JLH has always been based on the restoration and refurbishing of Minors, and has long specialised in the building of Travellers, offering a top quality timber fitting service. With over fifty years of body shop experience between our talented staff, we can be sure of selecting the best possible parts to construct cars (essential in the current climate of variable quality panels and chrome work) and we produce some of our own panels where we feel that the main suppliers are left wanting.
We have two four post lifts and an air scissor ramp on which we carry out our restoration work and cater for all jobs on Minors from simple servicing to MOT preparation and welding through to full restoration. We offer a second to none paint shop using both cellulose and two pack paints, and will be offering water based paints in the near future. An acid dipping and E coating service is now offered for the ultimate rust proofing protection, as well as free estimates and staged payment for long term projects.
The first step in any work is an assessment of the car. Together with the customer a thorough inspection is carried out to attempt to see what problems lie ahead. Inevitably some problems will not be seen as rust usually extends far beyond what can be seen on the exterior of the vehicle. Experienced professionals will know what is likely to lie underneath and build in an allowance for it, but sometimes there will be more than anyone could predict. At this stage the approximate costs are discussed and plans are formulated for the work ahead, and then the stripping down of the vehicle can begin. Panels are removed as necessary, and if the shell is going to be chemically stripped then every last piece of trim work is removed too.
Cars are dipped to remove all rust, paint and sealer, then collected and welded up in readiness for return for a final dip to clean up the welds and any surface rust. This is the best approach from the point of view of revealing damage to the vehicle, but for smaller paint removal jobs media blasting is used, and then the metal is treated with wire brushes and DA sanders to prepare the surface. Any areas on the body that will need replacing become clear, and they are cut out as required and fresh steel MIG or spot-welded in. If the vehicle has been dipped, a final process of E coat is applied on the Aston Martin production line.
With steel work done, it's time to move on to preparing the bodywork for paint. Though all the metal is worked and smoothed until it's a flat as possible, some filling is still needed, just as it was when the cars left the factory. These days body filler is used rather that the traditional lead loading of the past, and it's carefully applied where necessary and sanded down until the shape is perfect.
Then it's time for the paintwork. The process begins with the application of etch primer which bites into the steel and helps the following coats to adhere, followed by several coats of filler primer if required. Once more, these are sanded down to leave a perfect finish. Up to 5 top coats are applied in either cellulose or 2K to give the perfect colour and finish. When these have been applied they are colour sanded. This starts with 2000 grit paper on a block using plenty of water, and finally 3000 grit on a DA sander. Then the surface is finally cut with cutting compound, and machine polished followed by a final hand glaze.