Daily Archives: October 16, 2012

Instrument rating

This is the instrument panel cover from the inside the fairing of a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. The owner wanted to have the inside of the fairing looking as nice as the outside.

OK. We can do that.

The first two photos show the parts after the base coat has been applied. They look a bit dull because they are dull. The base coat dries to a nearly flat finish … it’s only job is to provide the color.

In the last two photos, numbers three and four, the parts have the luster one expects from automotive finishes because the clear coat has been applied. The clear coat not only provides a tough protective barrier for the base coat underneath, it also provides the luster of the finish.

These parts came into the shop this morning, and they will be ready to return to the owner tomorrow morning. It’s not often we can actually do a one day turnaround, but we look like hero’s when we can.


We had a couple of other thing to do around the shop today but, for the most part, we were steady on the Chevelle today.

Not a lot to say really, what we have here, in pictures, is an entire day spent blocking the car straight.

Blocking is a technique of wrapping sandpaper around a semi-ridge plastic block that causes the sandpaper to really dig in on high places while gliding over low spots, smoothing the panel to perfection. You can see a block in my hands in picture one.

The car will be blocked a total of five times before it is completely finished. That may seem like a lot, but all the blocking is absolutely required to produce a High Performance Finish. Without all the blocking and sanding, blocking and sanding, no matter how smooth I lay down the paint, the finish will never make it to the High Performance Finish level because the foundation simply isn’t there.

As you can see, it is hard, dusty, tiring work, but when the car is finished and the paint has that mirror like reflection … all the hours spent on the business end of a sanding block are all but forgotten.

The wild Frontier

The Nissan Frontier that belongs to this door was involved in a bit of a kerfuffle. It’s kind of hard to tell, but the leading edge of this door is bent. We already popped the dent out somewhat when the picture was taken. It was the size of a basketball before we took the pictures.

I wasn’t sure what I was getting into when the owner called and asked to drop it off for repair. From the description I thought I was going to have to determine if I needed to replace the entire door or just the skin. As it turns out, neither. All it needed was a little body filler to make it good as new.

The second picture shows the door after the filler has been applied and has hardened. In the picture I am sanding the filler smooth, blending it into the metal so that after paint the repair will be invisible.

I’m like everyone else and hate to be wrong. But this time I’m glad I was wrong and what I thought I was going to have to do turned out to not be the case at all.

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