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Wondering how to find a body man


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 I have a 1948 Jaguar MK V that I’m working on. I sent the fenders, fender skirts, doors, sun roof and hood parts to the local Tech School to prep and paint. They got as far as body work and primer before the school shut down. I have the body at my barn along with most every tool known to man but I’m not a body guy.  I’m wondering that with all the businesses shut down, how do I find a body guy that could use some extra cash? Seems like a perfect opportunity to have someone work by himself in the country. Only problem is the body shops are closed up tight and I can’t find anyone to talk to.

 Any suggestions?

Edited by yachtflame (see edit history)
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Seems like a perfect opportunity to teach yourself how to do it.  Autobody101 is a forum that helped me answer a few questions and YouTube has all kinds of helpful stuff, there’s an Aussie that calls himself The Gunman who has some excellent videos. 
Its very rewarding to accomplish your own paint and body work, all it takes is time.  

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Modeleh,

   It’s not that I can’t do the work, it’s a combination of not having time and not wanting to do it. I have plenty of projects but would still like some progress to be made on the Jag. Between making 1930 Cadillac parts and replacing the frames and bottom on my 1930 Garwood 28’ triple, I’m fixing the roof on my porch, sheetrocking my 200 yr old house and finding time to walk the dog with my wife. I’d prefer to find an out of work body man who’s family could use a few extra bucks.

 I must say that I never worked so hard until I retired!
 Oh, I’m in Amherst, Mass.

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My choice always seems to be limited to young, inexperienced body men with their main experience in production work, get 'em in and out quick with a profit.

 

OR the older experienced one who has been breathing paint fumes and solvents for decades, not to mention a multitude of rays passing from the welding arc and through his brain. The older ones also tend to have sick wives. "Your car has been outside for the last three years because my wife is sick. "I can't talk long this is a pay phone." Sort of like the old carpenter in those lead painted old homes.

 

Doing it yourself is the answer. Your list of preoccupations sure reminds me of the string of things my wife has always come up with whenever I wanted to do anything.

 

31 minutes ago, yachtflame said:

I’d prefer to find an out of work body man who’s family could use a few extra bucks.

AND I know what that means, doesn't work in any case. Finish the roof and enjoy the porch.

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Flat top, I learned to do body work before body putty existed in my world, I am still at it .

Still have my lead paddles but there about worn out, will be time to quit when they are.

Body shops today are replacement shops simply because the metal is so thin, he need an old school body man.

 

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6 hours ago, 60FlatTop said:

My choice always seems to be limited to young, inexperienced body men with their main experience in production work, get 'em in and out quick with a profit.

 

OR the older experienced one who has been breathing paint fumes and solvents for decades, not to mention a multitude of rays passing from the welding arc and through his brain. The older ones also tend to have sick wives. "Your car has been outside for the last three years because my wife is sick. "I can't talk long this is a pay phone." Sort of like the old carpenter in those lead painted old homes.

 

Doing it yourself is the answer. Your list of preoccupations sure reminds me of the string of things my wife has always come up with whenever I wanted to do anything.

 

AND I know what that means, doesn't work in any case. Finish the roof and enjoy the porch.

 

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Jan,

  I tried that last winter trying to speed things up. Seems in this day and age, everyone is worried about liability. The instructor said the school couldn’t pass my request on to students. If one got hurt or molested, the school could be liable. 
What a world we live in!

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Sure sounds awfully familiar. A guy had my 35 for close to three years and had it striped down to bare metal, a lot I did myself and even had one of those dustless blaster guys do the fenders and hood. I finally got tired of waiting for him to do the paint and body work so I towed it home and did it myself, not perfect but not too bad I'm my opinion. First his wife was sick, then he got too busy at work, then he got sick,ect.ect.  But when done it dose give you a good feeling of accomplishment.Greg

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4 hours ago, JAK said:

Flat top, I learned to do body work before body putty existed in my world

 

I had a real Dutch Uncle, Uncle Frank Schwan. He was a big giant of a guy and liked to hunt. My Dad told me they invented fiberglass (peanut butter) around 1960 and Frank hadn't stopped smiling since.

 

You could always go to Uncle Frank if you needed a little deer hair to stick under the trim near a fresh dent, as well. He had it on hand.

 

Did you buy the Mark V convertible that was in western PA about 10 years ago?

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36 minutes ago, Buick35 said:

A guy had my 35 for close to three years

 

I even got the three years and sick wife right. When you picked it up did the guy say "I don't know why you are being so antsy about it". I picked up some wheels one time and I laugh every time I remember him saying that.

 

This morning I was telling a car guy to make an agreement with the service provider to expect and pay an itemized invoice every Friday for accrued parts and labor. You get a couple of weeks where parts and labor are zero, both of you start to catch on.

 

Here is a very viable option. Figure the amount of time you would work on a restoration per week, the cost of parts, tools, and supplies. Then spread out the cost of services you farm out. A solid project car of a desirable mode is going to cost at least $5,000. So, if you took the $5,000 up front and went to the bank and took a lone at $300 per month for 5 years ($75 per week) you could go shopping with about $23,000. In a couple of weeks you could be driving a pretty nice car  to your 10 or 15 hour per week job.

 

Boy, if I had done that 4 times over the last 20 years. Instead of underestimating the cost and over estimating my ability. Now that I think of it, that's how my Dad had a new car every three years.

Bernie

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How about going to your local autoparts/bodyshop supply store--they may be willing to help--#1,don't call , walk in & b/s,ask some questions, ask about the products--#2 walk in & don't call, to easy to blow you off on the phone--if your lucky one  of the employes may do work on the side or be able to hook you up with some one--explain that your panel painting & the whole car won't be in the way--good luck--Tom

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Thanks all for your suggestions, I’m trying them all! Today I went to two local body shops on the way to the pharmacy. Seems body shops are deemed a necessity and are all still open, so no laid off workers there.

 The suggestion of a local auto parts store is on my list for tomorrow. For those upset, I stay 6-10 feet away from any other person, I use a hand cleaner that is 91% alcohol and make my stop brief. I make sure that when I’m going out, it’s for needed items and only make a stop which is on the way. Tomorrow, I need gasoline so my wife can use her tools plus we’re out of Vodka! The part store is next to the liquor store and the gas station is two doors down...all within 3 miles of our house. 
Again, thanks for the suggestions.

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11 hours ago, yachtflame said:

The part store is next to the liquor store

That's interesting. 

Another suggestion is to check with shops or individuals building custom cars or hot-rods. There is considerable talent among that group.  One of our local MG club members (he was a dentist) managed to find a painter like that hears ago.  They guy had a home shop and it was his hobby.  He traded dental services for outstanding body and paint work. 

 

Doing body work on that Jag is not easy and takes great skill with metalwork.  Before I retired, a co-worker had a devil of a time with getting a Jag XKE restored.  He pulled it from two shops because they were totally botching things.  It finally ended up with a young-man who is an absolute metal wizard that he discovered through a custom paint shop. 

 

Keep us informed-

Terry

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A couple of questions:

1) Do you want good or cheap? If you were willing to beginners form a tech school, it seems to me you were looking for the later.

2) What level of finished product is your goal? Concours ready, or driver quality? I think I know the answer, but want to hear it from you.

3) What is the condition of the car body? Rust repair, scuff and shoot, dent repair?

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On 3/31/2020 at 8:04 AM, yachtflame said:

Modeleh,

   It’s not that I can’t do the work, it’s a combination of not having time and not wanting to do it. I have plenty of projects but would still like some progress to be made on the Jag. Between making 1930 Cadillac parts and replacing the frames and bottom on my 1930 Garwood 28’ triple, I’m fixing the roof on my porch, sheetrocking my 200 yr old house and finding time to walk the dog with my wife. I’d prefer to find an out of work body man who’s family could use a few extra bucks.

 I must say that I never worked so hard until I retired!
 Oh, I’m in Amherst, Mass.

 

 

I personally agree with you, yachtflame. Though I admire people who have taught themselves complicated things (I've done it before in a couple of areas) a '48 Jag may not be the car to start learning on.

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The car is in very good shape only having the old lacquer peeling off. The instructor at the Tech School is a friend and asked if I’d consider having his classes work on something other then a common Taurus. He wanted to expose them to Classics. 
 As far as whether I want a Concourse level paint or a crap job, I have two cars that have taken 1st place at different Cadillac Grand Nationals. This car is a sedan, not the DHC so it will never be a super valuable car but it drives nice and draws attention when ever I drive it. It just doesn’t need a $30k paint job. Plus, having progress made while I replace frames on my 90 yr old speedboat is the object. 

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From what I’ve experienced around here, a painter will only paint. Once a body man has taken the car to metal, straightened any “turns and lips” and attended to any cracks in the lead, he will then wipe and prime a car. He may or may not chose to sand out the primer but will certainly spray the base coats. It’s a negotiation for who’s gonna sand the base in prep for the clear coats. The painters around here just want to spray! 

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The “externals” were removed from the car (which is the proper way to do a paint job) and the parts were taken to bare metal. Any and all metal issues were felt with and the parts were primed. The plan was to spray them with a shadow coat and then blocked to find highs and lows but I don’t think they got that far due to forced closing. 
 The body has a lead crack between top one lower body on the starboard aft corner between rear side window and rear window which will need to be re-leaded and filed. 
 As for not sanding between base and clear, when we did my 1930 LaSalle, we wet sanded the base coat to make sure there were no runs or orange peel before spraying the clear. Makes for a “deeper”paint job, especially on black which shows everything!

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32 minutes ago, yachtflame said:


 As for not sanding between base and clear, when we did my 1930 LaSalle, we wet sanded the base coat to make sure there were no runs or orange peel before spraying the clear. Makes for a “deeper”paint job, especially on black which shows everything!

Give some more details here, I don’t want people thinking it’s a good idea to sand base coat because it is not. Base coat is so thin and flashes so fast you would have to be the worst painter in the world to get it to orange peel and run.  If you screw up, yes it can be sanded and reapplied but if you’re sanding between clear you’re taking a big gamble on having a sand through on a product that doesn’t have much mil thickness.  If you pulled it off, all I can say is: 1: you were lucky 2: get a better spray gun and practice so you don’t get runs 

If you’re talking clear over a single stage and sanding between then that’s a different animal and will work fine but you’re gonna have an old car with such a glossy finish it won’t look period it’s a street rod finish.  

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I too think he was using a single stage color coat then applying clear coats over it, like we did back in the lacquer days.

 

REAL base coat/clear coat systems have a very thin color coat, all the UV,  abuse, etc protection is in the clear layer.

 

Now for a too deep for OEM black finish, do a base/clear and then sand the clear with 600 or greater to a flat surface and reclear!👍

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