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Old 06-07-2005, 10:59 PM
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Brian Martin,Freelance adviser
 
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Hammer and Dolly tool review

Hammer and Dolly Road test.

The hammer and dolly are the first tools you think about when buying tools for auto body work. There have been little choice when it comes to buying them. Either you bought the unadulterated junk kits of hammers and dollies for ten or twenty bucks or you spent twenty-five or more for each hammer or dolly. There wasn’t an in between that I know of until now. A co-worker of mine came in one day with a super set of dollies, a spoon and a door skin hammer from Harbor Freight that are really nice at only $25.00! (part number 46781) And they have another set with a “Fender dolly” and rubber heal dolly #03496 (as I describe in the “Basics” of door skins) for I would imagine fifteen bucks or so (couldn’t find the price when I found them at the store). I am also told there is a set of similar quality by the same manufacturer that includes a pick hammer (your basic body hammer and the first one you should buy) and the same “fender dolly” available in the twin dolly kit with the rubber one. The maker is US General in China of course like most tools at Harbor Freight.



If you have read my posts or my “Basics of Basics” to buying tools you will know I loath the cheapie tools. They are usually not worth the package they come in. This set of hammer and dollies is an exception in a big way. It is really a nice set of tools. You will see them in the photo on the left. On the right are my tools of similar design, but not cost. My tools cost me about $165.00, quite a difference. And honestly the door skin hammer is possibly better than mine. It has a fiberglass handle (my wood one has broken before) and one thing that I like is that the actual hammer head surface is flat unlike mine which is curved (see photo). You most often use the door skin hammer along the bottom of the door and it is usually flat long that area, the curve in the face of my hammer isn’t the best for that flat area. At the bottom of the photo you will see the “fender dolly” and rubber dolly of mine that are similar to the ones found at Harbor Freight.




The spoon and the dollies are very nice with large well dressed surfaces. The only thing I don’t like is they cast the word “Forged” in one of the faces! I have no idea why they did that, this face is commonly used for hammer work. With that darn “Forged” there you can’t do very fine work.

I have to stress, the big difference between these hammers and dollies and the cheapies I loath is the normal size first off, and the fact that they ARE forged and not “cast” iron. The cheap 8 pc sets like the 46779 for $22.00 are first off, tiny little hammers and dollies looking more like children’s toys than tools for adults but most of them are very brittle cast iron. The 46779 happens to be forged but most of these cheapies are cast. DO NOT buy this cheapie set #46779! Do not get them mixed up with the others I mention in this tool review, they are JUNK.


I tested the hammer and dollies out and found them to be very nice tools for the money. If you were to pick up these two sets and find the one with the pick hammer you would have a heck of a nice set of hammers and dollies for around 75 bucks, such a DEAL.

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Last edited by MARTINSR; 06-08-2005 at 09:24 AM.
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Old 06-08-2005, 04:38 AM
 
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Thanks for the tip!

I have a birthday in less than a week--Mom, are you reading this?!

MartinSR, about the hammer face with the words cast in it--is there a remedy for that, like grinding it smooth, or would that destroy the temper do you think?

Tucker
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Old 06-08-2005, 09:23 AM
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Timothy, it isn't in the hammer face it is in one face of each dolly. I thought about it, there isn't much you could do. I imagine you could weld it up and grind it smooth but that is about it. It is too deep to grind out, it would thin the dolly an awful lot.

Brian
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Old 06-08-2005, 12:52 PM
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You have to ask them for the "good" set as they keep them stashed under a display table or shelf. I got the "cheap" set which isn't bad for starters and the guy I'm helping on the 59 with came in with this heavy duty set similar to mine but with MUCH bigger/heaver hammer's.
"I looked for the $20.00 set you told me about and all I could find was this one for $40.00 and it was under a table in the middle of the store."
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Old 10-18-2005, 10:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MARTINSR
Hammer and Dolly Road test.

The hammer and dolly are the first tools you think about when buying tools for auto body work. There have been little choice when it comes to buying them. Either you bought the unadulterated junk kits of hammers and dollies for ten or twenty bucks or you spent twenty-five or more for each hammer or dolly. There wasn’t an in between that I know of until now. A co-worker of mine came in one day with a super set of dollies, a spoon and a door skin hammer from Harbor Freight that are really nice at only $25.00! (part number 46781)
There isn't a Harbor Freight nearby so I searched their website for that part number and it couldn't be found. But what do you think of this set?
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=31277
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Old 10-19-2005, 12:41 AM
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Brian Martin,Freelance adviser
 
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I'm sorry, those are the minature ones that I find not very good at all.


There is aways autobodystore.com where you can get quality ones.

Brian
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Old 10-19-2005, 06:50 AM
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Yea but there is quite a price difference between $21.99 and $139.95. I haven't done any body work yet, and I don't know if I'll be doing much after I finish this current project. So it's kinda expensive for just the basics that you may not use much.
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Old 10-19-2005, 09:05 AM
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I have looked at that kit you posted the link to. It is "ok" if you have no choice. It is a better than the cheapie minature "toys" they use to have there. But it still is miles from "real" tools. The other ones were such a surprise, that is why I posted them, they are pretty good tools. The ones you posted are just regular old Harbor Freight "dollar bin" kinda stuff.

Over at autobodystore.com, you don't have to buy a $139 kit, just one pick hammer and a "toe" dolly will do just about anything you need.

Brian
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Old 10-19-2005, 09:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MARTINSR

Over at autobodystore.com, you don't have to buy a $139 kit, just one pick hammer and a "toe" dolly will do just about anything you need.

Brian
Now being a beginner and about ready to tool up some, this is the kind of information that is helpful. Any other beginning tools you recommend? What about a slide hammer? If so, what weight?
Something like this.

Last edited by kringold; 10-19-2005 at 09:29 AM.
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Old 10-19-2005, 12:08 PM
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The only reason for a slide hammer as far as I am concerned is to move pretty strong metal like a hinge or the like. The 10 lb is the only thing I have. DO NOT use the slide hammer by drilling or punching a hole to pull out a dent. That technique is history. There is ALWAYS a better way.

A good DA is a must, sanding blocks, a long board, and the hammer and dolly you should be on your way.

Brian
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Old 10-19-2005, 04:31 PM
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I have a couple heavy duty dings in tight spots around the wheel well that I thought I might use the slide hammer on. See attachments.
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Old 10-20-2005, 06:01 AM
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I used a 5lb slide hammer for years, drilled holes and sealed them
up. I didn't like the holes and eventually I got a weld stud gun
and puller. It's so much better. But for the average guy that might
fix a dent in his own car the slide hammer might be all he can afford.
They work really well, just take extra care to seal the backside holes.
If you can get to the back side there are a lot of ways to do this.
Some use a fiberglass patch, I always used the first coat of filler that
was labeled waterproof, like dynaglass. But now I hear it really isn't.
The best way is to weld the holes shut but the avg guy using a slide
hammer doesn't have a welder.
I would probably put a fiberglass layer over them first,then the bondo.
Maybe some others could give advice on sealing the holes.
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Old 10-20-2005, 06:33 AM
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I have that hammer and dolly set and until it was mentioned I had not paid any attention to the "forged" cast into the dollys and really I doubt that it would make much difference to me but who knows maybe someday I will get good enough for it to matter Anyway I took them to the shop, warmed them to about 350 deg. and welded over that area with a nickle(cast iron) rod, hit it with a grinder and then polished with sandpaper. Except for some discoloration it is hardly noticeable now. As I said at my skill level it probably makes little difference to me but it was an easy fix so why not?
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