Truck Cab Slim Down PtIII

During this session at the bench I worked on getting the rear slider window installed and filled in so I can sand it flush. I started by masking the window on both sides to protect it. Then slipped it into position and cemented it in place using liquid solvent. Once the solvent was cured I masked off the area around the window to protect the cab. Then I filled in the gaps between the window and cab with filler putty. I used 3M Acryl-Blu Glazing Putty.

Working with small amounts of putty on my putty knife I worked the putty in and around the gaps. Be liberal but don’t go crazy! The more you apply the more you’ll be removing! Make sure it is packed into the gaps.

Before the putty drys, remove the tape from around the window that is protecting the cab. More on how I intend to sand and shape this later. I will be showing you how you can create the look of the gasket or fairing that surrounds such windows and sunroofs in separate post.

Meanwhile while the putty cures I fabricated up a headache rack to protect the cab using some rectangular styrene stock I had on hand in my spares stash. I had an idea of the shape I was after and took a few measurements to get the process started.

I like to tape a steel ruler to the workbench when it comes time to transfer measurements to the pieces I am going to be cutting. Frees my hands to do the positioning and marking.

With the design in my head, I started cutting the components to constructed it. The rectangular tubing I mentioned and two sizes of round tube. Using the cast iron table saw extension wing as a layout surface, I started to piece together the headache rack. To get the best possible alignment I used my Tru-Sander to fine tune the ends after cutting out the pieces using a miter box and hobby saw.

One of these days I will break down and purchase some jig magnets used by model ship builders. In the meantime I use what I have on hand and it works fairly well. After checking the joints for tolerance and lengths its time to start the cementing process…well almost.

First you’ll want to measure, mark and drill the pieces that need it before you start the assembly process. I drilled holes for the corresponding cross and vertical tubing. I found the Excel Bench Vice I reviewed earlier perfect to hold the tubing so I could drill holes into it. I used a piece of flat stock styrene about half the diameter of the tube to butt the drill bit against, which kept it centered on the tubing.

To ensure my pieces are square, I used a machinists square taped in place on the layout surface (see image above). With it secure I used the small magnets to keep the plastic parts in place while I used a Touch N Flow to apply solvent to the joints. Note the corner gusset which is cut from the same tubing. I let this setup for a few minutes, the removed it and applied solvent to the other side. The nice thing about this machined surface…if the plastic melts from the solvent causing it to stick to the surface, a safety razor blade can be used to scrape it off cleanly without damage.

The headache rack is starting to take shape. I will start planning on how it will be mounted to the truck’s frame and what accessories it will have mounted to it. A storage bin for chains and binders, work lights, shovel…there are a lot of possibilities. I hope to have this ready for an upcoming contest later this month…I’VE GOT A LOT YET TO GET DONE!



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