Tools
drill.jpg
drill.jpg
Everybody has a drill at home, right? When you are working on the body you have an air hose handy so why not have an air drill? Air drills make short work of any holes you need with the added benefit of not having an extension cord to get tangles up in the air hose. This right angle drill is a handy one for drilling the holes for welding panels as well as drilling out the spot-welds that need to be replaced. An average cost for a hobbyist level right angle air drill is about $50.

drill 2.jpg
drill 2.jpg
Here is your basic air drill in a straight version. An average cost for a hobbyist level air drill is about $30 and is a great item to keep handy.

face shield.jpg
face shield.jpg
Lets talk safety here in that you will be flinging metal chips everywhere and nothing breaks up a productive day like a trip to the emergency room. For the most part good safety goggles or glasses will do but when you get grinding and drilling underneath the car a full-face shield is hard to best. A good tip here is to get some of the Rain-X anti fog solution and coat the inside with it to keep your breath from fogging it up. Average cost anywhere is about $10, which is real cheap compared to losing your sight.

goggles.jpg
goggles.jpg
Basic safety goggles for under $5 can't be beat. The side protection offered by goggles over glasses are very important when you are climbing in and out of the car while grinding. Pick up a couple of pairs so they are always handy and use toothpaste to polish the lens when it gets scratched up.

plasma.jpg
plasma.jpg
Beam me up Scotty! The plasma cutter is like the death rays we were promised back in the 50's except it has been given a more peaceful life. These tools will cut any shape in metal and leave a smoother edge than the old blue flame wrench did. Again, this tool is a luxery for the hobbyist but the prices are coming down where if you are going to do a couple of cars you might be able to rationalize the $500-$1500 price tag.

punches.jpg
punches.jpg
Don't forget that the repop floors and trunk panels do not come with all the assembly holes in them. While the holes are not needed and could be left closed, a correct restoration will have them open and plugged with the little rubber plugs. A set of hole saws will put the correct size holes in the metal but can give you a rough edge. These two-piece punches are available in many sizes and will leave you a smooth hole that looks just like it did when Ma Mopar put one in the original. By the way don't forget to punch out the hole for the fuel tank sending unit wire through the trunk...oops! I have seen sets for about $50 and individual punches for $10-$20 each depending on size

shrink stretch.jpg
shrink stretch.jpg
A friend brought one of these over when I was working on my car and left me try it out for a while. It is a large electric gun that has a flange on the front that is electrically charged. You can use this to weld on studs, so you can pull them out with a slide hammer for dent removal, or you can use the electric end to heat a spot on a panel then quench it with cold water and shrink it to make the metal fit. If you have ever put a panel on and it "oilcans" or pops in and out in the center it needs to be shrunk, so it will stay straight. This can be done with heat, hammers or this tool and I found it pretty handy for the stud thing and the shrink thing. These run about $150-$200 for a kit.

seamer.jpg
seamer.jpg
Another tool that will become a good friend is this little gem it has many uses other than its original use of seaming. It is great to straighten out edges of panels, bend metals, hold parts while welding and a plethora of other uses. My Father-In-Law gave me the one I use and it has worked better than most things he gives me. Figure to pay about $10-$20 for one that will last a lifetime.

flanger.jpg
flanger.jpg
This little gem is an air-powered flanger/punch. What the hell do I need that for you ask? When you seam two panels together like the quarters a flange will give strength and support to the seam making a very strong joint that will resist warpage when welding. The punch part of this is pretty cool also in that you flip the head around to the punch setting and punch out all the holes for your welds. This save much time versus drilling and bends up the panel less. I have seen these anywhere from $50 to $90 at many websites for car restoration tools.

flanger2.jpg
flanger2.jpg
A much cheaper way to build flanges instead of the air powered one is the human powered version. This is the way we went and it was truly a pain in the ass. Perhaps for small panels it would be okay but trying to flange the 7-foot quarter of the Charger almost gave me the grip of Superman. Eastwood carries a whole line of panel tools based on Vise Grips and they all work but if you are doing a lot of flanging spring for the powered one and save your grip for more important thing like shifting the 4-speed.


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