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 https://www.harborfreight.com/air-needle-scaler-61447.html 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.