Predictably, after getting my little metal lathe, I spent the next few weeks getting to know the machine and trying to make some useful projects.

I've been looking for a small metal lathe for maybe the last couple of years. Not for a specific project, but more because I kept doing projects where at some point I thought "man this would be easier if I had a small metal lathe". The small printing press I made this spring, multiple times on the car when I needed a spacer or custom bolt, or just needed to modify a part in some way that needed to be more accurate than I could do with a hand drill and hacksaw.

My semi-regular hobby of scrounging around estate sales finally paid off when this lathe was still at a sale on day 2:

The previous Battery box repair was just the first step of rust repair i wanted to tackle while the engine was out, and it was a good way to practice some skills forming and welding metal. Since most of the interior is also out of the car, i wanted to tackle the floor pans as well.

I saw some rough metal from under the car, but the top side had been covered up by some galvanized sheet, screwed in at the edges:

While i'm waiting to hear back from the machine shop on my engine work, i'm going to try to fix a few areas of the body tub while i have so much of the car stripped down anyway. Since i'm still learning about patching things with sheet metal, i decided to start with the battery box area.

The main problem with this area is that traditional batteries leak, and even if they don't leak they make corrosive vapor at the vent caps. This generally leads to eating away the surrounding metal, and mine was no exception.

Like a lot of people, i've been working from home for the last few months during the pandemic, and that home office has been evolving the longer i work from home. I started at the dining room table, then moved to an unused bedroom so we could use the dining table for dining (or giant puzzles), but the dining chair followed me up because we have extras.

I've been wanting a welder for quite a while, mostly not getting one for lack of a specific need to justify it. While i've come up with a few projects that would make good use of a welder, the main catalyst for finally buying one was the prospect of a whole summer with no long vacations or other house projects. In short, plenty of time to learn a new skill.