Fairmount Hammers & Dollies
Any metal shapers, auto body men, sculptors, or fabricators probably have a set of hammers and dollies in a toolbox somewhere. Peening or shaping metal is a necessary skill when working on almost any auto body project, even with direct replacement bolt-on pieces.
I am a tool junkie, no two ways about it, and I love innovative tools as well as the standard necessities. In my many years in the auto body repair trade, I appreciate good tools, and a good set of hammers and dollies is a must, as well as a good welder, decent sockets and wrenches, spray guns, and sanding boards (but we aren't talking about those today). When people have ask me about tools, I've always said "buy the best too you can afford at the time", and I still subscribe to that. But sometimes there are budget friendly options that you'll never need to upgrade; on such set are the Fairmount Hammers and Dollies Line offers through the Eastwood catalog. Economical pricing without sacrificing quality is rare but Eastwood seems to have chosen well with this tool line!!
If you're just starting out or an old dog that wants a refresher, a great resource for basic metal shaping techniques is the Key to Metal Bumping book. Some techniques are universal and the physics of metal shaping has been consistent since the Bronze age. Combine right tools and practice, and before you know it, you'll be moving metal with the best! Check out some of the cool tools from the Fairmount line, and a handful of ways to use them!
This is the Master set of Faimount hammers and dollies, with a great selection hammers with both fiberglass handles and wood handles. This will probably be the last set of auto body hammers & accessories you'll every need to purchase.
The hammers in the "Master Set" have the option of both fiberglass and wood handles which give you a choice of different weights, and different feel. Wood is lighter and translates to your hands better but fiberglass has rubber grip handles and offers better impact isolation. Which is better? For me it comes down to personal preference, especially since all of these hammer faces are precision machined and clear coated for durability.
The hammer crown, or "face" surface is the biggest indicator of the quality of the whole tool. With each blow the face surface will transfer into the metal, so it needs to be consistent and precise. There is no faking quality machining and these hammers are nicely machined!
The Toe Dolly is has precision machined as well, with every surface is an usable work surface. The multiple work surfaces of these tools give you tons of options to work against.
Anvil Dolly gives you the option of bumping metal with the dolly itself or use it as a backing brace to work against.
Notice my hand position in this photo. My index finger is extended along the hammer handle. I learned this technique from Ron Covell, and it allows me to direct my hammer blows precisely where I want them to land. This technique is called "Hammer ON Dolly" and is fully demonstration in the "Key To Metal Bumping" guide. Many people consider this to be one of the best basic metal guides around. It's an easy read, short, and contains fundamental explanations that apply to almost any repair. This is a MUST HAVE for any body man, regardless of experience.
Each tool is successful on it's own, but by combining them you gain options for working and shaping. For example, the dinging spoon and anvil dolly can be used to gently persuade the dent out of this 20 gauge sample.
The curved dolly has many useable surfaces as well, and allows you to match the shape of the dolly to the shape of the repair panel easily.
The shrinking dolly is a handy tool and in combination with the shrinking hammer it makes "gathering" metal easy. You can see how the raised peaks can force movement into sheet metal.
The bottom line is that having options and a selection of tools help solve problems and saves time. Whether you want to buy each Hammer or Dolly individually or save on the entire set, any combination of tools are available at eastwood.com. We can't get time back, so don't waste it wishing that you had the right tool at your fingertips!!