View Full Version : TECH: Low budget planishing hammer


bcarlson
09-18-2005, 07:40 PM
I built this planishing hammer a couple of years ago, and although loud, it has served me well. Note: don't bother filling it with sand, it just makes a mess, and doesn't significantly damper the noise anyways.

Here is the rough frame prior to tacking it:

http://www.metalmeet.com/photopost/data/3176/679P1000541.jpg

Here is the finished product:

http://www.metalmeet.com/photopost/data/3176/679P1000579.jpg

Here it is in action on a triumph gas tank:

http://www.metalmeet.com/photopost/data/3176/679P1000586.jpg

and here is a close up of the mounting of the air chisel:

http://www.metalmeet.com/photopost/data/3176/679P1000554.jpg

I spent all of about $50 on this including the steel, the air chisel, and the hammer bit. The chisel was about $15 at Northern Tool (or Harbor Frieight), and the Hammer bit was about $8. The steel cost the most, and I did get an air regulator, but didn't end up using it.

I used a band clamp to hold the chisel in place, and am using a grade 5 carriage bolt for the lower contact surface (adjustable of course!)

Seems to work well for what I do, I would make it taller next time, or bench mount it or something, it's pretty uncomfortable to use as it sits. But it sure smoots the daylights out of e-wheeled panels, and hand hammered pieces.

Hope this gets anyone interested jump started.

Ben

Unkl Ian
09-18-2005, 08:03 PM
Excellent.:D


Many guys will make their planishing hammer frames not nearly as stiff,
that way they are less likely to stall out the air motor.

If you've seen Fat Butler's planishing hammer,it is a classic example of this.
The "springyness" of the frame lets it deflect to accomidate waves and ripples in the panel.

Of course,if you are using a BIG rivet gun,this isn't a problem.

nate
09-18-2005, 08:09 PM
Awesome! so the lower surface, the carriage bolt... is adjustable just by screwing it in and out?

did you make the upper dies yourself or get them somewhere?

edit: just re read your post.. hammer die $8 :D was that at harbor freight too?

bcarlson
09-18-2005, 08:19 PM
I believe I bought the upped die at Northern Tool.... gimme a sec (I'm lazy tonite :)...

http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?storeId=6970&productId=183865&R=183865

It's actually an Oldforge brand.

To do the adjustment on the lower 'die' I welded a nut to a plate (for quick removal) and then threaded the carriage bolt through it, with a lock nut. Works pretty good... Please expand upon my simple design... this was built in about four hours one day when I REALLY needed it! :)


Ben

Clark
09-18-2005, 10:00 PM
Nice!!
Clark

HemiRambler
09-18-2005, 10:01 PM
Did someone say $50 air planisher???? Here's mine! I too built this a few years ago. As Ian mentioned - I chose the flexible frame approach. I've only used it on aluminum and for that it's been great. I don't think I'd be near as happy with it if I wanted to do any serious shaping in steel, but for aluminum it will shape and planish pretty good.

Notice there's 2 air regulators on mine - one is for the planishing hammer (aircraft rivet gun) and the other is for my "air cushion" lower support. The lower anvil holder is mounted on a "piston" - you can turn it on/off via a foot pedal to allow you to CLAMP the panel in place - albeit lightly clamped (relatively speaking) this has several benefits - first it AUTOMATICALLY aligns your panel. Next it DAMPENS the vibration. Prior to having this feature my hands would start to ache after a couple hours of use. Now I can run it all day long - with no ill effects - that day or afterwards!!!!!

striper
09-19-2005, 07:55 AM
Excellent.:D


Many guys will make their planishing hammer frames not nearly as stiff,
that way they are less likely to stall out the air motor.

If you've seen Fat Butler's planishing hammer,it is a classic example of this.
The "springyness" of the frame lets it deflect to accomidate waves and ripples in the panel.

Of course,if you are using a BIG rivet gun,this isn't a problem.

O/T...I did a semester night course in panel fab a few years ago so I understand the basics but I'd like to know: If I'm just starting to tool up for sheetmetal work would I find a planishing hammer like this one more useful or a E-wheel? This hammer looks like a good start, simple and cheap to build.

Good post.

Pete

Flathead Youngin'
09-19-2005, 08:07 AM
I love you guys! This is great stuff......

thanks for sharing...

bcarlson
09-19-2005, 08:25 AM
O/T...I did a semester night course in panel fab a few years ago so I understand the basics but I'd like to know: If I'm just starting to tool up for sheetmetal work would I find a planishing hammer like this one more useful or a E-wheel? This hammer looks like a good start, simple and cheap to build.

Good post.

Pete

I've used my p-hammer for everything down to 14 gauge steel with good results. However, keep in mind that a p-hammer and an ewheel do MANY of the same things. I believe Wray Schelin (GOD of jaguar body panels, and other very rare parts duplication) explained it to me as an e-wheel is best for large gradual curves, etc. whereas a p-hammer (and this is in my experience) is best for cleaning up smaller (maybe 1-2" diameter) dents and dings. The way I looked at it was... hrm, $50 for a p-hammer... or $$$$$'s of dollars for an e-whell? I built the p-hammer and have been pretty darn happy. But you'd be best off paying as much for ear plugs as for the parts to build it! :)

Ben

Unkl Ian
09-19-2005, 03:35 PM
Planishing hammers are ideal for finesing tight little spots.
Ideally,you'd have one of each.

If I could only have one,I'd have an English wheel.
But that is based on personal preferance,
and would depend on the type of work you want to do.

Don't forget to factor the cost of a big compressor into the equation as well,
if you don't have one already.

Crusty Nut
09-19-2005, 03:45 PM
Been looking at these for a while thinking about this. this post rules.:)

bcarlson
09-19-2005, 08:41 PM
Planishing hammers are ideal for finesing tight little spots.
Ideally,you'd have one of each.

If I could only have one,I'd have an English wheel.
But that is based on personal preferance,
and would depend on the type of work you want to do.

Don't forget to factor the cost of a big compressor into the equation as well,
if you don't have one already.

I believe what Unkl Ian is getting at is P-hammers are not going to help you relax and get settled in for a night of yoga. However they have their place, and for the cost/functionality, I'd build one any day of the week, rather than waiting months for an e-wheel (which mine is in a stagnant form of construction, and is much more complex, and expensive to build, yet is much MUCH more peaceful and relaxing to use!)

Ben

Unkl Ian
09-19-2005, 08:56 PM
An English wheel doesn't have to be expensive,
IF you can do all your own machining.But it is
definately a LOT more work to make a nice one.
Each anvil wheel is a project in it's self.

A pneumatic planishing hammer is a lot less work,
and gives a very good return on the time and money invested.

The lower cost option is to spend a lot more time with a hammer and dolly.

Scrap Heap
09-19-2005, 09:16 PM
That's fricken awesome!!! I'm going through the scrap heap tomorrow at work for some tubing!!

pimpin paint
09-19-2005, 09:30 PM
Hey,

the learning curve on an E-wheel is much greater ,to produce dead- nuts
spot- on panels over the planishing hammer. Also, if your gowl is smaller
patch panels, as over larger swoopie '32-'34 like ford fenders, the "P"
hammer will get ya there faster, not to say better, just faster. Those
smaller panels can be a bitch to work with standard, real E-wheel anvils.

Kent White (Tin man) in California, sells plans, hammers, rough blanked
E-wheel anvils, and if you're in tall cotton, complete tools: E-wheels &
planishing hammers. Ron Covell and Ron Fournier, also top drawer guys,
sell a full line of tools as well.

Best deal goin', for a hot rodder is the Metalshapers web site.....over
five years on the web ,thousands of posts devoted ta buildin' and using
your own metalshaping tools, all for the price of zip, zilch, nada! give' er
a shot.

bcarlson
09-19-2005, 09:38 PM
Hey,

the learning curve on an E-wheel is much greater ,to produce dead- nuts
spot- on panels over the planishing hammer. Also, if your gowl is smaller
patch panels, as over larger swoopie '32-'34 like ford fenders, the "P"
hammer will get ya there faster, not to say better, just faster. Those
smaller panels can be a bitch to work with standard, real E-wheel anvils.

Kent White (Tin man) in California, sells plans, hammers, rough blanked
E-wheel anvils, and if you're in tall cotton, complete tools: E-wheels &
planishing hammers. Ron Covell and Ron Fournier, also top drawer guys,
sell a full line of tools as well.

Best deal goin', for a hot rodder is the Metalshapers web site.....over
five years on the web ,thousands of posts devoted ta buildin' and using
your own metalshaping tools, all for the price of zip, zilch, nada! give' er
a shot.

Actually, if you look, I originally posted this same thread about two years ago on metalmeet.org... it's the same thing... I just think there are alot of scammers out there trying to get a guy to spend $800 on a POS hammer, when really, a little ingenuity, and thinking goes a long ways.

Nothing against some of the names you've mentioned... they are top notch in their fields, but again, they have their names on some (IMHO) sub-par tooling. If you're looking for a good e-wheel go check out Kerry Pinkerton's wheels... they are solid, expensive, and FREAKING WORK!

Ben

FiddyFour
09-19-2005, 11:14 PM
Hey Ben,,, you got a parts list for the foot controls and all that? i been contemplating building one, and a small e-wheel for my shop, mostly just for the experiance of building one (the wheel that is) any sources or part numbers would be great

TA

Traves

tisdelski
09-20-2005, 01:14 AM
actually ben, its www.metalmeet.com (http://www.metalmeet.com) not to be confused with www.allshops.org (http://www.allshops.org) home of the metalshapers group. how come you don`t post on mm anymore?
gary

bcarlson
09-20-2005, 09:55 AM
actually ben, its www.metalmeet.com (http://www.metalmeet.com) not to be confused with www.allshops.org (http://www.allshops.org) home of the metalshapers group. how come you don`t post on mm anymore?
gary

Hey Gary the guys at MM are awesome, treated me (heck, still do) wonderfully, just had some life stuff come up, and am only now getting back into this stuff. I'm trying to keep up on the posts over there, but I only have so much time. Long story short, bought a house, got a Significant Other, S/O has a young daughter (so we love spending time with her... I print out drawings of cars for her to color for my office walls! :), parent's having health issues, I'm having health issues, etc. Gotta keep my chin up, and this seems to be the place for me right now... I try to stop back there once in a while though...

Take care guys!

Ben

bcarlson
09-20-2005, 10:00 AM
Hey Ben,,, you got a parts list for the foot controls and all that? i been contemplating building one, and a small e-wheel for my shop, mostly just for the experiance of building one (the wheel that is) any sources or part numbers would be great

TA

Traves


Traves, you expect a foot control for under $50??!!? :) HA! :) I use a loose zip tie! :) You'd be best checking out some of the other guys solutions over at http://www.metalmeet.org... some guys are using $75 air foot feeds, some made linkages, etc. I'm cheap.

Ben

hotrod54chevy
09-20-2005, 10:42 AM
wow,$50 for a p-hammer..all i need to know now is how to get a cheap e-wheel,shrinker/stretcher and a break and i'll be good!..any more home-made tool techs?
creepy

HemiRambler
09-20-2005, 11:22 AM
FWIW Building tools is like building cars - some spend a bunch while others don't spend hardly anything at all. You don't need fancy machinery (but a little helps) what you really need is some determination. Like i said - it's just like building a car/hot rod. This is an older pic of my ewheel - I have since made a full set of lower anvils (rollers) on the lathe. And just like a hot rod - it to has evolved - I now have a "quick change" upper wheel and some other accessories as well.
just thinking out loud......


wow,$50 for a p-hammer..all i need to know now is how to get a cheap e-wheel,shrinker/stretcher and a break and i'll be good!..any more home-made tool techs?
creepy

Flathead Youngin'
09-20-2005, 11:47 AM
wow,$50 for a p-hammer..all i need to know now is how to get a cheap e-wheel,shrinker/stretcher and a break and i'll be good!..any more home-made tool techs?
creepy


I think there is a break in the tech archive......if not, do a search...it was pretty good....

HEMI: Nice looking ewheel.......I wouldn't have a clue how to use one, but I'd sure like to build one........I'm willing to learn, though..

FiddyFour
09-20-2005, 04:05 PM
HEMI: Nice looking ewheel.......


i was thinkin the same thing about that Wheel... i like how you put the tensioner wheel down low for foot control while you are wheeling a piece

HemiRambler
09-20-2005, 05:07 PM
wow,$50 for a p-hammer..all i need to know now is how to get a cheap e-wheel,shrinker/stretcher and a break and i'll be good!..any more home-made tool techs?
creepy


Hey Creepy - I forgot to mention I have right around 200 bucks in the Ewheel and nearly half of that was buying the upper caster.

ANd since you mentioned a BRAKE - here's a TEMPORARY radius brake I made to roll the edges of my dragster cowling. The tubing was some thinwall exhaust (collector) tubing I had laying around.


Hey FiddyFour - I personally like the lower foot control as some of my panels are rather LONG and need both hands on them, however the current philosophy seems to embrace the UPPER hand control (top mounted) which can allow on to allow more clearance - personal preference mixed with needs - I guess.


Flathead Youngin' - I am willing to learn too!!!!! That's ALL a fella really NEEDS isn't it.

fitzee
09-20-2005, 08:50 PM
Is it possible to get a close up on the bottom with the carrage bolt.Great hammer.nice job.

fitzee

bcarlson
09-21-2005, 07:25 AM
In my four or five total hours on an ewheel, I prefer the upper wheel. There is more clearance for smaller radius items under the lower wheel this way, but then you have issues with adjustments, etc. Go to http://www.metalmeet.com and look around, there are about eight billion different designs.

If anyone comes across that sheetmetal brake, I'd be interested... I need to fix some rockers and floor pans... I bought the angle this past weekend, but can't seem to find the plans now... oh well, off to the doctor. :)

Ben

John_Kelly
09-21-2005, 08:13 AM
"And now for something completely different" I made a hammer that stretches faster than a planishing hammer while leaving a fairly smooth surface. I have not had time to do more development, but it is very promising so far. The only change from the album below is now I use a grade 8 bolt instead of a carriage bolt.

See this album:

http://allshops.org/cgi-bin/community/communityalbums.cgi?action=openalbum&albumid=9980189187023

A picture...

John www.ghiaspecialties.com