Falcon Build Update #3- The Roof

63 Falcon Wagon Project Build - Roof beforeI think it was Earl Sheib who said, “Body work is glamorous!” He was lying! Ok, I made that up. Body work’s dirty and you have to use a bunch of tools that make noise. I like that part! But, it takes so much time. It’s hard work. This week, I enlisted another friend, Joe Nagy. He came over to hit the roof of the wagon, and that we did. (for a good laugh, check out the Earl Scheib home page and the endorsement from Danny Boneduce)

On the left, you can see where we started. For some reason, I really like wagons, but I guess that was before I wanted to paint one! The roofs, as they’re known, are LONG. I’m pretty lucky that the roof’s straight and basically trouble free except for more of that black primer filled with that strange oil the previous owner used to keep it sorta-shiny. (I already said, please don’t do that…)

Joe and I fired up the wire wheel and DA sander only to find that sucked. pikesan hard at it with Paint stripper: Falcon Wagon projectFrom there I decided to go back to the paint stripper to ease the pain some. Does anyone know of a stripper that actually works? I’m sure it doesn’t help that it’s 90+ in the garage, but still, as much as I put on, you’d think some more of this ratty primer would come off. Not so. Even the “Aircraft” quality stripper I had wasn’t that hard core. I want the paint to peel off in one big sheet! But, I also want my kids to have clean air and clean water. I bet in the old days, paint stripper got it done! Here’s what the paint stripper did. Any paint that does peel off is still paint I don’t have to force off.

The roof, almost done sanding - 63 Falcon Wagon projectAfter throwing almost every wire from my low-buck Harbor Freight wire wheel, this is what was left. The original color of the car was burgundy and a cool one at that. Once I hit color, bare metal or the grey/yellow primer, I moved on to the next spot. I wasn’t trying to get all bare metal, just get all that oil off there. Looking back, I think it would have been worth it to have the entire car blasted. I would have done that, but I didn’t want to find any major surprises. Small ones, ok, but from what I’ve seen on Overhauln’, some stones should be left unturned. Speaking of Overhaulin’, check out this “Overhaulin’ game”. You can customize a car. I think Chip probably threw up a little bit when he saw it.Abstract 63 Falcon art

After the wire wheel, I broke out the DA sander with 80 grit paper. It’s amazing how much better that works when it’s not trying to gum up with the old black paint. It didn’t take long at all, then I was ready for some primer. You can see in the picture above there was only 1 spot with any filler. The DA smoothed that out nicely so I can put a little more on.

63 Falcon Long Roof.. all gray!3 cans of primer later, the roof finally looked like we had done something! The solid gray after looking at the spotted mess of paint, steel and primer was a great change. I used a long board for the first time to do the first bit of sanding. Or maybe I should say, I tried using it. Wanted: Dude who can teach me how to use one of those without undoing all work from the previous step. I did get some advice tonight, but I’ll have to wait to give it a try. You can see that one spot with filler. I learned how much hardener is too much tonight too. That stuff kicked so fast I threw half of it away. Time to wrap it up for the night/week.Rear door handles removed and smoothed over 1963 Falcon wagonPassenger door, before 1963 Falcon wagon

Just to catch you up completely, I also got most of the passenger doors stripped and ready for the DA and primer treatment. Then, here’s a picture of where the rear door handles have been filled in. That area’s smoothing out nicely to get ready for Squeeg’s filling primer. I learned from Doug why his primer’s the best and I’ll blog it all soon.

Much more later, we’re just getting started. Stay tuned. Any comments on the progress?

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Every story I’ve written about this build can be found here: 1963 Ford Falcon Wagon Build