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Old 01-12-2012, 01:31 PM
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Introduction to metal shaping

We get a lot of questions on making patch panels and simple metal forming so here you go with a start.

One can start with just a simple leather beater bag and a couple of hammers to create a shape in a piece of metal. by watching the result and adjusting what happens to the metal you can then learn just how hard to hit and where to get the shape one desires.

To go farther one needs a few more things. First is a piece of steel plate minimum 1/2 inch (thicker is better) for a beater plate..used for hand planishing and stretching as well as other things. Next is some welding and cutting equipment and that is whatever suits your fancy ranging from simple oxy/actetelene to what ever and don't forget some good snips as well. grinders with cutoff wheels and nibblers work as well. You will find that each cutting tool has its place but having some good snips is vital and maybe all you need.

Aset of tucking forks and I know someone does not have a clue so give me a chance and I will get a picture up. I use some of the prybars from HF to make mine..they are 2 prybars welded together with a handle so one can slide them over the edege of the metal and twist a dent in..needed when shrinking edges to get a curve.

Post dolly is a big dolly bolted to the floor and is used for hand finishing your work..mine looks like a head of a person as those were originally made for the guys making armor. You can make one yourself using a hitch ball or some other kind of round steel scrap..you may wind up with several of different sizes and shapes.

Beater bags are made from a heavy leather and filled with either lead shot or sand. mine is made with common yard sand in a plastic bag inserted into the leather bag..

One of the hammers with replaceable heads so you can make other heads of various shaped and sizes.

Slappers are a type of hammer made from an old car spring some are fancy and some are plain but used when you need a wide faced hammer for smoothing larger areas.

That is the basics and once you get going you can make ashtrays and serving bowls or an entire car body. Just depends on what your needs are.

Good luck
Sam

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Old 01-12-2012, 01:50 PM
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"Metal Shaping" by 123pugsy is a good article to read up on.
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