Q: I read your article every month, and can't wait for the next one! I have been reading a lot about welding patch panels and doing hammer and dolly work on them. What do you recommend when you can't get to the back side? My main areas of concern on this particular project are the cab sides and the rear bedsides on a '70 F-100.

Dave Maxwell
Via the Internet

A: First of all, I'm delighted that you enjoyed my column.

For doing hammer and dolly work, it's a huge limitation to have limited (or no) access on the back side of a joint. Some of the few options you have are to use a spoon (a sort of "dolly on a stick") that can sometimes be maneuvered into place through an existing opening in an inner panel, or sometimes you can cut a temporary hole in an inner panel for access with a dolly or a spoon.

There are stud guns that temporarily weld pins onto sheetmetal, so you can use a prying tool or a slide hammer to raise low spots. Many of these stud guns have a special nosepiece that allows you to do shrinking, as well.

Sometimes high spots can be hammered down, without using a dolly on the back side. The flatter the panel, the less likely it is that this will work, but it works pretty well on medium or high-crown panels.

Other than those tricks, you will probably be forced to use filler of some sort.

Q: I've enjoyed your metalworking classes and your column in STREET RODDER magazine each issue. I know how knowledgeable and innovative you are, and I thought you and your readers might be interested in a rotational and brake package I made for my rotisserie. I used stub rear axles, bearings, brakes, and so on, from a front-wheel-drive car (Mitsubishi). Probably any front-wheel-drive car with emergency brakes built in would work as well.

Each time I use this unit I'm very pleased at its ease of rotation, and the ability to lock it in any position; it has brakes on both ends.

Ron Fourman
Hope, IN

A: Thanks so much for the kudos. I must say, the way you've built your rotisserie is very clever, indeed, and I'm sure that many of our readers can put your ideas to good use. I especially like the way you used a toggle clamp to set the brake, and the fact that you incorporated lots of adjustability in all of the components and the use of hydraulic cylinders to make it easy to raise or lower whatever's attached to the rotisserie.

I hope that some more of our creative readers will send in pictures of clever tools or fixtures they have made or modified. We can learn a great deal from each other!