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Old 10-25-2012, 11:26 PM
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sanding blocks

I need to invest in a new set of sanding blocks. I spend most of my time doing high end resto work cost is not a concern. I have a set of Hutchings wood handles long boards that I like but they are 12 years old and just dont get a panal straight anymore. I got a set of AFS blocks to try out just wondering if there is is anything comperable on the market.

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Old 10-26-2012, 12:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bighotroddin View Post
I need to invest in a new set of sanding blocks. I spend most of my time doing high end resto work cost is not a concern. I have a set of Hutchings wood handles long boards that I like but they are 12 years old and just dont get a panal straight anymore. I got a set of AFS blocks to try out just wondering if there is is anything comperable on the market.
All my 2 3/4" width long blocks are Hutchings, they are excellent but like everything does wear out after a lot of use. When my last one became suspect I took a piece of Billet aluminum...about 5/32" thick and milled it 100% flat. Have had the rebuild now for 16 years and any new board I have to buy since I do the same thing before any sand paper hits the tool. It costs a bit of money but, 16 years and it's still as straight as day one. I think you'd have to drive over it with a Mac truck to hurt it and even then you'd probably only have to replace the handle.

It worked for me...maybe give it a try.

For curved blocks I'm fortunate to have several CNC milling machine and machine some Oak stock to fit the curve or something close to the curve and use 3M's sheet roll system for blocking...The oldest one I've got in this collection is over 20 years old...still works well. I understand that if you don't have the equipment it will get costly but, as far as machining a piece of Billet 2 3/4 by 16 or 17 inches in my opinion is well worth it. I even have several pieces that I've machined and are dedicated for color sanding only.

Hope it helps.
Ray
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Old 10-26-2012, 12:14 AM
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Just to reiterate...I know it can be expensive to do what I suggest but these are tools that I make my living with and build my reputation on. Nothing wrong with buying an off the self block and Hutchings make some of the best...I do understand.

Ray
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Old 10-26-2012, 12:19 AM
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I think most of my problems are comming from the foam pad over the aluminum.
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Old 10-26-2012, 12:32 AM
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Take the foam off...did I mention...take the foam off...I haven't used a foam bottomed board for, well all I can remember is that when I originally bought one, and one only, after a couple of uses, I took the foam off. Just clean the glue residue off with thinner and You have a usable tool. So many of these tools are preference and all I trying to convey is my preference. I' sure some people may disagree and that is within their right. This is what works for me.

Ray
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Old 10-26-2012, 05:11 AM
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I use the Durablocks along with some others that are more rigid.
I even use a wood 2X4 piece.
the nice thing about the Durablocks and the wood ones is they are
so easy to true up.
Take some stick-on 80 grit paper and stick it
to a flat surface (like my countertop) and run the block
over it till it's even.
None of my blocks are that true when new.
the Durablocks sand easily and really show the low spots
after sanding.
If I want a really rigid Durablock, I can attach a piece of
plexiglass to it. Round the edges a little with sandpaper
to remove the sharp corners.
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Old 10-26-2012, 06:47 AM
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I'm really happy with Durablock. Just bought another one yesterday. I have a long one and needed a shorter one. Yes, they are foam rubber, but hard enough to get the job done well.
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Old 10-26-2012, 06:57 AM
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3M also has the hard boards, They worked but, designed so that ease of operation meant using 3M sheet roll. I find If I'm doing a box side or a rear quarter on an old Dodge Dart, I want something ridged, straight and a piece I won't have to replace often. That's why I went with the home made milled billet.

Like I said, it's all personal preference, not one defined right or wrong way, that's what's so great about places like this, we get to share and discuss ideas and learn.

Ray
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Old 10-26-2012, 08:36 AM
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I like this durablock (top), which I use with or without a paintstick depending on how ridgid I want it to be. Usually with paintstick for body shaping and just the durablock for blocking with finer grits.

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Old 10-26-2012, 10:13 AM
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Absolutely correct on all counts, whatever the individual uses to get the panel straight. I've used led pipes, my wife's curlers, I even used an orange one time to get a recessed body line correct and even for 4 feet on the car.
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Old 10-26-2012, 10:32 AM
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Another thing I found that worked nice to block out a run was an old, hard as a rock, piece of 3/8 air hose that I cut about 1 1/2" long and wrapped paper around. I found it easier to pinpoint my sanding over say a small block of wood or a paintstick. Like you said widetrack, you use whatever you can find to do the job at hand...
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Old 10-26-2012, 11:41 AM
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Old 10-26-2012, 12:11 PM
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I like my set up, which is a set of durablocks, a 16" 3M long board ( for a truer result than dura blocks), a piece of pvc coping or vacuum attachment, and a super soft motor guard block. Couldn't ask for anything more.
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Old 10-26-2012, 05:51 PM
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I have a complete set of Dura Blocks but my boss wont let me use the long boards, he says there not straight. We do have the 3M ones and I like those. Most of the cars we do hae long quarters and doors.

When we color sand we start with 500 grit dry and wooden paintsticks but I will hae to give the plexi glass a try.

The avater pic is a car I have to do in spring. Since its glass it has alot of imperfections. I am definitly going to take the pad off of those Hutchings boards and see what happens.
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Old 10-26-2012, 06:36 PM
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Remember to clean the old adhesive off with thinner. I do a bit of teaching at the local College and the first thing I tell the students especially after a panel has been guide coated is that their block is NOT an eraser, to many times I see they have a low spot and they try to work that area extra hard to get that guide coat off...like an eraser in grade school. Get rid of the foam and let the paper do the work. Your job is to lightly move the paper and block, the paper's job is to level and straighten. The nice thing is when you do it right, you get credit for both.
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