More Panel Beating Tools and Their Applications
The following material is a continuation of the link "Panel Beating Tools and Their Applications."
Use a pressed-steel, light-weight spring beating spoon for spring beating on ridges. Place the spoon directly on the ridge and strike it on the back with a beater. The spreads the force over a large area, correcting the damage but leaving no marks on the paint. Closely monitor the force of the blows so the intensity does not go below the spoon's position. Keep the surface of the spring beating spoon clean and highly polished because any irregularities will imprint (in reverse) on the panel surface. This spoon is not to be used for levering or prying.
For a wavy surface or minor dent, do not use a dolly; use a bumping blade to "slap" them out. With or without a dolly's backing support, beat the back of bumping blade so that the panel receives glancing blows. Serrations on the blade hold the metal to prevent stretching. Use the bumping blade for moderate or slight damage; it is not intended to take the blows of a beater and dolly, or a body spoon. Experiment with it as a semi-finishing tool. Experience will dictate when to use a bumping blade.
At the end of the panel finishing process, you may encounter some slightly stretched areas of metal. There are a number of ways to determine the exact size, shape and location of the stretched area. You can visually inspect the area; you can run the palm of your hand of the area to feel the stretch, using a cotton glove to increase sensitivity; or if the area is question is large and flat, you can use a straight edge. On a painted surface, spray a light coating of oil on it and use a strong light to visually observe the stretch. Treatment depends on how much stretch there is.
Use a shrinking beater for slightly stretched areas. Cross-milling covers the square face of this beater. Using a shrinking beater, small bits of metal are forced into spaces that the cross-milling creates. You can use a shrinking beater on cold aluminum or sheet steel. Heating the steel will speed up the work but use caution: the heat can cause more stretch. Beat the panel on the inside whenever possible to minimize resurfacing on the outside. You can also use a special grid dolly to assist in shrinking work.
In general, the experts recommend leaving the surface lower; no high spots should remain. The beginner should leave any small indentations below the surface and out of the way. Attempting to beat all imperfections out will result in stretching or "bellying" the metal. Better to finish off with a plastic filler. Go for a fine finish - that is the objective.
We hope you have enjoyed this overview of panel beating tools and their applications.