Now that I am within spitting distance of finishing I would like to share some lessons learned from the build process. Most of these are pretty obvious and if I followed decent shop practices (spelled “organization”) I wouldn’thave learned them, again.
- Bag everything. When the kit arrives there are a lot of loose parts. I inventoried everything but failed to bag the parts again. After almost a year the dust, paint and metal chips that have flown everywhere have cost me time just to clean them up. Even large parts, like the drive-shaft should be bagged for protection.
- Label everything. I bought a complete set of AN hardware before the car even arrived. The goal was to reduce build time, but when the bolts arrived from Aircraft Spruce, I didn’t sort them out and label them. I have made many trips for hardware to the local Ace, only to misplace them because I didn’t mark the bags (which all look alike). This costs time finding things.
- Make sure you can move the car while building. Many people build on sawhorses. This would have caused great hate and discontent with She Who Must Be Obeyed. When the temperature get over 110 she wants to park in the garage. The ability to move the car out of the way when I was done for the day paid off the $100 or so I spent on casters and steel for the work cart. The lighting in my garage is not very even. I have been able to spin the car around to light the area of interest from time to time. It also made it possible for me to installed the engine without putting the car on the ground.
- Do something every day, even if it is just cleaning up. It seems like if I take a break, it is hard to get back out and get started again.
- Avoid analysis paralysis. I can’t count the hours I have wasted trying to figure out the “best” solution. “Best” is the enemy of completion. Unless you have built a car before and have lots of experience there will be decision about which you are just not certain. Ask someone who has gone before you and come up with something workable. It can always be improved later.
- Get Started!