Saturday, August 29, 2009


Guess what I did last night? Go on guess...

OK I'll give you a clue...

Doesn't look too bad does it?* The girls where having a girlie night in last night with Jack Black in School of Rock - top film with an ace sound track, but due to being a boy I wasn't allowed to join in - no popcorn for me... Ah well. I had a productive time with the spray gun and a tin of cellulose paint. I didn't do a very good prep job as the wing it a bit of a mess - a few areas of crazing and the odd blob of resin, but hey - its now yellow.

In other news, today is our wedding anniversary and my lovely wife baught me the re-released Stone Roses album - oh yeah...1989... I was there.

*There is a 1.5 m exclusion zone round any bodywork I have done myself - sorry.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Wing Whim

Things have been going ballistic at work recently, so garaging has been a rare event over the past week or so. The reason is that the software I have been working on had a little meltdown so I have been putting it back together again. Oddly enough I have rather enjoyed the late nights, the stress and the general hectic lifestyle. It means that the team I work with has gelled a little more. The down side of course is that I have been missing the family quite a bit, but tonight I made a special effort to to get back at a decent hour as today was Rory's first day at Nursery. He had a great time and can't wait to get back to it on Monday!

Once the kids were bathed and bedded, I had an unexpected chance to pop into the garage for a couple of hours. I did actually find myself wondering what to do, but that didn't last long, so I took Molly's rear wing off and threw some paint at it. I'm not very good at painting, the wing is fiberglass and in really bad condition so I'm not expecting much. And I was right. Another don't stand too close paint job from me...

Of course she has an MOT and is drivable, I need to get her back together as soon as possible!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Todo posts aren't really that exciting for you out there in readerland - I know and I'm sorry. Saying that, they are good for me, they mean I can plan the things I'm going to do when I get home from work.

Molly -
  • paint the rear wing (suspiciously hidden from most pictures...)
  • stone chip the rear inner wings
  • fix the drivers side window (it won't go down)
  • flat all paint, polish and touchup
  • wiring for the towbar
  • take a look at the tappits (quite noisy!)
  • replace the loom
  • front panel
  • pass door
  • rear offside corner
  • side skirt
  • rear door

  • varnish interior
  • replace the floor tiles
  • move the batteries and gas bottles (so I can fit a proper fridge)
I'm sure there is lots more, but it'll probably be a long cold winter so plenty of time to get cracking. Thing is I don't really want to take either of them off the road - so its a case of slow and steady - step by step.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Tip Raiders!

I've spent the last few weeks sorting out the trailer. It was in need of a few more licks of varnish on the cover, a look at the electrics and a tweak on the wheel bearings. It seems to be in fine fettle now.

As I had my woodworking head on, I took another look at the door cupboards and gave them a coat or two of appropriate coloured varnish. Not looking too bad even if I do say so myself. The veneer is quite badly damaged in places, but I'm not after a perfect finish (I never am!) just a bit of a tart up so they are more robust.

Of course it was time to test the trailer in anger. What should the first trip be? A camping holiday in the mountains? A cycling trip by the seaside? Nope... a few trips to the tip (sorry - recycling centre) were in order. The opportunity presented itself with the autumn shed clean out. We have two sheds which have collected a lot of detritus over the years, and mice. A days work generated two trailer loads and a van load of stuff. The trailer performed really well, and the van pulled it like it wasn't there. So well in fact that I had to stop once to check it was still there! (I can't see it from the rear view mirror).

While I was doing the last trip to the tip, I found this.

A 50's/60's trunk. Now I know I was supposed to be getting rid of stuff, but it does look nice doesn't it?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

To the ends of the earth and back

Last weekend we went off to the wilds of the Scottish highlands for the Belladrum festival about 180 miles away. Jessica performed really well zooming along at 55-60 mph (on the flat at least!)

chilling in a layby
The new bunk and curtains went down well too. Megan bagged the front bunk straight away and we even made a little curtain so she had her own bedroom. The curtains could do with some linings, but I'm sure that can wait until next season!

The weather was pretty good too so there was cider being consumed in the sunshine while the kids played in the long grass.

double rainbow!

The barbie was out and got well used.

All in all another great weekend at Belladrum - next year? probably!

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Got wood?

I have a terrible habit of picking the most inopportune times for doing restoration work on my cars. For example, I start doing bodywork in the Autumn when the weather is so unreliable I can't get a decent top coat on. I also find myself tinkering in car parks (I changed Molly's bonnet hinges on a day trip to a park in Manchester once). This week's inappropriate tinkering is happening less than a week before we head off to Belladrum. Its not major (fortunately).

I have a pair of rear door cupboards on the van which I got from Martin last year. They were painted with thick white paint then had some wood pattern effect added - and looked terrible! Being a kinda "stick it on and use it" rather than "fettle till perfect" kinda guy, I just screwed them to the backs of the rear doors and enjoyed them. They have turned out to be really useful for handy stuff round the van (keeping it tidy). I did have a go at scraping off some of the paint, which just made them look worse...

Yesterday I took to them with the paint stripper as they had been annoying me for long enough. Of course they were a little tired and the shock almost killed them...

Yeah they fell apart. Not to worry, it made cleaning the paint off a lot easier! A little splodge of wood glue later and they were back together.

At some point in the future, I'm going to bleach them to get rid of the water marks, then properly stain them and put on some varnish. Just don't hold your breath! It looks as though I need to repair the veneer too.

I had another play with the trailer with the van too. Of course a piccie was in order. I wonder if I can get some tiny whitewalls for it?

Saturday, August 01, 2009


We got a chance to put up the new (to us) awning today. And boy oh boy its huge!

Rory (for scale) and a slightly wonky awning

It has a nice little inner tent (for the Mrs who don't do campervan sleeping) and looks big enough to be very comfortable. It is also pretty straight forward to put up but took a little while what with it being so big. Rory has taken it upon himself to be in charge of taking the pegs out.

no Rory don't take that peg out!.. oh.

I also had a little play with the trailer. Jessica managed to pull it quite easily. In fact I can't even see it out of the back window! I had a go at reversing and that is quite hard... I also plan to be able to tow it with Molly too, so I mocked it up to to make sure its the right height you understand...
looking good to me...