I'm back from a week in Indianapolis (no, I didn't get to go to the Speedway, but I did get to see some Indy cars taking practice laps from the air) and so have wandered out to the garage to get to work.
Today's work is a bit more introspection and a bit less cutting and grinding. Take a look at this:
Now I could cut this to clean metal, form a patch, weld it in place and call it good. It'd probably last for many years. Probably.
When you're spending a few thousand dollars on a quality paint job I don't like the word "probably." And so I'm going to cut out an even greater area so I can thoroughly clean all signs of rust from the front of the brace, treat it so it won't rust again and then weld a new patch over it.
But I'm not going to form this one myself. As Dirty Harry was fond of saying, "A man's got to know his limitations." And this one--especially the top portion--is a complex curve that is going to be incredibly visible. So I've ordered a rust repair patch for the driver's side and will cut out the areas I need from that preformed section and weld it in place.
I've also ordered a repair panel for the rear weatherstrip channel for the trunk area--there had been some dodgy repair there during the last repaint--and a small fender bender at some point that had bent the metal along a formed line that was simply filled with body putty during the last paint job to make it look ok. Easy enough to fix now--and that patch was very inexpensive.
So at this point, I have a bit of waiting before I can push ahead with the left front fender. But there's plenty of work remaining elsewhere.