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Old 03-10-2005, 02:00 PM
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Need advice with panel beating

I need to make a repair section for my car. Its a hidden piece behind a fender so it won't have to be real pretty. The part is made of unobtainium or usually rusted to non-existence on parts cars. This is for a European 72 Ford Capri. Its the rusted "foot" looking bulge in the picture. This is an example. On my car you would be looking into the passenger's floor compartment right now.

I figure this would be a good opportunity to learn how to beat a panel. I started making a wooden form for it. I have zero experience in beating panels. I have limited tools and its not worth the expense to purchase a bunch of special tools to make this one part.

I've got a set of ball peen hammers in 5 sizes
Cheap body tool set with assorted hammers and dollies
a big sheet of 20 gauge metal

Any tips or how to for someone who doesn't have any fancy tools?
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Old 03-10-2005, 02:55 PM
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Make a sandbag and get one of the soft faced mallets...and start beating..use a slapper and dolly to get the wrinkles out...

try looking at for some more info..some of the serious metal beaters live over there so to speak..

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Old 03-11-2005, 01:42 AM
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Here's a quick run down of how you could go about it with limited tooling.
Clean the surface as well as possible.
Tape over the hole with duct tape of even better yet, foil tape. Don't add to much tape, as this will flaw the information.
Wax the area heavily with a heavy paste wax, such as Minwax furniture wax or a mold release wax.
Mix up a healthy dose of fiberglass reinforced body filler and make a thick mold of the area you intend to replace. make the mold at least 1/2" thick.
Build a plywood or metal box large enough to hold the mold with about 2" to spare on all sides. The top remails open, of course
Mix up another batch of fiberglass reinforced filler, fill the box about 2/3 full and place the mold in the center of the box.
Make sure there is a couple inches of the filler underneath the working surface of the mold. When it cures, you're ready to hammer the sheetmetal down into the mold. the hammer is now the male die and the mold is the female die. You should be able to beat out a perfect match to the original this way, with the tools you have available. Many light blows is the way to go, not beating the poor thing to death!!

Randy Ferguson
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