Sunday, May 24, 2015

Taking a little break

I'm moving in a few weeks. It'll be a good thing for the Stude as I'll have a bit more space to work on her. But I went out to work on it today and realized that I couldn't do anything further on the paint front without disassembling most of the body. Given the short amount of time until the move, it just didn't make much sense.

I may do a few little odds and ends if I get to the point that I just can't pack another thing--if so, I'll post it up here. Otherwise, I'll see you towards the end of June.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Wow, that's a shiny trunk lid!

Since it's been a few years (ok, more than a few) since I prepped a car for paint, and even longer since I've painted one, I was having some doubts about my ability. Was my block sanding up to snuff for a black car? Could I even paint a black car?

I decided to go ahead and finish off one body part and see if I was up to snuff. So I painted the trunk. Here it is after a quick color sand and buff.

While not absolutely perfect, I think it looks pretty good. One thing I did learn--my buffing skills are really, really rusty! It'll shine even more once I practice up a bit.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

You guessed it, more sanding

Passenger side, trunk, and roof block sanded to 180 grit. Overall, it is looking pretty good--only a few high/low spots. Next up? That really, really big hood.

Update: I felt like finishing up the first pass, so I blocked out the hood:

The black areas are low spots--but they aren't very low. Since I'm going back over it with 220 grit before adding a couple coats of primer-filler, I decided to leave a little more to paint to remove.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Left Front Fender done

After much tapping, pushing, and prodding (and a great deal of sanding),  the style line in the front fender is where it should be. Hard to see in this light, and the primer is very thin, but I'm pretty happy with it. I'll build up several thin layers of primer over the next few days and then give it a final sanding.

I took this picture right before rolling it out of the garage and starting it up for the first time in several months. She fired right up, and I let her get nice and warm before driving her back in the garage. This also gave me a chance to sweep up the garage; it was really dusty.

Next up? You guessed it, more sanding. I did manage to get a large portion of the right hand side sanded this weekend as well, and I'm happy to say there were no surprises like I found on the left hand side. Fingers-crossed the rest of the panels will be in the same shape.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Well, that can't be right.

It appears that the middle portion of the style line on my left front fender has been pushed in a 1/4 inch or so. Hmmm.

Hard to tell in the pics, but there's a bit more gap in the picture on top. No worries--I think I can fix that without causing too much extra work. Even if it does create a LOT more work, I still need to do it anyway.

Amazingly, it looks fairly straight. But I couldn't get it to sand out right--and I'm sure that as soon as you put glossy paint on it, it would look like crap.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Left side sanded (first pass)

Just so nobody thinks I'm just goofing off enjoying the great spring weather we're having here in the PNW:

After sanding that side, I cleaned it off with a rag dampened with odorless mineral spirits and shot some rattle can (that's car-guy speak for an aerosol can of spray paint) primer over the front fender. I had gone through the primer in several spots and couldn't quite tell where I was at. I'll build this up with another coat or two before lightly sanding it again.

More sanding excitement coming soon. . .

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Sanding is/will be my life

Although my non-Studebaker life has been interfering a bit, I did finally get a chance to spend a little time in the garage today. So what does that mean? More block sanding.
That bit of foam in the door is to keep it from wriggling--I need to replace a worn striker plate on this side.

A more experienced body man could likely get away with using a nice bit of guide coat (typically a powder in a contrasting color to help identify high and low areas as you sand) and careful technique to maintain a style line, but for us amateurs, a bit of blue painter's tape will help keep us from sanding it away completely. So on went the tape. Once I'm done getting the area above the line nice and flat, I'll put tape along the top side of the line, and then sand from the bottom up.

You always find things you don't expect when working on an old car, and today was no exception. When I was sanding the top side of the driver's door, I noticed that one of the braces in the window channel had cracked. It is hard to tell in this picture, but:

Should be fairly easy to fix with a couple of quick little welds. I'm glad I noticed it now instead of after I had shiny paint on the car and was wondering why the window kept rattling.

Sunday, February 15, 2015


Here's my first, quick pass of blocking the top portion of the driver's side fender. Hard to tell in the picture, but it looks pretty good. Only a couple of very small low spots, and the high spots barely got into the thin layer of glazing compound.

If you look carefully, you can see the Xs formed by the sanding pattern. That will disappear at higher sandpaper grits.

This is tedious stuff, but it needs to be perfect--we've all seen those freshly painted cars with the little waves in the paint when you glance down the side.  Effort here will go a long ways to preventing that bad effect.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Let the fun begin!

My nifty new collection of sanding blocks arrived!

I have a basic set of auto body sanding blocks, but the Studebaker is pretty curvy. My rectangular-shaped blocks just weren't cutting it on those high-crown fenders. More tools were required.

The neatest in this lot is the big purple one at the top left of the picture. It has metal rods that are removable so you can adjust the flexibility of the block to match the contour of the car. This, and the fact that it is 21-inches long should really speed up sanding.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Getting back to it

Not much to report in, but I finally found some time to get back to work on the Studebaker. Yesterday, I removed the left rear fender and put the sheet metal on that surrounds the gas filler nozzle, and installed the springs in the filler door.  And today, I cleaned up, installed, and adjusted the hood latch. 

No pictures (there wasn't anything really picture worthy) but it was good to get started back on it again.