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  • Body Work

    Does anyone know any tricks to doing body work? I'm filling some dents on my T-cab with bondo. I am not a body man but I do everything myself. No $$$$. If anyone who about body work and has any advice I'd appreciate it. Thanks.

  • #2
    1. don't fill dents, hammer them out close with a hammer and dolly and then skim coat them.

    2. use an 80 grit sanding disc to rough up the metal so the bondo has some "tooth" to grip

    3. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER leave bondo coated with only rattle-can primer for any length of time. It will draw damp and cause bigger problems than you originally had. Either use an epoxy primer or else topcoat with some cheap spray paint to "hold" it until you're ready to spray the whole car.

    4. Never leave any holes in the metal that you're going to fill with bondo. If you do have small pinholes, make sure to paint or otherwise coat (POR-15?) the back of the panel as soon as you can. Otherwise... see above about bondo drawing damp.

    5. Rough shaping can be done with a "cheese grater" file before the bondo is fully set up. It can also be done after it hardens, but that's a pain in the butt.

    6. Bodywork sucks. There are some people that are good at it. I am not one of them.

    nate

    --
    55 Commander Starlight
    62 Daytona hardtop
    http://home.comcast.net/~njnagel
    --
    55 Commander Starlight
    http://members.cox.net/njnagel

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    • #3
      Nate, I especially like your point number 6, and agree 100%! I am no good at body work either.

      When I got my '54 Champion on the road, I did just enough body work to get it to pass our Pa. state inspection. When I had the car repainted a couple years later, the body man I gave it to chopped out all of my body work and threw it away...and that was a good thing!!!

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      • #4
        N8N typed out the basics-body work doesn't take a lotta brains,thats why I can do it!! The problem is,it takes a long time,lotsa practice,lotsa failures before you can claim any skill.
        I've seen plenty of people try it,only to give up and decide it's not for them.[my own son worked for me for 2 summers when he was in high school,actually got pretty good at bondo,but now days he won't touch the stuff.
        Start small,like maybe a golf-ball sized batch of 'mud',don't think you can handle a quart at a time.Work in thin coats,don't try to fill every thing in one shot.The biggest 'trick'to learn is to apply the stuff as to keep the sanding and finishing time to a minimum.
        BTW,with most modern bondos today,'cheese graters' are a thing of the past-I haven't seen one in 6-8 years.Finish sanding is begun with 80 grit,then the final coat is finished to a 180 grit.

        Home of the Almostahawk
        Oglesby,Il.

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        • #5
          Agree with N8, get as much of the dent out as possible before using filler. Don't over work the metal as it will "stretch" thinner and thinner. Also don't overgrind with the 80 grit paper as that will over thin the work area as well. Make sure there is no rust at all under the filler as the filler will at some point lift in these areas. Try to use an epoxy primer on the bare metal before applying filler as that will help adhesion. Don't let the filler set very long before applying primer and paint, as it is like a moisture sponge! If this happens it will affect the adhesion of the top coat as the moisture works upwards.
          Many times your local paint supplier can help you out with the proper advice.
          Here is an excellent help site--
          http://www.autobodystore.com/cgi-bin...bbbs_config.pl

          53commander HDTP
          53 Champion HDTP
          61 Cursed Purple Hawk
          64 Champ long bed V8
          64 GT
          64 Champ long bed V8
          55/53 Studebaker President S/R
          53 Hudson Super Wasp Coupe

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          • #6
            The local vocational/technical high school offered an evening course in body work, one night a week for 6-8 weeks for $65. It was great exposure to many techniques. The teacher gave everyone a door or a fender, then gave each door a good whack with a a ball pein hammer. Practicing on a piece of scrap metal is a good way to learn before doing it on your own car. We learned about dent removal, welding, body filler, priming and painting, etc. It wasn't enough to get expert at it, but it does help to see it done by someone good and be allowed to ask questions. If your local high school doesn't have classes, maybe someone in a body shop will let you "apprentice" and watch.

            Gary Ash
            Dartmouth, MA
            '48 M5
            '65 Wagonaire Commander
            '63 Wagonaire Standard
            www.studegarage.com
            Gary Ash
            Dartmouth, Mass.

            '32 Indy car replica (in progress)
            ’41 Commander Land Cruiser
            '48 M5
            '65 Wagonaire Commander
            '63 Wagonaire Standard
            web site at http://www.studegarage.com

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            • #7
              Thanks for all the tips. All the dents that I can get to I have beat out. I don't like filling everything with bondo. Its mainly the filler neck holes and the rocker panels. The filler neck holes were a mess because I was in a hurry and decided it would be quicker to just MIG weld steel to cover the hole. I kick myself now for not taking the time and TIG welding the pieces in there. Oh well, too late. I don't have much patience but I care about my truck so I just need to take my time.

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              • #8
                Take a prose around this forum, http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=8
                Been a help to me.

                Ross.
                57 Provincial
                58 Transtar
                66 Wagonaire
                sigpic
                Ross.
                Riverside, Ca.
                1957 Provincial X2
                1958 Transtar

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                • #9
                  quote:Originally posted by Stude4x4

                  Does anyone know any tricks to doing body work? I'm filling some dents on my T-cab with bondo. I am not a body man but I do everything myself. No $$$$. If anyone who about body work and has any advice I'd appreciate it. Thanks.
                  Spend some time @ this site.. Good Luck
                  http://www.autobodystore.com/

                  Russ Shop Foreman "Rusty Nut Garage"
                  57 SH (project)
                  60 Lark VIII 2dr sd (driver)

                  Russ Shop Foreman \"Rusty Nut Garage\"
                  53 2R6 289 5SpdOD (driver)
                  57 SH (project)
                  60 Lark VIII 2dr sd (driver)

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