Introduction: Cheap Homemade Planishing Hammer (BIG RED )

So the plan is build a planishing hammer that is cheaper than what is on the market currently (lowest is 250+) while still working well on steel body panels.

Step 1: By the Key Component

I bought a needle scraper from harbor freight with the 25% coupon I bought the more expensive one as it had a higher BPM rating and it seemed a little more substantial. here is the one Now when you get it there will be some extra stuff in the package that is not needed for this such as the needles. As I go along we will see what is needed and not needed. I may or may not keep the lower mounting tube as its kind of loose and I want to make something that will not only work but compete against some of the "cheaper" planishing hammers out there the cheapest I have found is woodward fab so far which is 300+ or eastwoods that is 260+. So let's keep a running tally of cost to see if we come in under either of those. so Right now the project is at $45. that will definitely go up as I need to create a new head (what is now the needle holder), possibly remake the needle tube, Create dies, most importantly we need to make a frame.

Step 2: Modifications to the Needle Scaler

As stated before the needle holder won't really work with what I have envisioned. As I want to be able to change the top anvil without tearing the whole thing apart as the needle tube holds a spring that makes it a bear to get off. . Now I did a basic design of the tool itself to test fitment.

After some good ole google searching I found that the extra top anvil I made while could be used as a way to move metal faster (or at least that's the thought) I could just use the upper part of the needle scaler as the air hammer.

Step 3: Dies

So now for the dies Im going to start out with some simple dies as I don't have a radius tool for my lathe. Now since I bought a peice of round stock for the head I'm going to use the same material for the dies to save some money. the material I chose was 1018 cold rolled so to make sure I have decent hardness.

I only had time and the ability to make 1 die (flat) because I did not have a radius tool for my lathe. Ill post updates as I make the others.

Step 4: The Frame

This is the part that could be designed and built in many ways. now since I don't have a tube bender and I don't want to pay a weld shop to bend a frame I am going to weld the frame together. Looking at other expensive hammers most have 2 different lower arms one bent and one straight for doing different task on different panels. So I wanted to do something similar. Now for clamping the there is and expensive clamp that I could buy but I don't want to spend 200 bucks on a clamp so I designed my own cheap clamp on the fly by using a few pieces of scrap and tig welding them together. The frame dimensions are a little large its total footprint is 40x36 with a working area of 36x28 I would rather have it large now than have to build it bigger later. Although it weighs about 30-40 pounds by itself.
As a side note the frame was designed to be much stronger than necessary as I may convert it over to a power hammer at some point because there are some things a power hammer can do that a planishing hammer cant.

After welding it all up I painted it up with some implement paint to make sure it wont rust too fast.

Step 5: The Test

at this point I decided to test BIG RED and it works although it still needs 2 bolts and a lower frame.
The cost so far is 45 for the scaler, 97 for the square tube frame and the die material, 10 for the vertical upright. so my total is $152 (not including power for the lathe and welder.) so I was able to build it for cheaper than what I could have bought one.

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