Saturday, April 5, 2014

The Velomobile Body Sees The Light Of Day!

  Spring has shown up bright and warm today so with the newly created larger wheeled cart for the velomobile I was easily able to work outside today on the project.  The winter has been nothing less than depressing here in the Midwest so to see a warm bright sunny day is a welcome sight to be sure.  

The cart as you can see from the photo above helps hold the velomobile securely and with the larger wheels can easily traverse my grass lawn.  So with the velo out in the bright sun light I pulled out my trusty orbital sander and started the first pass of smoothing out the body.  With the body completely fiber glassed now all of the inner foam has been sealed up and is quite protected from damage in just moving the velo around while working on it.  If you have been following the progress of this project you surely must have noticed that now the velo is loosing it's pink color.  YEAH!  I'm glad to see that it is finally turning white with each coat of micro-balloon mixture that I apply to the outer skin.  This coating of resin and micro-balloons fills the weave of the fiber glass cloth when applied and left to cure.  Once it has dried than the sanding process begins to get a nice smooth finish for priming and painting.

With the orbital sander I was able to smooth out the outer body in a couple of hours.  This was great progress today.  The only problem with sanding on the body with the orbital is the sound that it generates when it is running.  It's like sanding on a big drum.  WAAAAAAHHHHHH!  I think I woke up the entire neighborhood with all the noise I was making.  I didn't have anyone come into the yard to see what I was up to so the vehicle will still be a big surprise once I get it completed and rolling down the street.  Also with doing all of the sanding outside I was able to keep my garage a lot cleaner and not have to worry about all of the dust floating around.  So it is all good.  
  I'll have to start putting on the second coat of micro-balloon mixture on the body next which will make the body even whiter and smoother once it has been sanded out.  There is some hand sanding that will need to be done around the signal lights and the tail light assembly but this should not take a great deal of time.  After the second coat of putty has been sanded smooth I will start priming the body with gray primer.  This will really make the flaws in the body show up which is good so that I can continue sanding and priming to make the body as smooth as possible for painting.  So check back again and hopefully you'll see a lot more progress.  One last thing.... I  have been keeping track of the hours that I have spent on this project so far.  The grand total now has risen to 529 hours.  I figure it will be around another 100 hours before I am done.  Maybe less if I am lucky.  Either way I am having fun with this project and that is what really matters. Have a good day tinkering!

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