Tag Archives: eastwood company

  • 5 Easy Ways to Remove Spot Welds

    Whats the Best Way to Get Rid of Those Annoying Spot Welds?

    While you're tearing down your project it's inevitable that you will come across some spot welds that need to be removed.  They can be a pain to remove. especially when you want to save as much of the original metal as possible.  Just like many parts of automotive restoration there is more than one way to do the same task. It all comes down to which method works best for you.  All of these methods accomplish the same goal it all depends on what tools you have and how in depth you want to go.


    Lets start with the simplest, Spot Weld Cutters, but even these have multiple variations.

    Spot weld cutter stockSpot weld Cutter 1

    The first and very common is this Spot Weld Cutter. It utilizes a small centering pin which makes contact with the panel first which stops the cutter from wandering. The pin is on a spring so once you put pressure into the panel it will depress and begin to cut through the panel. The cutting wheel is similar to a  hole saw for wood which is slightly larger than the spot weld.  These can be swapped out with different size cutting heads depending on your project.  This type of cutter has an advantage over the rest because once the cutting head bores through the first panel the panels are able to be separated. You will not be left with a hole cut all the way through both panels. Spot Weld Cutters like these range from about $25-$80. This costs more than some other methods, but it is the most professional, accurate method for drilling spot welds.  


    spot weld drill stockspot weld drill

    The next spot weld cutter is slightly cheaper and performs the same basic function.  This Spot Weld Drill essentially a very wide but flat drill bit with a self centering tip so it will not wander. These have an advantage of being made out of one piece of metal so there are no pieces that could break. They do have their drawbacks because each cutter is for a specific size spot weld, unlike the first where the cutting head can be changed out to accommodate various spot weld sizes. At a price point of $30+ dollars they may be more expensive than a standard drill bit, but they are far more accurate and last much longer than a standard drill bit (and won't drill through both panels as easily).


    drill spot weld

    The next method is by far the most simple and easiest way.  No speciality tools are required all you will need is a drill and a set of drill bits.  This method works very well but it takes a lot more time and it can wear down your drill bits quickly.  Although it's the easiest, using a drill does have its disadvantages.  First is that it is near impossible to save both panels since you will have to drill completely through both panels.  The problem with this method is that you will not be able to remove a lot of spot welds because even the best drill bits will get dull over time.  One way to reduce the wear on your drill bits is to drill a small pilot hole first and then use a larger bit to remove the spot weld. This method is very time consuming and can be frustrating if your drill bits become dull.

    Whenever you are doing any type of drilling whether it is with a specialized spot weld cutter or with a normal drill bit you should always use some type of lubricant or cutting fluid which will help keep the bit cool and increase the longevity of your bits. 


    Cut off wheel

    If you don't have a drill or drill bits and you still want to remove spot welds there is another method which is more of a last resort. The tools you'll need for this are a Cut Off Wheel and a Hammer and punch or Air Hammer with chisel attachment. First cut a star shaped pattern directly over top of the weld, you will only need to cut through the top panel.  Then using the punch hit the center of the cut lightly to break the rest of the metal free.  If you are able to get to the under side of the panel this step may become easier withe use of a screw driver to pry the two pieces apart. This method should only be used as a last resort when you don't care about the top panel.


    The last method is also somewhat of a last resort but in a pinch it will complete the same task.  Using an Angle Grinder remove the metal directly above the spot weld without burning thorough the panel.  Once you have removed the majority of the first layer of metal, use a punch or chisel and hammer to break the rest of the metal free.  If you are unsure of how much metal you have removed, hit the center of the spot weld and the outline of the spot weld will appear.


    All of these methods will remove spot welds but only the Spot Weld Cutter and Spot Weld Drill will allow you to remove the weld without damaging the other panel. In the long run the higher price will be worth the time they save.


    Check out the Eastwood Blog and Tech Archive for more How-To's, Tips and Tricks to help you with all your automotive projects.  If you have a recommendation for future article or have a project you want explained don't hesitate to leave a comment.


    - James R/EW


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  • How to make a Body Panel From Scratch- Rear Quarter Panel Fabrication

    If you want to get better at anything you need to practice and push yourself to try things a little out of your skill/comfort level. Metal Shaping is 100% one of those things that you need to practice and work to get better at, even if it means wrecking a piece of metal or wasting hours of work. It's extremely frustrating, but each time you learn something new or what doesn't work and you can learn to correct it. Recently Mark R. and I decided to make a rear quarter panel from scratch. I've watched some videos and seen pictures of "panel beaters" rough forming a rear quarter panel in a really short period of time and it crazy the transformation the panel takes as they beat it with hammers slowly smooth it back into shape! So we decided to make up a rear quarter panel similar in shape to that of many cars from the 60's-70's.

    Photo Jan 29, 10 16 09 AM

    We started with a pattern of the outside perimeter of the panel cut to shape. The first step was to shape the fender flare detail around the wheel opening. Mark drew out the area in which the flare metal needed to be stretched in. He then proceeded to use a teardrop mallet on the panel beater bag to pound out the rough shape of the fender flare. He tried to keep his hits all close together so the area was stretched evenly.

    Photo Jan 29, 10 15 57 AM

    Photo Jan 29, 10 23 28 AM

    As you can see above, the area that was hit with the hammer was pretty sad looking, with lumps and waves all around the edge of the panel. We then put it into the english wheel with very little pressure on the wheels as we rolled the panel around the lumpy, stretched area Mark hit with the hammer. After a few passes the exteme high spots and lumpy areas slowly began to flatten out and the shape of the fender flare became more obvious.

    Photo Jan 29, 10 21 50 AM

    Photo Jan 29, 10 22 04 AM

    Photo Jan 29, 10 21 25 AM

    As you can see in the last picture above, the lumpy hammer marks were mostly smoothed out but there were some wavy areas of excess metal on the edges that needed to be smoothed out. These areas needed shrinking to tighten up the metal before we could move forward. We used the HD Shrinker Stretcher to tighten up the metal by doing small, light shrinks. Too heavy of a hand when shrinking could actually cause more damage than help, so we took a few light passes instead of doing a single heavy pass.

    Photo Jan 29, 10 42 56 AM

    Photo Jan 29, 10 43 00 AM

    Once we were happy with how smooth the fender flare area was we decided to lock the shape in and give the panel a little rigidity by creating the bent fender lip. We started by using a tipping die and soft bottom wheel in the bead roller to slowly tip the edge over while we followed the radius of the wheel opening. This took a few passes to get it to about 70 degrees. Mark then used a Fairmount Hammer and Dolly to tip the edge to 90 degrees.

    Photo Jan 29, 11 02 43 AM

    Photo Jan 29, 11 39 55 AM

    With the fender flare becoming fairly smooth and the lip now formed, we needed to move on to getting the flare detail fully stretched away from the panel to where we wanted it. We achieved this by flipping the panel over and rolling the panel in the english wheel around the wheel opening just above the fender flare. This moved the metal the opposite way around the flare to make it more pronounced from the fender. You can see in the photos we're using a prototype rubber sleeve over the top wheel to control the amount of stretch we're getting and for a smooth linear stretch in only the direction we want.

    Photo Jan 29, 1 04 18 PM

    Photo Jan 29, 1 04 36 PM

    Photo Jan 29, 1 06 43 PM

    At this point the fender flare portion was about 80% done and needed just some fine tuning and smoothing to get it perfect. We decided to move on to putting the overall shape into the panel. No automotive fender is 100% flat and our practice piece wasn't going to be either! We started by rolling with medium pressure in the english wheel across the top of the panel until we got down to the fender flare. We then worked the sides before and aft of the flare with the wheel in the same direction. Once we got close to the bottom quarter of the rear of the quarter we changed the direction of the wheel to give it some "pinch" in and down to meet up with the rear pan of the car.

    Photo Jan 29, 1 10 38 PM

    Photo Jan 29, 1 15 18 PM

    Finally Mark tipped the edges on the ends of the panel and cut out the marker light opening. He then finished by smoothing and tuning the shape up with the english wheel and hammer and dollies. With the shape all locked in Mark took some time with a DA sander and some 220 grit paper to take out the shrinker and hammer marks to give us a panel that was ready to install!

    Photo Jan 29, 1 27 51 PM

    Photo Jan 29, 1 27 59 PM

    The tools used for this type of project won't cost you another mortgage on your house and can be fit even in a small shop, it's all in the time to learn how to use them correctly. We didn't have a particular fender in mind when making this, but this shape and process would lend itself to MANY cars through the 60's-90's.


    Photo Jan 30, 10 10 50 AM

    Photo Jan 30, 10 10 58 AM

    Photo Jan 30, 10 11 14 AM

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  • Eastwood 2014 SEMA Hands-On Awards


    We've been going to SEMA for a long time and we always share our favorite vehicles from the show with everyone that can't make the event. This year we decided to give some additional recognition to the builders and owners of some of these vehicles. Thus spawned the Eastwood "Hands-On" Awards for SEMA 2014. Below are the different classes we'll be awarding for and what we're looking for. Follow along as we narrow down our favorites from the event this year!

    Customer Favorite: A panel of Eastwood Experts will select 10 “Eastwood Picks” on the first day of SEMA. These vehicles will be selected based on presentation, paint, engine, custom fabrication, and fit/finish. Eastwood will post its “Eastwood Picks” to its Facebook page by the first night of SEMA, where customers will select their favorite by voting. The vehicle with the most votes by end of day on Wednesday will be awarded the prestigious Customer Favorite Hands-On award.

    Best Rubber Wrap: A panel of Eastwood Experts will search all over SEMA for the best rubber wrap/dip of SEMA. Judging will be based on the overall appearance and most unique usage of a rubber wrap product. The selected vehicle will be awarded the prestigious Best Rubber Wrap Hands-On award on Thursday of SEMA.

    Best Fabrication: A panel of Eastwood Experts will search all over SEMA for the vehicle featuring the best fabrication of SEMA. Judging will be based on the overall appearance, presentation, level of difficulty, and most unique fabrication. The selected vehicle will be awarded the prestigious Best Fabrication Hands-On award on Thursday of SEMA.

    Best Paint: A panel of Eastwood Experts, including Paintucation host Kevin Tetz, will search the show for the best paint of SEMA. Judging will be based on the overall appearance, finish and execution. The selected vehicle will be awarded the prestigious Best Paint Hands-On award on Thursday of SEMA.

    Stay tuned we'll be sharing the contenders throughout the show and announcing the winners each day!






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  • 2014 AACA Hershey Fall Swap Meet Report

    For most here at Eastwood The fall AACA Hershey swap meet has become a tradition to visit each year. The reality with Hershey is that if you can't take off of work and come mid-week, you're going to miss the REAL good deals. Heck, some of the best deals are scored by fellow vendors on setup day it seems! I decided to swing by on the first official day of the swap meet and see what this year had in store.   Click Here To Read Full Post...
  • How to Make your barn or garage find road-worthy- Part Three Restoring the Brake System

    Once you have the vehicle running and moving under its own power you'll surely want to drive it around your property to see what else it needs. The big thing that may kill the fun is the lack of brakes. In my particular case the front brakes were partially seized on and the brake pedal just went to the floor. I decided to completely disassemble the system and show how to go through the brakes on your classic car.....  Click Here To Read Full Post...