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Old 09-17-2006, 02:55 PM
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Wow where do I start?

First off let me say that I am in the Army and my budget is somewhat limited. So please don't suggest anything that I really have no shot of acquiring or would otherwise be unreasonable.

I have a '68 Pontiac Firebird that I am currently working on. I got it for what I thought was the right money though. The body is pretty straight but is missing a quarter panel. The fenders, doors and main body are all in good shape and are relatively rust free (Texas car). The body appears to have been sanded down and primed before. My questions are is it best to try to find a chemical dipper for the car or have it media blasted? How much should I expect to pay for either one? Does it matter what primer I have it "shot" with In relation to the brand of Paint I am going to use?

I have bought some tools (hammer and dolly set) for body work and since I have never done any body work before I was wondering if one of you fine folks would be willing to suggest some essential tools I would need? Could you please describe the use of these tools unless they are self explanatory? All that I can see that needs done right now is lower right rear quarter patch panel needs replaced. The entire left quarter panel needs replaced, and a few dings need worked out in the fenders.

While watching the car shows on TV I always see the body guys spread a yellow "bondo" on the car then sand it smooth. What is this stuff and is there a purpose other than getting the body smooth? I want my car to be bondo free but realize that a minimal amount will be required.

I am new to bodywork and this forum so please take it easy on me. I hope to be able to contribute to the mechanical side of the forum though. Thanks for help, tips, and suggestions you might have to offer.

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Old 09-17-2006, 02:57 PM
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Pics?

Before anyone asks I am posting this from a DoD computer and cannot upload any pics from here so please excuse me for this.
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Old 09-17-2006, 03:23 PM
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First off, welcome to the board. Hopefully you will get some usefull help here.

You said that you have not done any body work before. That means that you have alot to learn. I would suggest, since you got a hammer and dolly set, that you get a used fender or door to practice with. It takes practice and patients to be able to repair dents and damage properly. You do not simply beat on a piece of metal with a hammer and dolly and get good results. The dents need to be massaged out. Most smaller dents, if you can get to the rear, you should be able to remove them with little or no filler.

As for stripping, that is up to you, as long as you don't use soda blasting. Sand blasting, in the wrong hands can also be very bad.

The primer you should have applied after stripping is very simple. You want to spray/have sprayed epoxy. You can then work on the panels that need work at your own pace, without worrying about rust taking over. Body filler can be applied directly over the epoxy primer. I personally only use primers from Southern Polyurethanes (SPI) because of the high quality, price, and customer support. They will work with any base coat/ clear coat or Single Stage paint system you decide to use. Further down the line, they also carry top line clears and some base colors. The epoxy will not need sanding if painted over within a 7 day window.

As for the yellow filler. I don't believe in doing that. If the body work is done properly, the vehicle should be able to primed with a high build primer, block sanded, and be straight.

It will be alot of work, but will be worth it when you're done.

Aaron
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Old 09-17-2006, 03:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by herc88
First off let me say that I am in the Army and my budget is somewhat limited. So please don't suggest anything that I really have no shot of acquiring or would otherwise be unreasonable.

I have a '68 Pontiac Firebird that I am currently working on. I got it for what I thought was the right money though. The body is pretty straight but is missing a quarter panel. The fenders, doors and main body are all in good shape and are relatively rust free (Texas car). The body appears to have been sanded down and primed before. My questions are is it best to try to find a chemical dipper for the car or have it media blasted? How much should I expect to pay for either one? Does it matter what primer I have it "shot" with In relation to the brand of Paint I am going to use?
I would media blast personally (not soda, search for prior posts about soda blasting) over dipping. I would just have a fear of the possibly of that everything was not neutralized after dipping or sitting waiting in some seam and losing paint somewhere. If media blasting, make sure you check out that they now what they are doing. They could destroy bodypanels if they are not experienced and no what to do. I have no idea on cost as I've never had it done. Any stripping I do myself by sanding, using paint stripper or with a smaller blaster at home. These will take much longer then taking it to have it done by some one with good media blasting equiptment. Exspecially if doing floors and engine bay, the whole shell. The media gets everywhere so you will want to strip the car down and do alot of blowing out of seams with air to try to get as much removed they may have missed or not done. If you mainly need only to do the outside panels, if you have the time and willing to invest in some equiptment, you could probably do that yourself with a combination of methods somewhat easily. You want to get an epoxy primer on the metal as soon as possible to protect it from flash rusting. A blasted surface will rerust quickly.

I have bought some tools (hammer and dolly set) for body work and since I have never done any body work before I was wondering if one of you fine folks would be willing to suggest some essential tools I would need? Could you please describe the use of these tools unless they are self explanatory? All that I can see that needs done right now is lower right rear quarter patch panel needs replaced. The entire left quarter panel needs replaced, and a few dings need worked out in the fenders. You will probably need some tools like shears, a cutoff wheel, grinder, a orbital sander, various size sanding blocks, a welder if spot welding in the new panel or replacing any rust holes. A paint gun for primer and one for the paint you are using, or different size tips for the gun to handle both thicker primer and paint A cheap touchup gun is nice for getting into small areas. Also need a water seperator/regulator and compressor big enough to power any of the air tools you will be using.Thats basic stuff I can think of off the top of my head, I am sure you will find other things you need as you progress with the work on your car.

While watching the car shows on TV I always see the body guys spread a yellow "bondo" on the car then sand it smooth. What is this stuff and is there a purpose other than getting the body smooth? I want my car to be bondo free but realize that a minimal amount will be required.
That would be a polyester spot putty or glaze. Its on fabricated parts and probably just easier for them to spread a thin coat on the whole thing being a realitively small part and then block sand that. No reason you should have to do that on your car if the panels are mostly straight and you are just have some areas that need some filler.
I am new to bodywork and this forum so please take it easy on me. I hope to be able to contribute to the mechanical side of the forum though. Thanks for help, tips, and suggestions you might have to offer. Good luck, don't hesitate to ask questions, quite a few smart cookies stop by here and will give you some good advice. Good to hear you will contribute to the mechanical questions, its something I stay away from trying to give any advice about since I don't know a heck of a lot.
Okay I need 10 characters since I replyed in the quote, so here they are dag gummit.
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Old 09-17-2006, 03:31 PM
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Looks like me and aaron were thinking about the same. I must of been busy typing while he was replying, lol
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Old 09-17-2006, 04:03 PM
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www.metalmeet.com quite a few of our guys hang out over there in order to get oriented to the metal work aspect..get a shrinking disk as you will use that a lot to smooth wrinkles in sheet metal..I am not sure that i have ever seen the TV guys use one..

A sandbag and deadblow hammer works well for getting dents out of fenders,,

You will want to find out what is going on at the Hobby shop on base as there are alot of tools there and ome guys who share the interest,,

As far as stripping all I use is my sanders and grinders and I only blast in the areas where I cannot get to with any thing larger than a 2" roloc..Some elbow grease involved but then there is the saving of cash doing it that way..Just get lots of sandpaper..

Sam
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Last edited by OneMoreTime; 09-17-2006 at 04:05 PM. Reason: more I thought of
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Old 09-17-2006, 04:05 PM
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Tools

I have a 60 gal air compressor, need the water seperator though, and a Mig gun. On the hammers what are each ones uses? For example I have a round one that has sort of a serated face and a square one with a bulge on it. I just dont know when to use which hammer I guess is what I am saying. Is there a site or book that you would recommend to help with some of these basic questions?
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Old 09-17-2006, 04:29 PM
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You have come to the best place for a beginner to find out about body work. As I said in my post in your introduction check out the Knowledge base. Every bit of knowledge you will need is there. There are links there that will take you to other sites and discussions on this site about everything from tools and how to use them to rubbing out your final paint. Good luck.
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Old 09-17-2006, 07:31 PM
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If the hammer you have with the serrated face looks like a "Meat tenderizer", the best thing to do with that is give it to your wife for in the kitchen. DO NOT USE THAT ON YOUR CAR! You will want a hammer with a relatively flat face. The flatter the better for straightening relatively flat panels. I have been known to take one of the cheaper hammers and file/sand the face flatter for better work. You may want one with the chisel head also. People that are new to this type of work, often do more damage with the sharp "Pick" end of hammers.

You will also want a selection of dollies. You can buy them from many places, but you can also use most any shape of metal scrap for the same purpose. Most any piece of steel that you can hold in your hand, will be useful as a dolly at most any time.

A shrinking disk is also a good investment, if you have a 7" or 9" electric grinder. There is a DVD available that explains the use of that disk, and will save you alot of work, if used right. Practice on some scrap fendersor such.

Aaron
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Old 09-17-2006, 08:33 PM
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New tools

Okay I have been reading some posts in the other sections. I just found out that I need to throw away my hammers (Taiwan). Any particular brand recommended? My philosophy is this if I am going to try my hand at this I want to know for sure that my hand is what is unskilled not that I was using subpar tools. If there is a section on what tools to buy and what brand to buy please accept my apologies I am reading about techniques and haven't gotten that far yet.
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Old 09-17-2006, 08:55 PM
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I believe eastwood company would have some good ones. The hammers I have I picked up off the snap on truck many years ago. Don't even know if they aer still the same. Much more pricey then the 20 dollar set of chinese hammers, but smoother uniform face, better built, hickory handles. Maybe some other guys will have some good suggestions on good brands of hammers and dollys. I don't have a ton in my collection, just ones that are used most often.
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Old 09-17-2006, 11:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenseth17
I believe eastwood company would have some good ones. The hammers I have I picked up off the snap on truck many years ago. Don't even know if they aer still the same. Much more pricey then the 20 dollar set of chinese hammers, but smoother uniform face, better built, hickory handles. Maybe some other guys will have some good suggestions on good brands of hammers and dollys. I don't have a ton in my collection, just ones that are used most often.
I second kenseth17 that Eastwood Tools sells some nice hammers and dollies but Snap-On makes the best hammers and dollies for my money.

I have 10 different body hammers in my toolbox all Snap-On. One of them is 26 years old that I bought new when I was 18 and it still has the original handle. I used it for over 10 years professionally and still work with it today.

If you have to smear that much mud (ala BC and others) you have done something wrong.

But to do mud work corrrectly you should have one of these or similar...

NDT 900


Are you going to be doing the metal work to the car? Do you have a welder?

Quote:
My questions are is it best to try to find a chemical dipper for the car or have it media blasted? Chem dip is best if you are concerned about warpage. How much should I expect to pay for either one ? 600-1800 depending on method and amount of work and worth every penny! Doing this yourself is a ton of work Does it matter what primer I have it "shot" with In relation to the brand of Paint I am going to use? Only if you want a guarantee - but most paint manufactures won't garuantee home builders anyway. The biggest thing is just making sure they are compatible as you can't use some fillers over an acid etch primer.
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Old 09-18-2006, 01:30 AM
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Yes I do have a a MIG welder and a oxy/acetylene setup. I'll look for the Snap-On man when he comes to the shop again next time. I am sure he'll have to order body tools though not much use for them on Army vehicles. Gonna check the Eastwood site also. I really appreciate the advice and help I got here tonight folks. I have sure learned a lot just reading the forums tonight. One more question though, I am in no way insuating that I was planning to do this, but why no soda blasting? The local blaster said they use walnut shell media or sand.
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Old 09-18-2006, 02:19 AM
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Walnut shells will not heat up like sand will heat up metal. But if the guy has done any sandblasting for any period of time he should be able to blast it with no problem. The biggest mistake made with sand blasting is staying in on area too long and it will distort the metal. On a '68 you should have no problem. On a '98 it would probably warp everywhere due to material thickness. If this is your first attempt at body work, read all you can. The Knowledge Base is an excellent place to start.
As far as your Tawainese hammers...hold on to them. If you can't operate one of those you won't be able to operate a $60 Snap-On hammer either. Body tools can be expensive. But as someone else stated. dollies can be made from any piece of metal. If you get to a swapmeet or traveling tool show get one eack of these as they are pretty universal.


http://www.etoolcart.com/ProductImag.../MRT1036-s.gif
The spoon (last pic) can be used as a hammer, used to get in tight places and pry, or used as a dollie. To use a dollie properly you back up your dent on one side of it and hit the high spot lightly with your hammer. I'll post you a sketch later as to what I am talking about. Have to get to work at the moment.

Here is a rough sketch as to what I was talking about. Start with the dollie at one end of the dent and lightly tap the dent down using the dollie as leverage. Don't put the dollie directly behind the dent backing it up or you end up really stretching the metal more than it is. Maybe some of the body guys can explain it in a little bit better terminology than me. A hammer and dollie can be your friend or it can really be your enemy.


Kevin
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Last edited by Kevin45; 09-19-2006 at 02:10 AM. Reason: Added sketch
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Old 09-18-2006, 10:47 AM
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soda blasting

While perusing the questions I noticed that someone said not to use soda blasting...why? I was thinking about having the engine compartment, trunk and cabin soda blasted.
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