How to strip it


New Member
Dec 28, 2006
I have gutted and taken off all possible pieces of my 67. Their is some rust through on the trunk floor between where the tank was and the rear valence, also on the rear passenger floor board, about a golf ball size and then the front passenger floor board is rusted, but not through.
Their is minimal surface rust on the underside.
I was going to have the whole thing media blasted, but then the good idea fairy found me and told me I should try to do this myslef. I have found a 40 pound pressurized abrasive blaster from Harbor Freight.
So now the questions are........
Do I have the body work (minor dings) fixed before I strip it or after?
To strip it, what is the best DIY material and grit? Glass, powder, sand???????
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if you use glass bead you are going to need a TON of it i would use glass bead tho i have heard that sand will do a great job and so will wallnut shells but the glass bead will actually "eat" away at the rust unlike the sand and the wallnut not a hundred precent sure but this is what i have heard
this is going to create the biggest mess you've ever seen. i wanted to do mine myself, but i found a place by my house that would plastic media blast it and prime it for about 1k........ it takes a very long time to blast it, they were saying like 4 hours, and that's not counting cleanup and prep for the priming........ it might not be worth the hassle. the good idea has steered me wrong before
Try sugar sand. It's white, fine grained sand that you used to see in the ashtrays of hotel lobbys and such.

The cheapest, cleanest way to strip a car is to use a 100 pack of single edge razor blades. It's also the hardest on your thumb and index finger, but once you get the technique down, it goes pretty fast. Then you could dust the car with a blaster if you wanted.
It's sorta like shaving. You have to hold the razor blade a bit above parallel to the surface you're stripping, start at teh edge of the hood or something. I've tried using blade holders, but nothing gives you as good of control as your bare hand.

The paint comes off in pretty decent long, narrow flakes. My hood for my Mustang has 18 coats of paint on it!!! I found this out by stripping with a razor blade. When you get down to the factory paint and primer, it gets tougher to take off, at least this has been my experience on my car.

Another advantage is, it's very quiet. I heard of a guy that had his kids helping him, about 8 - 12 y/o kids. Said his 8 year old son could strip a fender in about an hour and a half.

I've also found that it's best to keep the same side of the blade up, if you flip it, it tries to dig in and won't work.
Wow this razor blade thing sounds painfull on the fingers. I sure wouldnt trust my 8yr old pushing a razor blade. cost more in hospital bills and a vist from child services on why I was letting him play with straight razors..:D

For my 2cents:
If you want to DYI on the blasting you MUST have a BIG compressor the blaster should tell you what CFM you need. Take that as a min. cause it will be running constantly. Use several filters between the compressor and blaster.
You will need to come up with a recovery method for your sand/glass otherwise you will go thru 15+bags just to do the exterrior(depending on how many coats of paint is on it. Recovery could be as simple as parking her on large tarps in a zero windy area. If you go with glass that is about $35/50LB bag. Even if you have a decent recovery method your stilll going to need at least 7 bags.
Make sure your mask asll glass and trim with multiple layers of duct tape/tarps. You dont want to discover that you blasted that last 1/2" of door glass because you didnt cover it will(like I did).
If you already have the compressor and blaster then I would recommend going to your sandblast or rental store and purchasing a few 100lb bags of their plain sand, not black beauty and just see what results you get. That will run about $10/bag. Otherwise you need to look at what your cost for all this stuff will be before buying $500 worth of glass maybe more cost effective to outsource to a plastic media blaster.
I love HF for cheap tools for the DYI guy!
I used 4 1/2 abrasive discs from my body shop supplier, they are very good at taking off paint and body work, surface rust from flat panels. Crevasses are tougher.

I restripped my whole car pretty much, even though it was sandblasted.

The welder I took it to put some 1K high build on the car. A painter I was talking to, told me to take it all off. It's a good thing I did. Another poor cougar owner who had his bodywork, and painting done by this guy, has big bubbles in his paint everywhere!
I wouldn't let my kids at it with razor blades either, but these are single edged razors. You really need to try it before you knock it though. I'm not saying you can do it without any other type of removal process, but it works great on large flat areas, I think you could strip the top of a hood in about 10 minutes if you have the technique down pat.
Most of they guys on say don't blast exterior panels. They say that it is a very good way to warp and ruin panels. I've never blasted a car exterior so I can't give you any personal experience advice but you might go there and do some research. I used a DA to take the paint off of my car. It worked very well but you would need a good compressor for that though.
:eek: I would not blast any 80's plus exterrior panels but a 67 has thicker metal and should not have a problem unless you hold the nozzle too close. I have done a 66 Fairlane and some panels on my 67 Coupe with no problems.

DA is Dual Action not Dumb #ss :eek:
DA's will take a VERY long time. took me 4 hours to do a hood, and that was just the top side. Grinding disks will remove paint rust etc fast BUT remove ALOT of metal as well. It is also hard to get into corners. The razorblade technique will remove paint fast, but not bondo and rust. They sell holders for the blades which would help with finger pain. Blasting is messy, but gets everything in every nook and cranny. And last but not least is the wire wheel on the grinder. These come in wheel and cup forms and standard brush and braided wire.

From all my experience my favorite and the fastest, safest, and least painful way is the wire brush. Get yourself a GOOD grinder 4 1/2" at the minimum. Then get a good Cupped wire brush, NOT braided though as this can damage the metal if your not being careful. Also spend some money on this, I have had a dozen wire brushes, the 3 dollar ones lose their bristles much faster and they tend to be un balanced. I have only ever once spent 45 bucks on one, it had twice as many bristles, was rated for much higher rpm, and is still in almost new condition now almost 3 years later and i use it all the time. This will strip a panel in 15-20 minutes. Then to get into the nooks and crannys use your sandblaster, use glass as it will remove rust, paint, and bondo. You should now be down to bare metal and ready for body work and paint.

PS. Regardless of how much you spend on the brush they will lose some bristles, the difference is in how many. When they lose these bristles the grinder is spinning in excess of 10,000 rpm's, which sends them into you. If they make it to you they will stick to your shirt, some people wear leather aprons for this so they don't have to pick needles out of their shirts afterwards.
Chris, I've had better luck with the knotted ones, they last longer and lose less wires. When you're sitting on a milk crate, the non knotted wires end up focusing themselves in your nether regions for some reason, so say they're drawn to the local black hole's gravity effect. I don't know, but they hurt.

I stripped my '67 'vert with a Makita 4" grinder and 3 knotted cup brushes, worked well but created dust as well. Now I like to use the razor blades to get most of it, then finish up with the knotted wire brush.
I stripped my car with chemical stripper. It was pretty easy and not that much of a mess. Just let the peelings dry on the floor, then sweep them up. I used a sandblaster for only a few minutes on the interior floorpans before I decided it was too messy and I spent more time reloading the hopper than I did actual blasting.