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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Guys and Gals,

I volunteered to start a thread about how to do very basic body work and paint. I want to include tips, tricks and shortcuts, (including the shortcuts you shouldn't take) :). My goal is to help people cross the barrier over 'farming out' their projects to a professional versus doing it themselves with the most basic of tools and equipment. It's essential that you have a clean, dry and well lighted area to work in. A detached garage, out building or shed (with power) works best. Using a garage attached to your home can be done, but certain steps must be taken to prevent the fumes and over-spary from entering your house. Don't paint or do body work in this area if it includes a gas drier or gas water heaters as the potential for fire and explosion is too risky!

The project is a small Kubota compact utility tractor. It was terribly abused and neglected but mechanically sound. I realize this isn't a push mower or rider, but the basics apply to just about any type of machine you desire to repair. Here are a few pictures of what can be accomplished starting with the frame. It's been prepared and painted with Acrylic enamel:
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
I began with pictures of the chassis (drive train) completed so you can visualize what you can do. I'll include as many steps as I can about preparing and painting the sheet metal. That is, IF there are MLMF members who would like to see how it's done and want me to continue.

Thanks for looking,

Mark
 

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I would like to learn more of the processes you went through to get it to where it is now.... nice work.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Part l Basic Metal Work:

I'm hoping to show, through a series of pictures, the process of exposing a damaged area and using abrasive paper, materials, sanding and guide-coating. One of the hardest things to learn is how to feel the panel once it's straight. This is one of the very few lessons that can't be taught as the individual has to learn the difference of dissimilar base metals (and filler) through his hands, as your eyes a little help. It helps greatly to purchase inexpensive cotton gloves as it isolates your hands from the service being repaired.

1- Materials:

These materials include a long board hand sander (commonly referred to as an idiot stick :)), a shorter version of the long board sander, 40 grit and 80 grit 'strap' sand paper, a roll of 80 grit and 180 grit DA paper and various hard and soft rubber hand blocks. I use the more expensive PSA (pressure sensitive adhesive-backed) abrasive papers as they don't slip on the block or board and last much longer then inexpensive sand papers. There is also a Popper, which is nothing more than a piece of 'looped' welding rod. This helps remove the buildup of filler by 'slapping' the popper and knocking off the majority of the sticky stuff and extending the life of the strap:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
2- This picture shows a half round filler file, the filler, spreaders and the mixing pallet. I'm using the term filler because the chemical properties are so far advanced from a decade ago and the common reference used to be "Bondo". I use this brand, Evercoat and although it's slightly more expensive, it is ultra light, flexible and much less sticky from the resins found in other brands.



3- A few pictures of the primer I used. These are non-catalyzed (no hardener) gallon containers on the left is the Reducer. Reducer IS the manufacturers term for thinner. And on the right is the primer. The last picture shows the mixing ratios (and I apologize as it's a bit fuzzy). I found these materials very inexpensive (compared to DuPont or PPG), and available from a local NAPA auto parts store.





4- The Kubota Hood

In hindsight I wished I'd have taken a picture of the original damage...but I forgot. Typically, just about any metal can be worked using a hammer from one side and a dolly (or any handy 'chunk' of flat metal) on the other. The damage here was minimal and it was smack dab, right up against a very tough (and unforgiving) pinch weld. The depth of the damage was approximately 1/8" and required very little filler. I used masking tape (blue) to keep the filler from flowing into the pinch weld crease. As the filler begins to harden you should remove the tape (before it completely solidifies). The last picture shows a full, wet coat of filler and although it looks like way too much, about 90% will end up on your floor once you begin sanding the material with the 40 grit strap:





 

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I appreciate you doing this for us Mark. I have a Wards tractor restore project I'll be starting on next spring and this info will be a huge help for me and others whose skills and knowledge are lacking when it comes to doing this kind of work safely and properly. Thanks
 

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Your repair shot looks good, has got the jucies flowing, looks like I'll need to get a new NAPA tool catalog.:)
 

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Can't wait to start on my Broadmoor 738
 

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Fine presentation Mark, no frills and jibber jabber, It is right to the point.
Now we all know why your tractor's are so nicely done.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I appreciate you doing this for us Mark. I have a Wards tractor restore project I'll be starting on next spring and this info will be a huge help for me and others whose skills and knowledge are lacking when it comes to doing this kind of work safely and properly. Thanks
Your repair shot looks good, has got the jucies flowing, looks like I'll need to get a new NAPA tool catalog.:)
Can't wait to start on my Broadmoor 738
Thank you, gentleman!

It makes it much easier and so much more fun knowing that somebody is actually reading this stuff.:D


Fine presentation Mark, no frills and jibber jabber, It is right to the point.
Now we all know why your tractor's are so nicely done.
Hello DrB! I'm so glad you could make it!!

Fellow MLMF members, WE are so privileged to have DrBailey here. He is a long time business owner and master journeyman in the auto body repair industry. (so now I'll have to be extra careful how I continue with this):)
 

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looking good man wish i could do that ...I dont have the patients for it ..I can put the filler on lol ..But i take way to much off ...Once and awhile i luck out and get it right ...
 

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Mark, rather spending money on moisture removal system so I can spray paint I was thinking about buying a Fuji HVLP setup with their gravity gun. Is that a bad idea? I'm lost when it comes to choosing the right spray equipment.

Presently I have a NAPA jar type moisture remover and filter on the compressor and I use screw on filters I bought from HTP on my Plasma outfit. The system works good for my airtools and plasma but for spray painting I don't know.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Mark, rather spending money on moisture removal system so I can spray paint I was thinking about buying a Fuji HVLP setup with their gravity gun. Is that a bad idea? I'm lost when it comes to choosing the right spray equipment.

Presently I have a NAPA jar type moisture remover and filter on the compressor and I use screw on filters I bought from HTP on my Plasma outfit. The system works good for my airtools and plasma but for spray painting I don't know.
Tackit, There just isn't a short answer. So, here's the long version and I hope you can make sense of it!

There is a problem with the self contained HVLP guns power source, and that's the air delivery system heats the air and heats the paint as it's delivered through the paint gun cap.

Once you become familiar with paint and reducers you'll find that manufacturers offer three types of Reducer (thinner) that are specific to the ambient air temperature. Slow, medium and hot reducers provide the painter with a choice at the time of his/her painting session. If you're painting between 55°-65° you would use the hot reducer which accelerates the flash times (drying between coats) and allows the paint to flow out. This prevents runs and sags and forces the solvents to evaporate quicker. Same thing, different temperature; If you're painting between 65°-78° you would use the medium reducer which dries slower but still allows the solvent to evaporate and allow the flash times and color coat to flow out. 78°-85+° would require the slowest available reducer to combat the shop temperatures, keep the chemicals from drying too fast and provide the best results for your paint work.

The short version to your question is no because the temperature generated from your cyclonic air supply system negates all the control (of the reducers) due to the heat it generates at the gun. The system is excellent for furniture and cabinet making when using stains, oil base paint, laytex and clear lacquers and varnishes....but it's not ideal for applying automotive finishes.

The paint industry, although heavily regulated, put the decision making process in the hands of the painter. They don't make it easy with all their techno-babble but in this instance, it's good to know that you decide the appropriate reducers and how you want to apply them to your project.

The standard, 100 year old design of the motor to pump to tank compressor is by far (and still) the best for auto-body and paint repair and refinishing. The water trap at your compressor sounds adequate but I use these to insure NO aerosol oils contaminate my gun and it's contents. There is nothing worse for a painter to discover fisheyes due to contaminates getting in to the spray gun. It can ruin several hundred dollars of paint (not to mention all the labor).

These work wonders:

(2 DISPOSABLE AIR FILTER-Water Trap HVLP Paint Spray Gun: eBay Motors (item 390239781350 end time Oct-14-10 19:23:06 PDT)
 

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looking good man wish i could do that ...I dont have the patients for it ..I can put the filler on lol ..But i take way to much off ...Once and awhile i luck out and get it right ...
That's OK, ME2,

It does require a fair amount of patience but once you learn you become detached. You end up listening to your favorite tunes or gazing at the landscape :D
 

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Mark, you did a fine job of explaining my question. I learned something about reducers too. thanks
 
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