Tag Archives: Hammer and Dolly

    • How to Fill and Shave Unused Holes in Your Project

      When building a custom, or resto-mod vehicle one of the most common modifications you can do is to "shave" or fill unused holes in the body of the vehicle. While I was waiting on metal to finish the Custom Running Board Build on Project Pile House, I decided to start shaving some of the unused holes in the bed of the truck. Since this truck was used as a farm truck most of its life, it's had countless brackets, hooks, and other do-dads added that left holes when I removed them. Even though the truck looks pretty rough in its current state, I have pipe dreams of this thing being a nice, solid truck someday, so shaving these unused holes is still progress!

      There are a few ways to fill unused holes in the body of your car or truck. The techniques really vary on the size of the holes. The key tip is to make sure you take the time to setup your welder for nice flat spot welds and leave time for the metal to cool between each weld.

      The easiest holes to fill are small holes about the diameter of a pen or smaller. For these types of holes I start by cleaning the area around the hole with an Angle Grinder and Flap Disc. Sheet metal on the body of cars and trucks is pretty thin (usually 18-22 gauge). So you won't have much forgiveness if you try to pile weld in the hole and you can end up with a bigger hole than you started with! For this reason I always like to use Copper Backers and Welders Helpers to back up and quickly fill the hole. MIG wire doesn't stick to the copper backer directing the weld to the edges of the hole and quickly filling small holes. Be sure to hit the trigger of the welder for a few seconds at a time. Properly adjusted MIG welders should make filling small holes only take a few seconds. A trick I use while the metal is still hot, is to take a Hammer and Dolly and flatten out the spot welds while they're still hot and soft. This will save you time and unneeded heat into the panel when you finish grind the panel with a flap disc.

      Shaving larger holes and openings in the body takes a little more time and care, but can be done with minimal tools. I again started by cleaning the area with a flap disc and angle grinder, then I took some metal from our Patch Panel Kit and traced the opening I was filling from behind.

      Once I had the basic shape, I roughly cut it out with Tin Snips. A grinder or power metal shears would work as well if desired(I've found for small pieces that tin snips work best). With the shape rough cut, I took the small piece to a Belt Sander or Grinder and carefully sanded the metal until it was just smaller than the opening I was filling (leave a small gap for the weld to bridge across).

      Once the patch panel is a good fit, I used a Magnetic Welding Jig to hold the metal in place for the first couple tack welds. Once the patch panel is lightly tacked, I removed the magnet and again use a copper backer or welders helper while spot welding around the hole. When welding these larger holes you need to make sure you jump around and weld in an "X" pattern allowing the panel to cool in between welds. Like the smaller holes, I like to hammer the welds with a hammer and dolly to flatten them out as much as possible.

      Once the hole has been filled and all of the gaps are closed, I took a flap disc and blended the weld into the surrounding metal, again stopping along the way to allow the metal to cool and avoid panel warpage.

      With some practice you can shave and fill holes on the body of your project and leave no trace of your work. Below you can see how the repair area is almost invisible and would only take a little more sanding and a small swipe of body filler to have the panel ready for primer and paint.

      Now that I have a few holes shaved on the bed of Pile House, I have officially caught the "smooth" bug and I'm already looking for other unneeded holes to fill and clean up the overall look of this project. Stay tuned for more updates as we keep working on turning this farm truck into a head turner!

      -Matt/EW

        Click Here To Read Full Post...
    • Eastwood Professional Body Hammer Comparison

      Hammers

      A constant question we receive when we launch new products is "How are you able to keep your products so affordable, while still retaining good quality?". A big part of the answer lies in our ability to design, test, and perfect Eastwood products here in-house. When we set to design a new hammer and dolly set, we did similar to what we did when designing our MIG, TIG, and Plasma. We took the key features and benefits of the "Professional Industry Standard" Martin Hammer and Dolly Set and integrated those into an Eastwood product that meets the same levels of performance. We did all of this while retaining a price tag that your Beginner OR Serious DIY guy could afford. It took quite some time working on this set, but we were able to come up with a kit that is precision balanced, and made out of the finest 4140 chromoly. This set will be something you can pass down to your kids! We wanted to show off the similarities and the quality of the Eastwood Professional 7-Piece Hammer and Dolly Set vs. the Martin kit mentioned earlier. Try it for 30 days, and if you hate the Eastwood kit or think the quality wasn't what we strive for; return it, and we will refund you for the product!

        Click Here To Read Full Post...
    • New Professional Hammer and Dolly Set. Fresh off the truck!

      We just got our shipment of our new Eastwood Professional Hammer and Dolly Sets in from our factory. I managed to grab one right off the truck and snap some pics. These are top notch quality. I have been using and abusing our pre-production test set of these, and they have been holding up quite well. Luckily I have some rough projects to put the kit through the paces with!

        Click Here To Read Full Post...
    • Even the best need guidance!

      Recently we added another "arsenal" to our auto body product line. Sometimes after hours, days, and even months of sanding filler and primer, you start to see "things". It makes you feel as if you are a shipwrecked sailor. You know the feeling, you're fine-tuning a dent that you had hit with the stud welder, laid some thin layers of filler over, and sanded diligently in between. All while running your hand along the panel to feel for low spots... before your eyes new low spots seem to "appear" and the original dent you started with seems to get even bigger!

      I've found that using a small bit of guide coat over a area you are filling or priming is very helpful in eliminating the doubts of a phantom low spot. Especially one that might show itself only after the car is painted and shiny. This is especially true for someone like myself that is a "novice" in the auto body field.

      Below I took some pictures of one of the bedsides on my 1981 VW Rabbit Pickup project. This truck originally had dealer installed bed rails that were used and abused to the max! So much so, that they had even pulled some of the threaded inserts out of the bed sides. Once I removed the bed rails, the bedsides looked similar to the water in your swimming pool after the kids have been playing in it for hours! Because I am going with a "clean" look for the truck, I will not be running bed rails in the future. This means I won't be able to hide the "waves" and oblong holes with the bed rail feet. So I began by using our hammer and dolly set to smooth out the major dents and high spots around the mounting holes. I then welded up the old mounting holes. I was then left with some smaller "waves" and low spots (and a couple pin holes in the welds), This is where the "sanding, filling, sanding more, filing more, sanding again" process occurred.

      Above you can see my first layer of Rage Extreme filler has been laid down. This Evercoat product is very user friendly. It is the first "pinhole free" body filler of it's kind according to them. I was a little skeptical, but after using it numerous spots on the body of this "field find", I had quickly forgotten about my glazing putty. I then blocked the area to 320 and I still felt like there was a small low spot right near the back end of the bedside. I sprayed the black guide coat (it also comes in TAN for those of you using a dark colored filler, or black primer) over the entire top of the bedside. I've found doing a extremely light coat over the area, holding the can about 12" away works best. You can see in the last picture it looks like a light bit of dust over the top of the beside.

      You can see in the first picture the sanding process halfway through. As you sand lightly, the majority of the guide coat sands off quite quickly. You will notice that low spots will leave behind the guide coat and pretty much outline the remaining low spot. In the second picture you can see as I had suspected, a noteworthy low spot. It is right where one of the mangled mounting holes for the bed rails was. I even took a picture of this area before I started the guide coat process (last picture in the series). Following this, I reapplied another concentrated coat of filler over the dent, block sanded to 320 again, and repeated the guide coat process. This eliminated the worries I had of having a the tops of the bedsides all wavy. I will surely be using the guide coat quite a bit when I put the body in primer next week!

      You can find the Rage Extreme filler and our new guide coats at the links below. Thanks for reading!
      Eastwood Guide Coat Black
      Eastwood Guide Coat Tan
      Evercoat Rage Xtreme Filler

        Click Here To Read Full Post...