Now that the holidays are over, I was able to put a little time in on the car today. I located and welded in the hoop supports as well as cut holes in my inner fenders for clearance. I've roughly shaped patch pieces for the fenders, and will weld them in as soon as I get the chance.
A while back I bought the Eastwood tube bender so I could fabricate my cage. I'm finally to a point to start using it. The instructions say to mount it down for safe operation. Since I'm working out of my garage I don't have the space to permanently locate it so I thought I'd build a base for it on casters so I could move it around when needed and easily store it. I used leftover square tubing I had and cobbled something together. Pics are attached.
Today I decided to try it out and build something simple like the hoop support tubes for the front end. First tube bent no problem. On the second tube- snap- was the sound of the die splitting in two. @#$%^!! And this was before 11am. Way too early to call it a day.
My first Macguyver attempt to keep it going involved some vise grips on the die in an attempt to keep it together. This didn't work as the force of bending the tube exceeded the strength of the grips. The flattened tube was the result and is now scrap.
The second Macguyver attempt involved drilling some holes and bolting the die back together. This seemed to work. I was able to make my second tube and resume working.
I also made some plates to level out the area on the frame where I'll be welding them in, as well as on the firewall. They're welded in, but I need to clean these up then I can trim the tubes down and weld them in. I'll have to buy more tubing to make the rest of the cage- which will be some time next year as the remainder of my weekends this year are booked for the holidays.
As for the tube bender- hopefully I can get a replacement, and then I'll see about buying some steel dies...
Some weekends even though I spend full two days in the garage it still doesn't seem like I accomplished much. I finished up the inner fender brackets, sand blasted them (as well as a few other parts) and painted them, installed my doors, added more braces up front to the chassis (something I was thinking about that I should have done sooner) I like the result of adding these as it'll help support the lower control arm, but, as my neighbor pointed out this is smack dab in the way of where my anti sway bar will go. I'll have to ditch the one from my DSE kit and go with a different style that locates lower. I also spent some time thinking about my cage and exhaust and made a couple of rough sketches. Too rough to post, so I'll make new (presentable) ones and post them later.