Somebody is doing things wrong with lead, how do I get through to him?
Do you guys wanna hear a story that's funny and sad at the same time?
I know this guy that, well he's a do it your selfer...and that's cool...He knows that I've done a few early Fords in the last few years and he belongs to the same club that I did 2 of these old cars for. I went to a meeting for the club about 2 years ago and explained how some metal working equipment worked and how to use it...(I only had about an hour and a half so I condensed everything down and tried to hit on the basics). The Q & A got into using lead versus body filler and I thought the whole evening went quite well.
I've kept in touch with quite a few members and about 2 months ago, one of the members called me asked if I'd come and look at a project he was working on, so I did. When I got there I was amazed at all the equipment he'd run out and purchased, English wheel, shrinker stretcher, numerous body hammers, dolly's and everything imaginable for using lead, you name it, he had the makings of a well outfitted shop. He showed me what he had done to this vehicle and so far much of what he had done looked good but he had several questions about the back panel that had been hit quite hard and aftermarket parts for some reason weren't available and wanted to know how to fix it. I explained to him that he had an English Wheel and he could virtually cut out the damaged area and build a patch panel. Gave him a tutorial on how to use it and even took a piece of metal and showed him hoe it works, all seemed good.
Today I got another call from this fellow to come over and take a look at what he had done. I was shocked to say the least. Instead of using his equipment he welded in a piece of straight sheet metal and told me that he would get the curve of the panel by molding it out of lead. We are talking a panel about 36 inches by 36 inches with radius curves that should be all around the flat piece of sheet metal he had just welded in. This didn't seem to concern him, what his concern was, how well body filler stuck to lead. Some areas will have over 1/2 inch of lead work to get the shape of what the panel should look like.
I told him he would be better off to cut out the metal he had just welded in and make a proper repair panel, he got just a little less than furious with the suggestion and told me that he wasn't about to throw 4 hours of cutting metal and welding it into place when he could get what he wanted by using lead. I tried to explain that in the long run, getting the proper repair panel made and then welding it in would be faster, cheaper and the repair would last longer. Tomorrow he's going out, scouring the city for lead...I was speechless and all I could say was well if it doesn't seem to work out the way you planned, give me a call and we'll see what we can do about fixing it.
I don't know if I should send him a sympathy card or a get well card. I'd call it butcher work if the guy was lazy and just filled it with plastic, but I think he knows better and I just don't understand why he would buy all of the equipment and not use it...Hell, even if he didn't have a wheel, a hammer and eyeball would have saved him many hours of work a hundreds in material.
It's times like this that it feels as though trying to pass on knowledge seems futile. I am now asking you guys how to get through to this person, he's a good guy and I even volunteered to do it for him on a weekend...any suggestions?