Craftsmen are a dying breed these days, now that seemingly everything can be automated using fancy software and robotics. Still, in the dark dungeons of YouTube lurk some truly skilled artists. Just watch this guy make body panels by hand for an old Willys CJ-3B Jeep.
A flat-fender Jeep enthusiast friend showed me these fascinating videos by YouTuber metalshaper featuring a brilliant man using metal forms, exotic specialized hammers, c-clamps and a fancy dye to carefully craft sheetmetal into better-than-new Willys body panels.
Here are two clips showing metalshaper make one of the rear side panels indicated in the picture above (note, that’s technically an M606 in the pic, the military version of the Willys CJ-3B):
In the first video, he describes his cornucopia of hammers. He’s got everything from “high-crown” hammers to flat hammers to dead-blows, to special cone-shaped metal stretching hammers. And to finish the panels off with nice, even bends he even breaks out a rivet gun.
The result is a gorgeous rear fender of a quality the Willys Overland factory would have struggled to match:
Metalshaper also throws together a set of front side panels.
He even uses a press to form a 90-degree step:
And he also shows his special “layout dye,” a glare-free dye that helps with reading stencil markings for the panel’s drain hole:
After lots of hammering with his special hammers, the result is a fine looking fender with a nice oval-shaped drain hole that would put even the finest of drain-holes to shame.
Mmm, that’s a nice panel.
Based on metalshaper’s YouTube page, it looks like he’s actually making an entire CJ-3B body, minus the cowl, windshield and maybe the dash. Very impressive, even if it’s on a vehicle notorious for having only flat, simple body panels.
If only he could make me some new panels (all of them) for my CJ-2A.