For the next step in the restoration of my 1969 Chevy Nova, my dad and I did some sheet metal pulling. Let me rephrase that. My dad tackled the sheet metal pulling while I stood by entranced by his skills. He is the sheet metal whisperer and makes it look so easy.
For laymen like me, sheet metal makes up the various parts of a car’s body (like the roof, doors, hood, etc.). In the Nova’s case, the sheet metal is made of thin pieces of steel cut, bent and folded into shape. Did you know that the Chrysler Building in New York City is covered in sheet metal? I think that makes my Nova and the Chrysler Building something like second cousins!
I am dying to cut the roof off (it involves flames!), but first we needed to take the time to get the car roughly back into shape by doing some sheet metal pulling. Having been flipped upside down, the Nova’s sheet metal is no longer in alignment and the doors don’t shut properly. So, sheet metal pulling literally involves pulling and shoving and adjusting the pieces of sheet metal until they look just so. The adjustments are relatively small (we’re talking fractions of inches), but will help ensure that the car looks tip top when it’s done.
Let’s say you found the most fabulous lamp at the thrift store, but its cord is a mangled mess destined to set your home on fire. You might pass right on by thinking you don’t have the skills to do it or the big dollars to hire someone to do it for you. Well, I am here to tell you that you CAN do it yourself and for $2 (or less!).
Read on to find out how . . .
Vintage clothing shopping is a longtime love of mine, dating all the way back to high school. Some combination of Courtney Love’s vintage baby doll dresses, Audrey Hepburn’s costumes in basically every movie and FX’s The Collectibles Show (I think I was the only one to watch this show!) inspired my interest in vintage clothing. My mom and I spent many weekends hunting antique stores, thrift stores and yard sales in search for vintage clothing. Here are five tips I’ve picked up over the years to help you on your own vintage clothing shopping adventures.
While I wanted to start hacking off the Chevy Nova’s crumpled old roof off right away, my dad patiently informed me that first we needed to spend some time drilling holes in concrete. This step is necessary so we can install anchors into the ground that will allow us to pull the car back into shape.
Planning the Placement
We began by planning where the holes were going to go. And by “we” I mean that I sat around watching my dad pensively pondering the placement of the holes.
Drilling Holes in Concrete
We rented this gigantic drill, called a core drill, that cuts the most perfect, beautiful holes in the exact size you need. For our purposes, we used a 3 ½ inch bit to make our holes.
Drilling holes in concrete is way more fun than drilling regular holes because we literally cut giant, cylindrical chunks from the floor! It works very quickly once everything is set up properly. The drill sits securely on the ground because of its vacuum base, which creates a super strong suction. We didn’t have to worry about it budging even a little bit while drilling. The garden hose attaches to the drill to keep the bit lubricated and cool. When powered on, it spins like a normal drill. My dad carefully controlled the drill as it bored through the concrete ground. Once it broke through the bottom of the floor, he raised the drill and we were left with perfection:
We drilled a total of four holes. Next, we will install the anchors into the holes and the body work can begin!
I have to figure out something cool to do with the perfect concrete cylinders that were created in this project! Any ideas?
With spring FINALLY arriving here in upstate New York, so do the flea markets. One super popular event is the Rhinebeck Car Show & Swap Meet. This car focused event includes a flea market with seemingly every single tool and car part you can imagine, as well as cars for sale and show. Rhinebeck is one of my dad’s favorite events and one we’ve been looking forward to attending together. The flea market part was fun to browse, but the best part was checking out the CARS!
Many people come to the Rhinebeck Car Show & Swap Meet to buy parts for their cars. To the untrained eye (like mine) it looks like lots of tables covered with rusty junk, but in fact there are many treasures here that can be used help restore cars to their original glory.
More rusty looking junk!
Enough of that, let’s get to the CARS!!