Non-Discrimination Policy

The Academy for the Art of Metal Shaping Inc., a 501c3 non profit corporation, does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities, classes or operations. These activities include, but are not limited to, hiring and firing of staff, selection of volunteers and students, and provision of services. We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, clients, volunteers, subcontractors, vendors, and students.

Learn Metal Shaping and Coachbuilding Skills

Take your career to the next level with our short form classes

Class Information

5 Day Class

At a Glance

  • Monday-Friday; 10:30am-6:00pm
  • Beginner-Intermediate and Intermediate-Professional levels available
  • $1,950  for group class, 5 students
  • $5,300  for private class, one-on-one instruction


  • A briefing on the machinery and hand tools that will be used
  • The differences in linear shaping and radial shaping
  • Power Hammer versus English Wheel: how they differ and can be used to achieve the final result faster
  • Why warping can occur after welding, what it really is and how to avoid it
  • When to use specific tooling and how to induce form to bring out the shape that may already exist in the panel without overworking it
  • When to realize you are close to reaching the limit of an aluminum panel from over-working it and how to recover pliability before taking your work further
  • Annealing aluminum and understanding how important the type is
  • Understanding 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 body lines
  • Develop patterns and read 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 on a slab side car
  • Turning door, hood, and trunk edges and achieving 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

Beginner-Intermediate Level

  • All skills described in the syllabus will be introduced
  • Please note that the syllabus is subject to change based on the needs of the students, level of comprehension, and ability to perform

Intermediate-Professional Level

  • All skills described in the syllabus will be briefly reviewed and expanded upon
    • Stack shrinking versus 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 versus Pullmax techniques, which to use and how to achieve 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 versus 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 techniques, and understanding why you should 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
  • Additional skills may be introduced to the class at the discretion of the instructor
  • Please note that the syllabus is subject to change based on the needs of the students, level of comprehension, and ability to perform


Private Class

At a Glance

  • Available for  5-day classes, once a month
  • $5,300 for 5 days
  • Students will be taught skills from the group class syllabi
  • Class customization available, learn skills not available for group classes
  • Enjoy one-on-one time

Fine Print

  • Private Classes are available for 1-4 students at a time
  • Each student will pay the tuition individually per class; tuition is not split amongst students
Dear Prospective Students

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 and Main Instructor of The Academy for the Art of Metal Shaping, Inc.

About the Instructor

How to Sign Up for a Class

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    Step One

    Visit our calendar page to find a class that fits your schedule and experience level.

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    Step Two

    Email classes@aametalshaping to reserve your desired class and class time. Not sure about which class or level to take? We can help you figure that out, too- fill out this self assessment form ---> https://goo.gl/forms/u35ixnjnZoFU8NoE3.

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    Step Three

    Pay for your class. A class is not booked and secured until the student has paid the tuition.

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    Step Four

    Receive confirmation via email of your class and class date. Complete the next steps provided in your confirmation email and gather tool(s) and safety equipment necessary for your class. Students should wear long pants, long sleeve shirts, and steel tip shoes or boots (ankle length or higher, though above-ankle is preferred) at all times on the shop floor.

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    Step Five

    Show up to class on time!

Fine Print

  1. Class will be held each week throughout the year, with the exception of major U.S. holidays, instructor travel dates, and Road America guest spots. Cancellations are up to the discretion of the Academy.
  2. A class must be booked two weeks prior to the start date and is not booked until the student has registered via classes@aametalshaping.com and has paid in full. We do not hold spots they are first come first serve. Tuition rates do not include required textbooks and tools. Additional information regarding the class will be provided to the student after their class has been booked, paid in full, and confirmed.
  3. Cancellations are reserved for documented, extenuating circumstances and will be approved at the discretion of the Academy. Should a student cancel their class with Academy approval, the student may sign up for a future class. 
  4. There are no refunds and no exceptions to this policy.