The start of rocker repair on the truck

When I bought the ’64 Chevy I knew the worst rot on the truck was in the driver’s rocker area, the whole area was rotted badly enough you couldn’t step there without the whole thing crunching and feeling like it would collapse at any second.

Part of my plan with this truck is to fabricate metal repairs wherever possible, so I could practice metal fabrication, and save money. With the rocker I decided to buy a replacement outer rocker, but fabricate the inner stuff myself.


I started by pulling off the sill plate(which was a ruin in and of itself), and made a pass with my Harbor Freight sandblaster to find all the rust holes.




I was left with very little good metal. It quickly became clear that the decorative sill plate had become structural, and was stronger than the remaining rocker.



So first I cut back to solid metal, getting rid of all the marginal stuff so I knew I had a solid base to start from.




Then came the first of four patches. I formed the right angle bends with the help of a brake, but the rest was hammer formed using whatever around the garage had the shape I needed.



Then it(and the second filler patch) was welded in and ground smooth.




Then the second patch, before and after.






And the third. This patch only got tack welded in before I ran out of light.






Then between Hurricane Sandy & selling the wagon I haven’t gotten back to it. But the floor is already noticeably more solid with just this much completed.

The Iron Guild’s Halloween iron pour


Every year the Iron Guild does an “Iron Pour” at The Steelyard here in Providence. I’ve managed to make it a few times, and it has always been an awesome event.



They set up a couple furnaces, as well as props or molds relevant to that year’s story. This year the story was a group of vikings battling a dragon. There is also music, either live or pre-recorded, to go with the event.




I’ll be honest though, as great as the story concepts are, they aren’t the best part. The best part is just people doing insane things with molten metal.





Pouring molds is a tiny part of it. They splash it around, fling globs of it at metal cutouts of men, pour it into wooden molds, and generally set everything in their arena on fire by the end of it.




And it is amazing. In addition to being really cool and really pretty it also grabs that bit of your brainstem that is still a monkey terrified and fascinated by fire and holds on nice and tight.





This is molten metal, the hard unyielding stuff our modern world is made of. And here, under the gantry cranes of the Steelyard courtyard there are humans playing with it.


I’m already looking forward to next year.

And the wagon goes away

I sold the wagon this weekend. It had been sitting since we bought the house, and I had no enthusiasm to work on it any more. I finally got tired enough of it taking up a garage space for no reason. So it went up on Craigslist and the first person who actually came out to look at it bought it.

He owns a small gas station and is thinking of getting it logoed up like and old service car. Whatever he does with it, it’ll be getting used instead of just sitting taking up space I don’t really have.


I will miss the wagon, it looked really cool, and on the few occasions when I could drive it it was a lot of fun. But those times were too far and few between and I simply don’t have the money it needed to be made more reliable nor the space to store it until I had that money.


I lost money on it, but then I always lose money on cars I own. I did get enough back out of it to not feel like I got completely screwed. And I’ve already used some of the money to buy things I need for the truck. I’ve got some patch panels, new mirrors and a few other things being shipped to me right now. This past weekend I went to a flea market and found some custom tail lights and a few other pieces.

Also I’ve now got a garage space to put the truck in, so I can work on it without worrying as much about the weather, and our driveway is less cramped. So in the end it was a good thing, but I’m still going to be a bit sad that it is gone.