An Adjustment in Priorities, Focus, and Timeline

   Posted by: kdavis

A beautiful 2-week family vacation in Grand Cayman will do a lot to add some perspective to your life, and cause you to look at what’s currently going on. Add to that the beginning of Holy week today (Palm Sunday,) and I personally began to think through my life priorities, how I’m organizing them, what I’m doing with my time, and what brings me joy. It became apparent that over the last few months, I began to lose a bit of focus on the ultimate goal with the Roadster project…and frankly, with life…it’s the JOURNEY.

Heck, if I just wanted a fast car that sounds awesome that I could drive this summer, it’s a heck of a lot easier to just go buy one. BUT I DON’T WANT TO BUY ONE! I WANT TO BUILD ONE! It’s the building that is the fun.

With this all in mind, I’ve taken a good hard look at my timeline, and my goals for the car. I’m taking a bit of a step back, and making plans to really enjoy the build. I’ll likely be driving it for years and years, God willing, so what’s a few months.

As I tripped over a bunch of stuff I’d been trying to ignore in the shop, I was glad that I could take the time to move it, organize it, and begin to clean up the shop I’ve been neglecting.

So, for the time being, more focus on God, family, and just taking my time. I want to spend some time reorganizing and cleaning the shop, fix my front doors on the shop (they stick), and get Michelle’s project organized and stored (she’s taking a bit of a break as well.) After that, I’ll finish up the wiring and interior. It remains to be seen whether I just keep moving forward and do paint and body. Summer’s warmer temperatures are better than fighting cold and paying to heat the shop, so that’s an option. Plus, doing the sanding outside instead of inside the shop will make clean up WAYYYY easier.

More updates to come, but probably even slower than before!

She’s a Roller!

   Posted by: kdavis

Pretty exciting weekend for me, despite the fact that I didn’t get much done…that time of year.

But…my last remaining parts for the brakes (bulkhead fittings) came on Friday, so I was able to get the brake system finished and bled. I also got my last bolt for my 3-link, so that’s all torqued in and ready to go.

That means…the wheels and tires are on, and she’s a roller! I dropped the lift, and rolled her back and forth a few times, and checked the brakes (they work).

I also cut and connected the fuel filler neck that’s in more or less a temp state until the body goes on.

So…the battle wages on, and it’s FUN!

The Shop Is DONE!

   Posted by: kdavis

Finished the paint over the weekend and the barn door thresholds. So, we’re officially done with the build now. WHOO HOO! Now the fun part starts, moving in and organizing.

General stats:

Started (dug the hole) – 4/7/09 or so.
Finished – 8/22/09

Did all of the work myself on the inside, plus all of the gravel work (concrete gravel, driveway) and dirt work. Hired out the framing, roof, and siding. I did the concrete forms and prep, and we did the pour and finish ourselves in 2 1/2 days with 4 guys.

Budget wise, I went over by about 15%. Those $200 trips to Lowes will kill ya, and also I hadn’t originally budgeted for the labor, and the barn doors were more than budgeted.

I’m so pleased with the project, it’s a great space, and I look forward to getting back into my car project!

Thanks for all the feedback and ideas!

All of the Pics can be found here (shop pics are the top ones, organized by build stage.)


Here’s my wife’s least favorite sign:

Now, back to the COBRA!

Shelving and Workbench

   Posted by: kdavis

I finished building the workbench and shelving last night. I decided to just go old-school 2×4 and plywood. They are cheap, strong, and hold a ton of stuff. At the end of the day, it really is just a shop, so these will be just fine, no paint, no frills, and at $100 total, well worth it.

Using the existing building framing, you can get away with not adding legs on the back wall. If you’re wondering how strong they are…I put my body weight dead center on the weakest part of the plywood on one foot (more psi), and they held up just fine. I don’t plan on storing iron up there, so that will be more than adequate.

All that’s left is to put the door threshold in and paint the trim (probably tonight.)

Move in day is approaching…then back to the Car.


The Lift is In!

   Posted by: kdavis

Thanks to my buddy from Benco Equipment and my other buddy Matt, we installed the lift today in just over 2 hours.

This lift is by Direct Lift, and it’s the OH8000 model. It’s the whole reason the shop has 2 ceiling heights as the OH bar required 12′ ceilings. I am SOOOO glad I did it.

It’s pretty simple construction, and will lift my suburban with no problem, so the Cobra project will be nothing at all. It has asymmetrical arms and lots of different adjustment and spacing capabilities.

I posted today that my boyhood dreams have come true now…ever since I saw my first lift in a garage. I’m pretty darned happy.


Full Album

Video of the First Up and Down Rotation:

Epoxy Floor

   Posted by: kdavis

After much prep and cleaning, and a good bit of work overall, the epoxy floor is now in, and curing.

The hardest part of the process was cleaning up my drywall mud/texture and painting mess. If I did it over again, I wouldn’t be so quick to talk myself out of laying down a full drop cloth to protect the floor, would have saved a lot of work.

Since the floor was new, I didn’t bother doing any sort of big mechanical prep (ie: diamond grinder.) I wanted to keep overall costs low and install pain to a minimuum. I acid etched the floor with 20% muriatic acid at a 4:1 ratio or just a little less (1 gallon of acid to a 5 gallon bucket not quite full.) I used a cheap garden watering can to put it on, which worked well and allowed for great coverage.

I think I ended up using about 7.5 gallons of acid on my 1200′ floor.

The product I used was Rustoleum Professional Epoxy Kit – brown with flakes. For my 1200′ project, I used 3 kits of the 2 part system, and 3.5 kits-worth of flakes (I started a little heavy on the first section). I’m keeping the 4th kit for long-term touch up. I got my kits on amazon for $99 each shipped. You can also get them at lowes. I went with the brown setup to match everything.

I’m very pleased with how it all went down. The flakes take a lot of practice, and the floor has thin and heavy areas. I really like the non-slip factor with the flakes, which is really important since wet/snowy feet will be in and out of the shop a lot. I could top coat with clear, but because of the non-slip need, I’m choosing not to.

I’m hopeful for long-term durability. For the cost, especially compared to other systems out there, I’m very pleased so far.


Getting Closer – Paint, Texture, Vinyl Stripes, and Trim Done, Finish Electrical Underway

   Posted by: kdavis

Quick update here:

Finally finished taping, painting, texture, and got the vinyl stripes up. The trim is also up, and electrical finish is underway. Just need to paint the trim and do teh electrical, then epoxy the floor.

I ended up doing very little sanding, just a little bit around the big joints that were in hard to get smooth places. All in all, post texture and paint, you can’t really tell, it all turned out great, and I’m glad I didn’t spend too much time.

I did learn that I HATE ceiling work of any kind, especially on 10′ and 12′ ceilings. I should have budgeted for more Advil in my project.

If you’re doing any painting, use a Paint Stick, lots of variations on this, but it’s basically a big reservoir for paint in the handle that you “suck” into it and then push as you roll. Big time saver.

I am taking a bit of a break from painting, so expect to finish the electrical this week, then finish up the trim painting and on to the floor. Can’t wait to finish it all.

A note on the stripes and the brown.

The floor will be light brown epoxy, and the brown is a fleck color. The Cobra will be Orange, hence the stripe.






Taping is Done

   Posted by: kdavis

5 buckets (300 + lbs) of mud later, the taping is done.

Since I’m texturing, I didn’t have to be too fussy, but it’s still a heck of a lot of work. After 5 buckets of mud and 1500′ of mesh tape, and a BUNCH of inside corners, it came together.

BTW, first time using the inside corners, and they seem to be way easier than just the mesh tape.

For those that are interested, I used an 8″ taping knife for the first coat, then on to a 12″ knife for the 2nd. This seems to give really good results. I’ll need to go over a few rough spots with the sponge and that’s it. No sanding at all.



View the Album

Quick Shop Update – Rough In Electrical, Driveway Done

   Posted by: kdavis

The driveway is in, and I’m about 1/2 way done with moving the dirt around, which will finish up the outside stuff. I’m really just avoiding insulation and drywall.

The electrical rough in is complete and rough in inspection is done as well.

I got one of my signs (coke) up this morning, and plan on setting the big Washington Chief Gasoline sign tonight, should look great.


Got the Washington Chief Gasoline sign up. What a great sign, and it’s unique, which adds to my liking.

The guy that sold me the sign ( said if you find one of these for real, they can fetch $40K + just for the sign…crazy.

I like it that it also has Montana in it as part of the wording.

You can also see at the bottom of the pic the “ding ding” air line for my Milton Bell. Once the gravel stiffens a bit, I might run it out a little farther, but it’s on concrete for now.

Shop Update – Siding Done, Rough In Electrical Done

   Posted by: kdavis

Some more progress, going strong still. We’re about 4 weeks post-pour.

Siding and trim and outside paint is now done. I finished the electrical rough-in over the weekend, and my father in law is doing a little work in the panel today, so we’ll be ready for rough-in inspection after today. The insulation is on site, so as soon as the inspector comes, I’ll insulate and be ready for drywall.

The only thing left outside is to put the finish fixtures on, caulk around the trim, and then do the driveway. My wife is also trying to talk me into color on the front door, still need to do some mockups to decide that one.

I also ordered my signs today (big coke sign and a Washington Chief Gasoline sign for the front).