Wagon Progress


evil painter
Nice find on used clamps. I'll take old name brand over new crap any day. Just to mention on the new crap, Tractor supply stores randomly have great prices on useable extension pliars. Got several combo packs with a 6" ,8", & 12" extension for $14.99. Way better than HF, just don't let the long ones overtwist. Stopped at 2 stores in Tennessee last year on vac with wife to look for more.


I tend to tighten Vise grips where they are a challenge to remove. In using that practice on a buddy’s cheaper versions, they are quick to show their “limitations”. All of mine are USA Vise Grips, and anymore, based on some of them being made overseas now, sales like the one I just attended for used, older versions are the only ones I buy.


Progress pics from last night... Yep, we've been block sanding..

Using Evercoat 416 to address the few low spots..

Honing up on my painting skills with brush on seam sealer

Today's lesson is on media blasting and stretch damage that occurs. Here’s what a sand blaster will do to a roof skin when blasting the braces underneath.

Our blaster was doing the brace from underneath/inside and the inadvertent stray media hitting the adjacent roof skin stretched it, pulling it inward toward the media stream . On the outside the “unstretched” area shows as a high spot, the stretched part that needs shrinking is seen as a low. So if you must media blast any braces or internal structure, block off the skin next to it so no media touches it. Save yourself the extra body work.

We fixed the lows by locating the exact spots on the inside that needed shrinking and tapping outward into a small shot bag. To locate, a rare earth magnet is placed outside on the roof skin in each low spot, and some grinding dust finds the magnet on the inside where we can mark the perimeter both inside and out, and work with one person on either side to remove the lows. (See video, magnet marks highs or lows, it doesn’t care) For multiple lows, mark both sides of all spots and number them, so you can move from one spot to the next, calling out the number desired to your shrinking assistant. If your car is too clean to have grinding dust, look under your bench grinder.

Magnet use video:

Note on the inside roof skin picture the multiple numbered circles where we found low spots to address.



So we've been blocking out epoxy primer, it sure is nice to be able to rotate the car where you need it instead of sanding upside down on the bottoms of drip rails.

But then you walk past the Driver's A pillar and see holes that shouldn't be there.

I don't know how I've missed this before. We did have this same repair done to the other side, I guess with the roof damage confined to that same side I must have not thought this side was suspect. Goes to show, check ALL problem areas, especially if issues show on one side.

Inside the hole has a minimal amount of surface rust, especially for 64 years old. Safe to say the damage was caused by water/dirt accumulation between the center structure (the one we're remaking) and the outer skin. Oh well, it's been a while since I've had a back up and punt moment. Glad this was found before the green kandy went on.

Starting to make the new replacement for the inside, using 14 gauge cold rolled steel.

Quite a bit if stretch added for the part to match the original..

Rough shaped on the MH19, tuned up a bit with body hammers, punches used as anvils, and various other implements of destruction. Trimmed and fitted:

All ready for welding. Meanwhile, Mike has been working on the pointy end of the arrow, here stretching an inside corner to better fit the housing....

And adding holes for the plug welds....



Active Member
After seeing your metal work, I'm just embarrassed by mine. I was always on the finishing end, but had one of the best metal men around working with me and eventually for me. I was always amazed by his craftsmanship, and watched a lot of how he did things, but he made it look way easier than it is. He was an absolute magician with what he had to work with, but sadly he passed way too early at 59. I think about him often, especially when I make a patch that comes out especially nice, or put on a door skin with no filler needed (which he always did). Never saw him put on more than 1 coat of filler and 1 coat of 416, and it was always ready for primer. Thanks for the updates, and I really envy your talent.


We all start somewhere. I've got stuff I did five years ago I would probably do differently today. Just keep plugging along, and try and improve as you go.

After a week in FL for the day job, time to get the inner patch welded in place.

Tacked using the TIG:


welds dressed:

Epoxy primer added:



Thanks Chris!

Now to get our outer patch fabricated.. The corner is going to need a GRUNCH of shrinking.. We started on the Baileigh, but the dies are only going to get us so far. So some tuck shrinking with some heat for persuasion was used..

A tipping wheel in the bead roller was used to mark our bend line, and an upper press brake die used as an anvil to hammer the flanges over..

Some hammer action to stretch the corner flange so it will tip the full 90*

I missed some in process pictures here, but various hammers, anvils, punches, and other implements of destruction were employed to give us our basic shape...

After a bit of fine tuning, it is trimmed and fitted into the A Pillar...

and the windshield stainless is test fit for good measure..

The finished piece is media blasted (Barton Garnet) so the SPI epoxy primer will have a good bite. The inside is primed as a bit more preventative measure over factory....

The flange is quite small compared to what we normally plug weld, so we opted for a .169 drill bit to keep the heat away from the edge...

In order to clean he primer out the inside of our plug weld holes, we flattened and backfaced our drill bit to mimic an end mill....

Does a good job of giving us nice clean metal for a good weld..

much better....


John Long

John, that was one of those that we both know would have been half the time to make it out of at least two pieces.. But sometimes you just have to challenge yourself..
It's funny you said that Robert. When I looked at your post I thought to myself. "He just wanted to prove he could do it and show it could be done." It is really impressive and far more complex than anything I would attempt. For the sake of those, like myself, that might never feel they could tackle such a piece let me point out your comment. "It would have been half the time to make it out of at least two pieces."

If anyone out there needs to make a complex shape, do not hesitate to make it out of 2 or 3 pieces. Robert is one of the finest craftsmen you will see on here but with patience and a little ingenuity you can get to where you need to be even if you don't have the skill and experience Robert has.

In the mean time I'm still jealous. :)


John, thanks for that clarification. Yes, if something looks too difficult, break it into smaller pieces that you are more comfortable with.

I’ve had people ask about the process that I missed pictures of, so I’m going to try and get a video of doing that part to add to the previous thread.


Trying to be the best me, I can be
Out here in the country my Internet is so slow it'd take 6 months to upload all those pics! Thank you as always Robert for taking the time to document these repairs and help others.:cool: Wish I had the dedication to take more pics. What type of camera do you use Robert?


For the last couple of years it’s just been the iPhone. Before that I was using a Canon SX120 digital camera but it’s more of a battery hog. I am resizing on the laptop before uploading to PB so that helps quite a bit with uploading speed.


Here's some of the forming process of our A-Pillar fabrication that I missed the other day. Did a couple time lapses, first shows the shrinking of the corner. The Vise Grip tucking tool, torch, and hammer is used to get the corner down to about a 20* angle, then the two flanges were folded, which gives us one big tuck. A wide VEE is heated up and the high spots of the flange corner is hammered back into itself. Repeat for the next high spot, until the corner is folded where you want it.

Here's the corner shrink complete...

Then the barrel end hammer is used to make the joggle creases by using an upper die from our press brake as a post dolly. That’s the basic process.