Currently I have two students working/learning at the shop – Brian from Ohio and Londun, from Georgia. Brian will be here for about 30 days total, and Londun will be here till the 30th.
Londun is a total beginner he is only 19, he drove up on his own found an inexpensive AirBnb room and he will be here for two weeks. His first experience at shaping was the four day class last weekend at which he did excellent. I had him learn his initial metal-finishing with a slapper and dolly by helping extended learning student Harvey with his Lotus IX aluminum body. Londun planished about one square foot very well, and then asked if he could try shaping a larger panel. He is learning the new skills so he can get hired at a shop back home. Although he is only 19 he is very dedicated, smart, and driven.
A 1937 Riley Sprite one of 55 made is currently in the shop owned by Mike from TN. Mike hired Brian and he purchased for Brian a 240 hr Extended Learning Program to help further the restoration on the Riley. Brian is working on the rear boot cover for the Riley, it was missing so he is scratch building one from pictures. Brian is 41 and has taken on and finished a few restorations in the past, he had limited shaping experience prior to the four day class last weekend. Brian is also a fast learner.
Londun is currently shaping a new left rear fender for the Riley. using flexible shape patterns taken off the Riley right rear fender. I will show progress pictures as the fender comes together.
Brian has one half of the boot lid shaped already. I had him make a metal station buck using hot roll 1/2″ x 1/8″ stock. From the buck he dialed in the aluminum skin to an excellent fit. I then had him flexible shape pattern the skin so he could reverse it for the other side. He shaped the first side using my gathering tool he then followed up using a shrinking facilitator. He put the rough shape in about and hour or so while being guided by the metal buck he made. He made the common mistake of strongly over developing the panel in the center. Fixing the overdeveloped problem took a bunch of time but it was a great lesson.
Tonight Brian cut the blank for the other side of the boot lid and I shrank the edges using my power hammer which has a four inch shrink die in it. I was able to get the panel to about 70 percent development in about 8 minutes. Tomorrow Brian will finish it up.
It is great having extended learning students in the shop, I wish more would sign up. You will learn coachbuilding /metalshaping skills very rapidly, see all of the options at proshaper.com. I will follow up this post with many progress posts. Hope to see a lot of new extended learning students at the shop this Fall and Winter.