No announcement yet.

Hammers and dollies and files. Oh my!

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Hammers and dollies and files. Oh my!

    Finally we're getting to hit something in my autobody class. This seems to be something I'm pretty good at doing. The instructor was even impressed with my work.

    This guy teaches what he calls 'metal finishing'. We're tapping out dents that won't require any filler when we're finished. Even dents along body lines. And they're not small dents either.

    I always wondered what a body file was used for. And I always wondered how a body man knew when he had the dents knocked out right. Now I know.

  • #2
    share the wealth!

    I know you can't turn us into qualified bashers on a forum, but some hints and secrets?


    • #3
      Easy peasy where there is concave and you want straight hammer on the underside to bring the concave back to where it should be it it becomes convex you have hammered too much and need to hammer on the upside to make the convex more flat i.e more concave but not too much concave as to go back too the start easy peasy I told you so Alistair
      Please excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease


      • #4
        Gee Alistair, you must have been in my class last night! You gave a perfect descritpion of how to fix a dent.

        [This message has been edited by pgmrdan (edited 01-31-2006).]


        • #5
          I remember hammering on a Road Runner fender. A guy came in, Asked What are you doing? I replied playing with my pecker. I had named my favorite hammer woodpecker.

          I chased that dent from one end of the fender to the other several times. The car had a supercharger on a 440/4speed, would twist the body up like a pretzel and I was worried about a lil dent.

          Now, I feel privilidged just to have touched it. It wasn't mine, but it kept coming around for me to work on. You had to sit on the fender and squirt gasoline into the carbs to crank it when cold. The rich kid would drag it down the shop, I'd crank it and then he'd go play around Chattanooga. I don't know what he did when I left the area for a while. It probably is sitting in a garage somewhere with dust on it.

          Excuse me, I farted.


          • #6
            One of the guys ended up with an 'oil can' dent. The instructor fixed it with an O/A torch. Good as new!

            Amazing stuff.

            I know it takes a lot of practice to get good at it and the instructor makes it look really easy. But some of the techniques seem to be fairly easy but not something you'd come up with on your own. I'm glad I'm taking the class.

            [This message has been edited by pgmrdan (edited 01-31-2006).]


            • #7
              Dry ice will work as well as a torch.

              I watched a guy with awe. he had a block of Dry ice going around and around hail damage dents. The dent got smaller and smaller then dissapeared. Paint was not affected.

              Ask the instructor about this.

              They total out cars with extensive hail damage.
              Excuse me, I farted.


              • #8
                I mentioned a little while back about the instructor popping a dent with an O/A torch. He didn't touch the fender. He just spiraled the torch well above the sheet metal and the dent raised up and was gone.

                He said he's fixed new cars after a hail storm doing this type of thing and the paint wasn't affected.

                With the oil can dent he actually shrank 3 spots with the O/A torch to fix it.

                I know that when it comes to cars people just love MIG machines but an O/A outfit has plenty of uses too, probably more.

                [This message has been edited by pgmrdan (edited 01-31-2006).]


                • #9
                  Years ago I bought a truck with a fairly large dent on the front fender. Although the dent was deep there was only slight creasing around part of the dent's perimeter. Because of the inner fender, the outer skin had to come off to be pounded out.

                  After the fender was off it was lunch break time so the fender was left on the grass in hot sun.

                  An hour or so in the hot sun and the dent almost totally fixed itself. At first I was sure one of my smart ass neighbors had fixed it while I was eating.

                  Memory of the metal??

                  The crease around the dent was so slight I put it right back on and it was hardly noticeable.


                  • #10
                    My fist has popped more dents than I think I have with a hammer.

                    Metal does have a memory. If you get down and sight down the fender thou, it remembers the dent.. ha ha..

                    A hotrod with a lot of horsepower twists the whole body. Makes the body look like crap.
                    Excuse me, I farted.


                    • #11
                      Dave ain't kidding. One of the better tricks for street racing was to look at the rear quarters because the opposition isn't going to open the hood - they'res money involved afterall.

                      You avoid the cars with the rippled quarters. I've only seen that twice, one was a big inch(500+)NoX fed Box nova. It was reputed to be the fastest street car in the entire borough.


                      This Old Shed
                      EGO partum , proinde EGO sum


                      • #12

                        I agree that O/A is amazing in its versatility. I just took a welding class and enjoyed more of the O/A than stick and mig combined. The instructor said that in general, though, keep O/A away from newer cars. He said the large heat affected area tended to weaken the high strength alloys they are using more today.

                        Just something he said that could be worth mentioning. I'm not sure how important it really is, though.



                        • #13

                          Yep, we covered that issue also.

                          I've seen in some books that HSS (high strength steel) panels should never be repaired but replaced. Apparently, since this guy was a GM instructor, GM teaches otherwise.

                          He did caution not to overheat large portions of HSS panels.

                          What I'm seeing is that they repair just fine but they are terribly thin so O/A is more difficult to use than MIG when welding panels.


                          • #14
                            I built and installed probably three stitch timers into Mig welders.

                            Pull trigger, one thousand, two thousand three it cuts off. Operator adjustable.

                            You have to move around or you ruin the panel. It has more ripples and does not fit anymore. Not even a quart of bondo will make it better.

                            AND THE CHINA REPOP hotrod parts suck.

                            HTRN: yeah. I had a 69 camaro that would pull one front wheel. It cracked the windshield pulling that trick.

                            I'd fasten the seat belt, open the door and lean out and look at the tire, Stomp it, the tire would grow taller by inches, one wisp of smoke would come over the top, then the tire would dissapear. Then, you were going 60 and had better sit up.
                            That one had a mild 327, powerglide, Vega tork Convertor, a gear set and a few other goodies. It was rippled like a waffle.
                            The 4-bolt 350 I had in SEVEN cars would wheelstand the monza. I still have the engine stuck back. The monza - Iroc 5 speed got the valve springs. You could not shift fast enough to keep it out of redline.
                            I kinda wish I had that car back. I'd lose my license for sure.
                            Excuse me, I farted.


                            • #15
                              <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">One of the guys ended up with an 'oil can' dent. The instructor fixed it with an O/A torch.</font>
                              Did he also mention the shrink disk? It's also a good way to shrink--Without a torch. The only problem with a disk is that it craps the paint. But if you're hammering and filing, there's not much paint.

                              I finally got my power hammer up and going again. It's shrink dies work magic. Will your class include any metal shaping? (Making a panel from scratch)