So I didn't get to finish the panel last night at the Tafe course, but I guess fabricating the panel is not that time consuming it's all the other fettling that needs to be done to make everything fit right and clean up the area. This is why buying panels off eBay is ok, but it's only part of the challenge, the real work is all the other stuff that goes on...Anyway some updates for you.
So I finished cutting off the bottom section of the panel. Since it is folded over the piece of support metal behind it, you need to sand down the edge of the panel so you can peel the skin off the structure of the panel. I don't have photos of this step I'm afraid, but it's pretty straight forward.
The next thing we did was glass bead blast the lower section which was looking rusty as you can imagine. Although not too bad, as you can see in this 'after' photo. There is a couple of small holes from rust.
All the crud (that seal material that runs down the inner guard had to be removed and scraped off.
The next step was to fire up the Oxy welder and fill in the holes. This was done by heating the metal and using some filler rod to replace the missing material.
Then I sanded the area flat (well as flat as possible). Not shown in the photos, but I then painted over the top with weld through primer.
Also prepped the new section with weld through primer also.
and under the panel where the lip will fold.
If I was going to get the instructor to weld it for me, he probably could have done it last night, but I wanted to give it a try and have him watch to make sure I don't do anything too stupid to mess it up. So we will resume this next class in a couple of weeks.