Well you get some challenging jobs to do in this line of work, and I think that this may have been one of the most challenging. A lovely guy named Andy contacted me, and was most distraught that his pride and joy had seriously deteriorated while in storage. Namely his award winning Harley Davidson custom tank, which has amazing artwork which was done by a famous LA Airbrush artist back in the 90's. The inside of the tanks was a mess of old sealant and rust, the filler necks had totally rusted through. What to do? the artwork must be saved at all costs, and the filler necks must be cut out, and new ones welded in, without damaging the artwork. Well I advised the customer that there is always the chance of it all going tits up, and if he was prepared to take the risk, then I would be as careful as possible.
Firstly new fill necks and caps where sourced from the states. I opted for the smaller pop up caps, which are flush fitting. I had to make up an adapter ring to take up the space, and braze it on. To stop the heat from damaging the artwork, I made a cold bridge of heat resistant putty around the weld, and brazed in the neck. Next was to get the paint matched in a single stage basecoat, and blend it in without going over the artwork, and finish of with a couple of coats of 2K lacquer.
Result was a very happy customer, and the sense of achievement of a job well done.
Necks cut out, and insides stripped and blasted.
New neck brazed in using Cold Bridge Putty.
Filler work to blend in new neck.
Paintwork blended in, and lacquered. New cap fitted.