Let’s face it, welding can pretty much be considered a “art form”. Many of us either have the lack of skills or the lack of experience to weld in a repair panel on the body of our project. Other times you may just not have the budget to buy a nice welder since you are just doing one small job. We recently came up with a tool that allows for patch panel replacement for the welder handicapped.
The tool in question is our dimpling pliers. These allow for creating a nice uniformed indent in the replacement panel in which you can drill and then rivet through to attach to the original panel. Due to the way the indentation is made, the head of the rivet sits flush with the surface of the panel. Simply use a glaze coat of filler to smooth out the repair, and you have a strong repair panel without the need for a welder. This also eliminates the possibility of panel warpage when welding thin auto body sheet metal (a big part of the “art form” that is welding)! For larger panels we advise drilling holes every 1″ along the edge of the replacement panel.
We’ve also found these pliers can be used for many other jobs around the shop. Such as “mushrooming” drift pins/rivets found in small hinges (such as replacing those pesky pins in your vintage front opening vent windows). These are great as well to be used to make indentations for making pilot holes for plug welds when replacing a panel that you need to make a number of holes/spot welds in. (front radiator support comes to mind!)
Check out some close ups of the pliers in action below. For your full “welder-less” panel replacement needs you may find our No-Weld panel repair kit useful. It includes all of the hand tools, panel clamps and special body panel adhesive for the DIY’er out there.
Dimpling pliers can be seen on our website here: http://www.eastwood.com/ew-dimpling-pliers.html
Also the full No-Weld Repair kit here: http://www.eastwood.com/ew-no-weld-panel-repair-kit.html