Thursday, December 20, 2012

Fittin' and weldin'

At this moment I feel pretty damn good. The roll cage is mostly done, some minor additions and touch ups before paint. This surely eases some pressure from Christmas holidays. Fitting the tubes was easy but it still took loads of time to get it right. And by now means this is to be considered as a "one man job". My garage mate Tomi helped me through the toughest spots. Maybe if you had some previous experience and suitable tube "clamps" or such one could make it alone. But I think another eye pair is welcome when checking the symmetry and angles right. Not to forget all the speculations of the available options that one could escalate the build into.

Since I'm not really a good welder by any standards I'm not including any glorious detail shots of the perfect seams. Instead I want to appraise the borrowed Kemppi mig welding machine. I did not think there would be a big difference between different types but my god was I wrong. This Kempomat was a really old one, but then again, basic mig welders have only gone plastic over the last few years and yes, they've become lighter also. Our garage mate Iiro was kind enough to lend me his Kemppi for the final welds session. He had obtained this machine after getting a hint from one of the Kemppi sales people that these old ones go from "father to son". I can believe that, really. With my none existing welding skills I was able to obtain some pretty damn perfect seams on trial pieces. It did not really have any hiccups no matter how we tried to off tune it. ;) So the final seams on the actual cage should have been easy right? I guess the difficulty comes from the non ergonomic positions when doing it. Some of the seams you can't get to and some spots are just too tight or you can't see or... List goes on. Still, very happy with the results.

Ah yes, and the cage itself is built to comply FHRA specs. Diagonal tubes from the main arc to main frame are still missing and some extra tubes to front axle will be added. I believe the horizontal tube just below the dash is not required either but it does make sense doesn't it?  This set proofed to be a snug fit with the shell. I wish the old RL would sell similar style with his CroMo cages. But that would not be "Unisex" then would it?

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