Tools of the Trade
by Pat Goss
For those of you who like to spend weekends out in the garage doing a little classic car repair and restoration, Pat has the essential guide to the tools of the trade...
We’re here at the headquarters of Eastwood Tools, and we have Curt Strohacker, the originator of Eastwood Tools. Now, this chassis that you have done up here, this pretty much epitomizes what you’re all about.
CURT STROHACKER: That’s right. Our customers take cars completely apart and put them back together better than new. And we supply the tools and the paints to do that, and we’ve been doing that for the past 32 years. One of the biggest categories in our business is taking paint and rust off, and one of the things we came up with-it was about three years ago-was a soda blaster that the DIY market could use.
And our customers have these old cars and they have a lot of work to do. And we spent a lot of time on this, designing a new soda blaster, which allows you to take off paint right around rubber, glass without affecting those things. And we made it quite affordable compared to some of the industrial units which are thousands, this is very affordable for the do-it-yourselfer.
PAT GOSS: Now, Curt, what about this one with the dual tanks?
CURT STROHACKER:Well, soda blasting is really good for taking off coatings, but it won’t take rust off. And our customers came to us and said, you know, we’ve got to have two units. And we thought about it and we designed two units in one. So this is the Master Blaster. One side is abrasives where you can use sand or soda; silicon carbide aluminum oxide, and the other side is soda, and its just a matter of flipping a switch and there you go.
PAT GOSS: Wonderful. Curt, I guess of all the things I’ve seen, this kind of really says it all right here.
CURT STROHACKER:Oh, it sure does. This is an original ‘66 Mustang fender that we have for the car that we use in a lot of the photo shoots for our catalog. And we wanted to fix it up and we wanted to show our customers here in the store what some of the stages are. In this case, we welded on a patch panel with some of our tools, and these are the coatings that you can use, from getting it down to bare metal with our mechanical systems or sandblasting, and two types of primers, for dark color or light color. This is the base coat product and this is with the clear, and it looks absolutely incredible, and that’s what our customers want to achieve.
This is where we started with our products, with buffing wheels, back in 1978. And these weren’t commonly available to the antique car hobby, and we introduced a bunch of industrial products to allow the antiquers to polish their stainless steel trim.
That’s what Eastwood does, is we come up with a product that’s industrial and redesign it so its economical for the do-it-yourselfer, and easy and safe. So we came out with this powder coating gun that no one had. Everyone in the industry said we couldn’t do it, and 40,000 plus later, here we are.
PAT GOSS: So, essentially, if it’s used in restoring on an older car, or even working on a newer car for that matter, Eastwood is your one source to go to.
CURT STROHACKER: You bet. We certainly think so.
If you have a question or comment, write to me.
The address is MotorWeek, Owings Mills, MD, 21117.