Our Vehicle Body Restoration Courses

Contour Academy provides courses in traditional sheet metalwork aimed at professional and amateur restorers of classic cars, motorcycles, vintage aircraft enthusiasts, customisers, kit and special car builders.

The techniques involved are relevant to vehicle metalwork where complex shapes and structures need to be reproduced or restored.

The courses – Stage 1 and Stage 2 – deal with all levels of competence, from complete beginner to the experienced professional. We teach students how to work with basic hand tools through to specialist machinery; some of which we have developed ourselves.

The courses are run with the individual in mind allowing time to ask questions particular to your needs. We limit the number of pupils so that you are given a significant amount of one-to-one tuition.

Contour Academy Course
Welding on the Contour Academy Course
Master craftsman Bruce demonstrates on the Contour Academy Course
Students watching closely on the Contour Academy Course

Stage 1

Foundation Course

Stage One
This course is an introduction to the principles of complex double-curvature sheet metalwork and will give you the confidence to tackle repair work and form and butt-weld double-curvature panels. It’s designed to suit all levels of experience and allows for varying degrees of competance. During the course we will demonstrate how to manufacture professionally-finished panels with basic tools and equipment as well as using more sophisticated equipment such as the wheeling machine. There is time available to discuss your own projects.

Course aims

To enable students to produce double-curvatures panels and alter and fit obtainable panels.

You will learn

Pattern making - measuring and marking out complex shapes and structures accurately Jig building - constructing basic jigs and fixtures to aid reproduction of original parts Body construction - aligning panels to create flowing bodylines and parallel gaps Tool making - how to construct simple tooling to replicate original recesses etc

You will learn and practise

Flanging - shrinking and stretching metal to form convex and concave curved flange. You will also learn how to wire a flanged edge Shaping - hand forming and smoothing double-curvature panels to accurately fit a jig and hammering smooth over a steel dolly. We will also teach you elementary use of the wheeling machine Butt welding - joining thin sheets of metal using a tig welder without adding filler rod to create a smooth finish. This is an important technique used in the making and fitting of repair panels to achieve a seamless joint Annealing - annealing aluminium alloy to aid shaping

Course costs

Stage 1 - £1160 (£1392 inc. VAT)

Stage 1 Foundation

2019 Available course dates

  • 24th – 26th September
  • 12th – 14th November

2020 Available course dates

  • 14th – 16th January
  • 10th – 12th March
  • 12th – 14th May
  • 14th – 16th July
  • 15th – 17th September
  • 10th – 12th November

Contour Academy Course
Welding on the Contour Academy Course
Master craftsman Bruce demonstrates on the Contour Academy Course
Students watching closely on the Contour Academy Course

Stage 2

Construction Course

Stage Two
This course covers the principles and practise of designing, making and use of patterns, jigs and tooling for the manufacture and restoration of complex sheet metal panels. The course is designed to follow and build on the principles established during the Foundation course, focusing on aluminium shaping and welding.

Course aims

To enable students to design, produce and use patterns, jigs and tooling to make and restore complex panels and structures and to shape and weld aluminium alloy.

You will learn

Developing jigs - purpose, design, construction and use Developing tools - purpose, design, construction and use Materials - understanding the properties and appropriate use of various materials Joining materials - exploring the various methods of joining panels

You will learn and practise

Taking profiles - replicating complex curves and configurations Making patterns - developing patterns to accurately reproduce original parts Forming on tooling - Using bespoke tooling to replicate original detail Flanging & wiring edges - forming flanges around tooling using advanced techniques Shaping - forming and smoothing complex double-curvature aluminium alloy panels to accurately fit jig Butt welding - using a TIG welder to join sheet aluminium alloys without filler rod enabling a joint to be hammered to a smooth finish

Course costs

Stage 2 – £1240 (£1488 inc. VAT)

Stage 2 Construction

2019 Available Course dates

  • 1st – 3rd October
  • 19th – 21st November

2020 Available course dates

  • 21st - 23rd January
  • 17th – 19th March
  • 19th – 21st May
  • 21st - 23rd July
  • 22nd - 24th September
  • 17th – 19th November

I would recommend to anyone with an interest in the subject
Rob Roan, Roan Fabrication Peterborough
As a beginner I was daunted before the course, inspired and confident and ready for my restoration project following the course.
Mark Haynes
Very friendly atmosphere while learning from a very skilled Bruce in his amazing workshop. Best four days of work I have done this year
Tom Zielinski