Tools
blaster.jpg
blaster.jpg
It took me a while to buy one of these mini sandblast guns but I wish I had gotten it sooner. This little guy was such a help even though I had the Charger dipped for cleaning small areas, used parts I bought and the prep work on the used quarter panel. While very messy, as there is no sand reclamation, it does get the job done. I paid about $40 for mine and bags of sand run about $6 for 40lbs.

inline sander.jpg
inline sander.jpg
This is on your list as must need for bodywork. For smoothing out the long panels on the Charger this little item will save you days of sanding. 3-M makes a great stick-on paper for these in various grits but if you are skim-coating start with 36 then work to 80 grit paper and keep moving do not stop in one place or bad things happen. I picked up one for $75 and it still working great.

mask1.JPG
mask1.jpg
While we are on the subject of sanding take a ittle time to protect your lungs from all the nasties a job like this generates. These paper masks work well when grinding or cutting metal with a zip wheel to keep the rust out of your nose and lungs. They are available everywhere for minimal dollars and are a great thing to have.

mask2.jpg
mask2.jpg
When sanding any kind of body filler but especially any one with fiberglass in it, a good quality mask with replaceable filters is a must. Don't kid yourself and sand without one as the stuff will get in your throat and lungs and will cause you problems. You are going to need one for spraying any way so get one early in the project and strap it on! Good masks with the replaceable filters run $30-$50 and are well worth the money.

muffs.jpg
muffs.jpg
Did you say something? While not the most comfortable thing to wear a good pair of lightweight muffs can go a long way towards saving your hearing so you can hear the compliments about your car when you are done. A very good thing to wear when cutting or grinding as the frequencies that are produced by those activities put you into the permanent hearing loss level. Why chance not being able to hear when these only run you $6?

nibbler.jpg
nibbler.jpg
A nibbler is a pretty cool device but not a required item. Nibbblers work well for making curved and shaped cuts in sheet metal. While this can be done with a variety of other tools, the nibbler makes very clean cuts and smooth edges. I didn't use one on this project but if you are a tool-head then by all means spend the $60 and pick one up.

clamps1.jpg
clamps1.jpg
I started out my project with about 10 Vise Grip clamps and I now own about 40. Nothing is better at holding panels together like Vise Grips and do not buy the generic brands as they just will frustrate you and skin your knuckles. I also used a lot of sheet metal screws to hold the panels together but you still need many of these. Keep an eye out at many of the hardware super stores as they run sales on Vise Grips often and if you start now you can have enough when it comes crunch time. There are many models and you should buy at least 6 of each style with an average cost of about $10-$20 each.

cleco.jpg
cleco.jpg
When I started this project I called a buddy who I used to hang stock car bodies with and borrowed his complete set of Cleco clips, figuring these were the ticket for the stock cars they will work great for this deal. While they are amazing devices, I found that Vise Grips and sheet metal screws were much better in this line of work. You need to drill a pretty big hole for a Cleco to fit in and all those holes need welded up and ground smooth once the panel is on so it is up to you. An average set of Clecos and the special pliers will run about $40-$60.

compressor.jpg
compressor.jpg
Buy a good 220V compressor that will hold at least 100 lbs of pressure at 15 CFM to power up your air tools. There is nothing worse than waiting for your compressor to catch up with your tools when you are working. When your compressor comes home don't put it in the same room you are working or it will drive you crazy. Build a little room, put it in the attic, put it next to the stove in the kitchen, anywhere but in the same room as you will be. Put a good moisture filter in line but not an oiler unless you change all the lines before you spray any paint or primer. As far as brands I bought a Coleman for $389 that looks just like the one in this picture so God knows who actually builds them.

da.jpg
da.jpg
Ah, the dreaded DA sander, friend to someone who knows how to use one and the bane to the rest of us. I have one and really did not get that much use out it. Most body guys swear by them but since I am a body guy by default maybe that was why it did not do to much for me. Prices range anywhere from $40 to $150 on these but I bought a mid priced one for $70 and it seems to work well though I don't know what to do with it.

dolly1.jpg
dolly1.jpg
Body hammers and dolly will become your friends soon if you plan any metal work. The key to a smooth car is to work the metal using the hammers and dollies until it is very close to smooth then move on to fillers. This is an area where you can spend hundreds of dollars or just a little. A good hammer with a shrinking tip and a heel dolly was what I used the most. Some of the spoons and odd shaped dollies did come in handy. Spend the money for a good, heavy heel dolly at around $30 and then just pick up a set like this for $20-$30 to cover the rest of your needs.


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