The entire bottom was riddled with pinholes so I decided that it would be easier to replace everything in one large patch instead of a bunch of smaller ones. Plus, this allows me to sand blast the inside before welding it up. Like all the gas tanks I build, the plan is to have the inside coated . It makes the process so much easier when it's all clean.
After I decided where I needed to cut, the patch panel was cut out. The cleco's were used to hold the panel down while a line was marked around on the gas tank. In theory, if I cut exactly on the line, the patch should fit perfectly...
Once the bottom was off, I could asses the condition of the baffles. Unfortunately, they were pretty rusty with about the lower 1" completely gone. So, time to make some new ones. With some scrap pieces of wood lying around, I cut two identical templates. A piece of 18ga was cut roughly to the desired shape and then sandwiched between the wood. The edges were then hammered down.
Once all four of the baffles were made, they were sandblasted and spot welded together.
And now comes the long task of fitting and welding. Since there is no way to hammer the weld back out, patience is key in not causing excessive warping. Weld a little bit, let it cool, repeat until it's done...It's as simple as that.
Once the wire loom is welded back on, I'll give it a final sandblasting and take it to get the inside coated.