Now it was time to seal the panel with KBS’ RustSeal. This paint cures to a rock-hard, yet flexible, watertight seal. It penetrates the pores of the metal and permanently seals the surface from water and oxygen. Following the directions on the can, we thinned it out a bit and loaded it into our gun. We could have just brushed it on, but this was a quicker and more efficient way to cover our fenders. Two tips they push: Don’t shake the can, and if using a brush, do not dip the brush into the can; use a separate container to prevent contamination. We applied two thin coats then left the fenders to cure for two to four hours. You can also see in this image the zinc phosphate coating left on the panel from the RustBlast. According to KBS there’s no need to remove this residue prior to applying the RustSeal.
Here’s one of our fenders all sealed from the elements and ready for further bodywork. The RustSeal has only moderate UV stability, so if you treat any areas that will be in direct UV light you’ll want to make sure to top coat it with something like their BlackTop product. Our fender is going to be sanded and painted, so for us it wasn’t an issue. Also, don’t let this stuff dry on your skin, in your paint gun, or anywhere else you don’t want it to be for a very long time.
Now that we have an idea of what it will take to get our Project Track Rat’s body looking great and ready for paint, we can start making calls and getting the supplies needed into the shop. Besides the various replacement parts from NPD we also needed quite a few body preparation supplies. When figuring out your budget be sure to factor in these supplies as well as any special tools you will need if you plan on tackling the job yourself.
One reason why paint jobs are so expensive is because the materials to get it done right are downright pricey. We got an estimation of what we would need to take our ’68 from a beat-down roller to a ride resembling the Ben Hermance rendering and started dialing. As we work on the car we will track every disc, pad, and item used, so at the completion of the project, we’ll know exactly what was used and how much it cost. Of course every build is unique, but this should at least give you an idea.
This will also give us an excuse to try out the new Hook-It II sanding discs from 3M. Rather than using a one-time adhesive coating, this line employees a Velcro system to hold the disc to the pad. This means that if you need to switch discs, you can easily do so without wasting materials. This is a good thing since the discs can run a couple of bucks each.
Cutting discs, grinding discs, and items like hand pads and tape all add up fast and cut deep into the budget. It’s tempting to shop by price, but that doesn’t always save you cash since the more expensive products generally work longer before needing to be replaced. Choose your materials based on value, not on price alone.
By comparison, tools can quickly make the cost of materials look cheap. Most guys that are looking to tackle bodywork already have basics like a compressor and air tools, but there’s also the need for specialty items like blocks and other metal working tools. Then there are welders. We have quite a bit of metal stitching to do, so we picked up this Millermatic Passport Plus MIG welder. This unit is perfect for a smaller shop that wants a truly portable and self-contained MIG welder. It can run on either 115v or 230v and has a small, self-contained gas cylinder that’s good for up to 25 minutes of welding. It can handle mild and stainless steel from 24-gauge up to 3/8-inch and has infinite voltage control for dialing in just the right setting. At only 45-lbs, we’ll easily be able to take it with us wherever we’re working on our project Camaro.