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TECH: Quick Slapper/Flipper from a leaf spring

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by BarryA, Mar 5, 2012.

  1. BarryA
    Joined: Apr 22, 2007
    Posts: 643


    Cheap, fast & good - here's one case where you can have all three!

    A slapper is a really handy tool for planishing and metalfinishing panels, I understand that you can buy them, just not sure why you would?

    Just grab an old leaf and mark it out (that's about 14" in the pic - working area about 7" long )


    Have at it with a slim disc on a small grinder


    Grind off the rust - take care not to gouge it or dig in with the edge though (perhaps I should have swapped that sanding disc out earlier:rolleyes:)

    Pop it in a vice or clamp it to something and heat it for the first bend


    Bend it about 60 degrees or so and heat about 3" further up the handle before bending this back to parallel with the working face


    Allow it to cool down slowly ( you may want to bury it in sand or mica, but for this application I find air cooling to be fine)


    Run it on a belt sander to get it all smoothed out. Right now you may be wishing for a late model O/T leaf spring - this piece of '48 one keeps it all traditional and HAMB-friendly but the trade-off is a little more pitting to deal with :D


    You could just add tape or a piece of rubber hose at this point. I went high-tech and epoxied on some scrap wood


    Rounded it off to a comfortable shape with the trusty Makita

    Take care to kill any sharp edges that will end up marking your panel. Same goes for surface imperfections - they will imprint onto the metal you're working. Start on the belt sander and then do the final blending with a DA


    Some folks will polish this with progresively finer grits on the DA to a mirror finish. The way I finish a wheeled panel, I like a little surface texture that shows my hit marks on the already shiny metal so I stop at 120 grit.
    Some string bound around the handle and call it good


    All told there's about 40 minutes in this (could have saved 15 on the handle) and maybe $3 materials. Couldn't even drive to the store for that.
    This way you can make up a couple with different sizes, radii and weights.
    Nice to have a good balance to them - this one could do with being about an inch shorter or have a little more weight in the handle.
    The only other thing to think about is making sure the kick up is high enough to keep your knuckles out the way of the metal...
  2. Hackerbilt
    Joined: Aug 13, 2001
    Posts: 6,251


  3. Molonewolf
    Joined: Jan 22, 2012
    Posts: 195


    Great pics, will be making one or two of them.
  4. Very cool.. I need one and have all the required pieces. Thanks for that!

  5. Dyce
    Joined: Sep 12, 2006
    Posts: 1,926


    Nice tool Barry!! I have one I left the jog out of and left the spring arc as is. It works great for the top of those '36 fenders I did.
  6. That turned out great!
  7. thunderbirdesq
    Joined: Feb 15, 2006
    Posts: 7,036


  8. Baddest spatula EVER. :cool: Y'all must make some skinny burgers down there in Africa though.....:confused::eek:

    Think I'll make myself one this week :cool: (a slapper....not a burger) Cool tech. ;)
  9. cgc1958
    Joined: Aug 22, 2011
    Posts: 302

    Member Emeritus
    1. 1957-59 Ranchero's

    Very cool! Home made tools are some of the best!
  10. mgtstumpy
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 9,005


    I did the same but used an old file, works great. Just as good as a bought one.
  11. I'd like to slap my ol' lady in the ass with that. Nice job.
  12. terryble
    Joined: Sep 25, 2008
    Posts: 541

    from canada

    jeez, showed my ol' lady this and now she wants me to make one, nice how she supports my hobby.
  13. redroaddog
    Joined: Apr 1, 2011
    Posts: 332


    kool tech!! have done that myself with a file and spring. i like yours better!!! i need the wood handle!! made so many tools over the years glad u shared urs...Dave:D
  14. love this. i had made one myself a month ago in very similar fashion.
  15. Gator
    Joined: Dec 29, 2005
    Posts: 4,016


    Cool - I LOVE cheap tech!
  16. rustednutz
    Joined: Nov 20, 2010
    Posts: 1,580

    from tulsa, ok

    Cool tool, and home made too. Now we need a tech thread on the proper use.
  17. WM3
    Joined: Aug 6, 2009
    Posts: 78


    Damn, I've been looking to buy one, but have a stack of old leafs in the corner. I guess I know what I'm doing this weekend.


  18. This^
  19. Thanks! Tech eveyone can use...................
  20. Kramer
    Joined: Mar 19, 2007
    Posts: 911


    x 2
  21. josh highley
    Joined: Nov 13, 2011
    Posts: 405

    josh highley

    Way cool! Great Idea!
  22. cederholm
    Joined: May 6, 2006
    Posts: 1,621



    Nice work and thanks for the post!
  23. johnboy13
    Joined: May 1, 2007
    Posts: 1,073


    terryble, was this just a coincidence, or is your ol' lady kind of a freak?
  24. -Brent-
    Joined: Nov 20, 2006
    Posts: 6,501


    I love this project. I'm putting this on my to-do list, for sure! Great work.
  25. vanst603
    Joined: Oct 2, 2011
    Posts: 49

    from New York

    Great tool! My Buddy Hamber Bob made 2 of these slappers from a C1 Corvette spring I had a few months ago. I also purchased a "shrinking disc" as well and I'm very happy with the success I'm getting "slapping and shrinking".
  26. falconsprint63
    Joined: May 17, 2007
    Posts: 2,359

    from Mayberry

    nice. have had a spring lying around for just this purpose. maybe this will get me off my butt to do it.
  27. Firepower71
    Joined: Nov 22, 2010
    Posts: 145

    from Atlanta

    Hell yeah. I'm going to make one tomorrow with the 60 year old leafs I have. Thanks!
  28. Firepower71
    Joined: Nov 22, 2010
    Posts: 145

    from Atlanta

    Two more reasons to love the HAMB. :D
  29. islandcoupe
    Joined: Feb 27, 2012
    Posts: 1

    from Tacoma WA

    cool tool, even better that it is home made
  30. von Dyck
    Joined: Apr 12, 2007
    Posts: 678

    von Dyck

    Many of the tools we use are not HAMB friendly!

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