prwttsh· Super Moderator
Your uncle was a smart man. Back when I used to do bodywork that's how we did it....from small dents to hard hits! (that's when we used to fix them )goat4hooves said:The last metal that I had to straighten out were badly smashed up airplane wing ribs. They were aluminum and work hardened pretty quick. So I only had one shot to get them right.
I had the aid of my uncle who was an auto body man and it was great. He said to sit down and study the bent up metal and try to figure out how it got that way. Then straighten out the metal in the reverse order that it happened.
Point being I did not start in the immediate area of where the dent or prominent crease was. Generally I started from the surrounding area and worked my way to the dent or crease. To my amazement the ribs straightened up rather nicely.
I'm no pro so take it for what it is worth, but id did find my uncle's approach to work fairly well. Then again I had the added luxury of covering up the metal with fabric. I have some dents that I will eventually have to address on my 1954 Case VAC-14 hood.
It makes me a little nervous to think about getting the hammers and dollies out again. As with most things the sitting and thinking is usually seems worse than actually getting out and getting my hands dirty.