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?
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.