Surviving the Elements: Auto Body Paint and Other Blogs

3 Vital Steps in Panel Beating

by Mae Fisher

If your car gets a dent or is smashed in an accident, you can rest assured that a panel beater can restore it to its original look. However, most motorists believe that panel beating is simply about hammering damaged spots until a car's body regains its shape. However, nothing could be further from the truth because panel beating is much more than just hammering. In fact, motorists need to understand the entire panel beating process to hire the best professionals for the job. This article highlights vital steps in panel beating.

Metal Stretching -- If you think that panel beating starts with hammering, you have the process wrong. The first and arguably the most critical step in panel beating is metal stretching. It is vital since it determines how well a panel beater can put a car back into its original shape. It is essential to understand that metal stretching does not necessarily mean pulling a car's body in opposite directions to straighten it. Notably, the metal stretching step starts with heating a dented or damaged area with a blowtorch. The heat makes a metal malleable for easy hammering and stretching.

Planishing -- The next step following metal stretching is planishing, and it is primarily used for dented parts where metal must be pushed out. For effective planishing, a panel beater uses a planishing hammer specially designed to flatten and smooth dented spots. It is important to note that planishing takes a bit of time, particularly for extensive damages. It takes a long time since it involves the application of numerous light blows to achieve the desired effect. Most importantly, planishing during panel beating restores a section to its original shape. Additionally, panel beaters use different-sized planishing hammers because body dents vary in size. A suitable planishing hammer depends on the depth of the indentations.

Filling -- Car body damage can be severe and can include small holes, which must be filled before dents are repaired. It involves adding putty filler in the holes on a car's body. Once a putty filler dries, a panel beater sands off the excess, making it easier to achieve the original shape and contours. However, the filling is only effective if it is allowed enough time to harden. Sanding putty filler that is still curing removes some of it from the hole, requiring the panel beater to start all over again. Besides, it adds to the overall cost of the panel beating.