We’ve finally managed to borrow a welder (thanks Rik), and through investigation with a screwdriver, I’ve discovered that this windscreen frame is more filler than pillar.

I managed to get a bit of mild steel to fashion to repair the frame.  The problem came with trying to get some bends in it.  It was fairly thick and couldn’t be shaped with anything wooden.  Trev helped out with the trusty hammer and large weight technique.  Not pretty, but it does the job.

trev steel hammer

Dug out the trusty angle grinder and got to work cutting the channel free of the rest of the steel, ready to match up with what’s left on the pillar.  The pillar is not completely flat – there’s a bit of a curve which needs to be accommodated.  So I cut the channel into separate sections, to tack weld on.

channel clamped and tack welded

It really isn’t neat.  My welding leaves a lot to be desired.  A few small tack welds hold this on to the inside of the pillar, and it’s not moving.  I suppose that’s good enough for now, until the rest is built up top and bottom.

very dirty tack welding

pillar rot next to new channel

Lots of splatter – need more practice.  You can see here the rust-permeated remains of the outer skin of the pillar.  I can’t weld anything to this.  An executive decision was made to cut it out.  Back out came the angle grinder, and it went through like a hot knife through butter.

new channel with pillar rot cut out

more filler than pillar cut out

Now I’ve got a nice clean edge of good metal to patch up with another panel.  It won’t match the other side exactly, but it will do the job.  You can see the bottom of the pillar also cut out.  This will be trickier to fix, but a well cut and beaten sheet will work.

I managed to find some new part-time help (Apprentice 2) who decided the roof needed a bit of a sand down, in preparation for another coat of paint before it starts getting colder.

apprentice 2 sanding the roof