How can you go about shaping metal with hand tools alone? Follow along as I demonstrate how you can begin shaping metal with hand tools only. We will explore a How To Hammer Forming demonstration.
We will hammer form some tank end caps. Hammer forming is one of the oldest, simplest, and least expensive ways to shape sheet metal. This is a handy metal fabrication technique you NEED to learn. Check out the video!
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#hammerforming #sheetmetal #metalshaping
+HotRodHippie I've just seen the UFO speed blister one. Thank you for your quick reply, just quickly, just welded a bit of plate to a car sill for a repair. Obviously I can't get behind it with a dolly, can I gentle tap down the slight curve to match the rest of it. The curve I made needs to be a little more smoother, it's a little more pointy, I was going to build up with filler but the less filler the better. Just got into this stuff, an amazing craft.
A good impact resistant composite material would make a good form. I don't know that it would be superior to a wood one, except for maybe a little longer lasting. The expensive would offset that value to me personally.
As far as doing this with copper, you absolutely can. Aluminum also work hardens and from time to time you have to anneal it in the middle of working the piece. You would just need to do the same with copper if you found it was getting too hard in the middle of the process.
Thank you for subscribing! I have two other Hammer Forming videos already up (three in total) and will be doing more eventually.
This instruction video is awesome! I was unsure about the properties of metal and am amazed about the "shrinking" effect from hammering! I love to learn things like this and you're a fantastic teacher! Thank you! D Oh yeah, I'm a new subscriber!
+Raoul Cruz I appreciate the input but there are reasons I do things this way. Music keeps any minor microphone noise from becoming annoying. Hammering is far too loud to be recorded via the means I use now and would be very annoying very quickly even if I could record it properly. The sound of hammering isn't really telling your anything in this instance. My newer videos I edit the music a little bit subtler than it is in this video but it is and always will be present in my content. I try to educate and entertain (teaching foremost) and will always aim to do so. Thanks.
HotRodHippie I do find it distracting. It’s fine for the introduction. But once you get going I’d rather hear the hammer tapping. I’m watching to learn , entertainment not so much. I watch quite a few machinists videos and they don’t have any music. They’re your videos, just commenting what I think is constructive criticism. Cheers.
Ah - got it. Thanks so much for this detailed response. I've been watching some leading videos and no one ever talks about the downside that I've seen so far so good on ya. I'll check out that other video on welding joints.
+motorv8N It isn't the toxicity. Most commercially available "leads" are not as toxic as the old stuff.
It is corrosion inhibiting and quality of work.
If I overlap a panel I mask off my welds and then primer/paint the area to prevent rust. You cannot do that when leading as the torch burns it away. Also the heating process can create steel that is likelier to rust later on. So if any water intrudes or gets trapped it will rust easier. I cannot remember EVER stripping lead off of an old car and not finding quite a bit of rust underneath. I did a video just recently about "Overlapping vs Butt welding" you can check out here: https://youtu.be/yjjmlEhT_go
My second problem is that in my experience Lead is used as a bandaid for bad work. I very rarely see it used in any other way, even strict restoration work. It is most often folks figuring "I can build up a bunch of lead to fill in these deep dents and blend it out." and for some reason they feel that is better than doing the same thing with body filler. Lead sleds back in the day were built that way because they didn't English Wheel out shapely panels that had the shape they wanted. They cut up and pie pieced together existing panels then paved over them with lead.
Not a quick answer but those are my feelings on lead. I'll do a dedicated video someday with examples and a better thought out explanation.
Interesting about the leading - is it the toxicity? Just looking to learn more. I do a little building and restoring old boats and motors and was wondering if leading would be a viable way to fill a dent in an old metal tank I don't want to pull.
How do you suppose I would teach a relatively complex topic without speaking? There is a lot of nuance to a topic like this that simply demonstrating it doesn't convey. There are plenty of people who make videos that show things but not explain them. I am not one of them and never will be.
I totally missed everything because I was distracted by all the freakin tattoos, do you have video on what they are and why u got them? I guess I just don't get the whole tattoo craze. I don't wanna be a dick but this shit is just distracting. Do I sound like a dick, I feel like one cause I don't wanna hurt anyones feelers, so sorry. It was nice informative video and i'll have to give it a thumbs up and all. ...can anyone explain this in terms i will understand?
No I do not have a video dedicated to my tattoos. It really hasn't come up other than for some folks completely disliking that I chose to get them.
I have a video called "8 Metal Shaping Terms Defined" that tries to break down the important terms/principles in metal shaping to an easier level. I also have two more hammer forming videos that continue this topic. Those may help you grasp it more.
However if you can't look passed my personal choice for how I look to hear the words I'm saying, then I don't know that I can help you.
thank you!!! this gave me an idea. i really want to get into metal shapping. with this process i would be able to make a motorcycle exhaust correct? finding an exhaust tube and welding end caps to seal the tubbing.
More hammer forming and metal shaping! Keep this art form alive! The examples of your large complex pieces are fantastic. I'd love to see a time lapse of a big project with details on all the tools and techniques as you encounter different shapes and challenges.
That really depends on what you are trying to achieve. Exterior body panels Vs floor panels are going to be different. In aluminum I normally work between 18ga on up to 12ga depending on what the finish part is intended to be.
Thiz method might be useful for you. However I would say you will. Need a shrinker stretcher setup. This is a wonderful operation but if you are trying to make pieces over and over again mixing up the steps is probably going to be smart. Hammering every single piece would be tiresome and beat up your hammer forms. And some of the shapes may not turn out as well as they would with a few minutes of shrinker stretcher work.
I'm not 100% clear on what you are looking for. However you can check out my third Hammer Forming Video. It may give you some ideas for what you could do. I used that design to hide fuel lines. Wiring would be basically the same idea. I'm going to start a few motorcycle projects on the channel soon. https://youtu.be/1WO69ygwfmc
If you were producing the same shape over and over again and had a large enough press. Also you'd have to have the ability to accurately machine forms with the proper clearances. To do all that would require big chunks of metal, a lathe or mill, large press (likely 50 ton or higher) and an intimate knowledge of proper die design.
Versus hammer forming. Which literally requires. Some plywood and a hammer at the minimum.
This demonstration was to show the simplest parts I use this process to create. It doesn't come close to showing the versatility of the operation. To create a press form for every operation that I use this for would take a significant investment of time and money.
So yes you could do that, but it's impractical even on small scale commercial applications. I know some manufacturing companies that use this process over pressing small runs of parts.
Nice video. I was looking for more auto body repair work hammering instruction, but I really liked your video. I will have to watch more. I do some CNC machining. 6061 is pretty soft so you may be disappointed with the durability if you drop the form or have a mis-hit. If you can find someone local with a CNC lathe you can easily make some of your common forms for diam and radius from 1018 steel. Mild steel is also susceptible to drops and hammer hits. You can get them heat treated for a reasonable cost so you will never need to make them again. If you can find people who need your services you may be able to trade so it is no out of pocket cost for you.
You might want to soak your wooden forms with tung oil. It will increase the hardness a LOT. I believe the Chinese used it to fabricate armour at one point, until their enemies found out flaming arrows did a number on the Chinese soldiers. :D
But used in a shop, wood soaked in tung oil and allowed to dry COMPLETELY is not dangerous; unless you want to heat treat the metal while it's still on the form. :)
I am surprised you use a steel body hammer , as it will tend to stretch the material ,instead of shrinking.
Here in the UK we use a hide mallet ,or soft faced hammer, less marks to dress out, and they both shrink,rather than stretch.
Not saying which is best here, what ever works for you is fine. Annealing the blank if aluminium, makes the whole process easier too.
Steel body hammer is a little more controllable in this small situation. On larger pieces I use a leather slapper, or "plastic" mallets. I understand your point and it is quite valid, this works for me however. The shrinking means I don't feel bad about sanding the parts to remove the tooling marks. If you check out my other Hammer Forming videos I use plastic mallets in those to do the bulk of the work.
Thank you. This is really a great way for folks to start learning metalshaping. It is easy and introduced solid theories that translate to a lot of other shaping processes. AND it is still useful even when you know plenty of other ways of doing things.
Thanks for sharing. How many videos I have watched where it requires welding. I don't have any equipment to weld. Please, can you show or if you have a video where you can show how you create larger pieces. I just happen to find you, it will help me quite a lot instead of having to figure how to weld and buy equipment. Thank you
Nadia Mubarak I will eventually be doing videos about much larger pieces. Right now I'm trying to focus on smaller basics as it's much easier for me to produce videos about and explain. It is rare I create something that doesn't require some welding though. It's just a fact of metal work. Maybe a fender for a motorcycle or a seat pan for one. Aside from that I generally weld things. It's the only way to seamlessly attach parts together. I'll give it some thought though. Thank you.
Why don't you make a hole in the table top or work surface, extend the bolt through the hole and attach a lever mechanism to pull down on the bolt. This way you could stand in one place and use your foot on the lever to pull the form down on the work surface.
The form and metal are held between two nuts, the normal nut as used already and another nut part way along the liner bolt (clamping the form and metal together). You cold then more rapidly and easily clamp and unclamp to rotate the form. If you don't understand what I mean, send me an email with your email address and I'll send you a sketch. [email protected]
They shake loose because of the variation in the hammer direction to the clamping force location. A small hole just slightly larger than the bolt thread, so that you can screw the bolt into the lever mechanism would provide the clamping force and prevent it from "popping loose". Using a method like this would ensure that ALL hammer blows would be toward the clamping force. You would not have to walk around so much and you could more easily see the progress around the whole formed piece as it takes shape. Best wishes. Regards Peter
The lever mechanism and holes through the table is how a good quality weld/fixture table and tooling works. They are great, if you have the space and can afford a good one.
Also I would slightly worry about the lever mechanism popping loose. I edited it out but even the quality F clamps I use shake loose constantly in this operation. You'd probably just want to bolt the form down.
I understand what you are saying. It makes sense and if I had a welding table with holes already in place would do it. My thing is I'd rather not drill holes in my work surface for one project or even just a few. I do a lot of design work on the same tables i fabricate on due to lack of space. Having gouge or holes in the surface is a problem for me. Yours is a good idea but for the random projects I do with this method I don't think it's particularly practical. If I had more space and a bench to dedicate to it, that would be a different story.
Would you prefer I did not explain this topic for those unfamiliar with it? And this process is absolutely shrinking, the material IS thicker when finished. How do you think the same amount of material takes up less space without shrinking? The material ends up a few thousandths thicker. It doesn't turn 20ga into 18 but it most certainly shrinks and thickens the material.
Glad you enjoyed it. The goal of this series was to show exactly that, you can do a lot without needing a lot. I want to show the complex and the "simple" so folks aren't as afraid of trying it out for themselves.
I wouldn’t use an aluminium for base for beating steel on it. It will cause oxidation as the combination of steel and aluminium does. As well as using a steel hammer on alu. Because steel is made from iron and carbon, when you beat steel on alu, you will break of carbon into alu and it will oxidate. I do bodywork on cars and for working on alu we use wooden hammers instead. Just something i picked up. Nice video though, i like watching this stuff. Keep beating the metal up !
Stefan Ivens no problem. This is absolutely an interesting discussion to be had. I'll make note of it for future work. Maybe I can confer with some smarter minds than myself and pool some knowledge on the topic. 👍
As far as E-wheels, the only other die materials I've ever seen in use are plastics for non-marring and stretching purposes. However to really move metal it's all about the steel.
HotRodHippie thx for your answer, sorry I’ve waited so long to answer, kind of slipped my mind. It’s a good point about the english wheel and the steel wheels on it. I always wondered if they came in other materials... apparently not :) maybe I’m taking it too far with the cross contamination issues, because of course it’s not the final product and you will sand the material down and primer it and so on.
I do think it’s an interesting discussion or at least a topic. And indeed there is a difference between body work on cars and sheet metal working but now a days it’s becoming crazy with all the extra knowledge and education on new cars. So we tend to go over evaluate stuff :)
Anyways I’m planning on buying me an english wheel because i fear that the metal work on cars is about to die out, it al becomes plastic. I give it another 10 maybe 15 years and it’s over. But that won’t keep me from building my own metal stuff at home. That’s why i check some you tube vids like the ones you did.
Anyway thanks for the answer and keep up the good stuff man !
I get your point. However aluminum has been shaped with steel tooling for generations. I completely understand your point though. However have you ever seen an English wheel with anything but steel wheels (aside from rubber for linear shaping.). Most tool manufacturers recommend dedicated tooling. Namely steel hammers that you designate and only use on aluminum and not steel. As the hammers themselves aren't as likely to transfer material as the previous material you hammered with those hammers will.
I largely use "plastic" mallet, leather faced wood slapped, and wood for shaping aluminum. But eventually beas roller dies, English wheel anvils, power hammer dies, and planishing hammer dies will come into the equation. Coachbuilders and aircraft mechanics have done things his way for ages.
Not trying to argue with you. I fully support and understand that minimizing cross contamination is a solid course of action. However in the metal shaping world vs body repair, it just isn't feasible in the end.
Basically all materials get sanded, thoroughly cleaned, and treated (primer/paint/etc). These aren't fool proof but help.
I am glad someone fought this up though. Sooner or later it will be a topic of discussion for a dedicated video I'm sure. Thank you.
Watched 1 video and he said only use steel for forms. I'm glad I found your channel. I don't need to make anything now but the knowledge is good to have. Hope to see more hammer forming. I'll be subscribing. Thanks for taking the time to share your knowledge.
Joe Atwork who said to use Steel for forms? There is nothing wrong with that but it is by no means the only option. I have done two more hammer Forming videos since this one. Check out more of my stuff to see!
Aluminum is much easier. My latest hammer Forming video I formed an entire piece out of aluminum. I did it in short order. I'd venture to say it was close to how long this one steel component took me. Steel takes more time and physical effort but is the same process overall.
I was going to link to MetalmanSweden in some other videos but he's removed the majority of his content from YouTube. That method of annealing aluminum is basically the standard method that we all use. I really should do an annealing video sometime. Thanks for the input!
I LOVED WHAT YOU DID WITH THE PLY AND HOW YOU SHAPED THE METAL TO MAKE A BEAD TANK ROLL I AM 78 YEAR OLD CHIPPY AND I AM DOING A 1936 MORRIS 8 AND I NEED TO MAKE THE RUNNING BOARDS OR LONG STEPS EACH SIDE OF THE CAR I HAVE A BEAD ROLLER,BUT NO TANK ROLLS TO FORM THE LONG CORNERS WOULD THIS METHOD SUFFICE. HOPE YOU
ARE ABLE TO UNDERSTAND THIS AS THIS PC LARK IS ANOTHER FOREIGN THING ALL NEW TO ME .I DID MY FIRST CAR AT 70 IT KEPT ME OFF THE STREETS FOR 5 YEARS.
ALL THE BEST AND THANKS TONY T
It would be a lot of real estate to make them running boards that way, but yes this method could be used to do that. Without seeing the exact setup it is hard for me to say if another way would be better. So that's the best I can offer.
hawkdaddy64 it would be doable. The hard part would be the point protruding outward and the crease between the two halves. The crease would be a stretched section and depending how harsh of a crease it is, it souls be very focused stretching. I'd be wary of tearing the metal in there. You'd wNt some type of chisel like a plastic Corking tool to get in there and crisp it up somewhat gently.
Dill Wiggle sorry I missed this comment. That SO Hammer is a special one that has no pick on the backside and a shorter front face. But it also has material added around the handle so it still has a decent amount of weight to it. BF612 is the part number.
hotrod1ish I have some seriously hard stuff that a woodworker gave me. I use that to make random tools and chisels for shaping. I may have to try it for a hammer form. Glad to hear you are going to give it a go!
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