Classic car restoration requires different tools to cut and forge car sheet metal and various auto body parts. Sheet metal shops cut car sheet metal down to size in a variety of different ways, depending what type of metal is being cut and to what specifications. Sheet metal shops will use shearing, laser cutters, and water jet cutters to make these cuts. Some of these tools require next to no effort and will make forming auto body parts efficient and effective. These procedures can be applied to different auto body parts involved with classic car restoration. Using modern tools and materials to create custom vintage parts, rather than buying the parts secondhand, will ensure they last longer and run better.
Sheet metal shearing
There are a few different types of shearing tools capable of measuring and cutting steel fabrication. A bench shear is lightweight, but while it’s perfect for cutting sheet metal of medium size, its specialty doesn’t lie in delicate work. However, it is sturdy and can handle heavy usage. Guillotine sheet metal shearing uses a larger machine with a moving blade. It uses a gauge to determine the cut, and the blades can be angled accordingly. A throatless sheer can make straight and curved cuts in sheet metal. Shops specializing in car sheet metal use these tools in steel fabrication for different types of auto body parts. Valves and pumps in an engine, for example, require smaller cuts, and a bench shear might not be the tool to use—whereas the body panel of the car may require the curved cuts of a throatless sheer.
Laser and water jet cutting
Laser cutting is another effective way to cut auto body parts. There are three types of lasers: CO2, meant for boring, cutting/scribing, and engraving; Nd, meant for high-energy pulses, low repetition, and boring; and Nd-YAG, meant for high-energy pulses, boring, engraving, and trimming edges. Sheet metal shops cut using these lasers via a computer, vaporizing, burning, or melting away unnecessary pieces. Laser cutting is a highly effective way to cut sheets of steel, which can then be forged into a sturdy, reliable car body, perfect for classic car restoration. Water jet cutting is great for very high-pressure cutting and steel fabrication. While it started as a way of cutting softer materials, it’s now used in hydraulic suspension systems in vehicles.