BLASTED!

Apr 13, 2012

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So, as I awoke on Friday morning, I thought to myself, “well, I don’t think Phiona will be ready anytime soon, probably not even this April. Maybe in May, maybe June. But, I can see now that there is considerable work to be done, before I can say she’s “DONE”.”

“I’ll try to keep calm and with a positive outlook.”       

This past Monday I sat down with Mike Griesa, the shop owner, and reiterated my point that I do not have unlimited funds and that I was afraid I’d be getting a bill that I could not cover. Mike told me a price that was lower than I expected.  His price, even with all the work that has been done was much less than what I was anticipating, so I just accepted it and quit talking. 

Thursday, I spoke with Steve as he wet sanded another newly painted car. He explained more about his wanting to turn out an excellent job for me and then showed me a ’66 Thunderbird the soda blasting guys did the day before. I could see how effective that process is, getting into all the tight spots, clearing away all the old paint. Steve said my car was to be soda blasted today, Friday.

One of the new door panels with new interior color.  

Two large boxes contained the new upholstery kit.

Additionally on Thursday morning, I went back up Cave Creek Rd. to Aatco Upholstery, the Arizona authorized upholstery installer for the Le Baron Bonney interior kit that I bought. Chevel, the owner and I chatted quite awhile about how he works, what to expect and my involvement in the process. He wanted to see the car and my upholstery kit first before he could give me an estimate, so I told him to stop at the auto body shop at his convenience to inspect the car.

Moving back to today, I got to the body shop this morning to find my car was being soda blasted at that moment, across the street. One of the employees and I walked over there to find another gentleman who had also just arrived ahead of us and who was chatting with the soda blasters. As it turned out, the other man was from Phoenix Air Quality Department and was there responding to a neighbor’s complaint about the cloud of dust in the air and it’s settling on his property. 

It appeared the soda blasters might be in some violation of clean air standards, so until the government official referenced the guidelines in his manual, we waited, I took pictures and chatted. 

In about 10 minutes the Air Quality man returned and agreed that the soda blasting did not present any harmful toxins into the air (it really is BAKING SODA, Arm and Hammer no less). However, there were other procedures in which the soda blasters were not exactly in compliance. Mainly, they SHOULD have been in an enclosed space, meaning a 3 sided and roofed structure, ie a tented type enclosure. There was friendly exchange, no citations issued and the soda blasting was ok’d to proceed. In other words, the air quality guy made allowances and it became a non-issue. 


With that, I was given some ear muffs as the father and son team resumed blasting the door edges and the few remaining small parts. (In operation, it is VERY loud). They had already, prior to my and the government official’s arrivals, gone over Phiona and had done the door jambs. The shop had sealed off the dash area, which was a very nice thing to have done. I have some photos here to show the jambs before and after. 

I don’t think, it took more than another half hour to complete the remaining pieces once they resumed. The old lacquer just vanished with the soda blast upon the metal. Amazing. 


More photos here show the procedure in operation and one can see the bare metal and the remaining lacquer as the soda spray instantly dissolves the paint.  

After the soda blasting I went to the office where Chevel, the upholsterer had just arrived. We went back to Phiona inspected the car. Chevel said he would like to come to the house to see the upholstery kit but that would have to wait until anther time. 



Working on a door edge . Last remnants of the old paint can be seen. 

I’m glad he was there at that time, as it seems he could start his part in this project fairly soon after the painting is done.

Steve, says he may get some epoxy primer on Phiona yet today, but in a later afternoon visit that had not happened. By next week, if all goes well, Phiona may next be seen with her undergarment primer. 

 Perhaps my early morning musings were a bit premature and Phiona’s completion is actually closer than I anticipated. 


But, if not, I’m fine with however it plays out.