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Old 01-28-2002, 07:38 PM
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Question trying to get my feet wet

ok guys...

I have never done any bodywork, and I mean absolutely none...

I have got a couple books that give me a lot of techinics, and list a lot of different tools. however, I'm wondering which tools will actually be required to start with, and which ones I can get away with not having for a bit.

I have a k5 (89 full size blazer) that I'm going to use as a warm up project before I start on my 1950 chevy truck. I'd like to get started on it in the next couple of weeks.

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Old 01-29-2002, 03:41 AM
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you need to go hang out at a body shop and see what they use to do the type of work you are going to do .....good luck
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Old 01-29-2002, 02:34 PM
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Read the books and this will give you a good start, but I will make a short list:

Hand tools: Dolly's and hammers. Buy a kit from the Eastwood ($60) company (on the web) or from you local body/ paint supplier. Also at a minimum one 16" and one 9 1/2" sanding board with wooden handles and clamps to hold standard size body work sanding papers. Also a palm pad. Eastwood or the paint supplier has these. $60

A small hand held grinder (Makita or whatever) with a 4 1/2 grinding wheel used to take off welds, cut metal etc. $50

A 6 or 8" disc sander for stick on sanding discs. You can either use electric $50 or Compressed Air. Compressed air tools are available from Lowes etc. relatively cheaply and if you are going to do a comprehensive street rod project, I think you will need compressed air.

You will find a compressor very handy to run grinders, orbital polish/sanders, cut off wheels, painting, sand blasting. If you get one, get as high a powered unit as you can afford. From $200 to $500

A wire feed MIG welder. It doesn't have to be big for body work. A Lincoln Weld Pak 125 is what I use for my home shop. I also use CO2/Argon gas shielding which reduces splatter and will give you a cleaner more professional weld and is adviseable though flux core wire is available and does not require gas shielding. Welder $500 to $600. If you want to spring for an automatic light adjusting helmet for $135, they are a blessing in disguise.

An HVLP top loading paint gun to spray primer and paints. $50

It depends on what kind of work you want to do. You can get by without a welder if you are going to stay with stock parts but if you are going to make modifications to body parts or weld in patches, you will need the MIG.

Patience and practice: I've never been to body work school, watched a body repairman or had any formal training, but I can build about anything that does not require an english wheel. Spend some time reading the chat boards and ask questions and practice, practice, practice. You are wise to start with something that you won't ruin. You can go to body shops and take their take off panels to work on. They are happy to have you take them away. This is a good place to start before you start on anything that will be driven.

Hope this helps.
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Old 01-29-2002, 03:10 PM
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well my first plus is that I am a great book learner...

the hand tools I'll have to get. I already have a good compressor, just got it yesterday actually. I will need a disk sander & buffer, but I won't purchase the buffer that until needed. I'll get a paint gun when I get to the point that I need one.

mig welder is on the list, but that will have to come down the road a bit. my first project is to paint my k5 as a practice project, but I plan on making some modifications to the 50 truck so I'll need a mig welder at some point.

my k5 is my off-road and play vehicle so I'm not real concerned about that way that thing will look. I care about stopping body rott cuz I have a little on the body, and getting rid of a little of the surface rust. it should be a perfect pratice project.

I also have a few extra fenders for the 50 truck that I won't be using so I can use them to practice on. I probably won't paint the k5, but just do the body work. I will practice my painting on the extra parts that I have left over before I start on the real stuff. I plan on getting the truck done, and leaving it in primer while I do the interior etc. painting the truck will be the absolute last thing that I do.

I appreciate the tips and advice.
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Old 01-30-2002, 11:47 AM
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Solo: I would think twice about doing much with those extra truck fenders. They are really good trading stock if not rusted badly.
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Old 01-30-2002, 01:42 PM
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oh these fenders are pretty trashed... it would take a real miracle worker to salvage them. one of them could be salvaged with a lot of work and a good body guy, but the other one I think is pretty much toast. it has been arc welded where it was broken in about 3 spots, and it is warped in one place.

I got quite a bit of stuff around here I can practice on though, and the body shop up here has a really easy going body guy. I'm sure I could get practice parts from him that he's discarding.
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Old 01-30-2002, 05:10 PM
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When I was learning how to do body and paint work I started by working part time at a shop. Takeing cars apart for paint jobs, pulling damaged parts off, and sanding. It doesn't take long and you will be helping hang parts, and doing some minor repairs. The pay will be little or none but the education is free and you may gain access to some of the shop equipment in time.You will get some hands on experience and will soon find out what you need for tools for your own projects. Good luck.
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Old 01-30-2002, 06:27 PM
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actually I've kinda been thinking about doing that. he's also rent out part of his shop for some much a month, and teach ya / charge ya a bit to help you when help is needed. I'd like to get my pocket book to a point where I can do that.
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Old 01-31-2002, 02:13 PM
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One of the tools I find Very Handy is the dremel High speed rotary tool. There are hunreds of bits for your smaller detail work some times a big grinder or sander just doesn't fit the work area.the small tool can be used with a cut off wheel, grinder or sanding drums,and disks.
Once you get a Dremel you will find plenty of uses for it. trust me.
If you have small rust holes you can grind them out before you patch. I am a big fan of fiber glass patches or things like bondo.
Good luck bro.

[ January 31, 2002: Message edited by: cyberwolf ]</p>
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Old 01-31-2002, 03:39 PM
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I had a dremel, but it died on me... thats when I found the wonders of a die grinder! may be a little heavy duty for some jobs.

I think instead of trying bondo I'm going to try stuff por-15 puts out in its place.
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Old 02-06-2002, 05:32 AM
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I say "if you never try, you will never know!" a buddy of mine,then, an apprentice body man, bugged me for months too tackle the body on my 80 malibu,well he showed up long enough to help me strip the body down to metal. That was the last i saw of him for quite some time. left in a real pickle, i thought i would try it myself. Well i am not trying to toot my own horn but i am pretty good! I have actually been approached to finish many cars. dont be afraid to try, ask questions ( none of them are stupid),show some enthusiasm, it takes lots of PATIENCE in the begining, you will likely surprise yourself!
P.S. good luck! let us know how you make out!
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Old 02-06-2002, 08:48 AM
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Hey Wookie wanna get your feet wet??? PUT THE GARDEN HOSE IN YOUR SHOES!!!! Hey you got the air comp.but i hate to break it to you with all the projects you have planned you need to buy a weldor. (esp if you own a rust bucket blazer) Go to sears and buy a good weldor and pay 15-30 bucks on it a month(they sell all the top brand mig and tigs).If you get the shop book it has all the weldors on there.We have allready gone through this on another site about which one to buy so.......go take the plunge. Dont even think about brazing that 50 together,i will have to get on a plane and beat you silly with the torch.Hey a good lesson for you if you do have ox/act torches is to learn how to gas weld.It will only help you later when you go to learn Mig and Tig.get some coat hangers(tig rod if your close to a welding supply store) and angle iron from around the farm and weld it together ,than break it apart to see were it failed.remember in welding clean the parts very good !!!!Than clean them again and you will learn good welding skills. Next you can buy some hammers(not claw hammers dummy) :p For anybody reading this Wookie has thick skin and likes to be picked on so......have at it,he likes it!!! Good starter book for yah is Welders handbook(at most sears stores)Hpbooks has it ,Richard Finch is the guy that wrote it.Pretty up to date and a good starter. Us forge also has it under part# 00502 1-800-343-3758. When welding allways have a water hose running in your shoes
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Old 02-06-2002, 10:40 AM
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and here I thought when I welded I was suppose to have a hose running in my underpants? I'll have to change that!

yea a welder is really high on the list right now, but I haven't decided how much money to spend on one.

I have an arc welder here too that I'm going to tinker with also...
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Old 02-06-2002, 11:31 AM
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What are your feet doing in your underpants??? OH i see they are around your ankles.Stop playin with it ,it aint gonna grow. Man the sparks from the weldor are really goona hurt if you keep your underwear down there.
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Old 02-06-2002, 03:24 PM
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LOL - yea I'll try to keep that in mind.
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