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TVR Scott
TVR Scott GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
2/2/22 10:38 a.m.

In reply to TurnerX19 :

Details, please!

I know - from experiential learning - that loose paint will come off using a regular low-angle on the razor blade. 

For tougher paint is he going at a high angle - like a wood-scraper?  What about rough surfaces that are not tool-side?

TurnerX19 UltraDork
2/2/22 1:52 p.m.

In reply to TVR Scott :

He, Dave Hoffman by name, goes low angle the entire way. Sometimes I have seen him grind the corners off the blade, about 1/8" radius. He also says if you know there are lots of spider cracks just use coarse sand paper since you will entirely cover it with veil. Back side is something I never encountered him doing on a saveable surface. The entire TVR nose on the Vixen was ground out. I don't know what he did on the inside of the Vixen roof. Oh, and Dave has done 3 Lotus Europas which consistently win show trophys, even 15 years after completion.

TVR Scott
TVR Scott GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
2/3/22 10:34 a.m.

I think I'm going to divide the whole surface into a grid, and try to clean off one square of the grid every day.  Give myself some structure and incentive on this hefty task.

JoeTR6 Dork
2/3/22 12:19 p.m.

As an experiment, lay a piece of the stickiest duct tape that you have on a test area, rub on well, and remove by pulling perpendicular to the surface.  If the paint isn't bonded very well, sometimes that takes a good bit of it off.  The cleaner the paint, the better this works.

Slow_M Reader
2/3/22 2:51 p.m.
TVR Scott said:

I think I'm going to divide the whole surface into a grid, and try to clean off one square of the grid every day.  Give myself some structure and incentive on this hefty task.

That’s exactly how my dear, departed friend and mentor, Bob O’Hara taught me to approach large bodywork tasks. 

The vehicle that prompted the question was a late 50s Caddy. 

Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
2/3/22 2:53 p.m.

I did one half of one panel at a time for the rough-in body work and then some body line to body line when it came time for the final Bodywork prep like block sanding and checking for waves and everything else

TVR Scott
TVR Scott GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
2/6/22 6:27 p.m.

Yesterday I did a bit of experimenting on the best way to strip paint off.

Here was the starting point, with most of the implements scattered across the work surface.

Options include:

  • DA Sander with 80 mesh pad
  • Two-handed pull-scraper thingy
  • Sanding block
  • Razor scraper
  • Nylon abrasive cup - orange-flavor
  • Citrus paint stripper
  • Acetone as paint stripper
  • Wire brushes, both small and large
  • Screwdriver and mallet (huh?)
  • Joe's duct-tape hair-removal method

After many hours of testing, the winner is:


This worked best on my corded drill.  I used up my initial one yesterday, bought another at Ace today, and chewed thru that one as well.

And this is what it looks like now:

bluej (Forum Supporter)
bluej (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
2/7/22 8:45 a.m.

Edit: never mind, answered my own question re: the orange flavor cup.

How's your back today from all that work??


CoolHandMoss New Reader
2/7/22 9:00 a.m.

My research has indicated soda blasting to be a pretty popular choice for stripping paint off a fiberglass body. Less chance of damaging fibers maybe? Did you consider that route? Would you advise against? Looks like your route is going well so far. 

Slow_M Reader
2/8/22 2:53 a.m.

In reply to CoolHandMoss :

Did your research include various hardnesses of plastic media? 

CoolHandMoss New Reader
2/8/22 1:19 p.m.

No I didn't look in to plastic any. Is that a good option to look in to? I still haven't decided what I am going to do for stripping. I'll see how Scott's method goes once he gets rolling with it for sure. I do know that I am convinced that going all the way to glass and taking the gel coat off is going to be the way to go for me. 

Slow_M Reader
2/9/22 2:14 a.m.

In reply to CoolHandMoss :

I remember seeing images of the result of plastic media blasting on fiberglass. Best thing ever. Beats the resin out of spider cracks and makes them more visible. You still have to grind them out, but stripping the paint and exposing the cracks in one step and leaving a clean surface for subsequent work seems like the best of all worlds. I think Eastwood have it. 

Been itching to use it, but so far, I never have. A friend who was a big deal restorer recommended it. 

TVR Scott
TVR Scott GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
2/25/22 5:48 p.m.

Lots of work, not much updating.  Here goes:

I dragged the hood back outside a couple weeks ago, and hit the stubborn and hard to reach bits with the walnut shells.

It's really good it little spots like this:

Not really room for the abrasive cup in there.  Also, you can see where there were some bubbles in the resin.  The walnut does removed those thin bubbles but doesn't do any harm to solid laminate.

Also good for these underside areas on the hood:

Here's the whole thing when I finished:

I'd call it a solid 95%.  The blasting does work well, but it is a huge mess and a lot of work.  Pretty fun when everything is working right.

Back inside to hide from the snow and do spider-crack repairs.  First a thorough coating of epoxy dye:

And lots of grinding.  The driver's side isn't quite as bad as the passenger's.  Judging by the frame and the hood underside, the P/S took a pretty decent whack at some point.  Hence more damage.

Here are some of the D/S cracks ground out:

I'm trying to grind in bands so that I can always bring the surface back to level between steps.  You can see some of the older work interspersed with the new.

Here's the same area with filler:

And covered with breather film.  I find it helpful to smooth the patch by pressing on the film.  Especially helps getting bubbles worked out.

Here's how it looks today:

Sorry about the blurry pic:

Unrelated, this came:

Also got a 9 lb steel flywheel to go with it.

And one last one, thanks to my buddy Dave:

Any guesses what I'm up to there?

That's it for now!

Stampie GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/25/22 5:52 p.m.

In reply to TVR Scott :

HVAC box?

TVR Scott
TVR Scott GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
2/26/22 9:46 a.m.
Stampie said:

In reply to TVR Scott :

HVAC box?

Right idea, but not quite.

RossD MegaDork
2/26/22 10:11 a.m.

Turbo heat shield mold?

dculberson MegaDork
2/26/22 11:48 a.m.

Intake plenum? (As in, air filter housing)

TVR Scott
TVR Scott GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
2/26/22 11:51 a.m.
dculberson said:

Intake plenum? (As in, air filter housing)


If you remember from about three years ago, I did some mock-ups on this airbox.  Finally getting back to it now.

This will get smoothed and finished, and then I'll pull a carbon fiber part off it.

AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/26/22 11:58 a.m.

In reply to TVR Scott :

I'm glad to see this on page 1!  

I don't think there is millimeter of this car you haven't touched, or fabbed.  This is truly your TVR.  The work on this car is way above my skill set.  Very impressive, as Angry said, glad to see it!

vozproto New Reader
3/1/22 11:04 a.m.

Yeaaaaaaah Airbox! Can't wait to see this take shape! Was super stoked to put my new CNC router to the test on this sucker for ya Scott.

(PS... It also could have been a layer cake or a new star wars droid.)

TVR Scott
TVR Scott GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
3/2/22 12:02 p.m.

In reply to vozproto :

Yeah, man, thanks for the help on that.  I think it's going to be pretty cool when it's done.  Haven't yet gotten out to sand more.  Ugh. 

I have been messing around a bit with that smashed P/S corner.  I'm trying to do some more 3d scanning, but so far the resolution is just too poor.  May have to take some section measurements with a profile gauge and do careful 3d modeling.  The hard way may be the easy way on this one.

TVR Scott
TVR Scott GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
3/10/22 7:25 p.m.

Howdy there, internet friends!  You may think it's just a boring old Thursday, but today is a special day.  It is the fourth anniversary of me taking possession of this glorious train-wreck of a project.

As I usually do, I'd like to take stock.  First, a quick update on where it stands.

Giant mess in the workshop right now:

Having the hood and the car separately taking up floor space definitely makes things cramped.  I would love to get some of the car outside, but Colorado has decided winter is pretty fun this year.  It was 5 deg F when I dropped my daughters at school this morning.   So inside will have to do.

The actual update isn't very interesting.  Surprise surprise, I'm grinding more spider cracks.  Front D/S here:

Passenger's side is more fix than original right now.  I'm having to be really careful to sand down carefully and keep that original body line:


Now a bit of a recap:

Last year I had great plans for a first start.  Joe TR6 came by to lend a hand but ultimately we were rebuked.  Likely too-big clutch/flywheel in the bell-housing is the culprit.  I've got a fancy new Miata clutch and flywheel to try, so this will likely get off the back burner pretty soon.

I spent a lot of this year focused on making the sunroof filler mold and then making a crap-ton of sunroof panels for other TVR owners.  I was happy to get to do that, and it was a good way to get my composite skills re-energized.  Helped to refill the project piggy-bank a little too.

Then it was on to body repairs.  Yay.  This one is going to take a while, but I'm getting thru it and trying not to be frustrated.  My plan is to get the hood moved along pretty well and then start messing with hood hinge brackets.

Biggest trouble I've had this last year is actually health-related.  I've mentioned this a little before, but not really the extent of the problem.  My back has bugged me for a long time, and that's not gotten better.  Larger problem for the last few years is with joint pain in other places.  My elbows are screaming today.  Earlier it was my knees.  Sometimes it's terrible leg cramps in the middle of the night.  Regardless of where, it's almost always on both sides, and presents a lot like rheumatoid arthritis, but all the tests are negative for that.  I'll be getting some nerve tests in a couple weeks, so hopefully the doc will figure something out.  This has all been a real struggle for many parts of my life.  I'm hoping by next year I'll be able to say I've made some positive progress in this area.

Best things of the year?  I do love that silly-light carbon roof I made myself.  The fact that my younger daughter loved helping with those was the best part.  Getting to visit Stu and Michael and their wonderful families in NC was just great.  I had a total blast at the Challenge with Stampie, my cousin Kirk, and all the other guys on the team.  I'll be back for sure!

Downsides?  Mostly just slow progress and feeling sore all the time.

The take-away: I could have bought a functional decent 2500M years ago, but what fun would that be?

Throw me a thumbs up if you're not exhausted by four years of my trials and tribulations.  Thanks as always for the advice and friendship!

3/10/22 7:35 p.m.

I dunno...these big project always have a life-happens ebb and flow to them. I don't think you are anywhere out of the norm for a project of this scale and scope.

Looking forward to when you get back on the mechanical side of things.

obsolete GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
3/10/22 7:53 p.m.

In reply to TVR Scott :

Thanks for letting us be your internet friends.

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