Block smoothing filler over large surfaces

Mopar Body and Trim

  1. armyofchuckness

    armyofchuckness The Flying Valiant

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    Hey, everyone. I'm trying to smooth out the trunk on my 64 Valiant after working out a few dings. I decided the best thing to do was lightly skim the whole trunk with Rage Gold. I've been working on it for over 16 hours now using sanding blocks of various lengths to try and get the whole thing smooth, and it's just making me nuts. Does anyone want to share their secrets for smoothing large surfaces? :banghead:

    Thanks!
     
  2. vitamindart

    vitamindart Well-Known Member

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    I like to use a nice long block. Start with some coarse paper 40/80 grit to get it shaped.
    Sanding in an x pattern. That's the best I can describe it. I would try looking for some u tube videos. I learned watching and learning from a friend. He could make a panel straight as an arrow with a da. I find the good ole hand block works best for me.
     
  3. forphorty

    forphorty Well-Known Member

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    Make sure you don't apply too much pressure. Hoods and trunk lids will "walk" around if you don't use a light touch.
     
  4. OldmanRick

    OldmanRick Well-Known Member

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    Long tools are best for big panels, but if you truly have just a few dings, and the panel was generally straight, I'd take it back down to metal, or close, and just focus on the damaged areas.

    Then again, you can always just paint the car White. :D

    Seriously, if you're working the trunk lid alone, once you think it's close to good, shoot a little color on it to get a real feel for what you have. I've done it before on separate panels that needed to be spot on.....If I wasn't happy, I just worked it some more. Time consuming, yes, but it really depends on how nice you want the outcome to be.
     
  5. Swinger340Canuc

    Swinger340Canuc 72 Swinger 340 Special

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    Many make the mistake of using too fine a grit of paper when a sharper coarser grit is needed to straighten the filler then switch to finer grits and work your way down to one appropriate for priming
     
  6. Idaho

    Idaho FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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  7. armyofchuckness

    armyofchuckness The Flying Valiant

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    Thanks for the advice, everyone. Here's what I discovered I was doing wrong:

    1. Too fine a grit. I thought 80 grit was enough to shape Rage Gold. It really isn't. I've ordered a roll of 36 grit to try this mess again.

    2. Too small a block. My longest block is 16 inches. Not good enough. I went back and forth on the length of block I should get, and finally settled on a 27" block with removable rods to adapt flexibility. These two problems were leading to number 3 which was...

    3. I'm pushing too hard. This needs a light touch, which I wasn't giving it because the grit was too fine and I was trying to cover a large area quickly.

    Unfortunately, I think I've sanded too low to fix at this point, so I'm going to have to reskim the whole thing a third time. It's infuriating because this all started over two little high spot dings in the deck lid. I tried to hammer one down gently, which led to "oil-canning" which led to more hammering, which led to thin metal, which led to torch shrinking, which led to a dinner plate sized area of mess.

    Skimming the whole thing still seems to be the best option since it's such an obvious part of the car, and I want to cover the other high spot (remember there were two dings) as much as possible. It's in almost the exact same spot on the other side of the trunk as the one that caused the oil-can nightmare, and I'd rather not repeat that.

    Thanks again for all your help. Hopefully this will solve my problems and I can put this all to bed.
     
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