Doug Kielian is the owner of Auto Kraft Body & Paint, Inc. in Lincoln, Nebraska. Kielian has been restoring classic cars for over 30 years. During that time he has used many different types of rotisseries – none of which really suited his needs. Doug was looking for a better way to support the body shells and to rotate them with more control. His experience in the collision repair industry and working with frame racks and dedicated jigs led to his design which incorporates that concept. Several prototypes later and after years of refining the design, the Roller Hoop™ is now available to others who may benefit from its use.
The first step is to map out and build the attaching jigs. This can be accomplished in approximately four hours. Note the use of the Hoop holders at the bottom of the Hoop. These will steady and hold the hoops upright while the jigs are being built.
Once centered and mapped out with masking tape we measure the lengths and cut to size one-inch square 11 gauge steel tubing for the jigs, using a triangulated pattern for solid mounting. Tack weld to hold all in place, check for square and level then proceed with finish welding. The jigs, once built, bolt to the shell of the car in existing bolt holes. Within four hours we’ll have the Falcon up and spinning on the Roller bases.
With the Hoops riding on the two Roller Bases and four foot operated brakes to work with, you have total control over the body shell with ease. With the center mass of the car centered in the Hoops it is almost perfectly balanced.
The Falcon Body shell has been media blasted and is looking very clean. The blaster guys simply just roll the hoops directly on the ground. With the space they have there is no need to get the bases dirty. Also note the absence of door bars. Even though this is a convertible there is no need for them since the Hoops mount inboard, drastically cutting down on the stress load. This also allows for the door to be installed for metal work and panel replacement
Once finished media blasting (we’re using a Ferrari in this image) loaded back on the trailer and strapped down very securely, it’s back to the shop for metal work. Also notice the rolling caster leg attachments – this is a great option that comes with the complete system, and allows for ease of mobility.
Once the ’63 Falcon is back from the blaster and epoxied, we can get busy sanding the bottom side. The Roller Hoop works great for this task, simple and safe to operate.
Here you can see we’re making headway with repairing the quarter-panel wheel arch (that had been cut out with a torch years ago to make room for fat tires – a ’70s thing).
Now on to the driver’s side. We made this panel from scratch making our own body contour and wheel lip. The next step was to proceed with fitment and welding.
The quarter-panels are returned to factory specs and body work and priming is complete. A young Johnny Sparks, “metal wizard” and master roller hooper, is proud to see his work moving along at a rapid pace.
Block sanding is now underway. The Roller Hoop proves to be no obstacle and is easy to work around. After a while you don’t even notice it. Like a good pair of safety glasses, you sometimes forget they are there, also note once again, no need for door bars, the body shell of the car is mounted as if it were on the suspension.
The car quickly moves into the paint booth by using the attaching rolling caster legs.
Back on the roller bases, we can now spray the bottom side with ease. After the bottom and floor pan are painted, we will remove the hoops, install the car’s suspension, do final panel alignment and then mask the body and paint. The Roller Hoop can be stowed away on its storage rack.
The Roller Hoop Is Easy To Use
The Roller Hoop’s rolling caster legs make it very easy to use and maneuver about.
Lower the front Hoop down onto the Roller Base with the brakes engaged.
To lower the rear Hoop, slip in the lift arm and raise with a floorjack and it compression fits to the hoop very tight and lifts.
Once removed the legs are stowed away on the handy storage rack. This storage has an extra set of Hoops on it. Another set of Hoops will allow you to have two projects going at the same time.
The foot brake is released (which there are four of) and you can simply grab the Hoop and push down or pull up to rotate the body shell over and over.
You can see the jigs (in yellow) we mentioned earlier in the story. They are triangulated in design and mounting this makes the Hoops very solid. It’s basically an external roll cage on a track.
SOURCE DSK Auto Products, LLC Roller Hoop (402) 475-9968 (402) 474-2344 Tech Line www.rollerhoop.com