Cheers Panther - am keeping my nose to the grindstone on this one...
Well today was February the 9th, the day on which, in 2011, a 50 foot truck somehow reversed into my street and dropped off a rather sad looking Vindicators cabinet. I can't quite believe this has dragged out past the four year point, but it has, so it is time for a progress update I think, a big one!
Since last time - more priming of the side tracks while it was face down...
...and more priming work when it was face up...
...and more gluing and clamping of crushed particle board.
The usual method again, soaking glue into the smooshed edges and clamping with a small vice overnight.
This cabinet woodwork repair seemed endless and was really starting to drain my enthusiasm. Time to take a look at the mains wire, no idea why I left it attached for so long as it had been chipping the surface and generally getting in the way for a long time. Due to the unhealthy bulge and the electrical tape it was clearly going to have to come off at some stage.
I was expecting to find the wires bodged together, but it was just a nasty gouge in the insulation, still enough to condemn it though.
It got the chop.
The next bit was something I really was not looking forward to, sorting out the back edges of the monitor shroud. The ragged worn edges had been stabilised with a good soaking in glue, and then built up with bondo, which was easy but messy, and I needed a clean straight edge to trim the vinyl to.
I had planned to clamp a straight edge of wood a suitable distance from the edge and then run the router along to cut the back straight. A good idea in principle, a nightmare in practice. The clamps were always in the way, so I had to stop after 10cm and move them, at which point the wood would slip and I would have to start lining everything up again. It also made a monumental mess, like standing in the middle of a blizzard as snow flakes of cured bondo covered me, the cabinet and everything within ten feet.
This idea was abandoned quickly, I had no idea how I was going to make this work on sloping top portions anyway as there was nothing to clamp the guide wood too at the back without needing massive clamps or weird shaped ones. It turned out that just using the flat plate of the sander was more than good enough for this job and it made a lot less mess.
It took a fair few episodes of bondo, followed by sanding, then more bondo to fill small imperfections, rinse and repeat as nauseum.
The top seam also needed attention...
...so a line of wood glue was rubbed into the joint
...and was followed up with a watered down glue wash to get it well soaked it.
A few hours out in the sun dried it all off nicely.
It was at this point I noticed something nasty, many moons ago I had clamped and squeezed one of the front edges before I put the new side track woodwork, i.e while I still had easy access and only needed a clamp up something an inch thick. I was sure I had done the other side too, but apparently not, and it now had its track woodwork installed so the easy access was gone. Ah the joys of a stop/start project.
Where the previously squeeze size was 20mm, to match the rest of that panel area, the other side was still 24mm which would be a dead loss case for refitting t-moulding later. My only option was to squeeze it with the track in place, which meant I needed something with jaws that could open at least 28cm and also apply a lot of force. Time for some additions to my clamp collection!
These apparently have a max clamp force of 750KG, should be enough
Yet more wood glue wash...
... until it is sopping wet with it...
... and the living crap clamped out of it to squeeze the soggy panel back to the right width.
I used the remains of the old t-moulding spine to keep the t-moulding slot from collapsing under the pressure and to focus the squeeze on the wood itself. I had to cut the outer surface off the t-moulding to allow the wood to dry out, if the t-moulding is complete it makes too good a seal on the panel edge and it never dries.
72 hours later and the clamping is done, you can just see my mini vice clinging to the underside of the cabinet here, it is clamping some of the frayed edge of the main cabinet edge that protrudes through the base.
Back in the garage again, more clamping required, to fix the swollen corner on the front of the monitor shroud on the right which was 2-3mm thicker than the t-moulding on the corner.
Same process, fill the slot with something, this time remains of a metal heat sink plate
block the section with MDF offcuts to spread the load, soak the particle board with a glue solution, this time drilling tiny holes to let the glue get in easily...
... and bring out the big guns for some force.
While it was laying down I tackled the front track "toe" section inners. The vinyl here was a mess, and the wood was all knocked about. As this buts up against the front panel which will be all new, with new vinyl on it, these need to match or they would look dreadful.
Vinyl comes off...
...on both sides..
... and I give up for a few days as I am over it again.
After three days the edge clamps have done their work while the glue set hard...
...and the corner is back to its original state and no longer sticks out beyond the t-moulding...
...which I am planning to re-use as it is in good nick, and for a couple of other reasons I will get to later.
The toe sections get bondo'd up...
and sanded back to their original splendor.
Once the cabinet was upright again the top got another light sand as a couple of small sections had been worked on, and the new back edges look great.
It should be a breeze to trim the new vinyl on that edge!
...mainly to seal the boards, but also to fill any tiny voids that are holding dust from the sanding. I have vacuumed the surfaces thoroughly but I bet the vinyl would end up stuck to 50% loose dust and only 50% fixed material.
First coat, a very light one to avoid soaking the wood again.
...and the same treatment for the front panel too.
The track edge panels get their alignment dowels checked and glued into place.
and the outer surface of the dowel filled and sanded.
Then they got some primer action too.
All the sanding and priming had made a bit of a mess of the black paint job on the rear. It was only really intended to be a first coat anyway, so the second coat was now due.
Yet again the cab was flipped face down...
...and the mains input and switch panel was removed so I could safely paint the inside of the switch cutout.
The old rear panels were recovered from their 4 year storage...
...complete with original Vindicators Operator instructions and lock that has long since lost its key.
The lock was removed and the panel gots a glue wash to match the back of the cabinet as it was a bit inclined to shed surface flakes.
With it fully sealed it was time to crack open the black paint for a bit of a marathon session.
The rear of the cabinet got its second coat, with a slight overlap onto the white so any thin edge visible between the back and the vinyl shows up black instead of brilliant primer white. The dent you see on the top edge is a trick of the room lighting I think, it isn't there in real life.
The front panel got a first coat
quickly followed by a second one as it was dry within minutes
Both rear panels were painted too so they now perfectly match the velvety black of the cabinet rear.
Even with this progress, there were still some sections of woodwork needing attention...
The front side edge of below where the CP sits had taken a lot of water damage and then been susceptible to physical damage. The corner of the vinyl had come forwards and the wood behind it had disintegrated.
Sigh - more wood glue soak treatment, this section took a LOT until it started to pool on the surface!
And some more clamping, using baking paper to stop the blocks (used to spread the load) from ending up glued firmly to the cabinet.
This worked very well, but the collapsed corner was still hollow, so some thin slivers of wood were cut, lubed up with glue and slid into the gap until the vinyl surface was level. It was then clamped up for another 24 hours.
It is a bit hard to tell on this shot, but it is looking much better and is again structurally sound.
The slightly tatty upper half of that panel lives under the CP, but I will probably give it a coat of black on the paint brush's next outing.
A couple of small jobs remained that I had been putting off were next on the list.
Firstly the cleaning up the side rail blocks that brace the track outer to the track upper, they were still covered with the remains of particle board and full of staples.
And making another a replacement one of these...
It is the angled hand grip that is screwed to the top of the cabinet so you can get hold of something when tilting the cabinet back. The original is a complete write-off as it bore the brunt of the water damage and was a crumbly mess. So I needed a fresh one, something like this...
The the tracks got clamped and glued in place
and the grab handle was test got primed.
The end was really starting to feel like it was near but there were a couple of large items on the to do list that had been put off until I was a lot further forward with the cabinet, like about now!