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Technical body work, getting a panel straight??

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

  1. Three Widow's Garage
    Joined: Jan 18, 2010
    Posts: 202

    Three Widow's Garage
    Member

    Once the filler starts to go off don't keep playing with it you'll just make it worse. I get best results by roughing in with course paper then with medium sanding primarily with the length of the panel then going back with a 45 degree crosshatch pattern and sometimes using the longboard in a circular motion as well.
     
    jimgoetz likes this.
  2. COCONUTS
    Joined: May 5, 2015
    Posts: 553

    COCONUTS

    This is a good subject but I have to asked: Do you guys still use cheese grater files or air power board sanders or are these tools of the past? I was taught to metal work the metal, if nothing else don't have any high spots, apply the filler, cheese grate to the basic shape, then finish off with a air board sander, with movement in a cross hatch manner, prime the area, then nitrostan over that, wet sand with 220, then apply your finish primer.
     
  3. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 4,271

    anthony myrick
    Member
    from al

    That’s a good question
    I haven’t used a cheese grater since the early 90s
    An air file is very seldom. When body work is reduced to a thin skim, graters and files are not needed. New fillers sand much better than the old ones.
     
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  4. Cheese graders but in that very small window of when it’s just right. Air file on really flat surface like van side.

    I find that a Cheese grader in the process usually means you’ve both over filled and plan on filling again. The grader takes off a lot quickly and leaves some gouges that need skimmed. IMO It’s still useful for the wack and pack or cave and pave stuff.

    I’ll give my personal endorsement on this product. There’s no free lunch and you’ll need to custom mix the filler (It’s a fine print detail that’s a huge factor) in trade for sanding your ass off. Not a bad deal.
    Short video, there are longer ones to watch that go over a lot more details, and curved surface with 3 varieties of flexibility blades and take the it all the way to primer.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2019
    belair, Gasser 57 and COCONUTS like this.
  5. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 25,653

    The37Kid
    Member

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^Cars of the '60's and later owners will love that!


    Bob
     
    31Vicky with a hemi likes this.
  6. He’s using #1 blade,
    The #3 blade is very flexible can handle most curves from 30s 40s 50s cars too.
     
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  7. This is how I was taught too.
     
  8. birdman1
    Joined: Dec 6, 2012
    Posts: 630

    birdman1
    Member
    from USA

    several years ago(1990's) I had the oppertunity to work alongside of an elderly gentleman who did bodywork all his life. He did the bodywork and enamel paint and I did the mechanics side of the resoration, a 1948 ford convertible coupe. He used no filler of any kind, and it was the best , straightest car i have seen. He would tap on a dent, then go have a cup of coffee. then he would go back to the dent, hit it just right again, more coffee. He was truely an artist. Thank you guys for all the help. Guess I need to drink more coffee!
     
    GuyW likes this.
  9. akoutlaw
    Joined: May 13, 2010
    Posts: 705

    akoutlaw
    Member

    What do you guys do to keep the sand paper from plugging up? Even with the Bondo dried fully I have problems with the paper plugging up.
     
  10. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 4,271

    anthony myrick
    Member
    from al

    Use a better quality filler
     
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  11. KenC
    Joined: Sep 14, 2006
    Posts: 250

    KenC
    Member

    I'm gonna agree with everybody on the long board. Use it in at least two direction, horizontal, and vertical if possible, but at least angle the stokes. Keeps dips and valley to a minimum. I didn't see this mentioned, but IMO it is critical to cut and shape with coarser paper, finish with finer. A lot of guys seem to use paper that is too fine for the task and use too much pressure to make it cut.

    I like to shape with 36/40 grits, hit very lightly with 80 then either glazing putty or lots of surfacer.

    And, use sharp paper, change often. as one of my woodworker acquaintance says, life is to short to use dull sandpaper.

    When shaping I like to wear cheap knit gloves. the slide over the surface better than bare fingers and help feel any highs or lows.
     
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  12. KenC
    Joined: Sep 14, 2006
    Posts: 250

    KenC
    Member

    that and/or lightly wipe the surface with thinner before the first sanding stroke. Helps remove the sticky 'skin' that some fillers form.
     
    akoutlaw likes this.
  13. Cheap paper ain’t so cheap
    The waxy resin on top is going to gum up paper no matter what. I keep the old paper to cut the fist stuff.
    Fully cured filler is a bitch to sand.
    There’s a whole bunch of little stupid details about and within the process that make it simple and easier. Timing, quality products, knowing when, And Most of it comes from experience, experiments, mistakes, and sore shoulders, numb hands, bloody fingertips.

    And then if you ask 20 guys the same questions they will give you 40 different answers. You could have 2 body men achieve perfect results with different techniques. Force those two guys to switch techniques and you’ll likely get shit.
     
  14. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 8,974

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    This is one reason we used a cheese grater, to take off the sticky top surface. There are newer fillers that do not have this stickiness. Another cure if you use the old fashioned filler, is to wipe off the surface with a rag and lacquer thinner.
    Another way of doing is to sand with coarse paper like 40 or 80 to cut down to a level, and if the paper clogs up blast it clean with your air hose.

    A long time ago I was given a batch of grinding discs from a cabinet shop. They were clogged with wood from grinding MDF and Formica. As soon as I used them on steel the sawdust fell off and they were good as new.
     
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  15. oj
    Joined: Jul 27, 2008
    Posts: 6,100

    oj
    Member

    I keep a stainless steel 'toothbrush' to run over the sandpaper, esp the airboard.
     
  16. Jethro
    Joined: Mar 5, 2001
    Posts: 1,397

    Jethro
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    A painter friend showed me to wipe with final wipe or wax and grease remover then look down the panel while it's still wet. The shine from the solvent shows waves.
     
  17. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 25,198

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    LONGBOARD isn't just a brand of beer from Hawaii. It is essential for getting the body finish down right.
    There are some little back street shops around here that can lay down paint like you can't believe but you won't find a long board or air board in the shop. They hit it all over with a DA and shoot it.
    This the fender of a slightly OT truck that I took photos of for a guy back east a few years ago and he did buy it for his dad. Truck was probably a half day with a long board from having a real nice paint job rather than a good driver quality paint job. If you look close you can see the DA marks around the spots where they filled holes from a chrome strip that had been on that bed side when they swapped bedsides. That and one unrepaired ding on the tailgate were about all that kept the paint from being real nice.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Patience and time mean a lot on paint prep.
     
  18. 57JoeFoMoPar
    Joined: Sep 14, 2004
    Posts: 4,204

    57JoeFoMoPar
    Member

    Evercoat Rage Gold has never done that to me.

    IMHO, the absolute last place you'd ever want to cut corners on materials is in paint and body. I'd open the vault for the absolute finest materials you could work with. Paint is the first thing you see on a car, it draws you in and makes a statement. It's something that is objectively quantifiable by even those unfamiliar with cars. If it's good, it looks good and everyone can appreciate it. But if it's bad or damaged, even the untrained eye can pick it up. And realistically, you only get one shot at it, before you'd have to start a massive repaint all over again. It's not like a set of heads or cam, where if I don't like them, it's a PITA but an afternoon worth of work I can swap them out. You have to make it count.
     
  19. Rickybop
    Joined: May 23, 2008
    Posts: 5,590

    Rickybop
    Member
    from Michigan

    Something not mentioned yet.
    Wherever there's a dent, the metal immediately surrounding the dent is usually raised. If these raised areas aren't hammered down, it makes leveling when filling the area much more difficult and the surface ends up proud of where it should be. Shrinking helps of course.

    Voice recognition tried to say drinking helps LOL.

    Sent from my VS835 using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
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  20. Rickybop
    Joined: May 23, 2008
    Posts: 5,590

    Rickybop
    Member
    from Michigan

  21. I’ve tried most of them at any price and this is the one I like best. I buy it for 25
     

    Attached Files:

  22. LM14
    Joined: Dec 18, 2009
    Posts: 1,620

    LM14
    Member
    from Iowa

    Another trick I use is an Exacto knife to trim edges before they set too much. In this example I trimmed the mud out of the gap between the cowl vent and the body. Saves a lot of sanding later. Doesn’t have to be exact, just remove the bulk.

    You can also mask to better control the areas you work in. Keeps mud where you want it. Have to remove the masking immediately after laying the mud down or you will have a mess on your hands.

    Restraint and control will save you a lot of work.
    SPark

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  23. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 25,653

    The37Kid
    Member

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Nice, hope it gets a nice shade of black paint. Bob
     
  24. KenC
    Joined: Sep 14, 2006
    Posts: 250

    KenC
    Member

    So true! And that even extends to little things. Good masking tape in several widths, fine line tape, quality sanding supplies etc can make a huge difference in the process and results.

    Long boards: does anyone else use an air orbital long board? I have one of those and a straight line. Usually do the coarse work with the straight line, a manual board touch up to be sure it;s getting flat, then switch to the orbital with 80 and maybe 120.
     
  25. ZZ Top Chop
    Joined: Aug 12, 2018
    Posts: 175

    ZZ Top Chop
    Member

    photo reminds me of the time I was shaving the door handles on my mini-truck, didn't go slow enough...POP! warped the metal, right on the body line :mad:. Never could get it right after that.
     
  26. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 4,271

    anthony myrick
    Member
    from al

    I like the orbital for finish work
    when you eliminate straight lines you eliminate the possibility of them showing back up
    As far as cost, I get to use several different products at school now. Products I would never have used due to an unfamiliar name and low cost. I have found out that price doesn't always reflect quality.
     
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  27. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 25,653

    The37Kid
    Member

    Paint never fills anything, it just shows you were your short cuts are.

    Bib
     
  28. birdman1
    Joined: Dec 6, 2012
    Posts: 630

    birdman1
    Member
    from USA

    thankyou all for the help, I now have a very straight left fender on my "55 T-Bird hot rod.
     
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  29. bct
    Joined: Apr 4, 2005
    Posts: 2,984

    bct
    Member

    Great thread everyeve. Thanks for the info
     
  30. duncan
    Joined: Aug 23, 2006
    Posts: 969

    duncan
    Member

    True, but they used lacquer primer by the gallon.
     

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