What You Need to Know About Metal Fabrication for Classic Car Restoration

What You Need to Know About Metal Fabrication for Classic Car Restoration

Posted by Juan E. Chavez on 2nd Apr 2019

Metal Fabrication: A Must-Know for Classic Car Restoration

With the right metal fabrication tools and techniques, you can build and recreate classic car body panels from scratch —  in the comfort of your own garage. This will help you finish current car restoration jobs faster, so you can take on more projects and master the art of classic car restoration in the process.

If you want to know more about the essential tools for automotive metalwork, feel free to contact us.

  

If there’s one problem most old cars share, it’s damaged bodywork. Classic cars’ paintwork tends to fade and develop rust spots over time. And often, you can’t restore body panels with car repaint alone. You may have to roll up your sleeves to hammer out dents, rebuild panels, and even fabricate metals.

Whether you’re a classic car restoration hobbyist or a small auto restoration shop owner, you may need to invest in metal fabrication. Here are a few things to keep in mind before you get started:

Tools: Budget and Accessibility

The parts and tools needed for automotive metalwork were often too costly for a car restoration enthusiast to justify the expense. But prices have declined in the last few years. Many brands now offer hobbyist lines of welding and shaping tools, making metal fabrication in home garages a more viable option.

Plus online shops like us have made Baileigh bead rollers, sheet metal brakes, and other tools more accessible. You no longer have to travel far and worry about transport to bring your tools home. Simply place an order online, and your new tools will arrive at your doorstep in just a few days.

Techniques: Bending, Beading, and Stamping

One of the great things about metal is that it can undergo deformation; it can take on almost any shape we can imagine. All you need is a sheet metal, the right tool, and the correct technique.

Often, metal forming techniques used for automotive body panel restoration or recreation include beading, bending, and stamping. Here’s what you should know about these three techniques:

Bending

Bending involves using a metal press brake to apply force on sheet metal to produce curved surfaces. You can bend sheet metals up to 135° using straight sheet metal brakes. But if you want to produce uniquely shaped panels, you may have to invest in sheet metal brake machines that are more advanced.

Beading

Bead rollers or swaging machines have one distinct feature: a pair of round dies used to roll distinct shapes into metal panels. As such, beading is ideal for doing edging and detail work on car panels.

You can get started with a basic machine that works with the metal thickness you will be using. Having a bead roller powered by an electric motor, however, offers some great benefits. For one, you no longer need to crank the machine by hand. But more importantly, it allows you to keep both of your hands on the metal piece, which is important for delicate fabrication designs.

Stamping

Using a device called stamping press with a series of dies, you can cut and form metal into different intricate shapes. Many car restoration experts prefer stamping to recreate fenders and inner panels.

With the right metal fabrication tools and techniques, you can build and recreate classic car body panels from scratch — in the comfort of your own garage. This will help you finish current car restoration jobs faster, so you can take on more projects and master the art of classic car restoration in the process.

If you want to know more about the essential tools for automotive metalwork, feel free to contact us.

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