Old and New

It has been a busy couple weeks for me and I have not been able to get into my shop except for a few days. My father has a small insurance/collision shop and I have been writing some estimates and locating parts so we can do some work there. What I have done at my shop is paint some small pieces for my next project. I had a customer contact me to paint an early 1950’s international Farmall farm tractor. He is dismantling it and doing the reassembly work. He came to me for painting and advice on the restoration process. The tractor itself was delivered last Thursday after it had first been steamed cleaned to get the grease off then sand blasted to get the paint off.

Looks like there's a small oil leak!

Looks like there’s a small oil leak!

For me there’s an interesting story behind this tractor. My customer’s father bought this tractor new and his brother had repainted it sometime in the 1980’s. And, he, his brother, and his nephew all worked together to dismantle it.

As far as the Model A coupe goes, I’m almost done with it. I have one more sanding on the left side then repair the rear body panel and the panel in between the back window and the rumble seat lid – both small panels. Of course I have to sand and re-prime it all over but I can’t imagine I’ll have more than 25 hours doing those things. Unfortunately, I’ve had to tuck it into the corner so the tractor could come in and be protected from the weather. I shouild be able to work both jobs efficiently by working on one while products on the other are drying.

Soon to be gone :-(.

Soon to be gone :-(.

Thanks for reading. I’ll continue to post pictures as the work gets done. -Kevin

Right side is done

Removed the door first thing!

Removed the door first thing!

There wont be a lot of writing here I don’t think. I got the right quarter panel in primer yesterday and the rest of the right side in primer today. This is just the first coat so I’ve used a guide coat then I will block sand it and apply the final coat of primer before it goes to the painter.

 

 

001 004 008 011The flat area of the door was the most work. The rest, like the reveals around the windows and door jams, was just detail work. – Not very phyically taxing but time consuming.

Day's end!

Day’s end!

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It may not seem like I got much done for the time I put in my log book but I can’t take pictures of everything. I drove some nails into the door jam and had to spot weld a couple places on the roof panel above the door too; then there was the right side of the cowl section where I patched the rust. I wrote and article on that whole process a few weeks ago. If anyone would like to have a specific article written, please let me know. I know several people in the business and might be able to accommodate you. Thanks for reading -Kevin

 

 

 

 

 

 

The body work 1928 Ford Model A Coupe

 

This is how it looked when I started

This is how it looked when I started

 

I sprayed on a guide coat.

I sprayed on a guide coat.

 

 

Tapping down the high places

Tapping down the high places

 

Be sure and wear safety glasses

Be sure and wear safety glasses

 

The first coat usually goes in the roughest area and the filler is built out from there. You can really save some time and effort by starting the sanding slightly early while the filler is still a bit soft. Just be sure and keep a blow-gun handy to blow out the sand paper frequently. The best grit I’ve found to rough-in large areas like this is 24. It’s fast but there are some tearing issues like shown in the second picture. There are also ways to be efficient while the filler is drying completely. I used that time to grind the top of the quarter panel for filling and I added some more fiber hair filler to the rust pits at the top seam and the wheel house.

First coat

First coat

Second coat

Second coat

Third coat

Third coat

 

 

 

 

What has been done so far took about 3-3.5 hours of shop time. I think I only billed out 2.25 hours though. There are always breaks in the work as well as phone calls, other distractions, and of course there’s time out to take pictures. All this work was done yesterday and the shop should be warmed up to working temperature by now this morning. Thanks for reading. -Kevin

Done for the day

Done for the day

I've corrected the math error

I’ve corrected the math error

Ready to fill and prime

This is the point I have been waiting to get to. It’s the point where I know that I will be done within a week. The job will be going back to the customer for painting and the final assembly and, will likely be on the road by fall.      022 044

What I have spent the last few days doing is patching the rust in the driver’s door and over the door on the passenger side as well as fitting the left rear fender and installing the support brace on the back side of it.

009 012 017The filling, sanding, and priming is really my favorite part of any job. I like the fabrication too but fabrication seems to have its own ordered pace whereas with filling and sanding, there is a lot more flexibility in terms of time and efficiency. There are different grits of sand paper to use for speed; ways to use drying time in one area to sand or fill in another; choices of how hard to let a fill product get before one starts sanding so as to achieve shape and [smooth] texture… all come together to create a final product where no one will ever know what is underneath the final paint work. It’s a hidden activity but one where, if it is not done well, everyone will know how bad of shape the body was originally in just by looking at the paint. And, no amount of painting skill can fix a wavey panel.

083 020 022My next post should show the body in various stages of being ground, filled, or sanded. As always, if anyone has any questions, I will be glad to answer them and, thanks for reading. -Kevin

Be careful where you buy the rear fenders for a Ford Model A

The owner of the Model A coupe I’m working on only wanted me to only go as far as to put it in primer. His son owns a local body shop and is going to paint the car there. I certainly don’t want whoever does the reassembly to have any problems and I asked the owner to bring me the new rear fenders so I could make sure they’ll bolt up smoothly after all the paint work is done. No nicks in the new paint is always a good policy! 314

I first noticed a problem when I started fitting the fenders so I could align the rust patch panels. Some of the bolt slots in the fender were over half an inch off vertically and many were off horizontally as well. 311368After enlarging the bolt slots several times I finally got the fenders to fit but given that it’s fairly easy to see into the fender well once the car is finished, I needed to somehow patch any original misplaced slots that weren’t used as well as the extended holes that I created. 312My solution was to tack weld washers where the bolt studs are supposed to come through the fender and patch the openings I cut. Doing the work to make the fenders fit well, look decent inside, and test fitting them several times is like buying an insurance policy against scratching the paint work.

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Here at Versatile Industries we build cars for people to drive and have fun with. We help do it yourself-ers build cars that look good and are functional. To that end, the washers that do show inside the wheel house/wheel well may not qualify for a ‘first-in-show’ ribbon but they will line up the fender for the final assembly easily and they will help hold the fender in place for a good long time. My next article will cover repairing the rust on the driver’s door and showing the left rear fender mounted. After that it’s nothing but filling, sanding, and priming. Thanks for reading -Kevin063060