This is amazing. You are really talented. There are not many people that can do what you are doing. Thanks for all the amazing pictures and descriptions. I can't wait to see the next set of updates. Keep up the good work!
Reached another mile-stone in the project, i'll talk more about that later.
I eventually finished the lead loading, once it was all spread and melted in i gave it all a light sanding down. I did use the grinder with a sanding pad, which your not supposed to do from a health and safety point of view but well, it sure is a lot faster, i did atleast have a proper face mask on atleast.
With that bit done, It suddenly dawned on me that all the metal work on the roof was complete! Even before i had bought the van, i knew the roof was going to be one of the biggest challenges, and here it was, complete. I felt pretty good.
I was thinking about how I should protect the metal work now. I know I need to put some body filler (bondo for you non UK people) on bits of the roof , I was quite certain I would do that first, then the primer. But after thinking about it i realised that putting the epoxy primer on first would protect the metal even if the top coat got scratched as filler is porus. So the idea changed to epoxy primer first then filler much later when i get the whole body done.
Preparing for the primer gave me a lot to think about aswell, I wanted the nice clean metal to be bare for as less time as possible so i decided to seperate the job over two days, Doing one half of the roof a day.
This is just before i started to get the metal super clean.
I used various tools to clean it all up. I used paint stripper to soften up the paint then got a poly-abrasive disc in the grinder and remove it. Swap over to a flat wire brush disc to get into the guttering and other areas, then various twist brushes in my drill to get into all the the nooks and crannies.
I had bought some panel wipe and tack cloths to remove any grease or contaniments that could cause an issue with the primer not adhearing properly. Once wiped and tacked down i mixed up the epoxy. Its a good quality paint from rust.co.uk. The same company that does the rust converter paint i had used previously. Its not cheap at £35 for 1.25 litres but I think its wise in paying a bit extra for quality. The primer has won various tests in magazines and always gets good reviews.
My dad is a bit of a stickler for cheap stuff and he used some cheap paint on his trike which unfortunatly went brittle and just chips off so he has to spend more time to fix it, theres a lesson learnt for me .
When i was planning on applying the primer I had intended to spray it on. which meant sweeping the floor, building a little spray shelter and covering everything to catch over spray. I looked at the data sheet on the primer and it said you can roll/brush it on, so thats what i done. I defintly wouldnt roll paint on but as this primer coat is just to protect the metal whilst i do other welding and will be getting sanded down i thought why not. With the paint mixed up and a roller in my hand, i made haste.
Everything looks better in one solid colour eh!. The next again day i done the exact same thing after work, which meant it was about 10pm when i got home but my fiance was quite sympathetic. I cant really think of many woman who would give me sympathy after spending all night in the garage, shes a good woman really.
So, there it is, the roof is done and I can move on to the lower section now. Ideally i would paint the body down until just under the waist line but that will have to wait a month or two until i can affored more primer.
Heres a few progress pictures of various sections of hassle ive been through as a little montage.
Nearside front corner :-
Rear off-side corner :-
I can now have a little sigh of relief that the roof is complete. But its no time to dilly dally about as ive made a start on the drivers side lower where the side wings bolt onto. Il leave that update until next time but heres a few shots of what ive to replace.
I was just checking for an update. I guess you are busy doing something which is better than being busy doing nothing. We are all still here following your project.
I was noticing you are starting to throw some primer paint on it. I think I remember you are using an "epoxy primer" is that correct? That's the best stuff there is. I know it is not cheap but it is the best. I have used hundreds of big cans of that stuff at work for painting large boats and small ships. You know you can put that paint on pretty thick and it will still dry as long as you have the two parts mixed. You can layer it on by two ways.
1- put the second coat on before the first coat has dried completely. You can paint the second coat when the first coat is just sort of not sticky to the touch. Maybe 2 hours dry time. Depends on how hot the weather is. Hot weather will make it dry faster. This way it bonds to the first coat without sanding.
2-The second way is to let the first coat dry completely for a day or longer. This will require you to scuff the first coat before painting the second coat. You can maybe use one of those green scuff pads or use some dry sand paper. If you let the first coat of paint dry completely without sanding, the second coat will not stick good to the first coat. That paint will dry hard as rock if you let it. Don't paint the second coat without sanding if the first coat is already dried.
There is a small window of time with that paint that you can either work it one way or you have to let it dry so you can work it a different way. After you use it for a while you will understand what I mean. I know, maybe you already understand what I mean, but maybe someone else can learn from this.
This paint is sometimes hard to find and is not usually sold to the public in those big box stores. Look for it at boating supply stores, and industrial paint suppliers. It must also be covered with some other type of paint because it does not hold up to UV light I think. It will get chalky after a while.
I bet the weather is getting warmer where you are, so that means your boss want's you to work more hours right? Keep up the good work, I give you credit. I'm sure you are going to finish this soon. But take you time and do it right the first time. Once you close this thing up you probably will not go back deep inside to change much. When you are done you will have a one of a kind R/V. I don't know how common those things are where you live but I've never even seen one over here.