Windscreen Surround

Motivation to complete my windscreen surround has been lacking.
At Christmas I was made redundant. In the new year I started a second rate job only to wake up surrounded by paramedics and strangers on an office floor. A serious seizure meant I will never get to drive my Locost Hot Rod. Bright flashing lights, such as MIG welding or grinding, could leave me unconscious or worse. With my leaky workshop floor covered in snow and ice, it’s been a few weeks since I made any progress.

I went out to have a sweep and tidy, but picked up a hammer and just got stuck in.

You can take the man away from the Hot Rod, but you can’t  take the Hot Rodder out of the man.

During the welding of the scuttle, the top edge had twisted and distorted. Several compound curves and 18awg steel meant it was rock solid, making it particularly resistant to my straightening efforts. It was too tight to get in with a hammer, so I used a selection of make shift punches and dollies. Stubborn determination finally got it somewhere close.

Panel beating double Curvatures

Radius gauges

I have a scrap Midget screen, but welding or cutting close to it is impractical. This crude tool replicates the bottom edge, enabling simple curvature checks on the scuttle. 

I’d previously found my 1960’s screen wasn’t too symmetrical, but making this former showed it was up to 6mm different side to side.  

To ensure an even 60mm curvature from side to side, I used a cheap set of radius gauges. 

There’s the odd imperfection, but the majority is within hair of where I want it. 

As a novice metal-shaper, it still comes as a surprise the simplicity of the tools needed. Especially considering, metal-craft remains one of the most highly skilled hand crafts in existence.

As well as panel beating, I’m learning patience. When you are self-taught, it would be fascinating to see how an experienced professional would tackle the same job.

windscreen jig

Windscreen Pillars

When making a ca from scratch, a lot of time is spent making sure curves flow into each other.

When these are some of the first curves, imagination is needed. As aids, I use simple tools such as flexible 1 metre rules and 3 metre lengths of 5mm bar. 

I regularly lift the wireframe on and off, checking I’m on cue.

I wanted windscreen pillars flush with the screen, similar to a modern car. The curve of the glass had to smoothly flow into the pillar and around into the door.

I was drawing my inspiration from Harold and Rhea Schrader’s Sinuous ’35 Ford.

I wanted something that was both 1930’s retro, but with subtle modern elements.

The door pillar has a 50mm radius, but this time that curve will be split down the middle by the door gap.

The windscreen is back 45°. I was going to have it a little more vertical, but the lines seemed to flow better like this. 

windscreen surround

It’s a shame the Midget didn’t have a screen surround I could have cut off and modified. Luckily, I think I’m getting there.

I now have to cut some templates around this side and get the other side to match.

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