As Rotten Rodney Bauman points out in his article, "Strippin' Tips" (Custom Classic Trucks, Dec. 2012), when it comes to restoring an old truck, "the 'fun' begins with the initial teardown." The latest project being a "tired" '55 Chevy 1/2-ton, he and his right hand, Mrs. Rotten, removed the cab and soon determined that before they could send it to be abrasive blasted, they'd need to remove some old greasy goo and ancient undercoating. Rotten Rodney had just the tool:
"At times like these, it's good to have a Central Pneumatic gasket scraper in the bottom drawer. I'd actually forgotten I had this little jewel."
As an added tip, he suggests that if you intend on tackling such a formidable project, you should first heat the scraping blade.
"Heating the scraper helps. You could also aim the flame directly to the undercoating, but we prefer to heat the tool only, which creates much less smoke to inhale."
Currently at Harbor Freight Tools, the gasket scraper comes as part of a 6-Piece Pneumatic Scraper Kit, complete with a set of blades that also removes paint, rust, glue and other materials without damaging metal surfaces. A built-in regulator adjusts the scraper’s force of impact and provides the control and precision needed for just the right performance. It works great at removing baked-on valve, front cover and oil pan gaskets, etc., as well as welding spatter, wet-bed mortar, flooring adhesive... a whole slew of stuff that other solutions just can't deal with. Saves time and busted knuckles, too!
Rotten Rodney is still working on his project-- and as with all projects, he'll probably run into a speed bump or two-- but, at least he's got the undercoating gunk licked. As he said:
"This tool has proved invaluable for ribbed and/or channeled areas like the bottom of these rocker panels," and added, "Here eye protection is a must to avoid injuries associated with airborne undercoating projectiles."
Second that. Sometimes I'm so focused on having all the materials needed to get something done, I totally forget the eye and hand gear. It just isn't smart.
Next time you're at Harbor Freight, grab a scraper kit to keep in the bottom of your drawer. Dollars to donuts, the day will come you'll be happy you did.