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Metal working help needed

Thought I'd post on here before I go hammering away! I have the doors off of an old gas pump I'm redoing for someone. They are pretty thick metal. I have 2 coats of black epoxy under 2 coats of polyester primer, all over sandblasted surface. I have blocked it all and you can see my high and lows.

Does anyone see anything that really needs to be worked out, or should I just do a light layer of filler and sand away?

Any tips, suggestions, or ways you would do it?



evil painter
A little hard to tell for sure looking at the picture, but if that's raw metal I'm seeing between the black epoxy in a couple of spots on the lower end, I'd knock them down a little first. A high spot will screw you a lot faster than a low spot, causing you to need more filler everywhere else to catch up to the height of it. With high quality filler & product on thick metal I wouldn't worry much about filler being a little thick in a few low spots, but having more filler thickness than needed everywhere does make it easier to chip if ever hit hard.

A good time saving first step before your first epoxy coat would have been to pull a wire tight across the surface & sight between the wire & surface to look for excessive high & low spots & make improvements if needed first. If doors are really thick , a little could even be filed off of high spots. Still could sight it with a wire now.
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Yes at this point in time as jlcustomz says. Us older body guys would have used a metal file on this heavy metal " Pic, file,tap down and grind "first before spraying epoxy and filler. I am sure you will get it looking nice.
I keep forgetting I have a metal file to use! My buddy left his tools in my shop until he gets a house with a garage. Not much there, but he does have a nice metal file...
It is very thick, I would say at least 14 gauge, so I have plenty of room to mess with. The low spots are very shallow, I'm currently going to throw another layer of high build and see where that leads me. I do have another door that I haven't blocked yet, I might have to play with that one more. I didn't know if I should be trying to tap up those low spots, they are such a broad valley that I wouldn't even know where to begin...

So is the consensus that the visibly low spots aren't low, but the high spots are stopping me from being able to reach the low?


evil painter
Yes, the high spots are hindering you a bit. I mentioned stretching a wire over the surface just to see how bad things really are without even doing sanding work. This gives you a better idea on plan of attack to be done both best & quickest route without spending time & money applying product & sanding. I probably wouldn't bother trying to tap up on the low spots unless they are pretty bad, you could end up moving metal elsewhere.. Metalworking can be a pretty tedious skill to get near perfection without filler & if you were that damn good at it you'd be telling us how to do it , right?:rolleyes:

From what I see here, basically you wasted a little time & money at this point with the high build primer being the level of flattening needed. High build primer shouldn't be overused where filler is needed, as it can shrink a little over time, especially from over use. A skimcoat of filler over the whole area would have been a better start off here, then switching to a high build type primer. For the door started on here, I'd first hammer & dolly on the worst high spots, then sand & or file, spot epoxy, & skimcoat the whole thing with a good smoothing filler such as evercoat metal glaze. Also start out with a longer sanding stick & cut through the first part with coarser paper & light pressure to give the best straightening effect, then switch to finer paper once you're touching everywhere. If you're still seeing untouched areas when most of the filler is looking pretty well sanded, stop & skim the low a little more first.

Now , for the next door, start out better with the metal before epoxy & skimcoat first with filler if it seems to need it.
Not trying to be critical, just trying to help you get there easier in the long run.;)

EDIT;;;; Just noticed you posting on the evercoat poly primers. These are ok in place of regular filler, though I'd still skim some regular over the worst low spots if needed. 2k primers is what you don't want to overuse in place of actual filler, was thinking you meant 2k products..
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I really appreciate the help. Unfortunately, I sprayed both doors with epoxy, waited 2 days, then sprayed 2 coats of Evercoat Super Build as I thought they were decently straight. So, my second door will have a similar beginning. I will try doing a little more metal work on it, I was hoping to not use filler (aside from the poly primer being a "filler") as I just struggle with filler. I always apply too much, or end up hitting somewhere else that I know isn't high, but more because my filler was applied unevenly or with an edge that I can't get low enough before I hit somewhere else.

Honestly, I'm fearful of the hammer and dolly work. I have lightly tapped high spots and bam, hail dent. The next time I can hammer the same spot, intensely, and not even see a change. It's frustrating. I've read the key to metal bumping, tried to learn online, etc. I'm going to pickup up a couple dvds, but I think I just need to attend a seminar so I can see the change happening, see how hard people hammer, listen to the sounds it makes when it is right/wrong, etc...

I'll keep practicing on what I can until then. Thanks for the replies, I'll probably post some more pics of the other door once I get working on it.


evil painter
There definitely is a feel needed for metalworking that not everybody can get even remotely comfortable with. Biggest thing besides placement of hammer & dolly is you need to make a lot of small hits rather than thinking you can accomplish what you need in a few larger hits. But yeah , practice that crap another time on something else.

Now on filler application, just as with metal working, you don't try to get rid of a big ole watermelon size dent in one shot. Application of product will by nature work against you, not wanting to go just in the needed areas, so multiple applications may be the norm. A thinner filler , such as evercoat metal glaze may be a little easier for you to feather out during application, though it will resist giving you a heavy buildup..

Now with the evercoat sprayable fillers, you can hit a little bit mostly aiming a the worst low areas & let it flash a few minutes before spraying everything again. Also just stop sanding as soon as some areas are sanding through if others are still really low & get some more spray buildup going before continuing sanding.

By the way , don't ever try & just fill a watermelon size dent:eek:, was just making an example to picture in your head.;)
On your next door after sandblasting dust some black spray bomb paint let dry and go over it with a flat block w/ 80 grit and this will show all your high and low spots to do your metal work. don't forget to sand and clean all the black paint off before epoxy. That metal will not move as easy as the new thinner car car of today.