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Custom Car Fabrication: Tools of the Trade

If your dream is to become a car-customizing specialist, you will have to master a number of specialty tools that allow you to create body panels and other metal components to individual specifications.

Below are some of the key tools and machines found in most custom car workshops:

English Wheel — This is a machine that allows you to form compound curves out of a flat sheet of metal. Shaped like a closed “C,” it has two rollers, an upper wheel and the anvil wheel, which is located below. Anvil wheels are interchangeable and its tension can be adjusted to produce the kinds of curves desired.

Phanishing Hammer — A phanishing hammer is an air-powered tool used to flatten or polish metal that has already been formed by another device, such as an English wheel. It comes in many sizes and styles. Some are bench-mounted, while others come on its own stands.

Shrinker/Stretcher — This tool allows you make custom patch panels by shrinking or stretching metal to form the desired shape. Shrinker/stretchers are often used to create patches for windshield frames, doglegs and trunk openings. It works on steel, stainless steel and aluminum.

Power Hammer — Power hammers are corded or cordless devices used to automatically drive nails or bolts through metal. Automotive customizers use power hammers to attach panels to a car’s frame.

Louver Press — A louver press allows you to punch louvered vents into a piece of sheet metal. Louvers help air escape from car bodies, which can increase the aerodynamic qualities. And some are just added for aesthetics.

Oxy-Acetylene Torch — This device combines oxygen and acetylene gas to produce a super-hot flame used to cut and weld metal. The oxy-acetylene torch is one of the primary tools used in all metal fabrication, including car customization.

Street Rod and Custom Fabrication at WyoTech’s Laramie Campus

You can learn to use all these specialty tools, and many more, as a student in WyoTech’s Street Rod and Custom Fabrication specialty program. Offered at WyoTech’s campus in Laramie, Wyoming, the Street Rod and Custom Fabrication specialty is available as part of the Automotive Technology, Diesel Technology or Collision Refinishing career education programs.

As a graduate of WyoTech’s Street Rod and Custom Fabrication specialty program, you’ll be prepared to work in specialty auto body shops or auto repair facilities throughout the United States.

For more information on WyoTech’s Street Rod and Custom Fabrication specialty program in Laramie, contact WyoTech today!

Financial aid is available for those who qualify.

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