Read his own fascinating story how he started his process to understand the technique behind Metal Shaping
Lazze as a young boy“Cars and bikes have always fascinated me and at the age of eight, I saw a Hot Rod for the first time at a car show in the city of Ludvika, Sweden 1967.
Since then I have been ‘sold’ on Hot Rods and of course American cars. As a child I also enjoyed building with Lego blocks, and believe it or not, but already then I decided that when I grow I will build cars.
LAZZE in front of the same car 33 years later, different look but the same car, isn't that something..............
And in spite of taking many years I did achieve this! Of course I must also add the strong influence of the yellow deuce coupe in “American Graffiti” that John Milner drove….
"Building with Lego really inspired me".
At my leisure since 12 years of age I have been playing with mopeds, motorcycles and cars and as soon as I got my drivers license I bought a 56 Fairlane Victoria two door Hard Top in boxes. This is where things started. The body needed some rust repair and very few parts, patch panels was on the market, and on those the quality wasn't good at all, I'll say it was half fabricated.
As soon as a piece of sheet metal was to be formed into a shape of three dimensions, it was difficult to do. The metal was hard to shape and in the beginning the results were not very good either. After a lot of practice it went reasonably well but the time it took was terrible. Most of the time I bent the sheet and then cut the sheet up and bent it, Weld and grind, but it was lot's of work, Everybody that worked on cars and did some sheet metal repair, they know what problem I talking about ! And the worst thing was, I couldn't regret or adjust anything, if I did a mistake in the end of a panel, I must start over again and make another one next day.
So one day, I asked myself , It must be another way to do it, it can't be that way that I must make dies and stamp everything I want to do?
In that time in Sweden, people that I meet, all of them had the same problem to shape a sheet of metal. To find parts to old cars was hard and to find an old Body , like a 33 VW Coupe was almost impossible and they couldn't make them either, it was a few people that could do some Metal Shaping, but I'll say it was a dieing art.
At age 16 I started ASEA’s, today's ABB-World Wide Electrical Company , 3 year long school of manufacturing, which was both a good training and a valuable one. I got to learn how to use the lathe, the milling machine, drill press and also sheet metalwork and welding. For a while I was a line worker but it didn’t fit me very well, and when I heard they were hiring at maintenance I immediately applied for the job. I spent one year as apprentice with the best repairmen and that was valuable. I worked on any kind of machines, but to work CNC machines was one of my favorite jobs.
After 16 years at ASEA (today known as ABB) time had come to start my own business.
A friend of mine had seen my talents and told me I should start a business of my own, the year was 1991.
I got hold of a workshop and in the middle of a deep recession in Sweden I started restoring antique cars, sport cars and a little bit work on Hot Rods as well. From the very beginning I refused to do rust repairs on ordinary cars. In the beginning there was not many customers but my restored Fairlane was good advertising and soon I was busy with a Mercedes 190SL, a Maserati Ghibli 71, Crown Victoria Skyliner 56, Volkswagen Cabriolet 55, Ford Sunliner 59 and more.
My interest in Hot Rods was growing and when I found a 34 Ford Fordor without frame in Norway at a reasonable price I bought it. Of course I wanted a 3W coupe, but this was a start. While doing a job on a 34 Coupe belonging to a friend of mine in Ludvika I started to think about converting the Fordor to a coupe, but how should this be done? Round shapes everywhere with pressings and everything, naaa... too difficult to do, with the knowledge I had then.
Here I can explain, our mind thinking in pictures, whatever we do or want, we thinking in pictures, and in this case I had a clear picture of what I wanted to achieve, and I know now (not in that time) that my mind was connected to my arms and hands and they did the work and created the 3D panels.
When I started thinking on how this had been done I also started thinking about teaching this. I had been looking for products to manufacture and sell, like car parts, tools or something and out of coincidence this happened. In Street Rodder Magazine there was a story about “Street Rod University” Where do you go to learn this? And I asked myself, where in Sweden was this taught? There was no place to learn how to do sheet metal shaping! A new business idea was born.
After having spent about a year planning and preparing, a few friends were invited to the first training session in the end of 1996, in the same time it was an article in a Swedish magazine about the New Metal Shaping Education.
After this I started to get calls from people who wanted to learn more about sheet metal shaping. I also went to antique car swap meets and exhibitions in Sweden and Norway. People in general were hesitant in the beginning, but the interest increased with time. Rumor spread from participants in the training that this was a good method, and surveys done after all training seminars showed that the participants were very satisfied.
Today, after some 20 years, I have trained more than 1,600 students from all over Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Venezuela, Qatar and many different states here in USA.
People love to learn to take control over the sheet and be able to create anything they want.
The demand is increasing all the time, and I have realized that what I teach is a unique way of shaping sheet metal. The difference is that when I started my Metal Shaping carrier, nobody told me to first use the hammer and hammer out the metal to shape in a sandbag, so it looks like a "potato bag" and then use the wheel to smooth it out. This is the way it’s been done in the US and Great Britain for many years.
But for me it's hard to understand why you should take a nice flat piece of sheet and destroy it in the Sandbag and then go to the English wheel and try to fix all the marks/dents that you just create, when you can make it so much easier and really keep control over the sheet, when you Shape the Metal from the beginning in the English wheel, bead roller and the shirker/stretcher.
Why do the job twice?
I thought the wheel was meant to create the shape, and from that assumption Lazze’s Wheel was developed.
Together with the other LARS AB / LAZZE Inc. designed tools and machines I can teach a unique technique where the concept is to let the student learn the fundamental of Metal Shaping, and it's
It's Four elements that you can use in Metal Shaping:
- Stretch the metal,
that's all you can do, and when you learn step by step what happen when you useone or more of those four elements in a combination, you can create anything you want, only your imagination sets the limits.
You’ve heard the saying, “The sky is the limit!”.
So what happen mentally is when you have spent 4-7 hours making a panel and you're not happy with the result, it's very tuff to the next day make another one, because you have in your memory the mistake of the first one, and in that time you don't know if the second one going to be good either.
But what happen if you can make the first one very good in 10-20 minutes? You get much more creative and you having so much more FUN! That's Lazze's technique !
Many students have requested more Online Education, more literature and more video on this subject and I am pleased to announce that the Instruction Manual for the Bead roller is done and can be purchase on our website, Plus two more Instruction manuals with 14 chapters about the English wheel, Bead roller, Shrinker/Stretcher, are available as well.
Constant development is a must for mankind, a vision, a dream and something to look forward to everyday, this is very important to remember every day.
Remember: Money is Temporary, but Wealth is Permanent! What that means is when you learn something, you can use it for the rest of your life and always earn more money, because it's Permanent.
What LAZZE Inc., will come up with in the future you will find out, sooner or later…Rest assured, We will not rest!…."
At the keyboard: