New Shop Tips

We received some good news this week: Dick Raczuk is busy (as always) videotaping shop tips and he has given us the green light to link to them here. If you haven’t had a chance to read through them all yet, go to the Shop Tips page for the full list. The latest video shop tips are at the bottom. Enjoy!

Metalshapers Association Begins Again

Greetings all, I was just thinking the other day about how closely tied together this craft of metalshaping and all things automotive seems to be. I know there are some in our community that turn their skills toward creating sculpture and ornamental metal work, and then there are the bladesmiths and armourers, and of course there’s the aircraft contingent, but for most us the draw to work with sheet metal came from our love of cars and trucks.

I mean, really? Who can look at a ’57 Chevy or a Jaguar E-Type, or a Auburn, or Duesenburg, or any one of a thousand other beautiful cars and not be inspired by their shape? We love the fact that they can carry us almost anywhere we want to go, at adrenaline-inducing speeds, and look like rolling artwork at the same time. For me, the car that was the original inspiration was my first car, a 1966 Ford Thunderbird. Looking back makes me wonder what I was thinking. I must have been the biggest, starry-eyed dreamer out there, imagining that somehow I could return that victim of the salty Minnesota tundra into a shining example of the marque. Sadly, by the time I picked it up for the princely sum of $100, the tinworm had eaten through its floors and quarter panels and the lower regions of both doors to the point where “flow-through ventilation” was no longer a catchy sales feature, but an unpleasant condition to endure during subzero weather.

Read the rest here »