In the blink of an eye, you can be involved in a car accident that causes significant damage to your vehicle. Individual panels may be bent out of shape, and you need to work with an expert in order to coax things back to normal. You may be fascinated to learn about some of the tools involved in this work, so you can see why it may take some time before you get the vehicle back on the road. For example, why does a body shaping expert use a "bumping" hammer?
Bumping in Action
Bumping is the term used in the industry to describe a variety of actions that move the metal from one position to another. This may call for some significant effort if the panel in question is badly misshapen, although the technician will use a machine and pneumatic pressure in many cases.
Usually, a technician will try to restore the panel close to its original shape before the very precise and detailed work. Ideally, they'll want to arrive at the original contour with some strategic and well-placed "bumps," often using a rubber mallet or special ball-peen hammer.
Judgement and Skill
Much of this work calls for a lot of skill and judgement on the part of the technician. After all, ill timed or placed blows may simply cause more damage, ridges, channels or other abnormalities. In this situation, even more work may be required to restore the original appearance, so there's never a standard approach, and every situation is taken on its merits.
In fact, the technician will need to assess the original depths, thickness or shape of the panel and how that relates to any supporting structure beneath it. They will then be able to choose the right tools and employ the best manoeuvres to remove the damage with the greatest success.
In an ideal world, the best approach would be to understand exactly how the damage occurred in the first place and reverse it. Of course, the technician was not present during the crash, so they need to use their skill and judgement to interpret the likely sequence of events and try to reverse engineer.
As you can see, there's a great deal of expertise involved, and some of this work can be time consuming. This is why it's important to take your vehicle to qualified and skilled technicians whenever you've been involved in a crash. Look into panel beaters for more information.