Sunday, October 09, 2005

A bad day in the shop…..

Is still better than a good day in some other places… like prison for example…

I’ve had the most frustrating day I can remember, today.

Yesterday I finished the welding on the floor of the truck bed. After that I spent the rest of the day sanding (mostly by hand) the entire floor. You see after 25 years of service there was hardly a square inch of the floor that wasn’t scratched and rusting, at least lightly.

All of the ridges in a bed floor, that give it strength, also make it nearly impossible to machine sand. As a result it’s a slow, tedious, manual process, that, I actually felt pretty good about when I had it finished.

The final step for the day was to spray down three coats of a product from ‘Mar-Hyde’ called “One-Step Rust Converter”. Well the fact that I had to spray three coats should have been my first inkling that it wasn’t really a ‘One Step’ process.

This is supposedly some ‘high-tech’ stuff… chemical process this… binds at the molecular level that… mumbo jumbo…

But, I sprayed down the three coats, and watched in amazement as the product began to turn from clear, to purple… then to black… just like the directions said.

I closed the shop down, leaving the doors open and the fans on to pull the fumes out, and went in to get cleaned up for dinner.

After dinner I finished closing up the shop and called it a night.

This morning, I hit the shop with all sorts of ideas of ‘scuffing’ the material I’d put down yesterday, and beginning the final work on the floor.

The first pass of a piece of 180 grit sandpaper over that beautiful black “One Step” product; told me I was in trouble. The stuff had not adhered to the metal, or the rust! It was coming off in quarter and silver dollar sized flakes.

This is like a nightmare. On one hand, I’m glad I discovered it now, and not after I’d put another couple of days work and several hundred dollars of materials in place!! On the other, all that material (and money), paint, sand paper, etc, etc… are wasted, and it’s got to all come off, again.

So… what did I do today? I sanded, scraped and essentially had an instant replay of yesterday. The big question in my mind is ‘why’? Why did this stuff not ‘stick’, or adhere, like you would expect. With those thoughts in my mind, it's sanded, but I didn't put down any sort of sealer, I'll decide on that tomorrow.

Like any good geek, I went to the internet, found their website, and looked for answers… none to be found. Clicked on their ‘forums’ button… only to find it wasn’t a ‘forum’ but a way to submit a question, which I did, but, as yet, no answer.

I have some suspicions, some thoughts on the adhesion problem, but, if I’m right, they definitely should have put it on the label!!

I think, the humidity was too high. They do impress the importance of making sure the surface is clean, and dry. I had degreased it, as well as wiped it all down with a final surface prep… and had let all of that dry. But, the humidity was very high yesterday as it rained almost all day.

I think that moisture interferes with the ‘chemical molecular binding process’ crap… and that it doesn’t have to be wet… it could just be ‘damp’ from the ambient moisture in the air.

So, I’m delayed at least another week before I can begin re-assembly of the truck bed as I have to find out how to solve this problem. If I’m wrong, and it’s not the moisture that’s the culprit, I’m clueless as what else I could have done!!

If any of you reading this, have any knowledge, I’d love to hear what you know!!

I did take some pics, and after I decide what to do tomorrow, I’ll get those off the camera and at least let you see where I am with all of this.

Something tells me I should have just loaded up some good old lacquer primer laid down two or three good coats and moved on… I’m not so sure technology is always the best answer!!


Firehawk said...


That sucks about the Marhyde stuff. I'm always leery of new stuff. Sometimes it's just hokum. I tried that stuff that was supposed to "autodry" on your car when you washed it--no toweling off and so on--but it didn't work at all. Not only did the supposed soap leave my car dirty, it didn't keep the surfaces from waterspotting. What a waste.

Anyway, hope you find a way around it. the good old primer route might be the way to go.

Beth said...

That sucks, Bill! We had a Red Devil varnish experience like that once and never bought it again!

Bill said...

Firehawk - I hope they get back to me about the cause of the problem, I'm fairly certain this is not a normal result. The real problem with lacquer based primers is that they absorb moisture... which can trap it below the finish coat and lead to problems down the line.

Beth - The product is from the same company that makes "Bondo", a well known and respected product. I hope they have an answer for me, I'd hate to lose faith after all these years!

Thanks y'all for stopping by, and taking the time to comment!

Ilene said...

Yuck, what a mess and all that hard work. New and improved is not always improved is it! Like Firehawk I think sometimes the tried and proved is often the best. Wondering if my ex might be thinking that by now! (smile)

Bill said...

Ilene - One can only hope he is!!

I spent a good part of taday 'networking' with fellow car nuts... the consensus is... just take it all down to clean metal and lay on a nice double coat of epoxy primer forget the 'rust converter' products except in areas you can sand properly.

Greg said...

"bondo" well known yes, but respected?
"Bondo" was always a rather derogatory expression where I came from...'course I was surrounded by leaders and perhaps to much dust or fumes...well at least they didn't need to eat paint samples to view "bondo" with distain...then on the other hand I found the substance very useful for carpentry...despite that use not being on the label, sorry to hear about the frustration, beats a hard drive crash anyway.

Bill said...

Greg - "Bondo" has the distinction of being the "Kleenex" of body fillers.

You're thinking about 'bondo-bucket' type terminology... where folks are referring to a car more filler than steel.

As a filler, there are a number of other players, but the folks from Dynatron/Bondo still hold a majority share of the market.

As for it beating an HD crash... there's certainly a lot less manual labor involved in an HD crash!!

Thanks for stopping by, and finally leaving a comment!

Chloe said...

No knowledge from me, Bill, but plenty of sympathy. Good luck!

Bill said...

Chloe - Thanks, believe it or not, knowing someone else feels our pain does help!!

Jay said...

You were a very brave soul to continue on during your multiple-step process.

Bill said...

Jay - Thanks.. but in all honesty, I really don't have much choice. I've got this truck in about 300 pieces, and I need to start putting some of those pieces back together!!

Spirit Of Owl said...

Well, that's exactly the reason why I can't do this kind of work. I'd have gone bananas, blamed myself, thrown the whole project in the bin as hopeless and sulked in a corner.

I wish I was kidding! !! :P

I hope you get to the bottom of it, and I'm in awe of your calm handling of the situation! LOL

Nina said...

Here is to no more frustrating days!

Bill said...

Spirit - What I didn't tell everyone was that I went though all those same emotions... call a junkyard have them haul it off... the whole deal... but I sat and thought a bit.. and decided I wasn't going to let this beat me. I've finished tougher projects than this one, my house for instance... I'm determined to see the smile on her face when I 'unveil' it!

Good to see you again!

Nanina - From your fingers to God's ears!! Good to have you back too!