Basically done with the header!

I applied some filler to the joints at each end of the header. These were originally leaded.

I also finished bead-blasting that trim strip that goes under the header, and started removing some spot-welded caged nuts from another trim piece that runs between the windshield and the rear of the gas tank. The nuts got destroyed back when I tried to remove the rusted-out bolts from them. Actually, I was able to remove the bolts from 8 of the 12 caged nuts, despite them having 75 years to get frozen in place…

Another quantum of work on the header

I applied a bit of body filler to some small dents in the header. I also primed the ends of the header, where it was soldered in place. I had to mix up about one ounce of epoxy primer and go through the hassle of cleaning the spray gun, just to paint about 1/4 square foot of the car body…

I also spent a few minutes partially bead-blasting the metal trim strip that runs across the top of the windshield opening, right under the header.

Installed metal header

I finally installed the metal header. It is held on by lots of nails, and also the joints at each end are soldered. I used stainless steel nails, which I found by accident in the hardware store. I also figured out how to use a bit of rubber tubing to seal around the hole where the windshield wiper goes, so that rain would not get into that hole and start rusting out the inside of the over-windshield area.

I started working on the header area back in April, so I am glad to get it (mostly) finished. I still need to put some filler in the joints on each end, to get a smooth contour between the header, the windshield pillars, and the roof.

My strategy for working on the car

Here are a few principles that I have tried to follow while working on the car:

1: I generally work at home, so it is not too hard to do a couple of little 15-minute tasks during the course of the day.

2: I want to get the car able to move under its own power ASAP. That’s why I put the body back on the chassis as soon as the underside was refinished. I could have more easily refinished the body off the chassis, but that would have meant another 6 months or a year with the car disassembled all over the garage. Things like the final painting and the interior upholstery can be done last, after the gas tank and wiring are installed and functional.

3: I try to avoid buying spare parts until I am definitely ready to use them. It is a bad idea to buy a part, let it sit for a year, and then find that it is not usable. Even so, I sometimes get too optimistic. I had the roof wood sitting around for a year before I started doing anything with it.

Getting ready to install metal header

I fixed the mis-aligned windshield wiper hole in the wooden header.

I went through all the old rusty nails and bits of anti-squeak I saved when I took apart the header a year or two ago. The header is complicated: there are lots of nails, and there are also two other metal pieces that run across the top of the windshield opening. Hopefully I will get the header nailed and soldered in place over the weekend.

More progress on metal header

I made a small patch (about 3/4″ x 3″) and brazed it into place on the metal header, where it had once upon a time gotten damaged. Then I primed the header with epoxy primer.

I noticed that the hole in the wood header for the windshield wiper shaft does not line up very well with the hole in the metal header. I will have to fill the hole and drill a new one about 1/8″ to one side.