After I tacked it, changed my mind about the precise location, unfastened it, tacked it, repeat several times, etc, I spread the heat shield putty all along the top and bottom of the butt joint before I started to weld. I'm thinking that a regular lap joint helps trap moisture, so I would butt weld all the visible parts.
The hard part about that was getting it cut correctly. I ended up tacking it in a few places in the curved part of the panel, then tediously grinding the top edge of almost the whole rest of it, to get it to the exact shape where it would nest in without overlapping either panel. The grinding took forever, and was made no less difficult by the Taiwan-cheapo panel which is made of tissue-thin sheetmetal, and I have to be extremely careful not to handle it rough. One little enthusiastic pull with the tin snips and it will be warped or dented. It seems almost as fragile as a giant peice of glass.
I finished it around 9 PM. Not the whole panel, just the top edge. It is a success. Definitely the best quarterpanel I've ever done. There is virtually no warpage, and there will be very minimal bondo. The Eastwood heat shield is good stuff, and I would definitely buy it again.
The panel looks almost done, but I have many, many hours to spend building the inner patch panels to finish it off. The car also took a hit long ago on the corner, and I spent some time beating that around before I started welding. There will be plenty to do when I start welding back there.
I decided to do this quarterpanel different than I've ever done one before. There is sure plenty of room for improvement! If I can keep myself free of new distractions such as the '63 Impala...
I will trim and fit the top visible edges, and weld them all up how I want them before I build the inner patch panels. Getting it all to fit together at once is a real struggle. This time I plan to hang it where I want it, then build the inside later. It will mean more bending, reaching and laying, but hopefully the end result will be better.
After test fitting and trimming the top edges of the new quarterpanel about 1000 times, I started welding. I'm trying this 'heat shield putty' made by Eastwood. It's pretty weird to work with, kind of like salty clay that either doesn't stick together too well, or gets mushy with too much water. I got it to the best consistency I could, and then applied it in two large beads on either side of where I will weld.
I tacked it in a couple of places, and then trimmed off the tab I was using to hang it with after I test fit it.
It was located in Quincy, IL, about 100 miles away. It was an easy half-day trip to go pick it up with a tow bar. My truck is a 6 cylinder, so I drove very slowly. My cousin John came along for the ride, and I enjoyed the company and certainly exploited the free labor.
The seats are kind of mis-matched. I think the fronts are 1963 Grand Prix, and the rear looks like '65 Impala SS. This car is a regular non-SS Impala.
The seller threw in this tattered original bench seat out of another car.
To go along with my dangerously-low IQ, is a frightfully short attention span. I was fooling around on ebay and bought this '63 Impala. I have no idea where I will keep it or get money to do anything at all to it, but I'm keeping consistent with my earlier-stated philosophy which is to buy it first-figure out what to do with it second.
The whole front corner of the quarterpanel extension and wheelwell is gone. No wonder the trunk was so full of dust. After this photo I trimmed away all the lacy edges.
I then used a tape measure, masking paper and a marker to make paper templates of the patches I will have to make. I fold them to shape as I make them, cutting the paper with scissors, and lots of trial and error fitting. So much easier with paper! The dotted lines indicate the creases or edge bends I need to make.