10 Feb 2019
Tunnel: Complete!

Last week we left off with running out of shielding gas. Off to the local cylinder exchange!
Day 1: Bought a replacement cylinder (well, exchanged it).  Asked - just like every other time - about upgrading, they answered that they can't do that anymore.

Day 2: The new cylinder is empty.

Day 3:  They have no other cylinders of my size.  Manager is willing to upgrade me from a #2 to a #3.  Sends me home with a #3 cylinder, just pay the difference in the exchange price (ten bucks!)

Day 4.  This is a carbon dioxide cylinder, fittings are different.  Back to the store. 
Day 4, cont'd: No C25, but they have a #3 of pure Argon.  That'd work!  The connector looks like it's the same.

Nope.  I can't MIG with pure argon - zero penetration.  It's like welding teflon.

Call up there, they don't know when they get new cylinders in.

Day 5. Call in the morning, he says they have some #3 C25 cylinders.

Head up after work, they do, they're in the wrong cabinet (in with the acetylene). 

Net result: Five trips to the store (not named as I think he wasn't supposed to upgrade me like that), $45 total expenditure, but now I have a #3 C25 cylinder.

This is not the answer.
The argon gave some really crappy welds.  When I go after the underside I'll have to go over this again from there.
Measure once, cut twice-or-more with the plasma method of fitment on the driver's side.
Leads to having to make a lot of bead to fill gaps.  Towards the very end dropped back and changed welder settings, from voltage D and speed 6 down to B and 3 1/2 - seems to have helped quite a bit.
Time to work on closing out the back of the transmission hole - since the remainder of the tunnel doesn't have to be raised, I can just slope down as convenient.

Unfortunately, my first cut was actually halfway through the brace.  I'll have to have a more abrupt cap.
Better view of where the brace is.
So I started to measure and make a pattern, but decided instead to fake it with a chunk of plate and the plasma (I'm enjoying it too much)
Welded up the mis-cut, weld-and-hammer-and-weld-and-cut-and hammer, it's ugly but the tunnel is closed.  Still need to grind the welds, need to get more flap disks.
Passenger side.  The new welder settings are helping.
Oh hell, that looks like progress.
Yep, that's real nice.
Still nice. 
Next task: fix the rust hole across the back of the cab.
You know what's good at cutting out rust?


Tacked a bit of angle iron to use as a guide and cut along it.
Little bit of cleanup and it looks like a nice clean spot for some weldery.
Near side, where the big rust was.
Plasma again, cut some 16ga of the correct width to weld in place.  With the new welder settings it's just working out.
Ended up being three pieces of metal.  Still needs cleanup but I really like it.
Here's what it looks like from the bed.  Not quite sure how I'll handle this side - maybe try to use the TIG to smooth it?  It's flush, at least, if not smooth.  Didn't *see* any pinholes but some may become apparent once I grind both sides.
Started to cut for the replacement of the bed hatch cover - what I had was this abomination of JC Whitney bed patch panels lap welded poorly.  Here you can see there was no penetration between these two
I do not know what the front of the bed floor hatch cover is supposed to look like - is this part of the old cover left behind, or is that the mount?
And with that, I've had enough. I need to research and find what the front of the bed hatch thing is supposed to look like. Hopefully another update next week!

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