"Buffing New Paint"

        As we begin our 16th year, I want to take a minute to thank all of our readers and advertisers.  Without you we wouldn't be here to do the thing we all enjoy-working on and driving our beloved cars!

        We finished the '58 Buick trunk project this month.  The rust bubbles that looked lake a little minor rust turned out to demand the removal of the trunk, sandblasting, grinding out the rust, welding up the holes, sealing with POR 15 rust protectant paint, priming, painting and buffing.  Also, with the trunk off, we cleaned and painted the rain rail and installed new rubber, trunk waffle mat and jack instructions, from Buick Specialists (253-852-05840).  All of our hardware had been cleaned and painted, and the chrome polished.  Surprisingly, the "Special" trunk chrome has become hard to find, so we washed and cleaned ours, then buffed with emery (fast cut, then medium cut), and finished with white and simichrome.  It looks good. The slips to hold the letters on can be bought at a local hardware store, or are available from any fastener supplier.

        We decided to buff the trunk off of the car.  As we have said before, this is a daily driver, and its red and white finish is acrylic enamel with hardener.  The trunk was shot with the same Ditzler paint and allowed 5 days to dry before we buffed it out.  Meguiar's has a complete buffing system to give a show car finish, and is available from many of our suppliers, including Auto Color (423-265-5999).  Our trunk paint was pretty smooth and didn't need color sanding, just a three-step process to match the rest of the car.  We started with a heavy compound (Meguiar's #M-8401), and a foam-buffing pad (Meguiar's #W-7000).  This was buffed with an air buffer with the buffer not flat on the surface, but angled slightly.  This helps to eliminate burning the paint.  After the first compound, we removed the excess with a clean cloth and put on the medium compound (#M-301).  After completing this step, we changed foam pads, witching to a softer pad (#W-9000), and finished buffing with #M-201, a lighter grit, then finish-rubbed by hand with liquid polish (3-M #05993).  The trunk now matched the car, both in color tone and in paint texture.

        On the bottom side of the trunk, the original Buick waffle board had been removed during sandblasting and new was installed.  There are two thick nesses (3/32" and 1/8").  The 1/8" is actually two pieces glued together, and sells for only $10 more per #'x8' sheet.  It is intended for use when the trunk skin is removed and it is placed as a full sheet between the skin and frame.  Since we weren't going to remove the skin, we laid a piece of masking paper over the trunk cutouts, traced and cut out the areas, forming a template which we transferred to our 1/l8" waffle board.  Before cutting the holes out, we pulled the waffle board apart, giving us two pieces of waffle with each piece having an adhesive side.  This board is expensive ($70), and this way, you get twice as much!  It could now be cut and fit into the trunk cutouts.  We slightly over cut, giving a little to stuff in behind each cutout.  After gluing on the jack instructions, we were ready to put the trunk lid back on.  We put heavy mover's blankets over the back window, and, with three people to hold the trunk in place, we bolted it on, opening and closing until we achieved about a 1/8" clearance all the way around.  Restored Charles Butts got into the trunk to make sure the latch lined up and everything worked inside.

        With the trunk on, we put our freshly painted Continental Kit bumper brace cover panels, and the job was complete.  We took it around the block for a test run, and the water pump started making noise!  Well, better check that out-this might be next month's article!  See you at the shows.  Keep 'em driving!