Autobody: Rust Repair & Patch Panels Workshop

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Autobody: Rust Repair & Patch Panels

Rusted steel body panels can be a restorer or customizer’s nightmare – but simply grinding the paint off and filling the holes with Brillo pads and Bondo aren’t the best methods for making repairs! Kent has spent years doing rust repairs on many high-end cars, as well as many plain-old street cars. This class will cover several methods for making sound, durable repairs on those rusted-out areas. Be prepared to get filthy dirty.

First we’ll review cutting out the rusted areas, which will involve several distinct methods – you’ll find the best solution for your own situation. (Did you know that a simple welding torch can cut steel very well?) Being able to “see” how far the rust has spread is very important, and you’ll learn a simple method for doing this effectively.

The next step is making the repair panels. It’s surprising how organized this can be. Paper and cardboard patterns are very helpful for starting the process, and a few hand tools can take us a long way toward making simple panels. You’ll learn these techniques, and how to join your panels by brazing, soldering, and welding. We’ll also introduce adhesives that can be very beneficial for these repairs.

Third, you’ll learn the chemistry behind rust removal and prevention. We’ll discuss coatings, primers, and top coats that can go a long way toward preventing rust from returning. Kent has never had a car returned to his shop for additional rust repairs, and his work has entailed replacing complete floors, quarter panels, hoods, roofs, and doors.

Workshop location: Our host for this workshop is Grace Body Shop, one of San Francisco’s premier shops for restoration, specialty, custom, collision, and detailing. Grace specializes in Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Maserati, Lamborghini, hotrods, antique equipment (including fire engines), and unique architectural projects.

Pre-requisite: Open to all skill levels. Recommended are a fundamental understanding of metalworking basics, and general knowledge of the metal shop environment (common hand tools, measuring, marking and cutting metal, etc.).


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