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Old 10-15-2017, 12:52 PM
DanMcG DanMcG is offline
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Default Hammer weight question

I've had some good success removing dents in 19 gauge body panels using basic body hammers and dollies. but now I'm working on the bed sides of a 77 chevy stepside thats 16 gauge and the dents don't move much. Should I use a heavier hammer for thicker steel? I was thinking to polish up a ball peen and go at it, but I'm not sure that would be the proper way.
TIA, Dan
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Old 10-15-2017, 07:39 PM
crystallographic crystallographic is offline
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Originally Posted by DanMcG View Post
I've had some good success removing dents in 19 gauge body panels using basic body hammers and dollies. but now I'm working on the bed sides of a 77 chevy stepside thats 16 gauge and the dents don't move much. Should I use a heavier hammer for thicker steel? I was thinking to polish up a ball peen and go at it, but I'm not sure that would be the proper way.
TIA, Dan
Hi Dan,
If you have a torch handy, you might want to sand the whatever coating remains down to clean on both sides in the dent area, and then warm the spot to black heat*. Whack when torch is set away. Back up with hefty block of flat steel. Whack only as long as you hear and feel the hollow of only hitting sheet. Stop when hearing and feeling the dead/solid of contacting your back up block.

Cooling hot mild steel sheet (1018, CRS, "rimsteel" :
(this author's opinion, freely given, and worth exactly what you paid for it)

I have heard and seen and repaired steel areas "repaired" by the "heat it up and throw cold water on it" flock. I just sent away a job last week - a 55Chev step-side, a cherry rig, but with the nastiest warped "heat- beat-quench" dance routine that Bo Jangles would have had trouble keeping step with. From the inside, that cab roof looked like a battlefield, complete with the sun gleaming through the myriad cracks of dawn.
The owner said he brought it in for me to shrink and level - not to weld a patch in. I responded that the job needed more than shrinking - that the welding on that lifeless metal would have induced many more cracks in the hardened brittle steel.

Don't quench the hot steel. Work it as it cools, shrinking, shrinking, and then leveling. The trick is not to let the steel cool so much that it feels hard to hammer down. Then leave it alone. Walk away.
Come back in an hour.
Then analyze/straightedge/spray with slow enam reducer.

Easy to intellectually grok, but far more fun to practice

for a few hours....

*http://www.tngun.com/blacksmithing-color-chart/
I grabbed this heat chart, of many various available. Read carefully.

--- For this '50's GM "civilian" pickup, "dark gray" is what you find on this chart.
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Last edited by crystallographic; 10-15-2017 at 08:16 PM.
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Old 10-16-2017, 06:03 AM
DanMcG DanMcG is offline
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Thanks For the advice Kent.
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Old 10-17-2017, 03:47 AM
Gojeep Gojeep is offline
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I have even hammer dollied the frame rails on my project, 4mm steel, just using a mash hammer and railroad track as a dolly! Sometimes ball pien hammers. The thicker the steel and the more you need to move it, the heavier the hammer. I don't have the luxury of a oxy set so have to do it the harder way, but can be done.
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Old 10-18-2017, 05:37 AM
DanMcG DanMcG is offline
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Thanks for that Marcus
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Old 10-18-2017, 09:00 AM
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Steve Hamilton Steve Hamilton is offline
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Hi Dan
The weight of the dolly must be much heavier than the weight of the hammer!
If the dolly is too little in mass it will just bounce away from the metal with each hammer blow. The force of the hammer needs to exceed the strength of the metal!!!

Steve
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Old 10-18-2017, 12:32 PM
crystallographic crystallographic is offline
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P1040454copy.jpg
Top hammer is one I use for straightening frames. 11lb.
Middle one is for shaping sheet. 3lb.
Bottom one is a 14oz deep reach double face body hammer, heavy enough for shrinking 16ga steel, hot.

Working dents out of flat panels can be tricky, but enough advise already given for that, above.
(A hammer that is too heavy will stretch easily.)
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Last edited by crystallographic; 10-19-2017 at 09:58 AM.
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Old 10-19-2017, 05:34 PM
kustomdog kustomdog is offline
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Default Shrinking with a hammer????

I understand Hammer on dolly Stretches metal and hammer off dolly MOVES the metal back to were it was in dent straightening but how would you SHRINK with a hammer????? THANKS
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Old 10-20-2017, 01:44 PM
John Buchtenkirch John Buchtenkirch is offline
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Over a period of 45 plus years Iíve picked up quite a few hammers at swap meets, garage sales and even bought a few new early on. As Iíve aged I find I like a heavier body hammerÖÖÖ. working under the theory of letting the heavier head do the work rather than me swinging from the roof. Below is a Sears hammer I bought in 71 or 72 compared to a similar Pexto hammer that the head weighs nearly twice as much to show my point. I kinda laugh at that Sears hammer today wondering how I straightened anything with it but compared to the 7 piece sets from Asia itís actually a somewhat quality hammer. ~ John Buchtenkirch

P.S. Early on I used to break 2 or 4 hammer handles a year, now I only break one every 2 or 3 years. Donít know if itís because Iím weaker now or Iím finally hitting the metal correctly or a combination of both ??

Final P.S. If you donít dress your hammer faces youíre just not in my league. Just remember every hammer edge mark you leave in the metal is actually a directional stretch, dress your hammers accordingly.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!GRO.jpg

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!GR.jpg

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!GROU.JPG>>
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