Sawhorses for the Body

To work on the bug body while it’s off the chassis, I’ve decided to build a couple of sawhorses to support the shell. I think this is how most people support the detached body; you can see this technique in action on the BugMe Instructional Video.   These videos are really helpful.

These sawhorses use pressure-treated 4″x4″s that are 8′ long. It takes 3 for the front, and 3 for the back. The advantage of building your own sawhorses (and in building them out of 8′ long 4″x4″s) is that they are wide enough to roll the chassis out from under the car to work on it, then roll it back it when you are finished. This certainly saves on space. Two-by-fours may work, but I don’t think they’d be sturdy enough at 8′ across to feel safe while you are working on the body.

In addition to the 4″x4″s, I also got two 2″x6″ (also 8′ long) for the cross-bracing. These support members add a lot of strength to the sawhorse.  I also bought some fence post brackets to connect the 4″x4″ pieces. These are ridiculously expensive. I needed eight of them at $6+ apiece.  Also, I got about 32 3/8″ bolts with 2 flat washers per bolt, 1 locking washer per, and 1 nut.



The rear bumper bracket has a nut and bolt to rusty to remove. Cut-off tool to the rescue. Purchased from Harbor Freight on sale for about $7.00, and cut-off discs (pack of 10) from there, also. Be sure to wear safety goggles.

REPAIRS – Paint Removal Tests

The roof of Beavis has some deep scratches and surface rust caused by (I think) running the car through the woods under some tree branches. The paint needs to be removed, and I have a couple of methods to test:

1.) Chemical paint stripper, and some elbow grease with a metal scraper.
2.) A ‘flap’ disc attached to an angle grinder
3.) A coating removal disc like the ones from 3M
4.) Palm sander with coarse sand paper

The chemical paint stripper works reasonably well, but there’s a lot of manual work with the scraper, and it’s not a pleasant chemical. The flap disc removes the paint and primer very well, but also scuffs up the metal a bit much and leaves lots of scratches in the surface.

Get the Lead Out

Received an auto body solder kit today that I purchased off of eBay. It was $89.99 plus shipping. The item is the Eastwood Body Solder Leading Kit Basic with DVD.

I thought this would be a better product than the usual plastic body filler (like the Bondo brand). I’ve read that the plastic fillers are moisture magnets. Plus, I think that sticking some more metal on the car has to be a stronger repair than plastic.

Kit includes two paddles for spreading the lead, a body file and file handle, 1 lb. of tinning butter, 1 lb. tin of tallow (to keep the wood paddles from igniting, I guess), five acid brushes to spread the butter, eight sticks of lead (30/70 solder, actually), and an instructional DVD. Of course, you also need some kind of torch (think I will get an inexpensive propane torch.)