Super Chevy
Click here to find out more!

Smoothing The Rough Spots

Here Is A Basic Look At Fixing A Frustrating Problem

Bodywork in general can be seriously frustrating work, to say the least. Even seemingly small dents can turn into a whole bunch of work if not approached properly. To fully understand what happens to sheetmetal when it is dented, you must remember that it stretches out of shape. Here in lies one of the most frustrating aspects of bodywork. If the metal would just pop back into shape, we'd all be expert bodymen. The simple fact is that after metal has stretched, it either needs to be shrunk back into shape or, at the very least, worked back out as close to straight as possible, followed with a thin skim coat of body filler. No matter what anybody says, there is nothing wrong with a little body filler as long as it is applied properly, especially for someone who doesn't have the time to learn bodywork as a profession, or have the time to practice on a regular basis. For just this reason we will take another look at some basic bodyworking techniques that anyone can accomplish and use to become a better bodyman, or at the very least give you some basis for trying your hand at something you may not have ever thought you could.

There are some tools you will need to have on hand, but the good thing about that is you will own the tools and be able to practice whenever you want. The tools we're talking about are basic stuff, like an assortment of body hammers and dollies, body filler and filler spreaders, a gallon or so of lacquer thinner for cleanup, an autobody cheese grater tool, an electric or pneumatic grinder, and an assortment of body-sanding blocks and paper of varying grits. For most bodywork involving body filler, you will need 36-grit paper for fast knocking down of filler, them some 80-grit to smooth it all out before applying primer.

When we went looking for reasonably priced body tools like the ones described above, we found more than a few companies offering kits. Some of the best prices we found were from companies like the Eastwood Company, TP Tools, and even--when on sale--Craftsman tools from Sears. Yet another option we have used in the past is to cruise your local automotive swap meet for used tools. It's probably a better idea to pick up a new grinder rather than at the swap meet, but as far as hammers and dollies go, used ones work just fine. Spending a lot of money on tools might be better done after you have spent some time with bodywork and feel it is something you want to keep doing, whether for yourself or for a job.

So take a look at this quick tutorial on how to smooth out a fairly rough-up body panel. Sorry to Brookville Roadsters for banging up a perfectly good Model A cowl, but as we're sure they are fully aware, stuff happens.

Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!
Super Chevy