RESTO COR­NER WITH AMD: HAM­MER FORMED IN­NER DOOR COR­NER PATCH

FLAT OR EVEN CURVED PATCHES ARE FAIRLY EASY TO FORM, BUT HOW DOES ONE FORM COM­PLEX SHAPES WITH COM­POUND CURVES?

Mopar Muscle - - Contents - TEXT AND PHO­TOS: MARK EHLEN

Flat or even curved patches are fairly easy to form, but how does one form com­plex shapes with com­pound curves?

Ever look at an artist’s or crafts­man’s work and won­der, “How in the world did they do that?” It could be pho­tog­ra­phy, sculp­ture, wood­work, or an ex­pert met­al­worker. No mat­ter how long you stare at it, you just can’t imag­ine how they did that … un­til some­one shows you how it’s done.

Don’t mis­un­der­stand. There’s still a lot of skill and ex­pe­ri­ence nec­es­sary to do arte­sian-level work, but know­ing the foun­da­tional tech­nique takes a lot of the mys­tery out of it.

We all know body pan­els are formed by large hy­draulic presses that stamp flat sheet­metal into any shape imag­in­able. Auto Metal Di­rect pro­duces an enor­mous wealth of these pan­els for the restora­tion mar­ket with­out which many of our clas­sic Mopars wouldn’t be sal­vage­able. But what if you don’t need the whole panel? What if it’s more prac­ti­cal to just patch a small por­tion of the part rather than re­move the en­tire panel?

Of­ten Mus­cle Car Restora­tions will opt for a patch rather than dis­turb a whole lot of oth­er­wise good metal. As you’ve seen be­fore in this col­umn, flat patches or those that can be shaped with a shrinker and/ or stretcher are fairly straight­for­ward to make and in­stall but how do you think you would pro­duce a patch that has a more com­plex shape with mul­ti­ple com­pound curves like the in­side cor­ner of a door?

You’d do it the same way the fac­tory and AMD does it. No, you won’t use a large hy­draulic press, but the prin­ci­ple is the same. Cre­ate a mold of the shape you’ll need and ham­mer a flat piece of sheet­metal onto it.

Sounds easy enough, right? It’s ac­tu­ally not too bad now that you’ll know the ba­sic tech­nique. It still re­quires skill but that’ll come with ex­pe­ri­ence.

This door from a ’72 A-body needs a new skin but this cor­ner of the in­ner door shell must be re­paired be­fore the new skin can be fit­ted. MCR re­moved the old doorskin first to gain ac­cess to both sides of the cor­ner.

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