For hobbyist restorers and rodders alike, key ingredients such as time, funds, place to work, etc., must all come together at the same time — and sometimes that takes years. Barry Waugaman of Anza, Calif., managed to secure his Deuce five-window in the mid ’70s, which was indeed a good time to buy a 1932 Ford. However, with child-raising and life in general in high gear, it just wasn’t ’til 2011 when the patient coupe would finally begin to receive attention. By that time, a tall Mesquite tree had grown through the car’s frame, so standard disassembly procedures commenced with a not-so-standard chain saw.
With invaluable assistance from friends Art Johnson, Mike Limerez and Dave Roach, Waugaman’s coupe was up and runnin’ for the 49th LA Roadster Show. Not too long afterward, while legally parked at a shopping center, the coupe was clobbered by a roll-away pickup truck, which marred its finish as it deeply creased its left door. Waugaman’s repair shop of choice was Hot Rods & Custom Stuff in Escondido, Calif. It could have gone differently, but after some negotiation, the other side’s insurance company finally allowed time to do the job right.
During the course of this insurance work collision repair, an ol’ dog learned a new trick. As an old panel pounder myself, I can wield a torch, a hammer, a dolly, a Vixen file and so on. Although I’ve never owned one, I’m also aware of shrinking discs. If you’ve attended a major show in recent years, you’ve likely seen them demonstrated — and likely been impressed, too. The earliest factory-made shrinking discs that I can recall were catching on in the late 1980s. The general concept itself, however, may date farther back.
According to one grizzled guru of the auto body trade, a reversed (smooth side out) abrasive body disc will generate heat through friction without removing precious metal — thus creating an effective shrinking disc. Another has succeeded with a homemade disc of stainless steel, which could get one to thinking that the neighbor’s hubcap, or Fido’s bowl, or maybe even a lid from Mom’s Revere Ware, could be modified to function as a shrinking disc. But we don’t recommend y’all try that at home. Improper tool usage, and/or usage of improper tools, puts body parts at risk. Not just hoods and doors and so on, but arms and legs and so on, too.
So, with the safety warning portion of the story out of the way, shall we now refocus our attention to the repair job at hand? Who remembers Barry Waugaman’s smashed Deuce five-window? From here, you’re all invited in to watch as a crafty Hot Rods & Custom Stuff fabricator demonstrates use of the incredible shrinking disc.