Panel beating is the art of shaping the metal back to where it is smooth and level again.
Panel beating is the art of shaping the metal back to where it is smooth and level again. Learning how to be a panel beater is essential. It is the area in auto body work that requires the most skill and technique.
The ability to direct the blows on the damaged area, along with how much force to exert, separates "the men from the boys," the amateur from the professional. Practice is the key to becoming knowledgeable and proficient so do not attempt a large job right away; better to begin panel beating by practicing on a piece of scrap metal.


It is important to know a little about the dynamics of how the impact on the metal produces damage in the first place. When force from an accident impacts sheet metal, it produces an area of direct damage at the point of contact. The impact is indirect contact affects a wider area, leaving an array of buckles or "V" channels on the surface of the metal. These ridges appear hard or rigid. Also observe the direction of the force that caused the damage. This will be important because you are going to be repairing the damage exactly opposite of how it occurred. In other words, you will beat out the indirect damage first, then the direct damage.
Here is how to handle and apply tools. Hold the beater loosely in your hand. Allow the shaft to rest against the base of the thumb. Wrap your fingers loosely around the shaft. As you close the fingers to grasp the shaft, the head of the beater moves forward.

Use this movement when working underneath surfaces, when both beater and the work surface may not be visible.

Added wrist action will help you become more versatile. Heavier blows for larger areas will involve your elbow and shoulder.

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