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12-06-2006 06:19 PM November 26, 2006, II
These are some of the implements of destruction. A large rubber 3M block, measures 8" long. Regular sandpaper folded in fourths fits on it, but I usually use a section of inline sander paper, it's more expensive, but is coated and lasts forever.

If I start sanding the filler a little too soon, it clogs up the paper like here. I use this file comb to keep it clean. If I wait 'til the next day or later, the filler gets hard as a rock, and takes lots longer to shape.

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  [Entry #144]

12-06-2006 05:57 PM November 26, 2006
I got a nice email from someone who said they liked my journal alot. Thanks mom! Actually it was someone who thought I was nuts for doing so much of the bodywork by hand, and asked about the tools I do have. I won't get into whether or not I'm nuts, because that's a debate I could lose.

I've finished the front right fender. Before the first photo, I stripped the paint and old filler from the front area with my grinder. With a pick and dolly, I worked the area a little straighter than it was. It was decent, so this was no big deal. possibly I'll do more on the metal-hammering stage at a later date.

The second photo (top) is my grinder, not a good photo, but borrowed from an earlier entry. It is a Ryobi, electric, not air powered, and uses the 6" soft discs. I use 24 or 36 grit. They come in finer grits, but I don't use those. I also have a different electric grinder which uses 4" hard fibre discs, but that is mostly used for grinding down welds, and never for removing paint prior to doing body work like I'm doing now. The second photo (bottom) is an area of the hood I stripped to bare metal-a must before applying filler.

The third photo shows the hardened filler, 10 or 15 minutes after application. It looks like stucco. I use this, called a 'cheese grater' to rough-shape the filler. A handle is available for it, but I usually just barehand it. I use both hands, but one had to use the camera! A new grater is available, about 2.5 inches wide, and not as curved. It will work well for these old cars with large, flat panels. I picked one up and will use it in the future.

It's easy to go too far at this stage, so I grate it just slightly farther than the area shown just above the cheese grater. I do not attempt to get it smooth at this stage, just the rough approximate shape.

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  [Entry #143]

11-24-2006 08:11 PM November 24, 2006
I've been working on the house, and some other work to keep the bills paid, but it was 69 degrees here today and I managed to get a few hours in on the car.

I removed the back seat and rear interior panels. Both seat halves came out the hard way, and I ended up bending the crap out of the rear seat back frame and mounts. I removed the side panels and armrests, and put the hardware in the milk jugs. I also removed the rubber window sweeps, because I don't want a paint line at the edge, and I may replace the strips anyway.

It was early, so I then hand-sanded the rear bumper cove on the quarterpanel. It was very rough and took forever, but came out ok. I then took out the door jamb vent and used the pick hammer and dolly for a little light tapping on inside of the front of the rear quarterpanel. I ground the paint off, and put a skim coat of filler on after these photos. Later into the evening, I shaped the whole thing with the sanding blocks, no power tools used at all after grinding the paint off. This was done after these photos. I worked the lower panel behind the rear wheel some, but did not finish it. The filler will be as hard as granite by the time I finally get back to it, but hey, it won't be the first time....

I masked off the passenger windows and the rear window, in preparation for prime and paint, which I'm still a ways from yet. I'm leaving the glass installed this time, because at least some of the interior will remain in the car including the headliner and dash, so I intend to paint the car with the windows installed and rolled up.

After the lower panel is done, I have lots of touch-up type sanding to do all around, before primer. After that, only the fenders and hood remain! It looks like the right front fender will need some work re-done up front, but I don't think it's too big a disaster underneath. We'll see....

April comes around early in these parts, and it is generally not warm enough to paint until the end of March or later. I'd also like to give the primer plenty of time to dry, so I'm not sure if I'm committed to having this car ready for the 2007 Easter Forest Park car show. Maybe if I get some unseasonably nice days this winter, I can spray the primer early.

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  [Entry #142]

11-12-2006 02:42 PM November 9, 2006, part three
Restoration or custom rod, my paint job and car will only be as good as the chrome I put back on it. The bumpers are a prominent feature on 70s musclecars, and they are worth spending big bucks on. I'm $650 poorer, but the bumpers are back from United, and they look good. The guy at United tells me they will do no more chrome bumpers in a few weeks.

The rear bumper not being done is what made me almost miss the Forest Park Easter Car Show last year with the convertible. I'll have to almost miss the show for a different reason next year. Having this car finished in time for that seems like a reasonable goal. We'll see.

This is what it looked like when I put it away for the day. I put some 80 grit on the airfile, and tuned up all the bodywork I did today. The lower edge of the door needs a little finesse which will be easy, but the patch panel behind the rear tire will be just a little more of a challenge.

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  [Entry #141]

11-12-2006 02:26 PM November 9, 2006, part two
I stripped the rear quarter area, and applied a skim coat of filler to the whole area. Same as the door, I cheese-grated it, shaped it with 36 grit DA sanding, then hit it with the airfile, the block, and lots of it by hand, with a strip of 36 paper wrapped around half of a paint stick, sanding in a criss-cross pattern to keep it real.

It turned out very well. The photos make it look like a huge slab, but it is actually a very nice thin coat. I also filled over the seam I welded in the bumper cove area. The patch didn't turn out quite as well as I'd hoped, as evident pretty early when I started to shape it. It has a couple of high spots that will need to be worked.

I didn't do the front of the rear panel, because I need to remove interior panels so I can work that area a little from inside.

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  [Entry #140]

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