Been busy on Gimel the past few days. I finally got he Range finished. It's all converted to 12VDC for the oven light and a BBQ ignitor in place of the 110VAC electronics. The little Avanti range is officially an off grid kinda thing. I got an order of metal so as soon as I get some Argon for my TIG machine, I can get some new shelves made for the fridge and short of the panels for the front I can check that one off the list.
I began this week taking off the two bottom rub rails as well as the bottom sections of skirt from the floor down. I'm reusing the rub rails after modifications so I didn't want to do any damage to them using a grinder to deal with knocking the heads off. This calls for making a new tool (something that I'm always game for) to drill a pilot hole in the top of the rivets. I scrounged around here and fund a short piece of 1" hot rolled round stock. Chucked it up in a lathe and using a valve spring from an old lawnmower engine whipped together this handy dandy rivet head center drill.
Here's what it looks like in the drill:
Pushing down on the tool as I would when pushing the drill motor to center the drill bit to the rivet head to show how the drill pilots through the tool:
This tool let's me basically put a dimple in the center of the top of the rivet:
The next step is drilling the rivet top with a larger bit to weaken the top so it's easy to knock off:
Once all the rivets have been drilled and the heads knocked off, it's just a matter of removing the rub rails.
After removing the rub rails, I found the bottom skirts were in fact welded to the frames in places under the skin lapping over it. Needless to say, this sucked!! The first panels I tried to get loose I sharpened a crowbar and wedged it next to the panel to break the welds and drop the skirt. In case Texas wants half a county of dirt, they can come and get it. My, there's a lot of dirt collected over time in these things. I did finally determine you could drive the rivet shafts through the holes and basically pull the panel out and wiggle it back and forth to break the skirts free. They're not going back anyhow. The plan is to build the framework for understorage which will be 20" from the bottom of the floor channels.
Here's what Gimel looked like when I started:
Here she is looking all ghetto with the skirts removed:
Pics look a bit strange as for some reason the right side is chopped off a bit. Weird.
If ll goes well, tomorrow I drop the fuel tank. I'll temp the battery and a 5 gallon fuel can inside to move it around as needed until the new tanks are made and installed.