Christmas out of the way and life goes on.
Moving away from the cab area, it became apparent I must remove the cladding on both sides of the van, upper and lower to expose the structure and its corrosion. The lower 300mm on both sides that attaches to the outrigger chassis, some of the outrigger components, of course the horizontal side rails and the triangular gussets.. most of the horizontal "noggins" that support the panel work also were mostly perforated. These are lined with felt and rely on a painted coat of Zinc phosphate paint to protect them, well 50 years and that's not going to work any more ..
I folded and fabricated the components, the only saving grace is that it is repeat work despite the endless days to make them because I will not pay anyone to make something, I eventually get the components .. finished
I can't say any one piece is easier because most of the fabrication methods were different. I made the lower "top hat" sections out of 5 pieces because at 1.5mm thick steel I could not fold it and still get a curve in the final piece, with welding however, once I've established a method which works with predictable distortion it is easy to repeat the process 8 times, 40 pieces ..
The side rails I made in galvanised as these only have moderate amount of welding so still benefit from from the Zinc coating being undisturbed and I don't die from Poisoning !
I'm onto the 2nd side now which is easier since I already have the experience of the 1st side plus of course I already made up the parts for both sides.. The rear arches get repaired as I go round and sometimes the chassis outriggers need some work, usually just the closing panel underneath which is 1.5mm, the rest I think is 2mm.
When I'm finally done with the lower both sides, I need to to look at the top where the structure meets the roof but 1st I will brace the rear door pillars and get the doors aligned before removing the rear entry step. Under the sheet metal for the rear bumpers, registration plate etc lies a box section 50 x 30 x 2mm (closes the chassis rail ends) that has been bent slightly but is also perforated, it will come off and a new one fitted. reason is, it needs to be an accurate guide to allow connection pieces to attach to the side structures. currently everything therea is moderately bent or twisted so I start from new.
A couple of months work in pictures..