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RE: [oletrucks] First time body work

To: "Alain Leclerc" <al69leclerc@hotmail.com>,
Subject: RE: [oletrucks] First time body work
From: Michael E. Mendonša
Date: Fri, 3 Oct 2003 08:26:08 -0700
Alain,

Well, since my wife and I just completed a 400 kilometer bike ride from
Banff to Jasper and experienced nothing but phenomenal service and politeness
from virtually everyone we encountered.  So, I feel a little obligated (just
kidding) to give you some advice.

I started my '54 9 years ago with virtually the same perspective and intent
that you have - take one piece off at a time, work on it and then someday
I'll have it all put back together.  As I started taking off that "one"
piece, it was real easy to take off the next one and so on down the line.
 Eventually, I ended up doing a complete frame off replace every nut, bolt,
wire, hose, on the entire truck.  Mind you, I'm not complaining nor do I
have any regrets about it, but it did end up being a much more signficant
process that originally planned.

I stripped each part - some I did myself with a chemical stripper, and some
I had professionally done with what is called "mineral blasting." Then I
had them put a primer on it (or in some cases I primed the part), and then
eventually ended up sending the pieces to a body and paint shop who did
the rest of the work including putting most of the truck back together.
 I did the chassis and that engine, electrical and put on all the accessories
- gauges, pedals, bumpers, bed wood, lights, etc., but they put the main
body parts on so as not to scratch and to have properly fitted, etc.  I
towed the chassis and engine (installed) up to them once the body was done.

Probably the only mistake I made was by not having the same shop do the
stripping and priming and at the same time that I had the body work done.
It caused some duplicate efforts to occur which of course costs money. 
At the time when i sent the body parts out for stripping and priming, I
was planning on doing all the body work myself.  My money situation changed
a little and my time became more and more limited so sending it out was
a pretty manageable step for me.

Now that all is said and done, I ended up with pretty much of a show truck,
but one that I feel I did a lot of work on (tho not all of it) and can be
proud of.  The truck if far nicer than I ever planned but I am comfortable
driving it around.  

There are a lot of books around, but the first one I recommend you read
is called, "How to Restore Your Chevrolet Truck," by Tom Brownell.  He goes
through a lot of good stuff.

Hope this has been helpful.  Let me know if you'd like me to send a picture
of my truck, I'd be happy to.

Michael
'54 Chevy 3100
>-- Original Message --
>From: "Alain Leclerc" <al69leclerc@hotmail.com>
>To: old-chevy-truck@yahoogroups.com, oletrucks@autox.team.net
>Subject: [oletrucks] First time body work
>Date: Fri, 03 Oct 2003 08:11:43 -0500
>Reply-To: "Alain Leclerc" <al69leclerc@hotmail.com>
>
>
>So this weekend I'm gonna start to take the body apart one piece at a time
>
>to begin the body-work.  I have no idea what i am doing.  What will i need
>
>to do this?  Which tools?  Grits?  I intend to start sanding the rear 
>fenders first, kinda using them as my practice pieces.  Any tips are greatly
>
>appreciated.  I've heard I am to put the piece in primer as soon as it
is
>
>sanded... is this correct?  Am I out of my league here?  Professional work
>
>only? This will not be a show-truck.  I have access to a small shop with
>
>most every tools.  No sandblaster.  ANY help apprecated.
>
>Thanx,
>Alain Leclerc
>'56 Chevy 1300
>Canada
>
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