In Florida, car restoration is a popular pastime, for both the retired community cherishing their vintage wheels, and for those looking to revisit a period of classic auto craftsmanship. With an increasing number of retired car aficionados, muscle car restorations are projects requiring different types of parts and materials. Auto body sheet metal combines raw materials like plate metal, expanded metal, cold-, mild-, and hot-rolled steel, and uses tools like welding wires and rods, castings, fittings, and more. These Florida car restoration projects demand high productivity at a low cost with reliable results. That means the auto body sheet metal being created needs to meet certain standards of service. When used for muscle car restorations, auto body sheet metal needs to be able to resist corrosion, be durable enough to protect the car and resist dents, and have the best fuel economy.
Auto body sheet metal is manufactured to accomplish these goals, and more. Through efficient and precise metalworking procedures, the sheet metal is formed into thin pieces available in coiled strips or flat sheets, each applicable to different parts of a vehicle. Cutting these sheet metal parts to the right measurements requires using a tool called a gauge with larger numbers indicating thinner cut pieces. The gauge number often depends on what type of auto body sheet metal you are working with, what you’re looking to use the sheet metal parts for, and the type of cuts in the metal you’d like to make. The gauge cuts sheet metal parts based on average weight, which the manufacturer’s standard sets at 41.82 lbs. per square foot per inch thick, though this number can differ for iron-based and aluminum or brass metals.