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Old 06-10-2016, 12:08 PM
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Bodywork: How To...

The time has come to step away from the wrenches and fun horsepower hardware that I am familiar with, and move on to areas in the automotive world that I am unfamiliar with: body work.

What guide, book, DVD, etc would you recommend I purchase and learn from? I have an '81 C10 pickup with million dents, dings, and drilled holes.

I do eventually plan on painting it myself, but that is much later, so not sure if there is a good resource that covers both, but for now I need to focus on metal work.

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Old 06-10-2016, 03:18 PM
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I don't know of a textbook or DVD to recommend but many are out there so take your pick. I do suggest exploring this website further because while not arranged like lessons, through observation it is a great study resource for real world metal work. There are articles, journals, and builds galore, that you can refer to when just getting started.
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Old 06-10-2016, 10:38 PM
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Exactly, just post your questions and you will get all the help you need.

Brian
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Old 06-11-2016, 06:22 AM
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The biggest thing to remember is that bodywork is 95% of a paint job. If the body prep is not done correctly even a veteran painter can not make it look good. A good friend of mine and I just put over 250 hours in just the body prep on my car. The time spent doing the prep will really pay off after the paint.
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Old 06-11-2016, 08:16 AM
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A fellow really needs to know the guys at TM Technologies: Tools, Sheet Metal Shaping Machines, & Gas Welding Supplies for Better Metalworking these guys are serious about metal work. If the metal work is done correctly and with pride in workmanship then the painter will be able to get a good job with only minimal fill and blocking. Takes some time to learn to do this and the hardest part is to find someone with a good attitude about doing good work. First thing to do is to learn O/A welding as one has the good control with O/A. you only need simple tools as the fancy tools only make it possible to screw up lots of metal faster if the individual does not know how to work metal. metal shaping and fabricating is a skill of its own and in a larger shop the metal guys don't paint or if they do it is just some epoxy prime to preserve the work until the car is ready for the final paint.

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Old 06-13-2016, 07:56 AM
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Exactly, just post your questions and you will get all the help you need.

Brian


OK, I'll give it a shot....so I tried to do some work this weekend.

I removed the drip rails from above the doors and attempted to fill the small holes from the sheet metal screws with a weld. At first the heat was too much and I just burned a larger hole. I adjusted the heat and wire speed a little bit, but I am still not happy with the results. I thought I finally was getting somewhere by making a small tack, letting it cool, and then adding more. But after grinding it down, you can still see each tack and cracks between them.

I attempted to do the same hole filling on the bed rails where then toolbox and bed rails were attached. Basically I got the same result. So I am hitting pause for now

Welder setup (free gift from father in law...)
120 volt MIG (model Clarke 130EN)
.035 wire
100% CO2 gas
Voltage can only be set, 1-4, so not a lot of fine tuning can be done.

Any suggestions?


Overview of drip rails


Close up of drip rail


Bed rail overview


Closeup of bed rail
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Old 06-13-2016, 02:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Surfer View Post
The time has come to step away from the wrenches and fun horsepower hardware that I am familiar with, and move on to areas in the automotive world that I am unfamiliar with: body work.

What guide, book, DVD, etc would you recommend I purchase and learn from? I have an '81 C10 pickup with million dents, dings, and drilled holes.

I do eventually plan on painting it myself, but that is much later, so not sure if there is a good resource that covers both, but for now I need to focus on metal work.
Hello, As mentioned by the rest, hotrodders is a good resource to get quick answers.

As far as good video training systems that will get you up and running, and I speak from experience, two come to mind, "Paintucation Series by Kevin Tetz" and "Jo Daddy's Garage" on YouTube.

"Jo Daddy's Garage" which is a free channel on Youtube, the author has a video series called "Mystic" where he show's from start to finish a 1965 Mustang he restores. He doesn't show himself actually doing the repair, but he does show all the steps and explains what he is going to do, and then shows the result. It's made up of like 25 10 minute videos.

If you would like in depth instruction check out Kevin Tetz's Paintucation DVD set. It really helped me to get a good understanding of the right way to restore a car as well as learning the basic process of body work. It's not that cheap however, $150 on ebay or Eastwood, but I would buy it again in a heartbeat. He goes into detail and has good explanations on how to do things.

In video #1 (Rust Repair and Metal Prep) He goes over the basics of Rust Repair and shows you how to do: Chemical and Mechanical Stripping as well as cutting out rusted areas and welding in patches.

Video 2 (Body shop basics" he takes a vehicle with a bad dent dent and walks you through the repair. He strips it, bumps it, fills it, paints it, clear coats it and rubs it. He aslo goes over tools and shop setup.

Video 3 (Panel Replacement) He does just that. He shows how to replace a quarter panel, door skin, and patch panel. He also shows both welding and bonding techniques.

Video 4 (Paint Your Car) He does just that, He uses PPG base coat clear coat and shows the entire process including how to correct runs, gun setup, and trouble shooting.

Video 5 (Color Sanding and Buffing) shows how to take a standard finish and turn it into a show finish.

Hope this helps ~ Lenny B
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Old 06-13-2016, 02:45 PM
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Also as far as your weld, I would get a junk panel from the scrap yard and practice, practice, practice. Read the owners manual and play with the settings. Drill a bunch of holes in the scrap panel and practice welding them shut. Practice is the only way to get good, and that goes for painting as well. If you cant bump and paint a dent on a scrap fender, you won't be able to on your prized hot rod. Just my 2 cents.
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Old 06-13-2016, 07:00 PM
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Giant pics are good!

Surfer, heres what I see being the main issue: Metal that is rusty on the backside.

I used a Clarke 135 for a long time and did fine. Think I ran it on the 3 for 18 gauge, don't remember the wire speed. Using 100% CO2 is something I'm not familiar with. At work we use 75 / 25 gas which I think is 25% argon. .035 wire in that thing might be alright for mending cattle gaps or doing exhaust work but for sheetmetal, not so good. You would like it better with .023 - .030 wire, but the fine-tuning is in you yourself.

So on the drip rail, you gotta clear off more of the paint and filler to see whats going on there. Try to sand rather than grind it off, so not to thin out the metal any worse. There has probably been some welding or maybe lead work there already, hard to tell. But that area is rusted thin from the backside so yep it will try to blow wide open on ya. Skin that paint back and show us again.

Bedside, same thing. But its got it from both sides. You need a patch there, man. Welding up holes in the rust pits is gonna eat your lunch on that. Do you think you could handle making a patch?

Rust on the backside contaminates your weld as you weld. Any paint, sealer, or filler that catches fire briefly can contaminate the weld. All that just blows bigger holes and puts more pits in your welds. Heres what I do, but I am a daily do-er of these things-

Jab thru it with an ice pick where you can with out making dents. That finds all the thin metal that you can't use. Kinda outlines your patch area for you. But yeah you gotta start jabbing holes to find out where the metal thats still thick enough to take the heat is.

Such is the reality. If you want to fix something you gotta be able to see all of it. To proceed, sand off more paint. Maybe we can get a better look. I am wondering if there are old repairs hiding around the drip rail area.
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Old 06-15-2016, 04:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Surfer View Post
The time has come to step away from the wrenches and fun horsepower hardware that I am familiar with, and move on to areas in the automotive world that I am unfamiliar with: body work.

What guide, book, DVD, etc would you recommend I purchase and learn from? I have an '81 C10 pickup with million dents, dings, and drilled holes.

I do eventually plan on painting it myself, but that is much later, so not sure if there is a good resource that covers both, but for now I need to focus on metal work.
Hotrod magazine has one "Dream car build", I think its called.Its the only one I've watched but its very good. Shows you how to put a floor pan in and bagging your parts, setting up your welder. etc...I used to have it playing in the shops office all day until someone borrowed it. there was a lot of good stuff in it. I believe they have a few of them.
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Old 06-15-2016, 09:25 AM
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Here's a book on "How-To-Build-Bodywork" that I found to be very helpful when I was starting out:

https://www.amazon.com/Boyd-Coddingt...oyd+coddington

For anyone concerned, the Boyd name in the title was there to help sell the book; the info is excellent.
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Old 06-16-2016, 11:00 AM
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Im a big fan of one-on-one instruction. Watching videos, reading books and reading forums; while giving you good information, is kind of not-so-good at instant feedback. The forum is MUCH better than the book and DVD at critiquing your APPLICATION of the KNOWLEDGE, however, you're still at the mercy of time, schedules, digi-cams, etc etc.

I would supplement the DVDs, Books and our own list of esteemed E-professors by going to the local welding supply house. Bring your pictures with you. Ask for help, show the pics. Let them know what diameter wire you are using and the gauge of the sheetmetal you're repairing, along with all your machine settings. Don't forget the power of a good clean ground, and good surface prep. These places usually have a few demo models on hand and will give some help. Ask about tutoring or a class (ours has classes for hobbyists a few times a month and the local Adult Education tech school has deeper classes a few times a year with certifications.)

If they give you a fist full of knowledge without asking for money, go get a couple pizzas and sodas.

Get a junk fender and once you learn the technique; practice immediately and repetitively until you master it.
My best friend had a little buzz box welder in his 1940s-era single car garage. 110v. He lives an hour away, so when he was having problems, I said bring the welder over and we'll make an afternoon of it. Ran flawless, he did great. He goes home and the welds are junk. Burned through everywhere. Turns out his WW2 wiring was not giving the welder clean power. Ran some new wire and BOOM full speed ahead.
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Old 06-24-2016, 07:44 AM
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Welder question

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Originally Posted by LenB View Post
Also as far as your weld, I would get a junk panel from the scrap yard and practice, practice, practice. Read the owners manual and play with the settings. Drill a bunch of holes in the scrap panel and practice welding them shut. Practice is the only way to get good, and that goes for painting as well. If you cant bump and paint a dent on a scrap fender, you won't be able to on your prized hot rod. Just my 2 cents.
I am in the same boat. What is a good, all around mig welder for body work?
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Old 06-24-2016, 01:27 PM
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a hobart handler is perfect. I got a 140 that's rebranded as weld mark. Solid welder. Those welds look porous. You want them to be solid and don't use so much speed when you grind them down. If it's blue you're getting the metal too hot and you're losing control of how much you're taking off. You also don't want to see lines. Those could be cracks or turn into them. It should be solid, but without taking anything off around it. A cut off wheel is great for the bulk of the weld. When you get your welder hotter those little lines will go away once you place your welds correctly and have the right setting. A magnifier lens for your welder is great to see better and place your tacks better. They are especially useful for TIG welding.


Check out some of my videos on youtube. I go under the name "sanchtech". They should be very helpful for auto body. I would focus on metal and scrap pieces and getting it close as possible. So many veterans in the game do crappy metal work and just fill the rest. That's lame. You should do skim coats only, with the filler being about 0-1/16". This is where metal work comes in handy and knowing how to deal with that.

Last edited by tech69; 06-24-2016 at 01:37 PM.
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Old 06-24-2016, 03:36 PM
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Quote:
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a hobart handler is perfect. I got a 140 that's rebranded as weld mark. Solid welder. Those welds look porous. You want them to be solid and don't use so much speed when you grind them down. If it's blue you're getting the metal too hot and you're losing control of how much you're taking off. You also don't want to see lines. Those could be cracks or turn into them. It should be solid, but without taking anything off around it. A cut off wheel is great for the bulk of the weld. When you get your welder hotter those little lines will go away once you place your welds correctly and have the right setting. A magnifier lens for your welder is great to see better and place your tacks better. They are especially useful for TIG welding.


Check out some of my videos on youtube. I go under the name "sanchtech". They should be very helpful for auto body. I would focus on metal and scrap pieces and getting it close as possible. So many veterans in the game do crappy metal work and just fill the rest. That's lame. You should do skim coats only, with the filler being about 0-1/16". This is where metal work comes in handy and knowing how to deal with that.
OK. So I have another question. When you cut, let's say 12" out of a roof(not a chopped top, but in length, and weld it back together, dou you overlao the cuts or weld a filler piece in between the two cuts? Had to ask, even though it sounds crazy.
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