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redratbike 29th August 2015 09:51

The angle is easier on the eye then the step and doesn't interfere with the cars lions as much

Paul L 29th August 2015 12:11

Roadster, Rene & RedRatBike - Thanks for all the feedback, comments & suggestions, I really appreciate it. :cool:

The step in the bonnet opening is linked to me trying to fix more than one problem at the same time.

Originally, the Cordite body shell was supplied with an integrated bulkhead.

I cut this fibreglass bulkhead out completely as part of my decision to use a Spitfire bulkhead instead.

However, this means there is currently nothing to tie in the sides of the body shell with the bulkhead.

So the horizontal cut is there to allow me to tie the sides of the body shell to the "shelf" in the bulkhead.

The next part of the puzzle is transferring part of the bonnet to an extension of the body shell.

Mac actually built his extension out of alloy and then firmly fixed it into position like this.

Whereas if I follow the sketch for the line from the bulkhead shelf to the wheel arch...

Then I will only need to support the extension for an inch or so beyond the vertical face of the Spitfire bulkhead.

Therefore there should be no flex in the front sides of the body shell.

So I guess that is a very long winded way of saying the design of the bonnet has more to do with the body shell, than the bonnet itself.

However, by the time I actually get this built, the cut angles in the sketch will be replaced with some gentle curves.

A bit like the cuts through the outside edges of the aero humps.

I really hope this makes sense and that the finished design doesn't look too bad.

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Saturday's Bonnet Work - Part 1:
Thankfully I was able to undo the tek screws holding the bonnet to the body shell with a screwdriver.
( Which meant I didn't have to make any noise first thing on a Saturday morning. )

Working around the screws holding the two sections together is a very fiddly process.

As it requires lots of small strips of matting in various sizes to fill in the gaps.

This was round one.

This was my waste pile after round three.

And this is how I have left the bonnet to set for a while.

Once it has cure sufficiently, I will start removing the screws and adding some more layers of matting.

I really hope I can get this middle section completed (on one side) before the rain promised for this afternoon arrives. :pray:

I'll be back with Part 2 later on today, Paul. :)

Paul L 29th August 2015 15:14

Saturday's Bonnet Work - Part 2:
With the fibreglass set pretty solid, I removed the brackets holding the two sections together.
( Although I added a small bracket to the edge of the driver's side. )

Then I ground away any raised bit of matting that had gathered around the screws on the underside.

Then I had another two 'glassing sessions.
( One to cover the screw holes & another to cross both sides of the join, also covering the screw holes. )

I wasn't going to chance another session today, so I left that to set and started the cleaning up process.

I must confess I really hate the fact that stray matting strands seem to get everywhere. :rant:

Later on, in a rare bit of good timing, I had just stepped outside to check if everything was solid, when the rain started.

So I quickly, but carefully, lowered the bonnet and you can see that the join already works pretty well at the centre.
( Ignoring the fact the foam is keeping it high at the back and there is still a lot of finishing off work to do. )

I just had time to screw the corners of the new edge back to the body shell before the covers went back on.

Given the forecast, I don't think I will get the chance to make any progress tomorrow either. :icon_sad:

So until next time, take care, Paul. :)

The work Micky1Mo did to join a Spitfire & Sammio bonnet together gives me hope I can pull this off.

Although, as I said earlier, the outside corners will need some radical surgery before they fit properly.

Roadster 30th August 2015 08:36

I understand now Paul
Its a much bigger issue than I thought but you are making good head way with it and the shape is forming nicely.
The fun of throwing the covers over as a shower passes :( Im still building a beach buggy outside so I sympathise with you

Paul L 30th August 2015 21:00

Roadster - No worries, I'm barely able to keep up with what I am planning to do myself. :rolleyes:

I went for another run around the block this morning and spend most of the time looking at bonnet gaps.

In the end my wife's Micra and a few other small cars were the only ones with a "cut" through to the wheel arch.
( Ignore the gap caused by someone hitting the bumper in a car park and driving off. :icon_evil: )

And even that is pointing in the wrong direction compared to my dodgy sketch.

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Limited Sunday Service:
As I can't bring myself to fire up noisy tools before mid-day on a Sunday, I spend some time "thinking" this morning.

I clamped the bottom of the bonnet to the body shell just to get a better look at the gap I needed to bridge.

After 12 noon, I was prepared to do some gentle drilling to counter sink the screw holes.

Before filling the screw holes and the gaps in between the slits with fibreglass filler.

It was 1 pm before I could bring myself to get the angle grinder going on the gap between the two sections.



As I was now making noise, I also cut the new passenger corner piece into three sections.

I also extended the length of the slits in the bonnet on this side too.

So at some point, I will be able to re-attached the new edge sections to the existing bonnet something like this.
( A combination of pushing one section in, and the other section out, until they meet in the middle. )

But for today, I just had time to add three layers of fibreglass matting to the gap on the sunny side.

Then it was a bit of a rush to clean up, so we could all go to my mate's house for a family BBQ. :cool:

If I get the chance tomorrow, I will finish off 'glassing the join on the sunny side.

Then I will make a start on the passenger side corner and see how that turns out.

So until then, take care, Paul. :)

a big scary monster 1st September 2015 10:54

Hi Paul, I like the almost imaginary finished shape that can be gleemed with foresight on your picture and if one screws ones eyes up whilst filling cheeks full of air and standing on one leg I can see it finished in green and yellow long before its required for the prom drive. I hope you break the back of the bonnet scuttle blend before you go back to work and the weather turns as I feel it will be a huge psychological boost. Ed.

Paul L 1st September 2015 17:37

Ed - Cheers. :cool:

Completing this final round of major body work changes will certainly be a key milestone in the build.

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Bank Holiday Monday:

A complete wash out. :icon_sad:

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You can NOT be serious!
Without doubt, this has been one of the most frustrating / soul destroying days of this build. :icon_evil:

Started off sanding down any excess filler and fibreglass around the join in the centre of the bonnet.

But within minutes of starting a heavy shower arrived out of no where.

< Rain Break #1 >

Once it was dry enough, I finished off the sanding.

I also taped the three cut off sections of new rear edge back on to the scuttle.

In an attempt to see how this corner could be rebuilt, but I didn't get too far before...

< Rain Break #2 >

Next time I was out I cut another section off the new rear bonnet edge and started the process of putting it back together.

The metal strips allowed me to reshape the existing arch, yet still keep a curve (ish).

You can see here that there is still a shallow "valley" between the arch & the centre of the bonnet.

This will eventually be blended in (I hope) to the rear lip profile.

But for now, I wanted to add some fibreglass matting to the outside of the bonnet slits to help hold the corner in place.
( Then I can attach the rear edge sections back to this new curved profile. )

Unfortunately, no sooner had I cut out the matting required, when the rain returned.

Thankfully I was able to get everything thrown into the front porch just in time.

< Rain Break #3 >

It was actually very sunny when I went back outside to put some matting on.

However, I had a complete sense of humour failure when the rain returned after I started putting the resin soaked matting into place. :rant:

I ended up working under the tarpaulin just to finish the job, but I ended up looking like a drowned rat.
( Especially as I had to spend a bit of time cleaning the brush I was using. )

< Rain Break #4 >

When it was dry enough, I could peel back the covers to see if it was worth getting soaked. :rolleyes:

I had added an extra layer of matting along the join in the centre of the bonnet.

Working in semi-darkness under the tarpaulin explains the wide band of resin over the top of a thin layer of matting.

I even got away with the fixing of the wheel arch curve on the outside.

If you look closely, you can see some rain drops on the lower section of bonnet, but the hardboard brace/bracket is bone dry. :cool:

The sun stayed out long enough to help cure these areas enough for me to put the covers back on.
( After I had dried them out as well. )

To be honest, I just could not face taking another chance with the weather today, as I was cold, wet and seriously fed up! :icon_sad:

Obviously the rain returned after I had packed everything away for the night.

But even so, this has been a long day with very little to show for it.

Hopefully it will be a bit drier tomorrow and I can start piecing the passenger corner back together

Cheers, Paul. :)

Paul L 2nd September 2015 17:30

A Better Day:
Thankfully the fibreglass that I finished applying in the rain (under a tarpaulin) has set nicely, with no issues. :cool:

So with the outside of the wheel arch curve fixed, I could make a start on the inside.

Ground back one corner of the new edge as it was curved inwards.

Added matting to the inside of the wheel arch curve and bridged the joins on either side of the current "gap" in the bonnet.

When that was set, I removed the brackets from the outside of the wheel arch curve, but left the supports in place at the sides.

My attempts to put the rest of the passenger corner back together neatly, ended up looking like a complete mess. :icon_sad:

But at least it gives me a starting point to work on the underside.

As long as I can get the basic shape in place, I know I can fine tune the detail later on.

I cut out all the strips I would need to start joining this mess back together.

But was getting frustrated that the wind had picked up and was blowing everything around.

However, as I looked up I realised the wind was the least of my problems.

Given yesterday's debacle, I just packed everything into the front porch as quickly as possible.

I even had time to get the washing in off the line before the rain came. :cool:

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It was quite a wait before it was safe to return outside and add the fibreglass matting.

While that was setting, I sanded down the sunny side of the join at the bonnet centre.

The masking tape "patch" is to remind me where a fibreglass bubble needs to be sorted out.

As I wanted to get a better look at the overall shape by giving this area a quick dusting of etch primer.
( Sorry the photo is a bit blurred. )

Then I removed the assortment of brackets holding the passenger corner in place.
( And sanded down the areas around the screw holes. )

The other side is such a mess, I will be not showing it until after I have attacked it with the grinder.

This allowed me to lower the bonnet and have a look at the centre section, although the photos are not very clear.
( And the bonnet is still sitting higher than the scuttle at the moment. )

Clearly, there is still a lot of work to do, but it is definitely getting there, albeit slowly.

Final job of the day was to add some matting over the screw holes and extra matting across the joins.

I'll leave that to cure fully overnight before I start to tackle the sunny side of this corner section.

So until next time, take care, Paul. :)

Paul L 3rd September 2015 14:54

I've now spent a lot of time & effort trying to get the original Cordite bonnet to fit/match the profile of my home made scuttle.

At this point, I think it is fair to say that making a mould of the entire scuttle was not the most efficient way of achieving this. :rolleyes:

Whilst I have done a lot of fibreglass work on this build, almost all of it has involved the use of formers, rather than moulds.

Although my initial problem was that I couldn't even think of a way to make a former to match the profile of the scuttle.

I certainly knew that the way the scuttle tapered at the corners meant that the new edge wouldn't be a perfect match.

But I didn't really think through the impact of extending the depth of the mould at the corners, which actually made this a lot worse.

So if I was doing this again, I would still use a mould for the centre section, as that has worked well.

However, even just covering some modelling mesh with parcel tape would provide a better initial shape for the corners.

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Warts and all:
As hindsight was not available at the time, here is the current sorry state of the 'sunny side' of the passenger corner.

I actually couldn't face taking a photo of this yesterday as it was such a mess.

But given all the horrors of this build so far, what is another maimed section of fibreglass between friends? :icon_wink:

The first job was to grind away all the joins, high spots and the rough bits of fibreglass stuffed in the gaps.
( Which is just a temporary way of getting a better join on the other side. )

I also counter sunk the screw holes.

Then I added the first two thin layers of fibreglass matting into the joins.

I also added a patch to the centre of the bonnet, where I had ground out an air bubble earlier.

Once this was set, I then ground away the fibreglass matting I had added to the outside of the wheel arch to fit shape.

This allowed me to clean out the slits and apply fibreglass filler to these gaps and to the screw holes.

When this was set enough, I was able to sand the filler down to leave me with the basic contours.

If you follow Ed's (A Big Scary Monster) advice from the other day and squint, you can just about see the final shape developing.
( Well, at least on the passenger side. )

I then added a 3rd layer of matting along the joins.

But no sooner had I taken the photo, when I felt a drop of rain.

So I added some blocks to the bonnet to keep the covers from touching the fibreglass.

As it happens, I had too many other things to do today, so that was a handy place to stop.

Until next time, take care, Paul. :)

jones 3rd September 2015 22:00

Paul, I am new to fibreglass with this build but can you not back fill to an extent and shape the sunny side and backside and use glass sheet across the both sides after shaping to create one complete to tie it together? I think it looks good and definite progress with a touch of being to harsh on yourself. Keep going it's coming together

a big scary monster 3rd September 2015 23:36

I can't wait till you get some symmetry and primer I think it should look all rather grown up and elegant. Ed

Paul L 4th September 2015 05:31

Jones - Hi Ian, sorry if my rambling posts haven't made the basic plan clear, but your reply sums the general ideal.

As I started with a gap between two separate fibreglass sections.

Then bridged that gap by using fibreglass matting on the underside, covering a large area either side of the join in overlapping layers.

Whilst this creates a pretty solid section on one side, the original gap is a potential weakness on the sunny side.

Rather than just use filler, I ground this out on either side and then added more matting wider that the original gap to add back strength across the join.

At this point, the bonnet has effectively become a single unit with no "fault line", just needing some filler to hide any evidence of the "surgery".

However, in this case, the bonnet will get some extra work, just to be on the safe side, given that it can be left in the (less supported) open position.

So I will be add some fibreglass bracing across the full width of the underside so that it holds its shape better, reducing any natural flex.

Also, once the body shell is bonded to the internal framework, I will add a extra layer of matting along the rear bonnet edge.

But whether this matting is on the sunny side, underside, or a mixture of both, depends on how well the scuttle & bonnet actually lines up.

Then the final body work shaping can take place until the body shell & bonnet look like they form part of the same car.

Overall, I am really pleased with how this is coming along, as I had no idea if I could actually pulls this off when I started. :cool:

I guess my frustration with the passenger corner is linked to all the recent rain delays. :icon_sad:

But the simple fact is I couldn't think of a better way of doing this, so even though it is slow progress, at least it is still progress.

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Ed - Symmetry? :eek:

Don't start using the "S" work when referring to this build! :icon_wink:

Jokes aside, the thing I need to remember is that this car will still give a good "first impression", despite its faults.

So whilst I know all the areas that are not quite right, this is largely a case of not seeing the wood for the trees.

I am also sure that some BRG paint will complete the transformation into the essence of a 1950s race car. :cool:

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Hopefully I will get a chance to make a start on the other corner of the bonnet today.

Cheers, Paul. :)

Roadster 4th September 2015 06:33


Don't worry about symmetry Paul
Cars back then especially race cars were nowhere near symmetrical.

They were hand formed and out by huge margins that you would never accept.
Im talking in inches not millimetres

The rule here is if it looks right it is right.
Your car looks great, I know when you spend so much time looking at it you get ultra critical.
The route you have taken is labour intensive but you are building a Sammio so you already committed that you would have a lot of work to do.

Are there any other Sammios close to you that will take you for a spin to remind you why your working so hard. :)
It took me 3 years to build my Roadster at the end I had forgot it was a car, it had turned into just something I worked on.

It was worth it when I finally got to drive it.

Which BRG are you planning?
I ended up using "John Lewis" green on the roadster but in its earlier paint job I used Connaught green and I should have stuck with it. very deep and almost black in the shadows.

Paul L 4th September 2015 08:15

Roadster - Thanks for the kind words. :cool:

Actually, this comment really struck a cord with me:


Originally Posted by Roadster (Post 70955)
... It took me 3 years to build my Roadster at the end I had forgot it was a car, it had turned into just something I worked on...

As these have been long periods of this build that have felt like a chore, rather than an enjoyable hobby.

Thankfully, I am finally on the home straight in terms of major modifications, so things are slowly looking up.

Here are the paint colours I have bought, Dark Brunswick Green + Signal Yellow.

As the plan is to have a yellow band on the nose, similar to this one.

Anyway, the sun has appeared outside, so that is where I should be too.

Cheers, Paul. :)

Roadster 4th September 2015 08:31

Great colour scheme - I look forward to seeing it finished.

I found the greatest compliment was that when people used to come and chat about what they thought the roadster was. No one ever realised the time and effort or the blood sweat and tears that had gone into it.

They just appreciated that it was pretty and they said they would be happy to own it and I could see all the faults I was unhappy with :)

Paul L 4th September 2015 15:26

Roadster - Quite by chance, I actually had a number of people stop for a chat about the car today.

Some were "regulars" who have been following my progress for years and others were seeing it for the first time.

Without a doubt, it is clear that this car gives a great first impression. :cool:

So I just need to keep this in mind as I work my way through the modification work.

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That Friday Feeling - Part 1:
First job of the day was to check the fibreglass work I had left setting under the tarpaulin had cured properly.

Thankfully it had. :cool:

A quick trim off the edges left it looking like this.

Currently, the passenger corner is still a bit "bumpy".

However, this was Swifty's "standard" join, before he started to even the differences out.

The scuttle tapers in more on the passenger side, compared to the driver's.

So part of my plan is to build up the scuttle at the same time as I try to blend in the bonnet.

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Then it was time to start fixing the driver's side.

After trimming a bit off the bonnet and a bit off the new edge, I had this.

The angle of the photo makes the gap look a lot bigger than it actually is.

Part of the reason that this corner is not as bad as the passenger side, it that this side was completely cut off and rejoined a while back.

So the area of the original cut & shut work has left this extra gap here.

After cutting a couple of slits, I could fix this section into position.

It was a similar story at the outer edge.

So the first fibre glassing session fixed the two edges of this section in place.

When that was set, I could then have a look at the remaining gap.

I cut some slits and increased the gaps at some ends to help me bend it to the right shape.

An assortment of brackets held it all together.

Before the second fibreglass session of the day bridged the gaps on the underside.

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At this point I was buzzed by a Police helicopter. :eek:

You can also see the clouds overhead, which seemed to come and go and constantly threaten rain.

End of Part 1...

Paul L 4th September 2015 15:27

Part 2:
I didn't add any matting to the sunny side of the arch this time, so I will leave all the brackets in place over night, while it all cures.

Then I can remove all the screws in the morning and finish off 'glassing the underside.

However, I did wait until the matting was set hard, before I lowered the bonnet and took these photos.
( After putting a tek screw in to hold the bottom edge of the bonnet to the body shell. )

It should be possible to get a nice transition from the body shell to the bonnet at the side.

Similarly, once the filler work is done, this whole corner section should look a lot better too.

Unfortunately, the sloping driveway makes an "across the bonnet" photo a little harder to line up.

But is is currently something like this, which should improve after some sanding / filling.

Roadster made a valid point about how far out the body work of real 1950s racing cars could be.

This is good news, as it means my overall bonnet design will be in keeping with the period. :icon_wink:

Jokes aside, I had no idea what I was doing when I started chopping the body shell in half and removing the scuttle completely. :eek:

But through luck, rather than judgement, I have ended up with a completely unique car, that I think will really look the part. :cool:
( Especially when the front arches are pulled in a bit. )

I'm definitely over the worst of this build now, so if I can keep plugging away, it should just keep getting better.

Until next time, take care, Paul. :)

Roadster 4th September 2015 16:10

Im glad you sound more positive - what a difference a day makes.

The end is surely in sight now.

Your only close I would love top have a nose at her.

I always considered the forum to be more of a help group for crazy people who build cars :))

a big scary monster 4th September 2015 19:55

See less than a week and there is absolutely no need to stand on one leg or indeed puff ones cheeks out anymore to see your one offs elegant longer lines, in fact the only reason for any squinting now is to create the new arch in your mind. I have decided I am going to slip a bottle of speciality ale into your car without your knowing at stoneleigh as a pay back for the hours of entertainment and inspiration you provide. Are you going to chock it level for the final bond and prep? It may be easier. Ed
P.s those front arches are truly shocking and what's worst is they are shocking in different ways either side. What where they thinking when they put the effort into making the buck/ mold. I saw mr towed as he pulled up and parked his car at stoneleigh in fact I watched over it as he legged it to the facilities after his very long drive. If only you could of witnessed the look on his and others faces as he parked and the look,sound and general aura of his car. This would keep your spirits and excitement level up whilst finishing off your creation. Ed

Paul L 5th September 2015 06:33

Roadster - You are welcome to drop by and have a look at the car if you want (PM for details).

Yesterday I took a lot of positives from how quickly the driver's side corner progressed, compared to the rain delayed passenger side.

This fix was helped by simply accepting that the profiles of both bonnet corners will not be identical and it really don't matter.
( Especially given all my other symmetry issues I have to live with. )

Also seeing the bonnet close properly by itself (give or take a bit) was actually a significant milestone after all these years. :cool:

As when I first test fitted the kit, the Spitfire bonnet brackets prevented the Cordite bonnet from reaching the body shell.

When the Spitfire brackets were finally removed & my home made hinges fitted, the rear edge of the bonnet came up short. :rolleyes:

Mind you, at that stage, that was a minor problem compared to the fact the driver's side wing was missing! :eek:

Looking back, I have clearly made great progress in a lot of areas, not just the bonnet, which is a good thing.

But the source of my frustration is the simple fact that most of this work should not have been required in the first place.

Which is why I absolutely love the latest Tribute kits, especially the SWB 250 range.

They not only look great, but are so cleverly designed to bolt into place and the car can still be driven too.

This was Eric's progress in a matter of weeks.

I really hope the new Sammio Spyder will follow this approach and be an easy build when it is launched. :pray:

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Ed - Actually the thought of lining my car up next to Mister Towed (plus Phil & Barry) is a big motivation for me. :cool:

Unfortunately, all my previous attempts at chocking the car have ended in failure. :icon_sad:

Which is one of my biggest worries when the time comes to finally bond the body shell into position.

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Need to get a few odd jobs sorted out before I can work on the car, but hopefully I'll have an update later on.

Cheers, Paul. :)

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