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Technical body work, getting a panel straight??

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by birdman1, May 14, 2019.

  1. birdman1
    Joined: Dec 6, 2012
    Posts: 590

    birdman1
    Member
    from USA

    I have rebuilt many cars for my own use, so they usually turned out to be 50 footers. this time I want to do a lot better. I can get the dents and such close, but no cigar. No matter how many times i sand the body filler down and apply a fresh layer, it only gets close. anyhelp will be appreciated.
     
  2. bonzo-1
    Joined: Oct 13, 2010
    Posts: 323

    bonzo-1
    Member

    guide coat, long board, youtube
     
    belair and Leadheavy52 like this.
  3. Leadheavy52
    Joined: Jul 5, 2018
    Posts: 21

    Leadheavy52
    Member

    I 100% agree. A guide coat is the shizznit. Also, a long board saved my life and countless hours of unnecessary sanding.
     
  4. bonzo-1
    Joined: Oct 13, 2010
    Posts: 323

    bonzo-1
    Member

    add high build 2 k primer or sprayable polyester to that list
     
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  5. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 13,582

    alchemy
    Member

    Spend more time removing dents than sanding filler.
     
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  6. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 8,931

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    Don't press too hard. It is possible to sand past the level point and make new low spots. Use a long sanding board, sand to a level with coarse paper then work down with finer and finer paper. If you have low spots in the first sanding don't keep grinding away looking for smoothness. Get the level first, fill low spots, get a level. Then work on the smoothness.
     
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  7. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 42,061

    squirrel
    Member

    I've noticed that knowing when to quit sanding is very important....
     
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  8. Ralph Moore
    Joined: May 1, 2007
    Posts: 625

    Ralph Moore
    Member

    I was also in the get it close, then use filler crowd. But after I got older, and God willing, more patient I realized that a few more hours(days sometimes) on the body hammer, beats time spent filling and sanding. [​IMG]
    I’ve got most of this pretty close, close enough that guide coat gets sanded half way through. [​IMG]


    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
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  9. I've been told when your finally ready for guide coat it's also time to lighten up. Meaning let the paper do the work, your supposed to be past the point of making shape and just doing final block. Also you need to keep sharp sandpaper on the board. This also keeps ya from needing to push so hard. Just because your making dust don't mean things are staying in good shape. This advice was from the Guy that painted this 57 of mine. I haven't found a wave yet that don't belong in it.
    09-18-10 006.jpg
     
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  10. 41rodderz
    Joined: Sep 27, 2010
    Posts: 2,153

    41rodderz
    Member
    from Oregon

    I think this is where someone interjects and says "wusses" or " back in the day , we didn't use no stinkin' guide coat " .:D
     
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  11. So you could't resist the urge eh?
     
    Texas Webb likes this.
  12. 41rodderz
    Joined: Sep 27, 2010
    Posts: 2,153

    41rodderz
    Member
    from Oregon

    It's being careful and yet you cannot beat an experienced feel or eye. So practice, practice and more practice. Unless you don't have patience , ability or you want to be a TV star and slather every panel like they do on the Television.:)
     
    OLSKOOL57 likes this.
  13. 41rodderz
    Joined: Sep 27, 2010
    Posts: 2,153

    41rodderz
    Member
    from Oregon

    Nope :D.
     
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  14. 41rodderz
    Joined: Sep 27, 2010
    Posts: 2,153

    41rodderz
    Member
    from Oregon

    I know it's better to use all the tools in the tool box. I just enjoy watching/learning old time Craftsmen working metal with the old eye/hand method and making metal art.
     
  15. 41rodderz
    Joined: Sep 27, 2010
    Posts: 2,153

    41rodderz
    Member
    from Oregon

    One of (to me) possessions is and old tool box from an gentleman that is probably North of 95 years old . He was a body man back in the fifties and sixties and worked with lead. Anyways the box is filled with old tools, some he made himself and sticks of real lead. Most rewarding part was listening to him tell stories of customizing and how he do this and that. I'm done.:D
     
  16. birdman1
    Joined: Dec 6, 2012
    Posts: 590

    birdman1
    Member
    from USA

    I have learned some of the art of metal working, and do get it close. But I will try the long board and lighter pressure tomorrow. thanks for the help.Henry
     
  17. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 4,192

    anthony myrick
    Member
    from al

    Watch some videos on shrinking discs.
     
    ls1yj likes this.
  18. There are several key steps to master when applying and leveling filler. The issue of straightening metal as well as applying and sanding primer are different but related subject. I've seen people master these quickly and others never able to after 10 years of trying. There are 2 major things to master first when applying filler. First , always apply filler with the crown of the panel. This cannot be over emphasized. Going against this guideline only results in wasted material and time. Second your spreader is a very important straightening tool. These should look like new all the time. To learn how to use one correctly apply a piece of 3/4 masking tape across the upper edge of the spreader. Your fingers should never leave the taped edge. A slight arc in the spreader is needed most of the time. You should be able to accomplish this by pushing your thumb between your index and pinky fingers while on the tape on the spreader. Filler properly applied on the panel should look like it only needs a light sanding. No lines , no bumps , no spreader starting marks. Should almost look like a first coat of primer. This takes a little practice to master but once mastered cuts sanding to a minimum. Always apply filler in coats. Don't try to fill the low spot and taper (sand) it back into the applied filler . You will just wind up chasing low spots all over the area. Next you need to learn how to read the panel as it's sanded. This is a visual step. Filler should featheredge into the metal. A hard edge between metal and filler is a sign of an unleveled area. Once you see metal starting to appear as you sand the filler, start to back off with the sanding. Hopefully this helps a little.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2019
  19. flamedabone
    Joined: Aug 3, 2001
    Posts: 4,359

    flamedabone
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I got this car pretty close to perfect in metal.

    [​IMG]

    But it still took a year of my life to bodywork it straight.

    [​IMG]

    Use the longest sander you can for the area you are working on, use a good powder guide coat and get after it.

    Good luck, -Abone.
     
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  20. When you can't see a dip in the reflection in the Paint at the Door jambs you know the Body man has his stuff in order. Outstanding and well done Flamedabone!
    The Wizzard
     
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  21. I use a 4’ quite a bit,
    6’ once in a while.
    Think you’re straight then try a 4’ sander and you’ll see all sorts of stuff
     
    Just Gary likes this.
  22. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 4,192

    anthony myrick
    Member
    from al

  23. King ford
    Joined: Mar 18, 2013
    Posts: 1,157

    King ford
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from 08302

    The old school body man who kinda taught me body work taught me to run my hand with my palm flat against the panel to feel bumps, low spots etc....after a little practice you can nearly board sand in the dark. As stated always use a looong board and learn to apply light pressure on the high spots, you can apply pressure on the nose of the board and nearly pick the back end up and vicaversa. Also work the board in a straight line over the high area then diagonally to kind of blend the area...keep feeling it and eventually you will " see" it with your palm....
     
  24. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 13,582

    alchemy
    Member

    When I’m panel bumping or sanding filler, I can only use my left hand to feel the smoothness. I’m right handed for everything except checking the smoothness of a panel.
     
  25. s55mercury66
    Joined: Jul 6, 2009
    Posts: 3,269

    s55mercury66
    Member
    from SW Wyoming

    Anything you can feel you will be able to see. Run your hands over every panel you can find. Yes, your wife and neighbors will think you are weird, and we are. If you have trouble feeling dents and such, use a rag. You have to be able to feel what is going on, and you will find that 40 grit sandscratches will actually pull on your fingerprints, making it hard to feel. Run some 80 over it, lightly, it will help eliminate that issue. Use your hands, and all of the patience God will allow. This stuff takes years of experience, so don't be disappointed if it takes a while to get the hang of it, it will take a while. After it feels straight, spray a guide coat.
     
  26. shadetreerodder
    Joined: Aug 4, 2006
    Posts: 289

    shadetreerodder
    Member

    Been hearing from painters to stay away from polyester filler primers. Causing paint to lift months after painting. Anybody else experience this issue?

    Sent from my SM-G955U using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  27. WB69
    Joined: Dec 7, 2008
    Posts: 621

    WB69
    Member

    Guilty as charged, have over sanded before. Easy to do.
     
  28. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 4,192

    anthony myrick
    Member
    from al

    No. But I always use an epoxy over it
    Polly is a filler. I don’t care what the product sales pitch says. Who would paint directly over filler
    I do not trust the DTM evercoat
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2019
    shadetreerodder likes this.
  29. s55mercury66
    Joined: Jul 6, 2009
    Posts: 3,269

    s55mercury66
    Member
    from SW Wyoming

    Lifting, no, but poly primers are very porous as Anthony stated above, and can absorb a lot of paint, especially basecoat. If paint is not adhering, the surface was either not clean, or not sanded well. If they are going wet-on-wet with it as a sealer, I don't think that is recommended.
     
  30. LM14
    Joined: Dec 18, 2009
    Posts: 1,453

    LM14
    Member
    from Iowa

    Invest in sanding blocks of all types , shapes and sizes. Use the longest block you can work with in each area. Put on only enough mud to fill the lows, don’t hog it in 3” thick so you have to sand it all back off. I would rather deal with several thin layers and sand a little than a heavy layer and remove 95% by sanding. I like to hit it with 120 grit shorty after applying the mud to remove any slobbers, obvious high spots or ridges from spreading. It clogs paper but speeds up the process overall with less sanding of completely cured filler. Use your hands more than your eyes. Run your hand over the area and feel for surface irregularities. Take your time.
    SPark

    74AB3B48-5646-495D-95EF-9E6712B744D9.jpeg 8824A5F2-4775-40B7-8B6C-FC96BA377A66.jpeg F829673F-5F0A-469B-8051-F8F14252980C.jpeg BB5B1C37-583A-4C99-92B5-624457732081.jpeg 36AD6C41-50A4-4432-9EC0-87129998C4D1.jpeg 9CD64DA5-977D-4477-AC8A-A2AB45716525.jpeg 1F4B2003-72B3-4932-9961-536FA64BEA22.jpeg 945C5D3D-0AFF-4178-BDE2-44BE629860AD.jpeg 808B89A1-11C1-46E6-9D79-3D17EA64786C.jpeg
     

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