Sunday, May 5, 2019

Back to Body Work and Wrinkle Paint | Roundtail Restoration

Back to my favorite, filler work and sanding (that's sarcastic). I try to cheer myself up at the end by doing something fun: wrinkle paint. I made some editing mistakes on this video. I have a random "My Title" screen in there where I had meant to say, prior to body work, that what you were about to see was what worked for me, not the only or best way. In another, I provided a "skip to" time to skip over something that may not be too exciting, but forgot to put in the actual time (30:17). Sorry about that. To the video:

Still a good amount of body work to finish up on the tub, so I got to it. Again, for whatever reason I didn't take enough pictures, so I apologize for that (again).

First I mixed up some Bondo short-strand fiberglass filler for the few places that needed it, namely the driver's side wing repair (still looks nasty) and around the passenger's side tail light. There were also two small spots where I welded in the rear valance in the boot area that I had missed previously. I'm using fiberglass here to provide a bit of extra strength but mainly to fill in any pinholes that I may have missed with the welder.

Passenger's side tail light area.

While I waited for that to cure up (doesn't take too long, maybe 20 minutes before you're ready to start sanding it), I mixed up some regular filler (Rage Ultra) and got it on the several spots that needed it. I missed some spots here and had to relearn that you're better off blocking the epoxy out a bit first to expose the highs and lows.

Spots on the rear sail plate.

Once all of that was on and cured, I used a palm sander to sand down the fiberglass filler. I didn't concern myself with matching any contours or trying to get the fiberglass straight; I'll use regular filler for that, but I did want to get it smoothed up. I used the palm sander so it would be quick.

Then I moved on to the filler, working my way from 40-grit sandpaper (used for initial rough shaping), then on to 80-grit. The 80-grit takes out the relatively deep 40-grit scratches and really starts to fade the body filler into the surrounding metal. In my experience, it's the 80-grit where you'll start to see if you have the correct amount of filler on there or need more. After the 80-grit, I moved on to 150-grit (120-grit is fine here, too) to further feather in the filler (say that 3 times fast). Don't skip grit steps! You won't remove the coarser grit's scratches if you skip (or it'll take you forever) and they'll show up when you paint again.

Driver's side wing after blocking out to 150-grit. You can see highs (shiny metal) and lows (darker grey).

Closeup of a spot (palm sized) with highs and lows. Whoopie!

Another thing to mention is the fading in of the filler. This applies to the scratches, too. I point out in the video that if you are seeing "hard lines" in the filler, it's not smoothed in yet. The line between the edge of the filler and the epoxy should be hazy, or cloudy, looking. That way you know that they are both at about the same level and the panel is flat. It's also important to block out with the contour of the panel. In the case of the wing, I'm blocking up and down (most of the time) instead of front to back. It's easy to fade in the filler when you go the opposite way and therefore easy to trick yourself into thinking your straight, when you aren't. Again, I explain this better in the video.

Finally, I did some wrinkle painting on the steering column support. This stuff, made by VHT, is great. I picked it up at Amazon for about $15 a can. Not cheap, exactly, but the look is great. It goes down on bare metal vice pre-primed. It's a slow-drying paint and it take 3 coats.

Basically, you lay the first coat down, heavier than you would normally paint something, spraying in one direction, say side-to-side. Wait 5 minutes, then lay the second coat down, spraying in a different direction (up and down). Then, wait another 5 minutes and spray the third coat in a different direction (diagonally). I then waited another 5 minutes and used a heat gun to cure the paint. The heat gun is not required, but it provides a tighter wrinkle, which is how I did my instrument facia panel.

Close-up of instrument facia panel.

The video does a good job at showing the wrinkle set up. The can directions say to put the piece in the oven, at 200F for about 20 minutes. I didn't do this, figuring the heat gun was good enough. I may be proven wrong, though, so we'll see how it holds up.

A blurry picture of the steering column support.

That's it for now...and I'm all caught up! Until next time...

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