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Northwest body shops

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  • Northwest body shops

    OK, a lot shorter this time.

    I've found a few media/sand blasters, and would like to hear opinions on these--processes, companies, etc. Which/Who is your favorite and why?

    Body shops are another thing altogether. The typical conversation so far has been:
    "Hi there, I'm wondering if you have experience working on classic minis?"
    "On what?"
    "Uh, yeah, we've done a few of those."

    Not inspiring a lot of confidence.

    I am willing to travel for the right shop, but hope to stay in WA/OR/No. CA, etc. if I can. I will be doing full bare metal restoration, and will expect to be allowed in the shop to document the process with photographs for the future buyer. I also hope to be able to find someone who will let me remove the subframes and then paint behind them, etc. Possibly undercoating, but not sure on that.

    Who's the Mini Master around these parts?


  • #2
    On auto body sheet metal soda or media blasting is the only thing that I would use. Sand blasting work hardens the sheet metal and will cause cracking in stressed areas.

    I bought a pair of convertible doors for an early VW that had been sand blasted. After a year or so I started noticing slight cracking around the door handle, early VWs had pull type handles. On the top and bottom of the rectangular hole the handle fit into there were cracks which eventually spread to about a quarter of an inch.

    I had to strip the area, stop drill the cracks and weld them. I have heard similar complaints from some of the street rod guys I know. I would never recommend sand blasting.

    Soda blasting as in baking soda and plastic media blasting have virtually no affect on sheet metal. It is used in a lot of big name restoration, street rod and muscle car shops. It is supposed to be one of the most environmentally friendly paint stripping processes.

    When I worked at Boeing they were looking into using plastic media to strip epoxy based aircraft paint without harming the base metal.


    • #3

      There are a couple of options in the area. Alternative Blasters North of Everett (plastic to remove seamsealer and some paint, light sand to remove tough paint and rust) Soda and plastic will not remove rust, soda is generally for aluminium. The other outfit is Blastec in Auburn, Ray is the owner and they use a combination of Garnet and walnut shell (very effective w/ a smooth finish). I've had minis done at both places and I have several opinions on quality and 1st hand examples in my shop if you want to take a peek... Gunnar
      Last edited by gordog285kb; 09-16-2008, 08:25 PM.


      • #4
        Thanks guys, I'll look these up.


        • #5
          I don't know if Gunnar has talked to you offline, but if he hasn't and you're looking for a top notch body shop, by all means drop him a line or give him a call.

          He took my pickup from this (an Alternative Blasters job)...


          Panel beating, panel replacement, painting. Gunnar's a Mini guy, fastidious about his work and very reasonably priced. I have no problem recommending him.


          "If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there." -- George Harrison


          • #6
            Dan, that is one nice looking truck! Can't wait to see it on the roads.