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Technical Little tips and tricks for garage hobbyists.

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Ron Brown, Jul 30, 2019.

  1. Ron Brown
    Joined: Jul 6, 2015
    Posts: 1,489

    Ron Brown

    30D6AB9D-861A-436A-8561-A7584BA16CC8.jpeg I realize there are far more weekend hobbyists than pro builders on the HAMB and a thread similar to this may have already been posted. If so this probably wont go far but I'm gonna kick it off.

    For guys like me, working out of a garage or small shop space, trying to save money where you can, sometimes one needs to use "backyard logic" to make it all work. So, here are a few of my favorite tricks...hope they help some of ya'll along.

    I personally do not like the looks of the blue and red A-R fittings used on braided lines, so I looked for a way to easily remove it...Answer / Easy-Off oven cleaner...removes anodizing in about 30 secs. leaving a nice clean aluminum piece than can now be polished.

    Using a bead blaster or wire brush on a grinder is one way, but my garage has no bead blaster and wire brushing leaves only so-so results...Answer / Permatex Gasket Remover...probably not cost effective on large pieces, but is killer for smaller stuff...Had a couple mirrors that were powdercoated satin black and I wanted to remove it. Sprayed it on, 15 mins. later, powdercoating slid right off leaving 100% bare muss no fuss.

    Most all here on the HAMB is familiar with my A Sedan. I wanted to preserve the patina without clear coat painting, which, in my opinion, looks painted with clear when done. Someone here on this site emailed me a couple years ago with the solution I was looking for. When I'm out and about with my car, the number one question, by far, is how do I keep it looking like I do...Answer / Boiled Linseed Oil and Acetone mixed 50/50. The trick here is using "Boiled Linseed Oil" as opposed to "Straight Linseed Oil". Wipe it on, wipe it off and drys to touch in about 15 mins and only has to be reapplied about twice a year leaving it nice and shiny without that clear paint look. Been using this for about 3 yrs. and absolutely no surface rust. Here is a pic of the car about a week after the last application.

    I will see how this thread goes as I have plenty more cool little tricks I can share...If you have some please share. I'm always looking to learn something usefull.
    jakespeed63, 0nedon, zz29 and 33 others like this.
  2. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 24,227

    Jalopy Joker

    Thanks - at the moment one thing that comes to mind is when painting a installed motor & underhood areas I use old towels, usually medium to small which can be used to cover fenders, exhaust manifolds, etc or covering motor when painting inner fender panels. works good when touching up previous paint work too. use good masking tape where tight edges need to be done. also, use kitchen plastic food wrap around some parts too. the food wrap is good to cover distributors, and other electrical stuff when using an engine cleaner that requires water to remove it. simple stuff, not exciting but, the end result can really make difference in a short period of time
    OLSKOOL32, zz29, Atwater Mike and 8 others like this.
  3. s55mercury66
    Joined: Jul 6, 2009
    Posts: 3,841

    from SW Wyoming

    Cheap aluminum foil can be used to wrap items like shifters and master cylinders when painting interiors and under the hood.
    pbr40, zz29, Atwater Mike and 11 others like this.
  4. Put Aluminum foil on exhaust manifolds/headers when adjusting valve lash.
    6-bangertim, zz29, mkebaird and 15 others like this.
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  5. Thanks for the info..
    Ron Brown likes this.
  6. Hope this stays and is easy access for all us garage builders.Great info.
    Ron Brown likes this.
  7. Fortunateson
    Joined: Apr 30, 2012
    Posts: 2,817


    Looking forward to more...
    Ron Brown likes this.
  8. sloppy jalopies
    Joined: Jun 29, 2015
    Posts: 3,523

    sloppy jalopies

    I weld finish nails to flat washers, to use as shims when shimming the A body blocks...
    the nails let me steer the washers to line up with the bolts...
    OLSKOOL32, slim tempo, brEad and 8 others like this.
  9. 65pacecar
    Joined: Sep 22, 2010
    Posts: 1,335

    from KY, AZ

    Old Heavy duty straight/flat screw drivers wrapped in masking tape make great pry bars for tight places with nice paint. If careful will not mar the surface or paint.

    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
    zz29, jakespeed63 and Ron Brown like this.
  10. 65pacecar
    Joined: Sep 22, 2010
    Posts: 1,335

    from KY, AZ

    If you replace the dishwasher keep the utensil holder out of it that is used for silverware, they are perfect for cleaning bolts etc in buckets of solvent or simple green or even to use in the sand blaster to hold the components being cleaned

    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
    zz29, Lerenzo Rawson, brEad and 11 others like this.
  11. Thanks. A couple of tricks there I haven't heard of before.
    6inarow likes this.
  12. sdroadster
    Joined: Jul 27, 2006
    Posts: 265


    Use a spray bottle full of water, and drench any painted area when beginning to bleed your brakes. The alcohol in brake fluid is hygroscopic (absorbs water) and will kill it's ability to eat paint should you spill some fluid. Bleed your brakes as normal, and wipe off the water. Your paint will be untouched.
  13. 65pacecar
    Joined: Sep 22, 2010
    Posts: 1,335

    from KY, AZ

    Keep a good quality set of fresh clean lightly used or new sockets dedicated for reassembly after the body is painted. They will not chip the
    Paint or damage it like worn or dirty sockets will since they fit and function tight and correct on the nut/bolt.

    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
  14. deathrowdave
    Joined: May 27, 2014
    Posts: 2,077

    from NKy

    I did the boiled linseed oil and acetone on a plastic quad runner my neighbor was goin to trash because it was all faded out . Looks as new again . Biggest thing I can say about garage tips is : keep a log of who you loan tools to . If they don’t return it and you have to go get it back the short arm bastard doesn’t get anymore tools . Your stuff is replaceable , your wife is not , I hope . A happy wife is a happy life . Mine has a spot in the house garage , my fun area is in a detached garage , I can paint , weld , curse , spit , drink entertain my buddies , there and not be a burden to her . I wish I had a head and a shower there , maybe a laundry room and a bunk , it would kinda be like home !
  15. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 6,089

    Bandit Billy

    Grab an old propane BBQ from the dump or CL and keep it on back of the shop for cooking the powder coat right off brackets and hard parts. Cook on high with lid closed for 15 minutes, brush, turn over and repeat. Let cool, pairs well with bourbon, serves two.

    I cleaned up my powder coated backing plates in no time, then chromed the beejeevies out of them.
  16. akoutlaw
    Joined: May 13, 2010
    Posts: 786


    Thanks to all for the ideas. Some are new to me.
  17. southcross2631
    Joined: Jan 20, 2013
    Posts: 3,356


    Inventory your shop equipment ,tools etc. annually and keep it someplace other than your shop. In case of a break in or fire it makes it easier to prove to the insurance company what you lost.
    Make sure you have insurance on your shop and its contents. Had a good friend lose everything when his shop burned due to faulty wiring to his air compressor and no insurance.
    jakespeed63, Xtrom, brEad and 6 others like this.
  18. .And photos are a good tool.^^^^^^
  19. theamcguy
    Joined: May 7, 2009
    Posts: 212


    Some great tips here. Thank you
    jakespeed63 likes this.
  20. Tim
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 10,614

    from Raytown Mo

    Dry citric acid sold basically everywhere, farm stores are an easy source- mixed about a cup and a half to a gallon of water make a great rust removal mild acid that neutralizes easy.

    Doesn’t eat paint, plating or anything other than rust. Can often leave a bit of a black coating that’s easily dusted off with some sand paper but does a great job eating the crust off things

    92F700F1-CBE1-4FE4-8837-B6FAAB971D06.jpeg Steering column tube. It left the paint and the plating under the paint. No gray coating on this part 96B63D3D-BB62-4794-A547-C3AE4DFB8441.jpeg a very rusty steering box after about 6 hours! I swished it around and left it for 24 to really get it good. No scrubbing or anything. Did surface rust to a slight yellow pretty fast after i rinsed and dried it. I suppose because the part is so porous? Might have better luck if you dried it with a little low heat torch
  21. onetrickpony
    Joined: Sep 21, 2010
    Posts: 406

    from Texas

    Big bench vise is a nice substitute for an arbor press in a pinch. Pushes ujoints and leaf spring bushings out and in like a champ.
    zz29, slack, Ron Brown and 2 others like this.
  22. blowby
    Joined: Dec 27, 2012
    Posts: 6,294

    from Nicasio Ca

    I put a kitchen trash bag over my garage stool because I'm always using it for a paint or parts stand. Then when I need a clean seat I remove the bag.
  23. If you are an old man like me and your work area is just a garage, keep an empty plastic drink bottle in the garage so you don't have to run back to the house every hour to pee...:mad:
    Yeah, I know...not really a tip to most of us old farts but I just wanted to contribute.
  24. BrandonB
    Joined: Feb 24, 2006
    Posts: 3,042

    from nor cal

    There is a product called OA or Oxalic Acid that I heard about on an antique bicycle forum, that referred to as giving rusty parts an OA bath. It's sometimes called wood bleach. I'm posting a link to an article about it and how it will disolve rust while leaving the paint and will not disturb even decals. I've used it and it's pretty amazing. I picked up a container at ACE hardware.
    Go to the link and look at the before and after pictures. Very impressive and the material is organic.
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2019
    Budeebro1, jebbesen, zz29 and 10 others like this.
  25. .....and if you have pictures of your equipment or disassembly or detail pictures of stuff you are working on; back them up somewhere in case the originals are lost somehow.
    Elcohaulic, enloe, Just Gary and 2 others like this.
  26. Ron Brown
    Joined: Jul 6, 2015
    Posts: 1,489

    Ron Brown


    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
    zz29, Dino 64 and loudbang like this.
  27. belair
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 8,241


    Friends of friends are often thieves. Be careful who you let in to your shop. Not everyone shares your love for the hobby.
  28. woodsnwater
    Joined: Apr 4, 2016
    Posts: 349

    from North Al.

    If you're like me and think shrinking disks are overpriced, just turn a flap disk upside down on your angle grinder. Works great on small areas.
    40grit, Hansa1100, flatford39 and 4 others like this.
  29. 28 Ford PU
    Joined: Jan 9, 2015
    Posts: 412

    28 Ford PU
    from Upstate NY

    When cleaning the garage I dust pan the big stuff and then start at the back and blow everything out the door with the leaf blower.

    Sent from my iPad using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  30. 28 Ford PU
    Joined: Jan 9, 2015
    Posts: 412

    28 Ford PU
    from Upstate NY

    Leftover hardwood flooring makes for a great workbench surface.

    Sent from my iPad using The H.A.M.B. mobile app

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