You can email your questions to Professor Hammer at email@example.com, or mail to Professor Hammer, c/o CLASSIC TRUCKS Magazine, 774 S. Placentia Ave., Placentia, CA 92870. We'll print your name and city unless you request otherwise. Ron Covell has made many DVDs on metalworking processes, and offers an ongoing series of workshops across the nation covering all aspects of metalworking. Check them out online at www.covell.biz, or call for a current schedule of workshops and a free catalog of DVDs and fine-quality metalworking tools. Phone 800-747-4631, or 831-768-0705. You can send a request by mail to Covell Creative Metalworking, 106 Airport Blvd., #105, Freedom, CA 95019.
Q: I've learned a great deal from your metalworking DVDs and from your column in CLASSIC TRUCKS every month. Using this knowledge, I've been able to do ALL the bodywork on my '62 Chevy truck, and I'm very pleased with how it came out! Now I want to do the paintwork, too. I've never done much painting, but I believe that if I apply myself, I can learn the process. I'm the kind of guy who takes a lot of pride in being able to do most things myself, and once I learn something, I generally get pretty good at it
I am hearing a lot about the new waterborne paints-this seems to be the direction everyone is moving in. Is it feasible for me to paint my own truck, and if so, should I go with waterborne paint?
Via the Internet
A: One thing I've learned is that the attitude you bring to a job has a lot to do with your success. You appear to have that "can do" attitude, and I think you will be able to paint your truck in a very satisfactory manner if you put your mind to it. Painting is a very specialized field, and the products change constantly-sometimes because of new technology the manufacturers develop, and sometimes because of the ever-more-stringent environmental regulations that come into effect.
Waterborne paints were developed to meet the more stringent regulations about volatile organic compounds (VOC) entering the environment. There are a number of unique characteristics these paints have, and they must be used in exact accordance with the manufacturer's guidelines (as is true with ANY paint product). If applied correctly, they are as good as anything on the market, and the fact that they are more environmentally friendly highly recommends them, in my view. It is likely that in the near future, a number of states will allow only waterborne paints to be used for painting vehicles
I just viewed the brand-new DVD, titled How to Paint your own Car II: Waterborne by Kevin Tetz, cohost of the popular TRUCKS! program on Spike TV, where he goes through the entire process of painting a car, including everything from sanding and preparing the surface to fixing holes, dents, rust damage, and a host of other problems, then going step by step through every phase of preparation, priming, blocking, and applying the color and clearcoats using waterborne paint.
Being primarily a metal man, I haven't done a lot of painting, but I was amazed at all of the precautionary steps Kevin takes to make his paintjobs exceptional. One example is spraying a water-soluble sealer in the engine compartment and under the hood, to temporarily encapsulate any debris that could become dislodged during the spraying, which could float into the air and settle on the fresh paint causing imperfections. Another step is to carefully mask off everything, including the wheels, wheelwells, and undercarriage to help prevent any trash being blown around by the air moving around the vehicle as it is being painted.
I learned the benefit of doing a dry run-going over the entire vehicle, moving the paint gun in the pattern you plan to use, to test out your painting pattern strategy before actually spraying any paint. Kevin stresses the value of being as comfortable as possible when spraying, and a practice run will let you discover the maximum extension of your arms and body that will enable you to keep control, so you will have a consistent pattern when you apply the paint. He outlines the strategy he uses for making sure that he is never spraying on an area that has become too dry
Kevin has made a number of DVDs about painting, bodywork, and detailing. He is truly a gifted presenter of technical information, and I guarantee that you'll be very entertained when watching any of his DVDs, as well as learning valuable information about the products, techniques and procedures used for doing finish work on cars and trucks. You can see all his DVDs on his website,www.paintucation.com, or you can contact him by phone at 931-388-3531. Kevin has an ongoing forum on the website, where you can post any questions about painting, detailing, or paint preparation and get expert advice.