Thursday, November 28, 2013

Avoiding Terror: Clever stand makes easy work of installing the doors.

Ask anyone who has assembled a vintage car and they will tell you that one of the most nerve wracking things you will do is to install the doors.

On a Dino this procedure is second only to rear glass installation in sheer terror as a freshly painted and perfect but cumbersome door needs to be maneuvered within millimeters of equally perfect painted surroundings. This entire procedure is carried out while trying to press in door pins that are far from just a loose drop in fit. The inherent inertia from the procedure means that the slightest contact results in damaged paint requiring expensive and time consuming correction.

Knowing that this was going to be the case I proposed to my father that we build a stand that will hold the door and allow us to safely navigate it into position. In order for it to work it would have to allow for the fine adjustment of height, door angle, and pivot. It would have to be on precise caster wheels and would need to hold the door and protect it from damage.

The following day I came to the shop to find my dad surrounded by cut lumber and drawings well into the manufacture of the stand. Because it was a limited use item wood was great for its versatility and ease of use. Attached to it was a simple system of pivots and slides operated by threaded rods. This allowed for the fine adjustment we needed during installation. Some more yoga mat material provided paint protection and grip to hold the door. In the end we were left with not only a useful tool for fitting but also a practical stand that would hold the door in place for any assembly that would be required.

Needless to say we were all pretty proud of the result

With the stand built and door fitted yesterday was the moment of truth. The only truth is that it was an anticlimactic affair. Installation went smooth and easy with the door or surrounding paint never being in harms way. So smooth was the procedure that Dad even had time to pose for the camera.

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