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Ex-Racer Spitfire Mk1 Rebuild


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I often check out race cars for sale ( I know just torturing myself) but ever hopeful that someone doesn’t know what they are selling ( disgruntled ex-wife) and pick up a genuine cobra or gt40 for £20k !!!

but I did think this spitfire was a nice one and made me think of this thread. Spare engine and everything. 
drivers seat is on the wrong side tho. 
https://www.carandclassic.com/car/C1189208

 

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10 hours ago, Escadrille Ecosse said:

So I dragged the old blue bonnet back in. 1, 2, 3 ... bonnet overload..

Having one off the car seems to take up most of the garage. Three must be loads of fun

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2 hours ago, PeteStupps said:

Having one off the car seems to take up most of the garage. Three must be loads of fun

^^ This!

 

That German Spitfire does look nice.  Seems like big bucks, but actually you probably couldn't build it for that.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

How plans evolve. Apparently I seemed to think that this next bit would be quite quick. Meh..

The vertical panels above the 'D' sections took quite a bit of fettling to get them both deep enough and level enough to take the transfer moulds off them. Even then I gave up with the curved section at the front to add on later. I did add a bit of correx to make the flange that exists on the metal panel though but didn't bother at this stage with the return on the bottom (top with the bonnet the right way up) that provides rigidity. Trying to hand layup glassfibre upside down is a non-starter. Lots of filler needed along with some primer to seal that.

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Made the transfer moulds which were trimmed and more correx added primarily to form the basic shape of the curved section at the front and the stiffening flange, plus an extension forward to mate up with the side of the grille surround.

I was rather pleased with myself over how these turned out. Only thing I did forget to do was to form a large radius wax fillet for the return. So had to bodge it a bit by building this area up with enough gelcoat that I can then sand back down later when I made the patterns from these moulds.

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As I said about plans evolvng. I had intended fitting the two final pattern parts of each side together and then take a single mould off that for making the a one piece left and right part. The register being along the added flange. However once I thought about it some more I realised that it would actually be a lot easier to make and get everything to line up on the bonnet and inner arches if I kept them as four bits that get can glued in separately. Main impact there is that the 'D' panels need an extra flange along the curved edge to fix the the return on the bonnet itself.

So after rubbing down the first one was stuck to a bit of glass (using Blutack) and a wax fillet added all round remembering to make it a nice big radius.

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And then the GRP layup to make the patterns off these. My head hurts thinking of which way round everything is, negative vs positive. Especially as the 'D' panels need a male mould whereas the vertical panels need a female mould.

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Only one bit of glass so the second 'D' panel still to be done. The reason for making the surround so wide should become apparent when I make come to make the moulds themselves off these. I hope. But you know about plans and all that.

That will have to wait for a bit though as I am off to Mallorca for a week with my bike :cool:

Edited by Escadrille Ecosse
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54 minutes ago, Escadrille Ecosse said:

That will have to wait for a bit though as I am off to Mallorca for a week with my bike :cool:

What? What is this “wait”? :o

I like Mallorca….. young sir very much likes it for cycling and has been several times. 999km in 8 days on last visit.

Hopefully you are early enough in the year for it not to be ridiculously hot (though had been unseasonably warm in Spain recently). We went as a family in July and it was roasting…… even the locals were moaning about it.

Have a good one :smile:

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On 5/23/2022 at 9:45 PM, Escadrille Ecosse said:

My head hurts thinking of which way round everything is, negative vs positive. Especially as the 'D' panels need a male mould whereas the vertical panels need a female mould.

I don't understand much that is going on, but I understand your head hurting in the context of males and females, negatives and positives.

Enjoy your holiday Colin! 

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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

Back from hols and some progress.

Got the first D panel of the sheet of glass and then made the second one. Then got the parts separated and rough trimmed. Vertical panels. Still need finished before I can take the final mould off them.

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Then the two D panels. And because the patterns were flush with the mould I needed to glue on a bit of wood to each so I could get them separated. Meant to take a photo of the 'good' side of these but forgot. After a bit of thought I have decided that the easiest way to mould these is to do them as panel pairs rather than side to side pairs.

So D panel sections (female) trimmed round the edges and mounted on a bit of sign board so I can add a single flange all round for when I come to form the final (male) vacuum infusion mould from this assembly. (My head is hurting as I think about what stage I'm at here). This is the gelcoat on. The tubs are just to weight everything down and keep it flat while it all gets laid up with more glassfibre.

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Edited by Escadrille Ecosse
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46 minutes ago, Escadrille Ecosse said:

My head is hurting as I think about what stage I'm at here

My head hurts at the sheer number of stages.......  This is probably why I mostly prefer to bother metal with a big hammer..... :tongue:

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Well there's the good news and there's the bad news!

Good news is the pattern for the D panels is made, rubbed down, polished and ready to make the mould from it

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And then I got down to smoothing down and polishing the other two panels to make the pattern for those.

Started tmaking up the pattern and realised that I had forgotten a rather critical step. For a varety of reasons the panels on the old blue bonnet that I copied were a bit too long and the angle at the back where they joined the wings was also a bit 'odd' and missing the curve on the top of the panel. I had realised this and made a mental note that this needed sorted when making the patterns.

And then completely forgot.

Bollocks....

So some fairly substantial modification required

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However trimmed down and backing for the re-shaped flange added.

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Bit of added complication in that the new flange needed spacing off the existing grp to make sure there was plenty of gelcoat to rub down and then polish.

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And now I am in the process of gelcoat and glassfibre for that last bit. Humpf

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On 6/12/2022 at 7:49 PM, Nick Jones said:

*iPhone really didn’t want to allow “humpf” :laugh:

Ah, the net nanny :blush:

Nip and tuck completed and all polished out again

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And got back to making up the pattern for the final mould

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Hopefully get it finished tomorrow and the gelcoat on

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  • 2 weeks later...

Nice work man! The more I see, the more I think it would be incredibly useful if I could make molds of various bits and pieces. Should definitely give it a go some time...

I think I'll start with something a little less fiendishly difficult than a Spitfire bonnet though. Very impressive!

Edited by BiTurbo228
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1 hour ago, BiTurbo228 said:

Nice work man! The more I see, the more I think it would be incredibly useful if I could make molds of various bits and pieces. Should definitely give it a go some time...

I think I'll start with something a little less fiendishly difficult than a Spitfire bonnet though. Very impressive!

Thank you. Yes, the Spitfire bonnet has (and continues) to cause me some angst..

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Been sorting out the grille panel. Always a bit more faff that anticipated once you get stuck in to the detail.

First off I stripped the paint off the panel. It had a layer of red primer with the yellow etch coat on top. Both looked like they had been applied by trowel. Underneath the panel has the odd dink and bump and someone has been a bit overenthusiastic with the sanding disc but I can sort that in the glassfibre.

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Flanges extended a little, all masked up, a coat of primer and then PVA release agent.

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Glassed up. Stck on the PU board to keep everything straight and square.

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I did my best to ensure draw angles when prepping this but even so I was anticipating getting the GRP out was going to be a bit tiresome. And it was. However got it out in the end without damaging anything and roughly trimmed to get rid of the sharp edges. I'll rub this down and take the pattern panel off it.

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The good news is that having had to do all the work on grille aperture in the red bonnet a trial fit shows that I got it pretty much spot on for size.

 

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Thanks Simon. The materials aren't cheap but it's the inordinate amount of labour that adds up even for mass production. And these are relatively simple parts. Nothing structural, or fancy honecomb cores and such.

Anyway, laid up the grille the other day and popped it out of the mould today.

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I'll trim it and sort the remaining defects from the steel panel later before fitting into the red bonnet.

Next up though is to take transfer moulds for the wings off the steel bonnet. So I can do the layup 'downhand' I'll do the flange round the arch and botton first then turn the bonnet over and continue to the top from there.

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Before that though I am going gravel biking with the new big cassette that came yesterday. Should get me up the side of a house pretty much.

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