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1971 Chevrolet Camaro Project Orange Krate - Cut, Buff, And Stripe

Project Orange Krate earns one more trip into the spray booth.

Chuck Vranas Nov 7, 2014
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No matter how much time you spend on finessing panels and surface preparation to get your car ready for the spray booth, you’re still far from done once it comes out wearing its new vibe. Look closely at the paint and you will see "orange peel" across the surface. This can easily be addressed by a final cut and buff to make the surface as smooth as a piece of glass. This stage takes plenty of patience as you work to finesse the surfaces to give your car the final brilliance that will have onlookers talking about how wicked the depth of your paintjob is.

Peter Newell of Competition Specialties in Walpole, Massachusetts, took on this project from its humble beginnings and is a master of this domain, so we followed along as he worked his magic on Orange Krate’s body as it was prepared for final assembly.

Orange Krate Illustration 2/35

Stepping back in time, automotive artist Ben Hermance is credited for bringing the vision for Orange Krate to life with his signature rendition of the car. When taking on a project of this magnitude it’s always a solid idea to have the artwork in place to follow as the build proceeds. Newell held true to every aspect of the original rendering and it was finally time to create the distinctive hockey stick-styled stripe for the side of the car.

To prepare the surface for the striping, the doors and fenders were first wet-sanded with 3M 500-grit wet-or-dry paper. Then, using 3M 1/4-inch blue fine-line masking tape he set forth to lay out the flowing lines, thus capturing the exact essence as seen in the rendition. Our pal Ray Williams at Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes then worked his special voodoo in the paint room to come up with a one-off custom blended Planet Color Midnight Lightning Pearl to bring life to the stripes. By the time Newell had applied the color and clear the car looked like it had just stepped out of the rendition into the spray booth.

Stay tuned as we will be bringing you the final assembly of Project Orange Krate in our next installment.

3m Autower Dry Sandpapers 3/35

01. To cut the paint surface and make it as smooth as glass, a variety of 3M Auto wet and dry sandpapers ranging from 1,000- to 2,000-grit (as well as their flexible abrasive sheets) get the job done along with Dura-Block flexible sanding blocks.

Peter Newell Panel Surface 4/35

02. In preparing the surface, Peter Newell of Competition Specialties first made sure the panel was free of any surface debris. He then proceeded to wet-sand the surface with 1,000-grit paper in a front-to-back motion, keeping his movements consistent.

Backside Sanding Block 5/35

03. The backside of the sanding block was then used to squeegee the water and sludge clear to allow inspection of the surface and its flatness. These steps take time to achieve a perfect finish.

Microfiber Cloth 6/35

04. The surface was then rinsed with clear water and dried with a fresh microfiber cloth to prepare for the next stage.

Surface Sanding 7/35

05. Newell then continued on with 1,500-grit wet and worked the surface in the same fashion.

Surface Changes 8/35

06. Here, at the halfway point, you can begin to see the definite changes to the surface as the sanding continues. It’s now apparent that the orange peel is almost gone.

Grit Wet Sandpaper 9/35

07. The final round of blocking the panels is now completed with the wet-sanding of the surface using 2,000-grit wet.

Clean Panel 10/35

08. The panel was then final washed with clean water to remove any remaining sanding debris from the surface and dried with a clean microfiber cloth. The panel is now ready for the next step.

3m Auto Paint Finishing System 11/35

09. To bring the surface to its final brilliance, 3M Auto’s 3-Step Perfect-It Paint Finishing System includes (from left to right) rubbing compound, machine polish, and ultrafine machine polish; each with its own unique buffing pad.

Newell Rubbing Compound 12/35

10. Using a wool buffing pad, Newell applied rubbing compound to the panel surface and began lightly buffing in left to right as well as up and down motions, working his way across the surface.

Panel First Step Complete 13/35

11. It’s amazing the difference that the first step brought to the panel by starting to bring the brilliance to the area.

Residue Cleaning 14/35

12. It’s very important to clean up the residue left from each and every step, including in the doorjambs and other related body areas. Once dried, the compounds can be very difficult to remove.

Machine Polish 15/35

13. With the black foam pad secured in place, the machine polish was then applied to the panel and buffed lightly across the surface. It was then wiped down with a clean microfiber cloth.

Buffing Pad 16/35

14. Finally, the blue foam buffing pad was used to apply the ultrafine machine polish to the surface lightly working its way across the panel.

Quarter Panel 17/35

15. With the cut and buff completed to the quarter-panel, not only is the surface as smooth as glass, the brilliance of the Sherwin-Williams Planet Color vibe looks bitchin.

Custom Striping Prep 18/35

16. To prepare the door and fender for the custom striping, the panel surface was first wiped clean of any debris. Newell then followed by wet-sanding the area with 500-grit.

Surface Ready 19/35

17. Here you can see the surface ready for the spray booth to get its new stripes.

Panel Masking 20/35

18. To prepare the car for striping, there is quite a bit of back-taping, masking, and bagging required in keeping the car’s fresh paint perfect.

Doorjamb Masking Tape 21/35

19. To keep any overspray out of the freshly painted doorjambs, masking tape was used over the entire jamb as well as the door handle and lock openings.

Paint Preparation 22/35

20. By spending the right amount of time in preparation, the final outcome of the job will not only be perfect, but all surrounding surfaces will be unaltered by any potential overspray issues.

Prep Sol Wipe Down 23/35

21. The panels were then wiped down using a 50/50 mix of prep-sol and water to remove any final contaminants from the surface.

Blue Line Masking Tape 24/35

22. With Orange Krate’s artwork at hand, Newell makes the first pull of 3M’s 1/4-inch blue fine-line masking tape to establish the top line of the hockey stick-styled side stripe.

Lower Line Side Stripe 25/35

23. Working from the other end of the car, the lower line of the side stripe was then pulled and adhered in place.

Thin Line Tape 26/35

24. It was then time to start working the front of the stripe into place. The fine-line tape is very flexible and lends itself well to working with the tight curves required in the stripe. The graceful curves of the stripe are almost completed as seen here.

Final Tape Outlines 27/35

25. The final outlines of the stripe gave Newell the opportunity to step back and give them further inspection to be sure he was pleased with their proportions and layout before proceeding.

Final Masked 28/35

26. The layout of the stripe was then final-masked in place using masking tape to ensure everything was perfect. The remaining areas were then masked and taped with body shop paper.

Midnight Lightning Pearl 29/35

27. Using a custom blended Planet Color hue by Ray Williams at Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes called Midnight Lightning Pearl, Newell loaded his spray gun and worked his way to the front of the car, laying down a light to medium coat.

Basecoat Unmasked 30/35

28. Once the basecoat was sufficiently dry, the stripe was unmasked. The fine-line was then pulled away from the panel at an angle to retain the sharp edges of the lines.

Final Stage Stripe 31/35

29. Here you can see the full stripe as it is prepared for the final stage.

3m Track Cloth 32/35

30. A 3M tack cloth was used as the final surface preparation to make sure the panels were free of dust and debris.

Masked Added Paper 33/35

31. The car was then final masked with added paper being put down on the floor to keep to a minimum any debris from the floor becoming airborne.

Paint Suit Newell 34/35

32. Newell donned his full paint suit and went to work laying down a number of coats of clear, bringing the design to life.

Icing Laid Body 35/35

33. With the final icing laid onto the body, Project Orange Krate came to life mirroring its Ben Hermance rendition to perfection. Stay tuned as next we’ll be in final assembly and rolling soon.

Sources

Competition Specialties
508-510-7043
www.competition-specialties.com
Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes
Medford, MA
7813954463
http://www.sherwin-automotive.com
3M Auto
877-666-2277
http://www.3mauto.com

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