A Whiter shade of Pale- The Beetle Project

I don’t get much time for blogging at the moment. I don’t do much work- but then, I did take a few days leave…

This morning, with much fear and trepidation, I applied the first color coat of paint. It did not go as planned from the beginning. The first batch had too much thinners in it, and the paint did run exactly as I did not want it to.

There will be a bit of sanding in my near future…

But the first coat of paint is on…

And slowly, oh so slowly, it is starting to look vaguely like a Beetle again…

Yesterday I went to Pretoria to visit a church member in hospital. I also stopped at a shop specializing in Beetle and Buggy Parts. I bought some grommets to put the beading strips back on. And it felt quite good, drilling the holes at the correct places, pushing the grommet it, and hearing that satisfying click when a 46 year old beading strip jumps into place again…

The one truth I did learn- paint does not cover any screw-ups in the preparation phase. But then, as I am a total amateur, I am quite happy with the results so far…

I also applied my other 1% capability skill today. The floor pan is slightly rusted through at three places. I cleaned it with some swimming pool acid- I think it is hydrochloric acid. Then I covered the holes with fibre glass. (Why does the spell checker go red on that one- how do you spell fibreglass? Or is it glass fiber? )

In any case- there might be another exciting prospect on the horizon.  The Rider MIGHT just have a new stallion soon. Ok, not new, also a 2000 model. But I will post when it happens. Meanwhile I am desperately searching for buyers for my BMW R 850 R.  I do have an offer for my Aprilia, but I want to keep it for my sons…  Watch this space… or buy this bike and come and tour South Africa!

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Beetle Project- The Primer coat is now applied…

This morning, after a hearty breakfast with some fellow Word Riders, my son and I had another go at the Beetle restoration project.

It is a public holiday in South Africa today. Yesterday was Freedom Day in South Africa, remembering the day in 1994 when all South Africans could vote for the first time.  When a public holiday falls on a Sunday, it is the habit in our country that the Monday is then also a Public Holiday.

We have finished the primer coat this morning. As I understand it, the primer must now cure for about 24 hours before applying the color coat.

We also, with great tears and suffering, put back the fender that we had to take off. It is starting to look like a car again. Although the many enemies of the Beetle/ Bug will doubt that it will ever look like a car!

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I am quite proud of this door! It was rusted through, as well as the panel where the fuel cap is situated. I fixed it will fibre glass 2 years ago (after another few sessions of Youtube!) That is also why the front fender had to come off- to sand the fibre glass layer decently and get it level and smooth.

I must confess that the car looks good from a distance, but with closer scrutiny it will still show a lot of pock marks that I am not able to fix with my subnovice skills level. But you know what, it is coming along nicely. I have tackled a huge project that I have no clue about. And we are slowly winning the battle!  It might be ugly, but I will be proud of it!  I will keep you posted as we move along!

 

Working, suffering,..

It is difficult when you know nothing, and try to do a professional job! I now have great respect for all the good panelbeaters and car restorers in the world! How on earth do you get all the surfaces as smooth as a baby’s bottom?

PS- I learned A HUGE lesson in life: You have to keep the spray gun’s nozzle clean, otherwise it will block…  I can’t wait to share it with my wife!

Prepping the Beetle for a Paint Job

The past few days were quite hectic. Every little bit of time that I could, I was busy putting on body filler to small holes, sanding, trying to get a good foundation for the paint job that follows… I worked late at night, and started again early in the mornings.

I must confess. it is quite scary to attempt this restoration project, when I have no skills whatsoever. Between Youtube clips and Jim Tylers book on restoration, I try my best.  But I still don’t think Chip Foose or those guys at Gasmonkeys (Fast & Loud) will begin to offer me a job…

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I have bought the primer. I have bought some Arctic White paint. And a lot of water sanding paper for finishing first the primer layer, and then the paint. It took a while to cover the windows…  After everything was sanded as smooth as I can, I washed the car with car shampoo. But it sure looks in a sorry state…

Now… tomorrow I have to conduct a funeral service.  A man I have great respect for died on Monday. I have to see his widow and son in an hour’s time to make the last arrangements for tomorrow morning.

And then- the moment of truth arrives. I have to use a spray gun for the first time in my life… I really really hope I get it right! I don’t have the money to get professional help, and I really want to give my son this car as his 18 th birthday present.  Looking as good as I can get it.

Just a last thing- my father died in 1993. While I was busy fixing this car, I saw some of the things he have done for me, on this Beetle. I got a secondhand petrol pedal, and when I wanted to fit it to the floor vracket, I remembered why the petrol pedal was missing. The bracket was broken. My father has made another bracket, but it did not last. So I had to take it out, and weld a new bracket. I hope my bracket will last another generation…

When my grandmother bought this car new in 1968, she would not in her wildest dreams imagine that her great grandson would drive it one day. And this makes me wonder- how many more years of service will Jeremiah provide? My son wants to call her Betsie, after my grandmother…

 

VW Beetle rules!

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My son took this photo while we were working on the Beetle yesterday. I played with it a little bit on my phone’s editor. I just love how this hubcap turned out!

This week will be another hard one full of appointments and tasks needing my attention. But every now and then I will try to grab a piece of sanding paper and head to the shed…  My son’s birthday is just over 3 weeks away…

Will post if something worthwhile happens to Jeremiah… (the Beetle- so called because it was Lamentations driving it long distance at university…)

The original photo my son took:

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On Top- Weekly Photo Challenge

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_photo_challenge/on-top/

Church buildings in South Africa usually have a steeple ON TOP, with a Church Bell to call all the sinners to worship… 🙂

This is the steeple of the  historical church building in Swellendam (in the Cape Province of South Africa. ) Churches sometimes have a rooster on top, to remind people not to do like Peter did… deny Jesus. See the bell?

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This is the church building where I preach…  We do not have a traditional building. But the church fathers did include a modern take on a steeple. See the bell?

_MG_0145Now- that is a mighty big structure just to hold up a bell, there on top of our church building…  Maybe we could use it a little bit better?

So we decided to let it multitask… It is now the top station of… our ZIPLINE!  Why not have fun too with our church building?  Adventure sports will teach some people to pray better…

For whom the Bell tolls, up there ON TOP…

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Round- Ailsa’s Travel Theme

http://wheresmybackpack.com/2014/04/18/travel-theme-round/

As a Christian I would love to post the round stone of an empty grave in Jerusalem this morning.  But I have never been there yet… Don’t have such a photo of my own to post (yet…)

So here are some round objects as captured by my lens…

The wagon wheel played a big part in our country’s history, just like the USA…

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The tail light of an old Ford (1958?) standing in a barn in our region…

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One of my sons just played with the camera at our pool table… 
IMG_1432Three round objects for your consideration!

 

Easter Weekend Ride!

In South Africa it is quite traditional for Bikers to go to the Eastern Transvaal/ Mpumalanga for a Easter Weekend Ride…

Being a pastor, and this being the most holy weekend of the Church year, I can almost never go for a far ride and an Easter Weekend away.

But today we nearly had a FAR Ride!  A good friend I met at last year’s Word Riders Tour, and his wife, invited me and my wife to ride along today,

We did not reach Mpumalanga but we did ride a good 360 km today!  Remember- South Africa can be quite a dry country. So we love water. And we go out of our way to see the sea, and if that is too far away- a proper dam will do nicely. OK Canadian friends, we dont have anything to compete with the Great Lakes…

But: 180 km from our home is the Loskopdam between Middelburg and Groblersdal. And there we went this morning.

Here is some of the fun- I did not take many photos today…

IMG_2343 IMG_2353We had a lovely lunch at the Bospot- (Bush Pot… not difficult to understand Afrikaans!) Restaurant. I enjoyed the Calzone Pizza, but I really thought a Calzone must be folded like an omelet?  In any case, it still was lovely.  I just wished we had booked at a guest house and could ride some more… But tomorrow is Easter Sunday, not to be missed in my congregation…

But thanks Philip and Marietjie, this was an AWESOME day!