Safety Advice

By Tony Poston and the Uk-hotrods group members

Yes I know the boring bit, but most of the things we are doing have some danger and in 27 years I have succumbed to most of them. Yes its true after all that time I don’t do half what I’m about to tell you. I hate goggles, I don’t own a mask, I still tack metal by closing my eyes and I have never worn a mask to spay a car but then again I smoke to much, get drunk most weekends, have unprotected sex and hit lamp posts at 55 mph in a T with no seat belts and limp away.
?.  So learn from my mistakes PLEASE!!!!!  

 Did You know

  1. Grinders can reach such high decibels on sheet steel as to cause permanent ear damage? 
  2. Also  that the rust/steel dust from grinders/wire brushes gets into your lungs, goes rusty inside lungs, destroys lung tissue and you NEVER heal up? 

What If?

  1. Do any of us have first aid kits in garage? what would we do if we slipped with something and opened up an artery? or injured ourselves enough that we could not get help? how would we get to hospital? get help?

Always have a fire extinguisher on hand in your garage

Go here to choose the right one

General Safety

  1. Safety glasses, should be worn all the time. There has been a case of a fitter fitting brake return spring that shot off & ended up hanging from his eye, not nice.

  2. When working under a jacked up car ALWAYS use axle stands. I lost a very good mate of mine through being in to much of a rush and not using axle stands.

  3. I shorted the battery + terminal to earth with my steel watch strap. Trouble was it got trapped in the battery clamp , ended up with a blister like half a golf ball sticking out the side of my wrist. Still got the scar , never wear a watch now .Ever.

  4.  Pulled a pinto on top of myself whilst torqueing up the oil pump bolts with it hanging on a dodgy hoist, won't do that again in a hurry either. Cutting up said hoist is still on my "to do" list .LOL Cheers Paul (G)


  1.  Use goggles minimum or better a full face visor and watch where the sparks are going they can ignite paper, rags, and a night in casualty is not good.

  2. When using fiber discs they can tear and get caught in door shuts or sharp bits like clips and then you’ll find the grinder ripped from your hands.  

  3. I was once using a grinder one hot summers day while wearing a loose, baggy t-shirt.  As I bent over the disc caught the t-shirt, and wound itself up in it.  I had the switch locked on, of course, and was left without any hands or fingers free to switch it off, as they were all in use trying to keep the thing from cutting into my chest!  Luckily a mate was working on his car next to me, and managed to unplug it for me, or I might still be there now!  Don't wear loose clothing when grinding. Nessie!


  1. When removing ball joints with a pickle fork or other device, ensure you have a nut on the end of the stub/ pin.  I didn't once when removing one from my '67 Mustang. It had been there a long time and finally after lots of whacking with a hammer and pickle fork it came free, shot out of the spindle, upper arm, wheelarch and embedded itself in the breeze block wall ten feet away about six feet up. It just missed my head. If it had hit me it would have probably made a hole in my skull, knocked me unconscious and scarred me for life, or maybe even killed me - I was working alone in the garage that day, who knows I could have lain there unconscious. Nick Stratta


  1. Use a proper welding mask you may have heard of ark eye but unless you have had it you wont realize the pain, unlike most things when you hurt your self this doesn’t come about until later that night when the skin on your face is sun burnt badly so that its sore and itchy, you constantly see a light even when you shut your eyes and they just poor water so you cant keep them open and then there’s the pain as if someone is sticking needles in the back of your eyes, I’ll say no more.  

  2. Wear the correct gloves.

  3. For any of you that are smokers.  Never keep one of those plastic throwaway type lighters in your pocket when welding or grinding, if just one spark/weld blob hits it, also with the grinder all those sparks quite often hitting your overalls, well just think about it.
    My lighter is on the bench when I'm welding and grinding, a zippo is safer but still a risky thing. John Meester P


  1. Filler dust can be irritating on the lungs so use a dust mask.  

  2. Grinding dust can enter your lungs, sit there and Rust


  1.  Remember we are dealing with highly flammable things and in the case of 2 pack paints, highly toxic ones, so at least use a proper mask and in the case of 2pack an air fed mask is a must.

  2. Cellulose paint can give instant kidney failure.


I guess were not going to get very far with out some tools whether you buy or hire depends on how much you will use them and what you can afford. Below is a list of the ones I could not live without and minimum size / power needed.  As a rule if buying I’ve found don’t buy really cheap tools they don’t last. Equally top price stuff may have a good name and last forever but I’ve got some mid priced stuff I use every day and abuse to extremes that I’ve had for ever.

If You Intend to use any air tools.....Min must be  15cfm and 100psi
Should get one for £400/£500.
Just for spraying…Min 8cfm and 60psi should get one for about £150

I wont cover chassis here, as I am not qualified... but for panels and plate
Don’t go for anything less than 150amp. I use an 180amp one that cost £380 5yrs ago
With that I built a Transit Recovery and that is still in one piece.
Use at least 75% Argon . Don’t use Pub gas, as you will struggle to make a decent Job.

Go for a 4inch cost abou t£45.
Dual Action Sander not orbital.
An air one needs the compressor running all the time so can be quite noisy and cold to handle in the winter.

I use 3 Devilbis JGA guns. One for primer, one for colour and one for clear coat.  So I don’t get specks of primer or colour in my clear coat. You will have time to clean yours between jobs so one gun will do. A new one will cost £150 BUT!!!!! For the amount you will use it. Get an equivalent at around £50 any less will not be good enough. You need a suction type with pot underneath not a gravity one with pot on top.

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