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rockabilly777

Posts: 8
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Hi all,

I've done quite a few searches on the internet for metal fabrication and this one never popped up. Fortunately I stumbled across it today. Here's my backstory. I was born in the mid sixties and grew up in the tri-county area around Detroit, sort of the north end of Woodward Avenue if you will. My dad was always into cars of all kinds, building drag bikes, rocket powered go-karts, engine swapping - you know the drill. Anyway, about the time I was old enough to develop an interest in everything automotive, his interest dropped off completely. Ever since then I've been interested in cars, more for their design than performance, but the latter comes in a close second. The problem is, that through fate, choices made along the way, etc, I've never had the opportunity to learn any type of automotive skill, most notably metal fabrication. I have mechanical aptitude, that's not really a problem. I can do light automotive repair and have amassed a fair set of tools over the years.

Since fabrication really is the root of automotive resurrection, I've only ever been able to appreciate the work of others. Now, here I am, still wanting to learn the art of fabrication, but with little money, no garage and no project vehicle (or scrap metal for that matter) to work on. However, I did score a cheapo set of body tools from Harbor Freight some time ago and that, coupled with advice from y'all and finding out what to read and watch (as John Poole, The Old Tinbasher mentioned) I hope to somehow make this dream or calling come true as I learn bit by bit.

Thanks in advance for listening, and any information I learn from you along the way.

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jamesgpeck

Posts: 61
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Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor has a program in Automotive Restoration and Fabrication. The campus is East of Rt23 and next to the West end of Ypsilanti. I used to drive from Madison Heights to Ann Arbor to work and go right by the exit for this place. With the current state of the Michigan economy, specialized community college programs are being discontinued. I hope this one will not be. I personally travel too much for work to take courses.

http://www.wccnet.edu

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rockabilly777

Posts: 8
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Thanks for the info. When we were living in Oakland County I learned about WCC and saw their extensive auto restoration program. It would've been a pretty far drive then and would be near impossible now. Right now I live between Standish and West Branch. Unfortunately, I'm not "in district" with regards to tuition to any colleges around here. If times get a bit better and money isn't such an issue, Kirtland Community college is within about 50 or 60 miles (northwest) of me and has advertised that they'll have an auto body program starting this year. Out of district tuition for that is about $140 per credit hour. Ouch.

On a positive note, Bay/Arenac school district has what amounts to an adult ed welding class this fall. With any luck I'll be able to sign up for that. I think it's around $400 for the whole class, unless there are associated shop fees I haven't heard about yet.

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unklian

Posts: 517
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Fournier,and Dagger,both have short hands on courses.
They should be close enough to you.

Covell has a variety of videos available on various subjects.

And there are a few decent books available,a couple by Tim Remus come to mind.

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tinbasher1028

Posts: 88
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Hi Matt: I'm not to sure were your located but John Crossley has some excellent weekend programs in London Ont. about 1 hour from Detroit. I've taken a lot of programs over the years and I'd say that John's are one of the best. It's two days of hands on fabricating (about 10 hours each day) with four people to a class. So you get alot of One to One. If your interested here's his number 519-644-2695. I think his next class will start in September or early October.
The Fender is from the first class I took with John and the Nose section is from the second class. And the third picture is of me doing a presentation at our Micro Car meet. Izetta's, Messersmits and the like.

Hope this helps.

J. Poole

The Old Tinbasher



Attached Files:

  • Jun28369.JPG (314 kb)

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    tinbasher1028

    Posts: 88
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    Hi Guy's looks like the first two pictures didn't go, let's try again.

    JP



    Attached Files:

  • Bp_04.jpg (237 kb)
  • Apr03_15.JPG (330 kb)

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    rockabilly777

    Posts: 8
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    Thanks unklian. Are Fournier, Dagger and Covell people I can track down through the forum or different parts of the MA site?

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    rockabilly777

    Posts: 8
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    Thanks, John. I'm in Sterling, Michigan, which is at the very north end of the Saginaw bay area(where Lake Huron dips in by the thumb). I mapped London and it looks like about a 4 hour drive from here. Are John's classes for beginners as well as experienced metal fabricators? My desire to learn is strong, but I really am starting from scratch.

    Very nice work on the fender, BTW. I would be very interested in seeing the finished panel!

    Also, a micro car meet sounds great! Metropolitans and Crosleys are definitely on my project car want list!

    p.s. interesting dolly in the presentation pic. Is that what those caps are for when they're not on the tanks?!?

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    unklian

    Posts: 517
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    I'm sure there are links for all of them here somewhere.

    Dagger has a banner ad at the top of the page: http://www.daggertools.com/

    Ron Covell : http://www.covell.biz/

    Ron Fournier: http://www.fournierenterprises.com/

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