced hardboard formers.  At the front-end ; the hardboard was held against the foam-core beam simply with a piece of masking tape. Further back (where the blocks had been) you can just about make out packers of very thin plywood. 2/3rd the way back are slightly thicker packer pieces, and then right at the back (top of this photo) are 3/16" thick packers.  The reason for this was that back width of the metal hardtop lid, and therefore the mould and moulding I'm now using, was a little too wide for a neat fit against the side notches in backlight frame.  I suspect the depth of their rubber seal was more than I hope to use.  So these packers holding the flange further apart across the rear, whereby I then hope to trim a little of that excess width off the panels I'm making.  It's a risk and a complication, but hey.. if that's what'll be better fitting - then I'll give it a go. 

And that my friends is as far as I've got this week.  Slow progress, but steadily in the right direction.

Bidding you a good evening,

Pete 

 

 

 

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It's more complicated than I thought, when I thought of the roof area I forgot about how to secure it, so all the parts to complete it are adding up. Yes definitely some good progress. 

Gareth

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Yes indeed Gareth,

Although just the outside skin is seen to the casual onlooker ..who might further venture to note if n' what there might be in way of headlining or interior finish - the success or failure of a hardtop or removable lid panel is in how well it secures & seals against the wind n' weather.  Getting things to fit snugly is not easy when, what it attaches to, both the windscreen and the backlight are in slightly different positions (..between one TR and the next).  Similarly with the door glasses, and the corner gaps between those and the 'fixed' frames.  Triumph's Surrey top was actually quite brilliant for its day insomuch as it both looks great and also mostly works to keep the wet n' wind out. B)

Most Design-engineers have never designed a soft-top, or a removable hardtop ..let alone a surrey lid / targa, and so their evolution has been slow.  In many instances Regency-period carriages were better, but of course they didn't have such high wind-velocities / water pressure to be dealt with, nor the fashionable streamlined 'styles' to constrain their efforts.  Larger 1940's - 1970's cars, like Jaguar had lesser problems because their structures and hood frames were heavier built.  For lightweight / economically produced cars, opening-hood & removable-top designs needed a fresh look, which is not something the British car manufacturers were used to doing ..or could afford to take a risk on. 

American, German, Italian and Japanese manufacturers noted the dismal reputation of British soft-top weather and draught-proofing ..and started again, mostly introducing the T-bar .. which fixed and braced that dimensional parameter.    Citroen of course did their own thing with their 2cv and Dyane ..which cleverly benefitted from their door side rails to brace the structure and to land door seals on (interestingly those door's lip seals were fitted to the doors rather than on the door frames).  Most other manufacturers avoided these issues altogether by not offering a convertible version of their cars, particularly so as vehicle structure evolved to monocoque  ..better leave those costs and the warranty headaches to specialist coach-builders.  

The 'obvious solution' to weather-proofing is to make the seals bigger and squidgy, but more often than not - such seals are ugly. There's also the matter of how to best secure those seals, because many seals are not where one part simply pushes up to another ..but rather there's also a bit of scuffing sideways, which can push a seal away from where it is glued or clipped.

A better weather-tight seal is achieved by moving the split line to a place of low pressure, even though visually that can look sorta wrong.  For example, where the front rail of a soft-top hood or a hardtop-panel splits from the windscreen cap rail horizontally, as it does on most British sports cars.. then as the vehicle drives along - the wind n' rain water pushes into its seal.  But when that split line is turned to the vertical, then the lifting air-flow stream over a windscreen results in a low-pressure zone over the roof, whereby any rain water (which is not flung straight over the top) tends to be drawn out of a top seal.  This is why flush-fitting opening sunroof mostly work.  Any rainwater that does get in - is in low pressure zone, and that can be easily drained away.  Of course, if those drains are too small (perhaps for a car wash), or part-blocked, or if the car is parked on a sloping driveway, then water may dribble into the car.

For me to change the design of this windscreen's cap rail and its seal would have been more work still. I'm working with what I have but am making a concerted effort to keep those gaps as tight as practical.  The overhanging front bead of the the Surrey-lid roof will work against my weather-proofing, but I'm leaving it on because its part n' parcel of the car's 1960's style.  Of course my splitting this Surrey top lid into three panels necessitates even more seals (..and awkward corners) where water might get in.  But my real concern is in making the windscreen cap-rail stiff enough to clamp down without curling up at the edges.  Fibreglass is very useful for creating shapes but it's not a rigid material unless cored &/or boxed-in structures are used.  We will see.! 

Pete 

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Nice and interesting treatise, Pete, and some good progress. 

You've surely been asked before: do you have some formal Engineering training, or are you self taught?

Ed

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Hi Ed - Thanks.  Progress is slow (in part because of the curing time of parts being made) but it will, hopefully, be worthwhile.

In short; my experience is built upon a foundation of formal training ..but mostly I learnt on the job from colleagues &/or from having to do things myself.

I started off as a trainee draughtsman in Civil Engineering (corporate training scheme + day-release to college).  It was just for two years, and then I went back into full time education (4 years) which resulted in a degree in Industrial Design (Eng) - grad 1979.  That study was for Product Design, with basic engineering, manufacturing & production principles thrown in to underpin any creativity &/or style.  Those and my father (an RAF engineer and a practical man, who later went on to manage QA at British Aerospace) gave me the foundation ..to learn from others. 

My first job, out of college, was with Anthony Stevens - Automotive Designer (he had been Chief Engine Designer for Rootes, but long since had gone 'independent'). He taught me so very much more and instilled in me the confidence to make things happen.  I found myself as if his protège, as he designed and we built. legislated & debuted the Stevens-Cipher sports car, the Ladbrooke-Stevens coach-built Jaguar estate and convertibles, and a Rapport Range-Rover shooting brake.  He also gave me a free hand to redevelop his Sienna sports car as a kit-car to be based on the Triumph Herald chassis and mechanicals.  Together with George Elliott - expert in fibreglass (including anti-ballistics) and inventor, we grafted in a rented factory space (formely a canteen) in Coventry (at the heart of the British car industry). Under-finance led to redundancy, but with the new skill set I set up in business as a one-man fibreglass workshop. 

An important client was Burlington, who at first made a Morgan look-alike Triumph-based kit car.  I was then approached by the concept designer of the Citroen-powered Lomax, and offered a business partnership in exchange for my redeveloping his prototype and productionising it as a kit-car, and to produce and market it. This I did ..and was then duly ripped off.  By this time I had eight persons employed and although production and sales were officially stopped dead, I had the facilities and all the sales enquiries coming to me.  Rather than make us all redundant - I had to very quickly conceive, design, make moulds / tooling, etc, and produce and market a new kit car ..in the hope of turning those enquiries around to buy our new product - a Falcon kit car ( Citroen-based, 3 or 4-wheeled, Lotus Super-7 styled).  I did this for another 12 years until I was ripped off again.  I sold the business and went to work as a chief-designer for an off-road vehicle-cab manufacturer.  And so it goes on, until I went to the US and worked first with classic cars (Jaguars & MGA's mainly) and then moved across to the marine industry.  Again hands on, I helped build the plug and tooling for the, then new, 105 Gemini Catamaran.  Then with Robb Ladd yacht design, Annapolis.  Then in the design office of Trinity Yachts, down in New Orleans. And then as Design-Manager at Seaway (yacht designers and tooling for the likes of Bavaria & Prinz) in Slovenia.  And finally back to being a design draughtsman for Oyster Marine, back here in the UK.

I'd attribute my learning to colleagues and direct experience more than the educational system. That mostly just helped open the doors to get me in, whereby I could benefit from experience.

Pete   

 

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Hi Pete

A colourful career then!

Andy

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^ In many respects ..more colourful than I might have chosen :wacko: (..too many times redundant but only one redundancy pay-out, with numerous other times finding myself falling foul of those I thought the better of).  And then at the end of it (retired now) I ask myself  "what was it all for ? ..I seemed to have contributed absolutely nothing of worth". 

hey ho.

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Like the majority of us, all you've done is been part of a time called the 20th and 21st century, carried along in its fashion, politics and technology, with a relatively few who actually shaped society for better or worse. 

Best not to think about it :lol:

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2 hours ago, Bfg said:

..."I seemed to have contributed absolutely nothing of worth"...

Come on Pete, after you started to make panels for Burlington the quality went up ten fold, quite a worthy contribution I think. (Maybe not to the world, but to the profits of the company.) The bloke before you used smoke roll ups that would fall out of his mouth and end up embedded between two layers of mat, impossible to remove and producing a bulge on the inside of the finished article.

But I know what you mean about scoundrels in the kit car business. Anyone who had an original idea in the 1970’s soon found that someone else had cottoned on to it and started producing something similar. Take the Burlington Arrow plans for example. In less than a year there were half a dozen other people doing something similar.;)

 

Charlie.

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