Sunday, February 9, 2014

Blog Brief: Sanding out a run

When spraying a car, especially the clear coat, runs--formally known as 'flow indicators,'--are inevitable.  Because I was hosing my clear on and also had some inadequate lighting on one side of the car, I had my share of runs to work out...some that ran along the entire length of the body lines on the door and fender!

There are a number of ways one can sand out a run: scraping with a utility knife blade, putting tape over the run and sanding the tape, taking a tiny block and trying to sand the run and only the run, or--my preferred way (and the way I'll describe here)--skimming the run with glazing putty and wet sanding.

The goal in sanding down a run is to protect the surrounding clear so the run and only the run is being sanded.  Skimming the run with glazing putty protects the surrounding area so only the run is being sanded.

Here on the passenger side I have skimmed a coat of glazing putty, such as Evercoat Easy Sand.   The thinner the coat the better as it will be less sanding effort to sand it off.

Start WET sanding with 320 on a HARD block.  I cut about an inch length of paint stick and this was a tiny block I used.  I also used a short piece of 1/2" PVC pipe or a wooden dowel for round blocks.  You can see exactly where the run is and how the high parts of the run only are getting sanded down.

Continued sanding and the run is 90% removed.  After a little more of the putty is removed, then switch to 1000 grit wet and finish sanding the run and remaining putty.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Dash cluster and bezel restoration

This will be a short and sweet favorite kind.  This was actually a short and sweet job.  I did all the work here in about two hours at the comfort of the dining room table.  And my wife probably actually enjoyed it because she was sitting at the table working on her own thing (so it meant we could 'be together.')

My dash cluster wasn't actually in that bad of shape to start with, but it was pretty dusty by this point with lots of paint dust on it:

The dust cleaned off easy enough and I unscrewed the front of the bezel from the cluster.  I cleaned the gauges with a detailer spray (only because I had it, nothing strategic to this choice....really).  I'll repaint the speedometer needle with a flourescent needle paint of the right Ford color--this is on order.

The black painted part of the plastic cleaned and shined up great just in wiping it down with Armor All after cleaning the dust off.

I then replaced all the plastic bezel lens with new Scott Drake lens which look great and look and fit exactly like the originals.

Finally, the chromed plastic was polished with the white rouge compound of the Eastwood polishing kit I have described previously.  This removed all the little black pits in the chrome plating as well as some green oxidation-looking stuff.  The trick is not to dwell too long in any one place as it is possible to burn through the chrome.  After buffing, I wiped down with a chrome wheel polish and the chromed plastic now looked brand new. 

This is some of the crap on the edge of this bezel.  It won't just wipe off, even with chrome polish.

After buffing, not only was it completely gone, but this looked brand new.

Assembled and good as new.