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Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
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PostPosted: October 3, 2017, 11:56 am 
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Joined: August 25, 2014, 8:41 pm
Posts: 56
Location: Long Island, NY
I have a bunch more photos, so if there is something in particular that anyone wants more details on just let me know and I am happy to share.

I was going to build my own rotisserie, but I eventually found a guy near Albany NY that makes this one for $750 and he delivered it to my house! It is an ideal size for a locost project. Later you will see how I mounted my chassis and where the balance points ended up. I can turn it with one hand and with just a little bit of added friction (a shim made from a PVC pipe) it will stay at whatever rotational angle I select.

To all builders - Whether you build it or buy it, please use a rotisserie when finish welding the chassis, painting, installing the floor, etc. I cannot stress enough how great it is to be able to spin this thing around to the most comfortable working position!

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PostPosted: October 3, 2017, 11:58 am 
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Joined: August 25, 2014, 8:41 pm
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Location: Long Island, NY
Some headlight details;

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PostPosted: October 3, 2017, 12:05 pm 
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Joined: August 25, 2014, 8:41 pm
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Location: Long Island, NY
So, with it all mechanically pretty much figured out, it was time to disassemble and get it off the build table and onto the rotisserie. I sure wish I had someone to help me at this point! Doing it by yourself is challenging!

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PostPosted: October 3, 2017, 12:11 pm 
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Joined: August 25, 2014, 8:41 pm
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Location: Long Island, NY
With the chassis mostly stripped I was ready to weight it. A little porky at 294ish pounds, but it's almost all 1.25" tube and has a lot lf 1/8', 3/16", and 1/4" mounting plates, plus the roll bar from Jack is pretty heavy duty! With the heater and other stuff surrounding it removed I am guessing it is closer to 280#.

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PostPosted: October 3, 2017, 12:15 pm 
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Joined: August 25, 2014, 8:41 pm
Posts: 56
Location: Long Island, NY
On the rotisserie! After I had taken these photos I had to shorten the two vertical posts around 10" so that I could rotate it and clear the lights in my garage. Plus this made the floor more comfortable to work on when the chassis was upside down.

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PostPosted: October 3, 2017, 12:24 pm 
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Joined: August 25, 2014, 8:41 pm
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Location: Long Island, NY
Adding the tunnel and forward bulkhead steel panels, welding the bottom of the chassis, grinding and fixing some lousy welds, adding some more lousy welds and fixing them, etc. (note that a bunch of the white powdery stuff on the chassis is from a phosphate bath I had given it to help protect areas that will be inaccessible to paint later and to pre-prep for future painting) ;

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PostPosted: October 3, 2017, 12:26 pm 
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Joined: August 25, 2014, 8:41 pm
Posts: 56
Location: Long Island, NY
Saying goodbye to the 1995 SVT Cobra Mustang!

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PostPosted: October 3, 2017, 12:36 pm 
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Joined: August 25, 2014, 8:41 pm
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Location: Long Island, NY
So, it is painted! I did a ton of research and couldn't decide what was best, so in the end I did this;

3 phosphate washes with lots of scrubbing while still wet.

I let the last phosphate bath dry and git got powdery in some areas that it was still reacting with (rust)

I then sanded it completely with 120 grit

Primed with Rustoleum primer (not rust metal primer)

Top coated with Rustoleum Smoke Gray paint

I picked this system because it is UV resistant, old proven technology, relatively low cost (locost!), available locally, and easy to touchup and repair. I picked gray because Colin Chapman picked gray; easier to see any cracks that may develop as compared to black.

I'm pretty happy with how it turned out; runs and all! I sanded and fixed them later.

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PostPosted: October 3, 2017, 12:44 pm 
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Joined: August 25, 2014, 8:41 pm
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Location: Long Island, NY
So the floor, rear bulkhead, and side panels begin! The floor and bulkhead is made from .050" panels that I picked up for free from a place that went out of business. This stuff is the same as used to repair truck box walls. It had a white clad finish on one side, which I sanded off. The sides are from .032" new sheets and I annealed the edges before bending.

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PostPosted: October 3, 2017, 12:56 pm 
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Joined: August 25, 2014, 8:41 pm
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Location: Long Island, NY
I installed >500 Cherrylock 5/32" 100 degree flush rivets, and to do it right takes a bunch of steps and some cool aircraft type tools;

First drill all the holes at 1/8" nominal

Then re=drill to .143"

Then deburr both the top and bottom of the hole (removing the burr on the inside of the chassis tube takes a special tool)

Lastly, add the 100 degree countersink at the correct depth

Officially, if I was building an airplane I would need a special $2,000 Cherrylock rivet gun to install the rivet and set the lock, but I made my own setting tool and it worked pretty good. I think I got >75% of my rivets to mechanically lock the top of the stem. The bottom of the stems always locks. When it works, you can hear two clicks; first the bottom and then the top, before the stem breaks flush. Later I went over each rivet with a rivet shaver to clean up any high stems.

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PostPosted: October 3, 2017, 1:10 pm 
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Location: Long Island, NY
Some more floor, sides, and bulkhead stuff;

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PostPosted: October 3, 2017, 1:17 pm 
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Joined: August 25, 2014, 8:41 pm
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Location: Long Island, NY
OK, so hear we are to September 2017, about 2.5 years into the project and how the project currently is. The rivets are all in and the aluminum panels all installed. For sealing, researched this a lot and finally settles on GE Iron Grip silicone adhesive. I used this because;

It has a long working time, gives me time to get the rivets in

It is relatively high strength, low cost (locost!), clear and easy to clean up after it sets.

Unlike 3M 5200 (which I was going to use), it is removable if I ever need to take something apart.


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PostPosted: October 3, 2017, 1:34 pm 
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Joined: October 19, 2010, 11:57 am
Posts: 405
Location: Waterloo, WI
Amazing progress!

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-Keith


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PostPosted: October 3, 2017, 7:05 pm 
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Joined: August 27, 2017, 6:20 pm
Posts: 70
Love the rivet alignment tool. What kind of rivets are those? If you mentioned already, I'm sorry. Great work!


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PostPosted: October 3, 2017, 7:12 pm 
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Joined: August 25, 2014, 8:41 pm
Posts: 56
Location: Long Island, NY
Hi Car Sick - Yes, I did say but that's ok....I said a lot of things and the details easily get lost in all those photos! I used Cherrylock rivets. You can learn more about them here;

http://www.cherryaerospace.com/docs/cat ... A-1005.pdf


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