I notice John has a banner link to Eastwood, a supplier of antique auto restoration tools, supplies and equipment.
Eastwood is one of the old standbys. They are located in Pottstown PA and web address is Eastwood Co..
I've done business with them on & off for many years. The tend to have good products, though are retail dealers. Customer service if reportedly good. I've had no problems with shipping or charges.
The do have a "buyers club" where you pay a annual fee and supposedly get some benefits, such as free shipping. I'm not a fan of such schemes but I suppose high volume consumers could benefit.
The web site is an absolute pain in the arse to work. If you have your security or firewall set to block attempts to access and write to your computer, you'll be all day. Just loading the link off this site attempted to write to the computer dozens of times. I finally had to block all access (which kills my home page & some favorite sites) just to open the page. I don't know if that translates to spam or other activities, but it's uncalled for if you are not setting up confidential or financial information. Just to browse the page, catalog or site is unacceptable.
The do have several products that appear to be exclusive -- some restoration paints including one kit that duplicates the golden cad look of much VW hardware. They are POR-15 dealers. They have a number of specialty tools and I've bought a few. They are a leading supplier of home powder-coating systems. Except for their web site, I can recommend them -- and you know how stingy I am with that.
Last edited by Capt. Mike; 12-23-2008 at 06:51 PM.
I recently did a fairly large purchase from Eastwood. Mostly specialty paints for restoration work. I did buy one tool, an internal coil spring compressor. The catalog says "Made in USA", which is getting to be rather rare these days.
Eastwood makes a number of specialty paints to duplicate factory new appearance. Among this batch was Chassis Black, a semi-gloss to match most frame and chassis coatings with high epoxy content and stone chip resistance. I'm using it on the primered all-steel OEM bumper replacement.
I also got: Detail Gray, which gives the cast look of items like generators and starter castings. Aluma Blast is to color and protect smooth cast aluminum components such as VW trannies & bell housings. Spray Gray is to restore the fresh cast iron look to items such as brake system castings. Silver Cad is to duplicate the plating look of many brackets, pulleys & linkages. (However VW uses a lot of the 'gold' cad, which Eastwood also supplies as mentioned in the above post). I also got their Diamond Clear in a satin finish which is meant for bare metals or paints, thus is an excellent preservative for something that is bead-blasted or polished back to OE and then needs protection from stain and exposure. I used it on fresh glass-beaded valve covers of the Porsche. A Pre-Painting Prep, supposedly for cleaning a surface of all residues just prior to painting, turned out to be of little value.
Eastwood now has a 'members club'. It gives free shipping and has a number of member discocunts. I've never been a fan of these clubs because you have to maintain a fairly high and consistent purchase level to break even. I'd never average that level and probably only reach it in unusual situations. It's $29.95 per year and on this order, which went in with a friend's member-club order under an additional 10% off member coupon, saved me $9.95 shipping and $15.69 discount ($25.64 total) and is probably my last order for these year. So I'd have lost money at my purchase level. Others in the middle of a major restoration, buying high-end tools or large quantities of materials might do better.
However, the order was complete, arrived promptly and in good condition. That seem to be getting rare these days.
Follow-up on Eastwood. I used the Chassis Black SKU #10025Z on my Westy bumper. It took forever to dry (2 days plus) and did not achieve uniform semi-flat gloss. I wrote to Eastwood and they quickly replied that they were experiencing problems with the current formulation, and were working with the manufacturer. He ordered an immediate, no-charge, replacement with their "Extreme Chassis" version. Per his description, "NEW Extreme Chassis Black for better all around results: more durable, less aggravation when attempting to touch-up or re-coat, smoother finish, has a dedicated primer to help insure against adhesion issues, etc."
Is kind of nice when a company admits they have a problem and goes for immediate solution rather than a bunch of finger pointing.
Follow-up to above. I went to use 2 new cans of Chassis Black and they both clogged continuously. That's two batches in a row no good. Paint may be OK, but it has poor shelf life. I don't like to buy new paint, and find it's clogged out on the shelf. Nor do I want to do a job and then have to throw the rest of the can away. Buying a new can mail-order everytime you want to paint something isn't practical. I don't get it; a 5 year-old can of Krylon will always spray just like a new one but Eastwood won't even spray first time. (Rustoleum has the same problem, by the way.)