View Full Version : Shopmade planishing hammer???

03-20-2005, 11:49 AM
I'm almost finished the indexer for my lathe spindle so will be moving on to another project. I've read some blurbs and seen a set of plans for sale for way too much money for a planisher using an ordinary air chisel. I saw one on TV the other day and it looked really simple. I'd like to know if anyone here has built one and whether it was worthwhile? Thanks!
BTW...The setup I'm talking about is mounted on a good sized "C" frame similar to an English wheel.

[This message has been edited by torker (edited 03-20-2005).]

03-20-2005, 12:11 PM
I have not used one but keep us posted on how it turns out as I have been thinking about building one also

Matt in AK

03-20-2005, 12:13 PM
I got one that works.

A go cart wheel rotating on a eccentric, inside a diamond like cage to get the "up & Down" then slider in the top rail of the english wheel frame. (want it to hit harder, just add more air)

A gearbox/motor w./inverter drive to provide the drive. I am using CCW's waa waa pedal to control speed on the "multi use" inverter and plug.

I was planning on posting pictures as soon as it was up/all the dies made. (I got busy on the house addition)

FOR right now? pick up a Eastwood catalog and make you some of the hammer dies/anvils they are selling. I have drawings somewhere of them too.

My english wheel frame, I made so I have a 2x2 socket similar to a car hitch reciever. You can change tools out in seconds to do more than one thing. I have the "spot welder" stuck in there since the other night, saves from trying to hold it, my small 12" box brake, press, model 3 bender, HF strap-bender all can set into the socket in seconds.

I posted the picture/size drawing of the english-wheel frame for Alistair but been a while back.

03-20-2005, 12:52 PM
David, Thanks for the "multi use" ideas! This thing is going to take up enough room as it is so it might as well serve more than one purpose. Great idea...now that I think about it! I was going to build a table for my bead roller, it'd fit on this frame easy with a socket like you mentioned. Also my ring roller would fit on there too. Thanks!

03-20-2005, 02:31 PM
If we can figure out a way to make the top rail-arm swivel out of the way, I'd like mine even more. It needs to be secure when it is over the lower socket to stop the "harmonics" as you are wheeling something.

It humms. as you may or may not know this imparts chatter marks into thin metal.
Weight is the best damper. The best english wheels are cast iron and weigh about a ton.

Come up with "us" some kind of rigid swivel mechanism for the top and I'll convert mine.
Benefits would be the Hammer dollys, hammer it into shape on the dolly, they wheel the knots out of the metal. Mucho faster for me.

The lil impact pneumatic chisels are not hitting hard enough to use any anvil/form except one about the size of a dime. With the thicker metals it barely does work.

Mikey bumped his head on the top socket on my frame, (as we concentrated on spot welding) the overhead clearance as you hammer is needed too.

ALSO? have you seen the power shrinkers? I need a plan.drawings on one to figure out how they work. I see the serrated jaws actually moving into a wedge, spring loaded back out. One side or both?

03-20-2005, 04:00 PM
Yep, the combo tools are nice especially if you're pressed for space. I built my E-wheel, P-Hammer and Tinner's station all-in-one. Since I heard Dave talk about his "multipurpose tool holder", I've been converting just about all my stuff to fit the tinner's station. (Thanks Dave!)



03-20-2005, 04:26 PM
Pretty CCW.

You see all the neat forming anvils at Eastwood? I thought I invented them. Made me kinda sick. I was rushing some to ebay when it hit me I ain't the only one. I flipped the switch into being a carpenter for a while.
I don't see a sandbag flat table there. I have a 3/4" thick table about a foot x 2 feet on substantial legs. I also have a old railroad iron on legs that works great too. It takes two people to properly position and beat on it thou.

Sandbag forming is neat. Hammers.. ya gotta have a dozen to start.. Ones made from torch bottle caps, ones made from solid bar, UHMW ones, ball peen, pointed ones..

[This message has been edited by ibewgypsie (edited 03-20-2005).]

03-20-2005, 04:35 PM
Ken, Thanks for showing that! Pretty darn nice! What is the air hammer setup you have there? Also, what size of shot are you guys using in your shot bags? There's an old guy up here who makes shot if ya bring him wheel weights. I've shot about a ton of it at targets. He'd be pissed if he found out I was beatin the snot out of his finely crafted shot http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif.
David...another good idea with the gas bottle cap hammer.

03-20-2005, 04:56 PM
I got sand in my bag, Home depot play-sand to be exact. 1.99 a bag.

I got ahold of some leather, sewed up a bag on the singer leather machine I have tried to sell 4 times on ebay now.. Now, I broke the one needle I had for it. Changing needles means changing timing on machine which takes about a hour.

I couldn't afford the leather shot bags.


03-20-2005, 07:07 PM
There is a pretty comprehensive article about a building homemade planishing hammer in the current issue of "The Horse, Backstreet Choppers", which is a magazine dedicated to home constructed/modified motorcycles. I think it describes just what you are interested in. The magazine is available at most larger newsstands (Borders, etc.).

Smoking Crater
03-20-2005, 08:32 PM
TM Technologies sells plans and kits for planishing hammers. I have a couple of his videos and I recommend them. I have seen his products first hand at the Oshkosh Airshow and they are quality. His web site is www.tinmantech.com. (http://www.tinmantech.com.)

Your Old Dog
03-20-2005, 09:05 PM
don't know if you went thru Smoking Craters site but when I did I found this


It seems to answer your question.


03-20-2005, 09:21 PM
What power hammer are you using...and where can you get them?

I am talking about the rivet style, not the simply power hammer that you can get at harbor freight.


03-20-2005, 10:24 PM
I made a hammer using a 5X air riveter I got off of E-bay. Works great but is LOUD.

Pictures are at the metalmeet group.

I did have a problem with seperating the upper hammer head. I fixed it using a #9 taper pin reamer and cutting a identical taper in the shank going into the gun. If it even thinks of coming loose the next hit of the hemmer tightens it back up. The hammer face is made from a old axle shaft heat treated.


Michael Moore
03-20-2005, 11:35 PM
The small planishing hammers that work seem to use rivet guns, not air chisels or needle scalers.

The best bet seems to me to either get a Chicago Pneumatic head or a Michigan Pneumatic replica


and build a planishing hammer around that.

I took a class from Kent White aka The Tinman and the rivet gun hammers do work very well, but you may need to have several different powers in the guns for big forming versus planishing which makes getting the CP-style head look a little more attractive. The dies and anvils are what really make the difference.

I've had the plans for Kent's benchtop hammer for several years, but I've never figured out how to muffle the noise enough to not have my neighbors putting out contracts on me.


03-21-2005, 12:28 AM
My hammer is made from the HF needle scaler. When you pull the needle section off, there's a nice near-flat die that can be used. I like the scaler because it uses the square die shank. I can index my dies! (shapes, shrink, etc.) And, it pounds the crap out of metal.

Oh yea, the bag. I use mine on a stump siting on concrete. Almost zero rebound. I'm working on (collecting parts for) a Helve hammer. Sure saves the arm. I use patio sand in mine. The kind they use to fill between bricks or flagstone. It's a courser mix than the play sand. Seems to cup easier/faster with better results. Lead shot is ok, if you don't have to move it very often.

You don't have to go buy a riveter. The cheap air hammers will work for most metal projects. The only thing is that you have to use smaller dies. The throttle is poor on the air hammers but once you have the air pressure set for your task, who cares.

[This message has been edited by CCWKen (edited 03-21-2005).]

03-21-2005, 12:34 AM
Lots of good pointers brought up! What do you think of a mechanical setup like this very, very crude drawing that I just happened to find on my desk?
I bet this would get things shaking http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif. You could vary the stroke length with different holes in the eccentric flywheel.

[This message has been edited by torker (edited 03-21-2005).]

03-21-2005, 12:51 AM
Oh yea, now I see the pic.

That should work but you need a way to have "give" in the system. If you jam the dies, everything comes to a stop in a hurry. Somethings going to break.

03-21-2005, 01:02 AM
The give in my eccentric is the go cart tire.
The old timey power hammers have two leaf springs connected to the ram. The leaf is what actually does the work.

[This message has been edited by ibewgypsie (edited 03-21-2005).]

03-21-2005, 06:12 AM
Might want to try this site for sheetmetal working...loads of info great bunch of guys that are very willing to help out.
www.metalmeet.com (http://www.metalmeet.com)

03-21-2005, 09:13 PM
Yea good point Kirk. You mean this isn't MM? Dang, I'm on the wrong forum. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif