Body Shop 101-

The first page will concern itself only with some preliminary instruction on typical body-shop tools and their uses. If you plan on rebuilding/restoring the body and sheet metal on 1 or 2 of your own cars, then these are the tools you may need to acquire or borrow.... Most if not all of the tools shown will save you well over their value in time savings alone. Plus, the quality of the finished product will depend largely on having the right tool available to do a certain job. I have listed the tools I feel are "required" with their names highlighted in BLUE.  Others that I highly "recommend" will be highlighted in YELLOW. I have A LOT of tools that really help me in my business, but are really not necessary for the "backyard" restorer.

Part 1: Tools

1. Air compressor: 5 hp or  11cfm minimum- Yes, you can work with less, but efficiency suffers greatly. Some air tools (die grinders, air sanders, sandblasters) use a considerable amount of air, and a 1HP compressor just won't cut it.

2. Mig Welder: The days of riveting patch panels in a car are gone. The results just didn't last, and strength was compromised. This tool provides better and much faster results. I have used both the small 110v models Daytona Pocket-Mug- $200), and very large mug welders (an old Miller 35- $600 used). Both were adequate for the job, but each had a narrow curve for good results. I now have the use of this Miller 135(approx $950 w/bottle). Believe me, a "GOOD" welder will save you a lot of time, and will retain a lot of it's value if you look to resell after you are done with it.

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3. Sandblaster: For repairing rust damage, you can't live without one of these. Either a cheap Siphon-feed, or a bit more expensive pressure-pot. Both types work great for preparing a surface for welding, or after welding- to prep the welds for primer. They also work well for stripping small parts... I have even built a small "cabinet" from a cardboard box and a piece of glass... They use a considerable amount of air, so you will need a higher volume compressor.

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4. Spitznagle or "Stud Welder": This is definitely a tool you need only borrow or rent. You may even find a body shop willing to pull any dents you need with theirs. If you have a few door dings, small dents (less than 6" or 1" deep) or a long crease in a panel, this tool is invaluable for pulling them out. It used to be- that one would drill a series of 1/8" holes and use a "dent puller" with a screw attachment on it. With this new design, a metal stud is welded to the panel wherever needed, and a special puller is used on the stud. The combination of the heat, and the puller, make easy work of small dents.

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5. Hand Tools:

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6. Some other Tools:

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