Monday, August 29, 2022

Prime! (r)

After an exhausting, 27 hour weekend, it's done.

Friday Afternoon

I spent the afternoon building a "redneck" paint both in my garage.  It cost me about $50 ($20 for the plastic sheeting, $30 for wood to make support frames for the bonnet and boot lids).  The tarp was an old one and the tape was a donation from my dad. :)  It took me about 4 hours to get it the way I wanted.

I think it turned out nice.

Saturday Morning

I was up early and worked from about 7:30 to 11:00 to fix up some defects I found and sanded the car down one more time.  I also did a test fit of the hardtop I plan to restore... it fits pretty well.

Saturday Afternoon

After a break, I taped off everything I didn't want painted (like the wheel wells, the engine bay, etc.)  That plastic sheeting worked like a charm.  This only took an hour and a half... by 1:00 I was ready.

First, I sprayed two coats of primer on the doors, bonnet and boot lid.  But I had a problem. About halfway through the primer was going on very dry and almost clumpy.  It turns out the vent hole on the pot (which holds the paint) had clogged, so it wasn't flowing right.  Once I corrected that, things went much more smoothly.  Pun intended.  I then sprayed two coats of primer on the body shell.  This came out rather nice!  By 2:30 I had finished the first pass.  I then had to take an enforced break of about 3 hours to let the primer cure before sanding.  I actually took a short nap - I was already worn out, knowing I had hours to go before I would sleep...

The day was hot in the morning, but then clouds moved in and I was afraid it would rain.  I could smell the rain in the air and the wind picked up.  But someone smiled on me, because the rain held off and the wind died down, but it stayed overcast.  It made for a tolerable afternoon outside.

It was very satisfying to see the car all one color, even if it is gray.

Saturday Evening

After a nap and a little dinner, I got back to work at about 6:00pm.  I block sanded the doors, bonnet and boot lids.  It took a very long time to sand out the rough primer (the doors were only a little difficult, though, with small problem areas on each).  I started with 180 grit and ended up at 400 grit.  I ended up sanding most of the primer off, and through in a couple of spots.  But it's high-build primer and did its job of evening out the surface.

I wrapped up about 9pm, took a shower and went to bed.  Or at least, I tried.  I was so keyed up with all the things I knew I'd have to do Sunday that I had a hard time falling asleep.

Sunday Morning

I was up at 3:30.  I couldn't sleep.  But I also couldn't get up.  I dozed on and off until about 7 - past my start time - and then didn't make it out 'til 8.

Once I got my aching bones moving, I started in on block sanding the body shell, which went much more smoothly.  Again, I sanded a good chunk of it down - but it is really even.  I'm particularly proud of a couple of areas that were hugely damaged, and you'd never know it.  I took a couple of breaks - it was much warmer and sunny - so I ended up working until about 12:30 to finish block sanding.

Sunday Afternoon

Then, it was time to fix up all the defects I encountered while sanding.  There weren't too many, thankfully, but a couple of big clusters of pinholes and some low spots meant I worked until about 4:00 preparing for the next (last) coat.  I needed many breaks.  And I am a perfectionist.

Finally, it was time. And it came out great!  By 5:30 I had pulled the plastic off and was cleaning up.

My paint booth worked great.  There was very little dust outside of the booth.  Some sweeping and a good wash and the garage was clean!  Well, cleaner.  Cleaner than when I started.

It took me until 8:00 to finish cleaning up and putting everything away.  I was bone-tired.

The next step is to go around with one more block sand, starting at 400 and working up to 800 grit wet-sanded.  There's a couple of dry spots but nothing nearly so bad.  It should sand down nicely and be ready for paint by this weekend.  My friend has access to a booth, so it will be nice to work in a clean, cool environment.

This chapter is almost over - stay tuned for the final episode!

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Sunday, August 21, 2022

Body Work IV: The Voyage to Primer

You Star Trek People out there will get it.

I got soooooo close to having Alice in primer this weekend.  I spent Saturday from dawn to dusk (well, pretty close) working out kinks and details.  I thought I would be ready on Sunday with just 'a couple of touchups' to do.  But alas, those couple of touchups turned into another 6 hours of fixes because I am a perfectionist.

On the bright side, I got through all sanding passes to 320 grit and aside from one or two more little things I found (which really are little), I am ready to build a redneck paint booth and apply primer.

I also managed to straighten out my front valance, though I am actively seeking a new (well, new to me) part that would be nicer.  The one I have needs a lot of work to make it look nice.

I am excited.  And very, very tired.

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Sunday, August 14, 2022

Body Work III

It's hot, but I'm still at work... and making progress.  I've gotten through the first pass all the way round the car.

The boot lid is really good and may only need a little more touchup.  The doors are in fine shape.  The rear valance doesn't look awesome, but since it's hidden under the bumper I don't want to go crazy there.  (This was hidden underneath a half inch of filler before.)  The front wings are good now after all the metal replacement.

Most of the car has about a credit-card depth of filler (roughly 1/16") or less.  Two spots that are built up a bit more are the rear decklid on the driver's side and the area underneath the boot lid on the driver's side... and even that's only 1/8" (if that).  Some of that will come off when I go through the 120 grit sanding pass.

This car won't be perfect, but it is solid and will be safe.  That's all I can ask for.  Alice will be really pretty.

The next step is a pass at 120 grit, then 220 grit with a guide coat (pretty fast) and 320 grit (even faster).  That's a morning's work. Then it's time for a wipedown, scuffing of any paint that might remain around door jambs and such, and into primer!

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