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metalworking questions

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Concrete B, Jul 15, 2007.

  1. Concrete B
    Joined: May 12, 2007
    Posts: 228

    Concrete B

    Can someone explain the differences between all the different hammers and dollies for me? Or maybe direct me to websites, books, videos. or magazines good for learning metalshaping?

    I was checking out the tools at the goodguys show, and was overwhelmed at the variety. Are there any beginners kits worth buying?
    Joined: Feb 5, 2006
    Posts: 1,029


    I bought a cheap set at Harbor Freight to get me started. Other than that I use some heavy steel blocks I have laying around. The HF kit is cheap, but the hammers and dollies have sharp edges that should be ground down so they dont leave marks.
  3. I am not good enough to tell you what each tool does, but watch out for the HF stuff, got some for christmas some years ago and one of the hammers broke in half while in use. Yep, you guessed it, the other half hit me in the head! That explains alot!
  4. Hammers have computers and can't spell to good, dollies have pretty faces and nice bumps on the front.

  5. Concrete B
    Joined: May 12, 2007
    Posts: 228

    Concrete B

  6. ArchangelKustom
    Joined: Nov 15, 2006
    Posts: 196

    from NR/OH

    Call East wood and order the Martin "Keys to Metal Bumping" booklet. It was written in the 50's and has all the hammers, dollys, picks, etc. Great book and last I looked it was on sale...
  7. Slide
    Joined: May 11, 2004
    Posts: 3,022


    I second that motion! (Except you can get it cheaper elsewhere... I think someone said Summit carries it?)

    As for buying the tools, please stay away from entire sets that cost less tan $30. A claw hammer and a rock will do you more good than those.

    Eastwood sells a kit that's usually about $90, but they put it on sale sometimes for around $60. I caught it on sale at their booth at the Charlotte AutoFair. Not a bad deal at $60, but I think $90 woulda been a bit strong.
  8. Irrational Metalworks
    Joined: Feb 5, 2007
    Posts: 589

    Irrational Metalworks
    Alliance Vendor
    from DFW

  9. SaltCityCustoms
    Joined: Jun 27, 2007
    Posts: 1,210


  10. chad
    Joined: Jun 22, 2004
    Posts: 1,012


    May I suggest staying away from the cheap hammers...They do more harm than good most times...Save your money and buy some Martin hammers..The cheapies will mark easy and then that mark transfers over into your work and then makes more for for you..The price of Martin hammers are really reasonable for the quality you get.....Thats just my opinion..
  11. John_Kelly
    Joined: Feb 19, 2003
    Posts: 535


  12. Gigantor
    Joined: Jul 12, 2006
    Posts: 3,825


    There was an excellent article in Rod and Custom this last issue detailing some things about hammers and dollies I never would have thought. Besides describing the positives in benefits incheap vs. expensive, they mentioned things like beveled edges on hammers and POLISHING the surfaces of your dollies. I'd suggest picking it up BEFORE you invest in a set of hammers and dollies.
  13. litemupok
    Joined: Aug 13, 2006
    Posts: 114


    this mag still on the newstand?
  14. redhumphries
    Joined: Nov 21, 2006
    Posts: 423


    I have 24 different body hammers in my shop and another set at the house for my cars, I also have about 14 metal shaping hammers it has taken me 30 plus years to figure out all of them. I usually buy them as needed. get a general purpose dolly and a couple of general body hammers. one with a flat face, one with a slight crown, a small pick hammer . most hammers have 2 faces on them, one slight crown and the other side the pick. don't get a sharp pick hammer to start with you will do more damage than good. use one with less point so you don't poke holes. hope this helps RED
  15. pitman
    Joined: May 14, 2006
    Posts: 5,079


    Eastwood, Martin and other quality makers will give you tools worth having. Hammering out this old metal is an art, and you will over time build up a set that feels right. A few bucks on the decent tools will support the craft, as you learn it. I had to buy mine one at a time as a teen, no regrets about learning it in this way.
  16. pimpin paint
    Joined: May 31, 2005
    Posts: 4,937

    pimpin paint
    from so cal



    First question ya gotta ask is what do ya want to do with these
    hammers and dollys? Straighten a dent or two, or start a new
    vocation? Good body tools are expensive. Avoid "Kits", catalog
    sales and tool trucks, unless ya got more money than sence!
    Swapmeets, garage sales and yee bay all are good sources for
    good and cheap hammers and dollys.
    A general purpose (rail road) dolly, and a cross pein hammer
    will cover probably 80-90% of your needs, unless you're plan-
    ning on learning to metalfinish and metalshape panels.

    Swankey Devils C.C.
  17. Concrete B
    Joined: May 12, 2007
    Posts: 228

    Concrete B


    my current auto body needs are just to tap out some dents. I'd like to experiment with more tedious tasks though. Maybe build a small console, or something like that.
  18. fordcragar
    Joined: Dec 28, 2005
    Posts: 3,179

    from Yakima WA.

    Getting one of John's video's would be a good place to start.
  19. Concrete B
    Joined: May 12, 2007
    Posts: 228

    Concrete B

    I'll probably snag up a vid or 2 from John. Any discount for hambers or alliance members?

    I think I'm going to get a Martin kit from Auto Body Toolmart and go grom there.
  20. tdoty
    Joined: Jun 21, 2006
    Posts: 821


    A rail dollie, a toe dollie, a heel dollie and a Martin 153G would be a good place to start.

    Also, I'll likely be the first advocate of the HF hammers. The hammers and dollies they are selling now are worlds above what they used to carry. The HF door skin hammer is a personal favorite of mine. The dollies I got with the door skin hammer are holding up nicely too, just needed a bit of radiusing on the edges. I don't think I would order them from their catalog.............wouldn't have considered buying them had I not seen them in the store and actually held them in my hands. They used to sell cast iron hammers and dollies - and still might.

    Actually, I'd point to Dagger Tools over Martin as well. My Martin 153G was my favorite hammer.....until I picked up a similar Dagger hammer (a bit higher crown and different cross pein design). The Dagger already has radiused edges and a nicely polished face - work I had to do myself to my Martin - for less money. The polish has even held up well to my abuse. Dagger also sells dollies and other metalshaping tools.

    I'd also say that a slapper will carry you a lot further than a hammer for finishing----rough it out with a hammer and finish with a slapper. My favorite slapper was made from a '50 Chevy front spring.

    Tim D.
  21. Flathead Youngin'
    Joined: Jan 10, 2005
    Posts: 3,662

    Flathead Youngin'

    I didn't read all the replies...

    About 4-5 months ago, I picked up a whole set of Martin Hammers and dollys off of doubt they were ever used.....$100 .....anyway, I asked this same question and took pics of each of my tools and people answered it.......look back through my posts.....

    well, shoot, let me see if i can find it.....
  22. John_Kelly
    Joined: Feb 19, 2003
    Posts: 535


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