5 days of intense instruction during which you will master the theory, practice, and art of high-end Metal Shaping. 

AAMS, Inc. instruction offers something unique that is hard to find elsewhere, and that is a comprehensive understanding of how each metal working method, and machine, can work together harmoniously. This involves learning to instinctively choose the right tool at the right time to get perfectly shaped panels that require less clean up and metal finishing to complete… even after welding. Some seminar instructors will only be training you with the English wheel and deep throated kick shrinkers and stretchers while others will work with you using an air planisher, wooden mallets, and sand bags. Each has its purpose, but also drawbacks. The overall goal is to create panels built to the ultimate precision with the most efficient use of time.

AAMS will teach you that the power hammer, English wheel, air planisher, bead roller, Pullmax, and many others can all be “personal favorites”, but the best machine of all is the practiced mind. The result of using the techniques taught in this course will have you moving metal faster, more precisely, and more profitably. Are you up to the challenge?

Only a few metal men in the world can, or are willing, to teach you the power hammer. Most are too busy trying to keep up with the overload of work they have building customer cars as most of them teach metal shaping secondarily to their main business. Teaching metal shaping is AAMS’ only focus. With the right knowledge and training and a combined use of other machines and techniques you can move metal and get to the final design nearly 3-times faster than any other method.

With an English wheel, sand bag and kick shrinker you are pushing the metal into the shape you desire, but with the power hammer you are altering the molecular make up of the metal itself leaving it in a relaxed state, one that it wants to be in with very little if any trapped tension. Have you ever wondered why your panels warp during welding?


Reserve a 5 day class for exclusive personal instruction. You set the agenda, you state your needs and Mark will work with you one-on-one the entire time. You can use this time to develop your coach building skills, or bring a project to completion (up to a full-sized automobile, time permitting). Once you reserve a Premiere Private Lesson, those dates will be blocked out from further student enrollment:  5 days $5,300. Classes start at 8:30 am and stop at 4:30 pm

Classes will be held each week of the month, Mondays through Fridays, during the week.

Typical Syllabus (abbreviated): 

  • A briefing on the machinery and hand tools that will be used
  • The differences in linear shaping and radial shaping
  • The power hammer vs. English wheel, how they differ and how they both can be used to achieve the final result faster
  • Why warping occurs after welding, what it really is and how to avoid it nearly all together
  • When to use specific tooling and how to identify what to use for the panel being shaped using the power hammer, English Wheel, or planisher
  • The difference between true shape and form and how to induce form to bring out the shape that may already exist in the panel without over working the panel
  • When to realize you are close to reaching the limit of the metal from over working it and how to recover pliability to the metal panel before taking it further
  • Annealing steel and aluminum and just how important the type is
  • Why you want to always relieve tension in the metal before welding
  • The best places to separate a panel into sections for shaping, welding and bodylines
  • Develop patterns and reading them correctly as you work for a near perfect reproduction or the panel you are building
  • How to get a picture perfect light line throughout the side of a vehicle where door edges meet front and rear panels
  • Turning door, hood, trunk edges and achieve perfect gapping
  • Understanding what radius sweeps do and how to use them to achieve a perfect flow from the front to the back of a vehicle or any panel in between
  • Constructing shaping bucks using different materials for different applications
  • The most cost effective ways to take an impression of a surface to a full car without damaging the surface or the object.
  • Stack shrinking vs. kick shrinking and where to use both best
  • Why you would pre-stretch metal as well as how and where to do it
    • Bead rolling verses Pullmax techniques, which to use and how to achieve a bead or bodyline without changing the shaped surfaces surrounding it.
    • How and when to use flow forming
    • Understanding steel and aluminum and how to control them while shaping
    • Shaping in steel verses aluminum in terms you can easily understand
    • Structural panels and how to figure out where they go and what material you should use for the type of application
    • Planishing and why you really do it to a panel after working your shaping into it
    • Gas welding aluminum panels over TIG and how the heat affected zone means everything to the outcome of the panels being joined

I value your time as much as my own. I also take this art very, very, seriously. It allowed me to reach the highest goals I set for myself when I first began, and I intend to help you achieve yours. The respect and accolades I have gained as a coach builder in the industry are directly due to my dedication to learning and applying everything and every resource available to me at the time. Now my goal is to pass on to those who come to me for serious instruction the techniques and skills that I struggled to learn over the years. High-end metal shapers are always in demand and I want my students to become better than I ever was on my best day. 

Alumni members of the Academy are welcome to stay in touch with me over the years and I will do my best to help them continue to develop their skills. In metal shaping, we are all life- long learners, and partners in a rare, and highly satisfying art form. 

Best regards, 

Mark Gerisch Founder, of The Academy for the Art of Metal Shaping, Inc.