Auto Body Repair: How to remove dents in aluminum Part 1


Hi, it’s Wray Schelin from Pro Shaper sheet metal in Charlton, Massachusetts And what we got here is a lotus 9 one of 24 built back in 1955 and I have extended learning students Harvey and He’s been building a new body for this project I’ve shown a bunch of pictures of this on Facebook and now we can see it on a YouTube video And he have you bought it about 20 years ago as a project and he’s recently retired and he took my class and he Told me about this project and how he wanted to do it and he had no experience whatsoever. And First part of the project was the frame was all smashed up the Original owner of this car was from California and he’d raced it for many years and in the early 90s he decided he was going to commission somebody to build a whole new chassis and body and We don’t know who did it, but somebody in California in the early nineties built in whole new tube frame based on the measurements from the original and the original body and they made an aluminum body and there’s still pots of it here but what happened was that the owner of the previous owner from California raced that after got all totally rebuilt and it got hammered really bad in the back in the front and the only good body panels were this piece here and the door and There’s a little bit of the front fender section, which was all crumpled up. All of this was kind of thrown away. So Hobby was lucky enough to have a local friend that had another Lotus 9 that we were able to copy using my flexible shaped patent system and hawi Hammered out all these panels and wheeled them all out Shrunk amol on my shrinking facilitators, and he also got some help from some of the other students in my classes and It’s Coming along pretty nice and this section. The rear section is basically all new. This is all new The wells gonna have to be planted a little bit here. They still need a little attention and We’re trying to utilize the front body section, which will be that right right front section and this Was crumpled up about 18 inches shorter than what you’re seeing now and when javi brought all the pieces in it was during a class and I had like three people from the class on this end and three people on this end Pulling in the opposite directions as hot as they could and I had a nice big cutting torch here throwing a lot of heat into this that area here was really crumpled up and it was really Crumpled up over in hand, too. And With a combination of the heat and a slapper We were able to Pull it out to almost the correct length that it’s supposed to be and now it’s taking its correct form here, so What’s left is a lot of residue from that really hot wrinkle and About a month ago. So one of my other students came up for some Extra time in the shop and helped javi out and It was probably his first time that he ever planted aluminum and I gave him a quick lesson here And he I ended out pretty decent. There’s still a lot of lumpiness here He was a little heavy on him work. So he’s got a big bulge mushroom bulge stretch right here But overall, it’s a lot better than when he started So that was a big improvement. So what I’m gonna do in this video is show I’m not gonna do the whole thing because it takes a good amount of time I’m going to show how to remove this bulge and how to smooth this down a lot better. It might not be perfect. But We’ll get it a lot closer tonight We’re going to keep the length of the video To a manageable length, so we’re going to do a little section here and show the shrinking Technique and also a technique that I use now with this little hobby Freight abital sander Which I did a review on before and I just can’t say enough about these things. I love these little velcro Hook-and-loop foam pads with that hobby freight and I also have this that this is a strictly a rotary one That has the velcro I use that too And this is orbital So we saw the video. I hope of making this lapper out of the back of the one of these common Would be this type here the video of making That slapper from the piece of metal that holds that back of that chair on there’s the slapper and then I also have a video where I bought the Dollies on eBay and we’ve cleaned them all up now So we’re going to be using that cleaned up dolly and that new slapper on this now in a situation like this you could use a mobile English wheel they do have a small mobile English wheel you can make one yourself and you can Roll this out. And that’s a pretty efficient way of doing it. You can also use a mobile planishing hammer Both of those ways. You got to be careful. These are so easy to over stretch but over stretching is sort of like a Byproduct that’s almost going to happen no matter what method you use and it’s it’s easily remedied by shrinking it back and that’s the beautiful thing about doing panel work is you can Have a panel but a steel or aluminum overdeveloped and Easily shrink it back to where it needs to be in this case an aluminum. I’ve adapted to using the torch With I make these lead shot bags and this works really good. You’ll be able to see it Hopefully the camera can pick up the subtlety of it, right? Yeah, this is probably puffed-up about as much as close to an eight of an inch high right in here so when you rub your hand out into it, it’s it’s Obvious that it’s there and it’s not supposed to be So we’re going to try to stress all hand methods rather than tool methods Tool methods being air planning hammer, which can be expensive or a mobile English wheel We’re just going to be using the simple dolly and slapper So we’re going to start out with Trying to planners this Micro surface anomalies in here it’s it’s actually pretty smooth. It’s just got the bump there and There’s just little tiny Low spots and they’ve all got to be averaged out and in the process Averaging them out this bump will get bigger. And right now what we have on here is Dyken and Dyken is is a good tool but I don’t like it on steel so much because I use a Shrinking disk on steel I can use a shrinking dish on on aluminum, too But I’ve really adapted or recently changed to using this lead shot bag and a torch to shrink aluminum And it works really really easy and it doesn’t mark up the panel The shrinking disk will mock the aluminum up a little bit on steel you don’t you don’t get anything significant at all and on steel When you do drinking with a shrinking disk, I prefer using the big magic markers but here we got the die come and I found that I can really doesn’t work. Well with the shrinking disk because it gums up on the disk really bad so what we’re gonna do is take that new dolly, or refurbished dolly and the new slapper and We’re going to just slap this area a little bit more and as we slap it you’re gonna see The dark spots are going to be the low spots and the Bright spots will be the high spots. You’ll get a little of the action right off. Let me lower my chair here a little bit And this area in here is actually a little bit of a reverse curve to that the curve is going this way and the curve Is going that way that’s a reverse curve So I got to be careful on it when you’re doing a reverse curve You can always bite on the edges now on this slapper. We’ve got a little bit of a crown in it. So We will just watch to see if we do get any bites, but I don’t think we will Now that’s just a general planishing and Let’s see if we can get it a little more specific and what I’m going to do is hit this little sander And that’ll have the effect of knocking off the the dye come red red. Dye off of the heist What what was seeing here is actually instead of using a slapper which has this great big surface fred who was helping out harvey use the hammer on this and that compression Stretched out the metal a little bit and caused these little dimples so all those dimples of eventually going to have to be averaged out here and that’s going to take a lot of planning with the slapper to make that happen Here’s my high spot right here and i’m gonna outline it with this big marker That’s right. Yeah And i’m gonna torch shrink that in Let the torch I already got to think a number two tip on hand small tip And all you need to do is kind of warm that up Someone it use that Lead shot bag. We make these lead shot bags and sell them in crochet for tools section browshaper calm and I’m going to wave that torch over it That’s gonna cause the metal to get more plastic in a sense Gonna take the shot bag And then we will hit it with some water We’ve probably heated that medal up to about two or three maybe four hundred degrees tops number Lumina melts at about 1250 So now quite a bit of that came out we still got a little bit right here So it’d probably take maybe two three maybe four Shrinks to get that all down And that surface will get better and better as we do so there’s my main target there right now Light this up again That’s come down quite a bit Know if we can see that now if we get up close It’s still a little warm. So you’re gonna get it back to room temperature to get it fully To its own temperature condition now what’s happening here is The metal has expanded and I always use this Visualization to show what happens to the metal the metal was previous like this and then through The stretching process of smoothing it out. It got over developed a little bit and the crown is created like this Which formerly was like that and then the crown is created. So then you have this crowned mushroom condition and You want to get rid of it? You want to bring it back to where it’s supposed to be? So now what happens is you introduce the heat? Which makes it more plastic which means pliable and if you’ve got the bag in behind it now You’ve got something to counter the actions of the slapper and as you have the metal plastic It’s up this way and you’re hitting it with the slapper What happens is it forces into itself like this? And you got it always say at my classes metal is the exact same thing as clay Everybody knows you can take clay and push it into itself Well, you can do the same thing with metal You can pull it out That’s stretching and you can pull it in push it in that’s shrinking and it just takes a little bit more force with clay It’s done with your fingers with metal. It’s done with all the automotive tools that we use in shaping tools that we use So that’s down quite a bit now One more application again right here Will probably do it, maybe four, but we got at least one more application You’re gonna be careful you don’t go too crazy with the torch heat here and make a big hole So give it a good amount of heat That’s feeling a lot nicer now Now We’ll take the dolly right here When you’re doing any panel work, whether you’re making a panel or repairing a panel? the best course of action is always look for the worst pot of the job and My field of action here is just as black circle. So right here is the worst pot right now I’m going to bring these lows up so Now in the process of bringing those up I’m creating another hi here because I’m reforging that metal back together again and Leveling it getting some of those hammered dimple knocks out but By doing all that hammering or slapping slapping. It’s going to increase the surface area and pop up So I do have now a little lump right here So now I’m going to have to hit that with the torch right here and shrink that Gonna give the torch action again right there You can see it swelling up and you put the torch on it they act fast Okay, that’s looking pretty good I’m gonna hit it one more time right there You don’t want to get the torch too closely that’s in the deep blue there it’s like 6000 degrees And that’s feeling a lot better Now You can sort of see where I’ve been planning with the bag and the slapper and the heat it’s actually smoothed out quite a bit right in there and The whole bump is gone. It’s night. It’s almost where it needs to be now. We won’t be able to totally Get it, right. Well, it does seem a little bit high still here when you’ve run your hand over on the whole thing But that will slowly keep going down as we keep doing the shrink operation on it But let’s take and sand it and see what the surface quality looks like now though This isn’t this is a 120 grit and it’s not removing much material Now you can see That remove some of that micro denting you by removing maybe a half a thousandth of an inch or maybe I don’t even think that much is just a couple little Pieces of dust that fall to the floor here So now we’ve got some here that you can actually feel with your finger. So I’ll take the dolly and I want to localize that so in my dolly polish and I was telling how you can use all little sections of the dolly So I’m gonna use that now this is the great thing about using this little orbital sander. It creates a surface condition that I call like the blackboard it wipes it clean and it allows you to see where you’re going now just for Example here. I’m gonna hit it right here and you’re gonna see the mark and Can you can you pick up that mark with the camera? it’s a nice shiny spot versus the satiny spot of the sanded 180 120 Surface condition left by that orbital sander. So now what I’m going to do is I’ll show you how to use the dolly To target something so I’m gonna use this little edge of the dolly I put my Hand back there and I kind of have a sixth sense of where I’m supposed to be but I don’t have Superman eyes So I have to figure out exactly where I’m at. Oh, look what I am. Do you see it right there? There’s a nice little shiny spot. So now I move the dolly down Look not enough Oh There was a spot I was going after right there and then That spot is gone Now let’s try the same thing over here We got a little divot. It’s actually perceptible with your finger. It’s probably ten thousandths of an inch deep we’re going to take and Okay, so I was right there and move the dolly over. I was a little high. Oh That one’s proven to be a little bugger, so The enemy wipe out the The black boy So I got him he was a little reluctant to give up but he did Now in the process of chasing after that little demon I’ve got a little bump there and now I got a shrink to the bump down Heat that up right localized in that spot a Little soapy water pull it off I’ll bring the sander over hearing And the object is to get every one of these little Divots, we’ll get them all cleaned out until we get a surface that doesn’t have those little divot blemishes then we’ll We still do have a little bit of high in here We’ll continue to keep shrinking that down and then we’ll start expanding out like this But I don’t want to make the video too long so this is a good introduction an overview of what we’re trying to do here and We’ll make this part one and then part two we’ll get this all nice and smooth That would probably be next week or so, so Please like and subscribe to our YouTube channel We’ll be offering these videos hopefully on a weekly basis Doing complicated metal shaping tasks such as this and please visit our pro shape or comm website and see the multitude of Services and classes and tools that we offer. Thank you very much. It’s racially

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22 thoughts on “Auto Body Repair: How to remove dents in aluminum Part 1

  1. Great video Wray! Did you have to anneal the aluminum first? And dose shrinking with the torch keep the medal annealed as you work the aluminum?

  2. Wray, have you ever used a lead slapper? My father worked at North American Aviation making wing skins for F86 fighters. He insisted that they used broad lead slappers to form those skins over bucks.

  3. Hi Wray, great video. Can you use the same technique on steel to shrink high spots with the bag and slapper. so mant different ways it leaves me a bit confused as to the best way to do it.

  4. What alloy is the panel made from? Have tou used a wood shrinking disk? Thank you for the great video!

  5. Thank you Wray for sharing your knowledge with us. Learning skills on youtube is so much more pleasant than watching television!!!!

  6. Amazingly informative. Have always struggled with reaching that level of perfection. I have some guards to build in the coming months and this will be a massive help ✌🏻

  7. Thanks Wray – great video as I have struggled with getting those little blemishes out. Heading to the shop!

  8. Good afternoon Wray, more good stuff. Now, another use for the denibing sander, who knew!! Thanks for sharing your expertise. Your videos speak volumes for metal shapers every where. You take care.

  9. Very nice demonstration. I really could appreciate it even more if you had a straight edge or something to really show the hump then the shrinkage that you acquired. Never the less thanks!

  10. I want to build a 1930s bugatti soo bad. But with a more modern engine/drivetrain. Since ill never be able to afford any 30s race car let alone a Bugatti. Maybe but till then just starting to fix rust on my rare toyota alltrac

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