News>Feature - It's Hammer Time at the Auto Hobby Center
Paul Faucheux, owner of Maaco of Waldorf, instructs Team Andrews members as they sand a car hood with a dual-action sander during a body shop class at the Andrews Auto Hobby Center on March 25. Faucheux sponsored the class, which was an introduction to the fundamentals of basic body repair and refinishing. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Torey Griffith)(released)
Team Andrews members repair dents on a car hood during an auto body class at the Andrews Auto Hobby Center on March 25. Employees from Maaco of Waldorf donated time and materials to teach the basics of repairing dents, sanding, priming and refinishing panels. With the equipment they provided, Team Andrews members will be able to refinish their cars themselves at the hobby shop versus taking their cars to a shop to have the work done. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Torey Griffith)(released)
Harvey McKenzie, a professional auto body technician from Maaco of Waldorf, shows Team Andrews members how to repair a dent in a car hood using special hammers and metal shaping tools called dollies. This method minimizes the use of body filler to make the damaged surface straight again. McKenzie is a third generation body man, and uses many "old school" methods to achive the flawless results required when working on restoration and custom jobs. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Torey Griffith)
Team Andrews members point to the repairs they made to a dented car hood during an auto body class at the Andrews Auto Hobby Center on March 25. Harvey McKenzie, an auto body technician form Maaco of Waldorf, lower right, showed the attendees how to prepare, repair and refinish the damaged hood themselves using tools and materials available at the auto hobby center. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Torey Griffith)(released)
Chief Master Sgt. Tony Tingley, 89th Airlift Support Group superintendent, watches Harvey McKenzie, auto body technician, repair a dent at an auto body class at the Andrews Auto Hobby Center on March 25. Using the skills learned in the class and the tools and facilities available at the hobby center, members are able to make repairs themselves, saving them a considerable amount of money. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Torey Griffith)(released)
Chief Master Sgt. Tony Tingley, 89th Airlift Support Group superintendent, practices his spraying method before applying another coat of green to a hood at an auto body class at the Andrews Auto Hobby Center on March 25. In order to achieve the best results, the paint gun must be held at the proper distance away from the substrate, moved at the correct speed with the perfect amount of air pressure and paint product coming out of the tip. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Torey Griffith)(released)
Team Andrews members revel in their reflections cast in the smooth finish of the hood they repaired and painted in an auto body class at the Andrews Auto Hobby Center on March 25. Maaco of Waldorf donated tools, time and materials to teach the class, which was an introduction to body repair and refinishing. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Torey Griffith)(released)
by Senior Airman Torey Griffith
11th Wing Public Affairs
3/28/2012 - JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. -- Sparks flew and hammers wailed at the Andrews Auto Hobby Center on March 25 as Team Andrews members participated in an introduction to body repair and refinishing class.
Working with tools and materials provided by Maaco of Waldorf, and under guidance of three Maaco employees, the budding body rebuilders learned to repair dents, prepare body panels for paint and how to apply a fresh finish to the panels they worked on.
"This class really benefits people who use this facility," said Paul Faucheux, who owns of Maaco of Waldorf and who put the class together. "Before, if someone had their own equipment, they could come use the paint booth. Other than that, it was just sitting idle."
The paint booth at the auto hobby center has been there for years. In fact, Faucheux remembers using it when he was stationed here years ago. What was missing at the hobby center were the essential tools of the trade: dual-action sanders, metal-working hammers, paint guns and safety equipment.
Faucheux donated these items and sponsored the class in which he and two other experienced auto body technicians showed a group of Team Andrews members some basic skills needed to perform work on their own cars.
"We equipped them with everything they needed, and this class teaches people how to use the tools and the facility," he said. "Now the hobby center isn't just a single faceted shop where people can do mechanical work; it's a fully-functioning auto center."
The auto hobby center provides an important resource to Team Andrews members, providing them a space to do their own repair work with a full spectrum of tools as well as knowledgeable staff that can give advice and even lend a hand when a project becomes overwhelming.
"It's a money saver for service members," said Faucheux. "I'm sure that if they get paid like I did when I was in the military, it's not much. By doing their own work, people can save thousands of dollars on car repairs."
While the 8-hour class didn't transform the attendees into Chip Foose, it did provide them a basic understanding of auto body work. The plan is to hold more basic classes and possibly initiate more detailed courses that provide even more insight.
When the dust settled, the class attendees were a little more comfortable with the tools of the body trade. Some were even making plans to spray a new coat of paint on their car the next weekend.
"I thought it would be a lot harder than it was," said Michael Truden, a military spouse who has designs to repaint his 1990 Nissan 240 SX. "I didn't think fixing dents would be so easy, but the way they broke it down to us and taught us how to do it hands-on really helped."
Truden's Nissan is far from stock, sporting a turbocharged engine and a custom interior. He said he plans on using the facility to put a shiny new coat of paint on the car to match the rest of the modifications he's done.
"It definitely beats going out to the garage and using a rattle can," he said.