Testimonials for Private Metal Shaping/Welding Training classes at Kingdom Metal Works:
My name is Buster Hoffmaster, and I live in Austin, Texas. I am retired, and fortunate enough to have a very well-equipped metal-working shop where I get to go every day to build “dream cars” (for myself). Over the years I have attended a number of classes and metal shaping events in an attempt to advance my coach building skills, including those put on by Faye Butler, Wray Schelin, Pat Bruebaker, Kent White, Ron Covell, Oblong Metal Meets and various All Metal Shaping events. All excellent experiences indeed. My latest adventure in continuing my passion was with Kevin Masson of Kingdom Metal Works, and it was a truly wonderful experience.
My quest with Kevin was not so much to learn how to make a small panel to take home with me, rather to discuss in great detail many of the little skills necessary to move my work to the next level. This involved a lot more “chalk talk” than Kevin was used to in his classes, but it was very obvious that Kevin is completely flexible in tailoring his one-on-one time with students to exactly what they came to learn……did I mention perfect gas welding techniques on aluminum body panels?
As I was recently reminded by an “old pro”……it takes 80 percent of your time to build the first 80 percent of your project….and then it takes 80 percent of your time to build the last 20 percent of your project (no, that is not a typo…;<)). My time with Kevin was all about that last 20 percent. So, whether you are just starting out, or consider yourself beyond taking lessons, I assure you that you will leave your time with Kevin smiling and completely satisfied that your money was well spent. I could not wait to get back in my shop to start working with the new skills Kevin taught me. Oh yeah…..wait until Kevin shows you what’s inside his tool box!
This was my 3rd metal shaping class, but my first with Kevin. I’m a novice trying to assimilate basic skills, advance my knowledge, and build & equip my own shop. I’ve learned a lot in in all my classes, but this was my first one-on-one class. This was exactly what I needed.
On the first day, Kevin asked me what MY goal and priorities were in taking his class. My initial goal was to complete an aluminum duplicate of my Mustang hood, but my true priorities were to learn as much as I could in the time available, become proficient using the equipment required, and learn how to solve problems when I encountered them.
Kevin not only thoroughly explained his answers to my questions and demo’ed tasks on scrap material, he also asked me questions that forced me to think about how I would perform the task on hand, explained additional ways I could perform the same tasks and reviewed the pros and cons of each method or technique. Then he let me do all the work myself, assisting when I needed more hands. Kevin frequently reminded me of my own priorities when I tried to push beyond my own skill level. He didn’t jump in to fix my mistakes, but he did try to steer me to prevent my minor mistakes from becoming bigger ones. There is no better way to learn than from mistakes. If I had done everything perfectly, I wouldn’t have learned as much. I improved my skills, the quality of my shaping and my confidence.
I can’t thank Kevin and Maritza enough for this opportunity to spend an entire week hands-on metal shaping. They take care of you wonderfully and ensure you get the most for your time and effort. I already have another class scheduled after I get some more experience on my own.
Mike S. ~
My name is Russell Beckham from Holly Hill South Carolina. I have attended two other shaping classes in the past, but I must say that the wealth of knowledge and skill that kevin has to offer his students far surpasses anyone that I have dealt with. Kevin is a Master of his craft and his purpose and passion in life has become to share what he knows and has learned, in his lifetime, with others like myself that have that same passion and desire to learn or to improve on the skills of shaping metal. I came here with many unanswered questions and problems that I had ran into during the short time of learning to shape metal, for car body restoration. Because Kevins instruction is one on one, he had the time to be able to explain or demonstrate thoroughly, every question I had. I loved meeting Kevin and his wife, they are great people, and I look forward to many more sessions in the future. Definitely a keeper!
My introduction to Kingdom Metal Works begins with my father “giving” me his 1956 XK140 FHC which had been in storage since 1967. I was interested in doing as much of the metal work myself as possible, so as most do, I searched the internet for DIY resources and discovered an entire community of automotive metal forming craftsman offering hands-on instructional classes. After reviewing different class offerings across the U.S., I selected Kingdom Metal Works based 3 primary reasons; 1) Kevin’s experience essentially recreating an XK140 body (see the pictures on Kingdom Metals Works website), 2) Kevin’s lifelong training in the metal forming craft, 3) most tools used in Kingdom Metal’s shop are widely accessible.
To date I have been to 2 of Kingdom Metal classes and plan to attend another this summer. Whether a novice or experienced at metal forming Kevin’s skillset will suit a variety of skill levels. My 1st class included the basics of forming a motorcycle gas tank; starting with hand forming with a mallet and shot bag, foot operated shrinker stretcher, planishing hammer basics, and on to the English wheel; the hands-on tactile experience was awesome. Additionally as we progressed Kevin shared nuggets from his immense wealth of knowledge and experience which I found extremely enlightening, everything from the types of tools, buck design, pattern making and how to approach project execution planning.
My 2nd class focused on replacing the lower portion of my XK140 door skin. With this project we covered, making the perfect cut to mate the new skin to the parent door skin, forming the 1.2” radius bend, TIG welding, and finishing. Kevin did not have a 1.25” roller on hand to make the bend, so we used the sheet metal break to incrementally make the radius. I will admit I was skeptical initially when Kevin proposed this method but was impressed with the process and the result. It’s my thought the sign of a true craftsman is the ability to use a variety of equipment available to achieve the desired result. I would highly recommend Kingdom Metal Works for anyone who wishes to understand the fundamentals of metal forming from a dedicated and experienced craftsman in this field as well those who wish to enhance their respective knowledge, Kevin will not disappoint.
PS Kevin’s stories regarding projects, experiences and industry icons were also a fantastic part of the experience!
Testimonials for Private MetalShaping/Welding Training Classes given in other shops:
I feel honored to have gotten to spend the past couple of days learning from Kevin @kingdommetalworks , he came to the shop to teach @cornfieldcustoms @awful_hero and I his skills at the wheel and torch welding aluminum, which I really like and feel I can definitely see myself doing in the future. The way he is able to manipulate metal on the wheel is mind blowing. Kevin helped Will and I attempt the left side of the headrest cowling while Mike was doing the opposite side. It is a very challenging piece and I think it was a great job we did. Will it get used on the car, maybe, maybe not, but none the less I learned a lot more about what you are capable of doing on the wheel and some good knowledge I’ll keep stored away for the next time. Thank you Kevin and if anyone has the chance to take a class from him, I’d highly recommend it!