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Shopmade planishing hammer???

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  • Shopmade planishing hammer???

    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).]
    I have tools I don't even know I own...

  • #2
    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
    Matt in AK


    • #3
      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.


      • #4
        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 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!
        I have tools I don't even know I own...


        • #5
          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?


          • #6
            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!)


            • #7
              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).]


              • #8
                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 .
                David...another good idea with the gas bottle cap hammer.
                I have tools I don't even know I own...


                • #9
                  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.



                  • #10
                    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.).


                    • #11
                      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


                      • #12
                        don't know if you went thru Smoking Craters site but when I did I found this


                        It seems to answer your question.

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                        It is true, there is nothing free about freedom, don't be so quick to give it away.


                        • #13
                          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.



                          • #14
                            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.



                            • #15
                              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.