Car body repair work does require some skill, but it can be done by beginners who have the proper directions. Knowing how to do these repairs oneself can save a lot of money and be fun at the same time. Many people even buy and fix up vehicles as a hobby, or they do it to make some profit. There are three kinds of auto body repair: metal, surface, and paint. The metal needs to be fixed when it rusts, gets a large dent, or is just completely crushed. The surface is in need of repair when there are large scratches, minor surface rust that has not penetrated the metal yet, or small dents. Repainting is necessary after repairs are made, or when there is fading or minor scratches. Cars that are parked outside in the elements need to be re-painted more often than those that are parked inside.
Knowing how to repair the body of a car come in handy, especially since things like rust and dents are not always avoidable. Auto body shops charge by the hour and can be very expensive. Purchasing a set of car body repair tools is much more affordable. The type of tools to acquire depend on the repair that needs to be done. Most projects require several of the tools listed below.
Types of Car Body Repair Tools
As mentioned, there are no specific tools that everyone has to have for auto repair. The type of tool to get differs depending on the project. The deeper the damage goes, the more tools are needed. For example, a large, old dent may require a sander, rust inhibitor, dent remover, bondo, and paint gun. The following sections discuss the types of car body repair tools and what they are used for.
Car Body Dent Removers
When a car is hit hard enough by something, the metal caves in. Dents that are not too large can be pulled out using a dent removal tool.. Make sure there are no cracks in the metal and that it is simply just pushed inward. If the metal is also crashed or crunched, it cannot be pulled back out with any tools.
The rubber hammer can be used when the dented area can be reached from behind. This usually only works for small to medium dents. The hammer must have the rubber head otherwise it could cause more damage. Even with the rubber, it is a good idea to provide even more cushion by placing cloth between the hammer and the metal.
These tools have suction cups that hold onto the dent and then pull backwards when directed. These are used for medium sized dents that are not pushed in too far. These are useful for areas that are unreachable behind the dent because they do no damage to the paint or metal.
Large dents cannot be repaired with a hammer or suction. Dent pullers require the user to drill a small hole into the dent. The device then latches onto the hole and pulls out. Often time more than one hole is required to pull the entire dent out. Once the majority of the dent is out, a rubber hammer can be used to even out the metal. Afterwards, the holes have to be filled and painted.
Car Body Sanders
Sanders are used to smooth over areas and remove paint. They are necessary for removing scratches that are only paint deep, removing surface rust, or for evening out a newly welded area.
These are small blocks in various sizes that strips of sandpaper are attached to. They are used to manually sand smaller areas for precision work. Normally they are used for small projects, or as the finishing touch after a powered sander.
Hand Held Pneumatic Sanders
Pneumatic sanders are powered by an air compressor. Pneumatic tools are advantageous because they have more power than electric tools and they cost less. However, an air compressor has to be bought. Hand-held sanders are orbital, meaning that a piece of sandpaper is attached to the bottom of the device which spins quickly.
Hand Held Electric Sanders
Electric sanders initially cost more than pneumatic ones, but they do not require that an expensive air compressor also be purchased and they are less noisy. Be sure to purchase a sander that is specifically for auto repair. Wood sanders are shaped differently and do not last.
Sandblasters are powered by air compressors as well. However, these are used for larger projects in which a lot of paint or surface rust has to be removed. There is a bucket that holds fine sand, and a gun that shoots the sand out at the vehicle to strip paint and rust. Sandblasting is messy and has to be done somewhere that all of the sand can be cleaned up and disposed of. Sandblasting is also dangerous if protective gear is not worn.
Car Body Welders
Welding requires extensive training and is a way to attach two pieces of metal. The device heats up metal into liquid form and then spreads it over an area. When it dries, it is as hard and sturdy as it was before it was melted. Welding is used for body repair when a panel is so damaged that it has to be replaced. However, welding is extremely dangerous and should not be done without proper training. In most cases, hiring a professional is the best idea.
Car Body Rust Inhibitors
Once the paint is sanded away from the rusted area, this liquid chemical can be spread over it. It stops that area from rusting any further and helps prevent future rusting. Rust inhibitors are inexpensive, but can save people a lot of money down the road. Use these if there are any signs of rust.
Car Body Filler
Body filler,, also called bondo, is a chemical putty that is used to fill in small dents, or smooth over scratches. To use it, all of the paint in the area must be removed. Then the putty is applied in thin layers. Each layer must fully dry before another is added. Once the area is built up enough, it can be sanded down to be as smooth as the surface around it. Sometimes after sanding, more bondo must be used to fill in any air pockets that were trapped during the application process. Bondo does dry hard, but can crack with age or easily get damaged again. Because of this, it can only be used for small surface repairs.
Car Body Paint
Once all repairs are finished, the area must be re-painted. This part takes patience and some level of skill. Shoppers can either choose to use the low cost spray cans, or the high cost paint guns. Spray cans are easy to use and require less skill. However, they have to be specially ordered in order to get the correct paint colour, and the finished result is rarely professional looking. For a better look, a paint gun has to be used. These have a paint reservoir, a nozzle, and a hose that hooks up to the air compressor. When it comes to paint guns, quality makes a big difference. Research the brands thoroughly because cheaper models clog up and shoot splatters onto the car.
Find Car Body Repair Tools on eBay
Shopping on eBay is a fantastic way to find any car body repair tools without running from shop to shop. By using eBay, people can compare product brands between sellers to find the best deals. It is also a good resource when it comes to checking out the quality of the tool. Looking at the reviews on each of the listings helps shoppers know in advance whether or not the tool is worth buying. To begin browsing, use the search bar to enter the keyword phrase. For example, something like "body filler&", "sandblaster&", or "paint gun&".
Keep in mind that the larger pieces of equipment may cost more in postage. Be sure to see what each seller is charging and whether or not they are located close to you. If they are close, you can sometimes arrange to go pick the item up.
Most minimal auto body damage can be repaired by the owner, as long as they take the time to learn some basic skills and get the right equipment. Most of the tools are easy to operate and some of them are inexpensive. However, even the more costly tools usually end up being cheaper than the price of hiring a professional to do the work. There is also a certain degree of satisfaction that people receive when they are able to complete the work themselves.
How-to videos can be found all over the Internet and the tools are easy to locate online as well. Watching the videos is also a good way to determine which of the listed tools are needed. With help from the videos, or the assistance of an expert, anyone can do their own car body repair, and with eBay, they can easily locate and purchase the tools they need.