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1948 - 1956 F1, F100 & Larger F-Series Trucks Discuss the Fat Fendered and Classic Ford Trucks

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Old 01-12-2015, 09:12 PM
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Hammer and Dolly set questions

Seeing you guys do some of this body work makes me want to start beating on metal. So I started looking for a cheap hammer and dolly set and found this for next to nothing: http://www.summitracing.com/parts/wmr-m7007

I know you get what you pay for, but I'm way below novice.

AxRacer said this: "Since all he had in his shop was a basic set of Harbor Freight “clubs and rocks” (their version of body hammers and dollys) I also showed him some of the hammers and dollys I use most often and what makes them a superior tool to work with, and suggested he surf ebay and be picking up a few used but professional quality tools." which makes a lot of sense.

Here is the thread by the way: http://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/13...g-try-2-a.html

So, my question to you experts. Is it worth the $25 bucks to get a cheap set and get a feel for moving metal around, or should I look for something a higher quality to start? I'm a long ways from doing real body work.

Another question, if you are looking for better used hammer and dolly sets, what do you look for?
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Old 01-12-2015, 09:22 PM
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My experience with cheap tools is handle attachment. I spent more time tightening handles than working.
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Old 01-12-2015, 09:29 PM
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I got this set from Eastwood and have been satisfied with the performance: 7 Piece Pro Hammer & Dolly Set - Fiberglass Handles - Eastwood
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Old 01-12-2015, 09:32 PM
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When I worked in the body shops I always had a fairly basic set of tools. For body work I had a couple very good quality body hammers and about six different body dollies of different shape. The tools I have aren't the most expensive but they aren't Harbor Quality either. When I first started I bought some cheapie tools and found out quickly they just didn't work right. I think I bought both hammers from Sears, through their catalog at the time. While the other guys in the shop had huge tool boxes filled with Snapon tools I could do just as good with the small amount of tools had.

Whenever I buy tools I buy the best I can afford but that doesn't mean I break the bank buying the most expensive. I suggest to anyone starting out to not buy the cheapest, start out with tool company that you would trust that you've used for other tools.
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Old 01-12-2015, 09:42 PM
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Yep, that set from Summit are clubs and rocks. Almost identical to my first set I got some 30 years ago. I still have the dollies, you cant hurt them. Broke all of the hammers(they are cast iron).
The problem with cheap tools is you can do more harm than good with them.
I have found some nice hammers at garage sales.

That Eastwood set doesn't look too bad...
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Old 01-12-2015, 10:14 PM
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I have a cheap set and I also use the good quality Martin's my son has. I can't put my finger on it but the Martins just seem to work better. I know just from examining them the Martin brand uses a different grade of steel.
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Old 01-12-2015, 10:56 PM
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Don't overlook used tools, which can be commonly found at pawn shops, yard sales, craigslist, ebay, etc. A lot of times you can find good deals on quality tools. It's hard to hurt a good set of body hammers and dollies. Better quality tools have better balance and the correct shape on the head striking surface to do the job at hand. You could do the same with a claw hammer as with cheap body hammers. Good body hammers are designed to move metal in particular ways, and help you do your work correctly.
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Old 01-12-2015, 11:39 PM
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They bought some Harbor Freight sets for the school and none of them lasted the semester without the heads breaking off. I have a set from Eastwood that I am happy with and they are not that expensive. Watch for their sales.
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Old 01-12-2015, 11:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tinman52 View Post
The problem with cheap tools is you can do more harm than good with them.
That's the main reason I asked the question. If I want to learn I don't want to learn with tools that will hinder my learning, but I don't want to have to rob a bank to try to learn a skill.

Thanks for all the tips guys.
So, is there a price point for a set that has good enough quality? Is that $70 set about the lowest to go? Well...if I can find a used set....

I really don't need to be spending money on these at the moment, but there are several really good threads with body work going on it makes me want to explore that area. You guys are enablers without really even trying.
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Old 01-12-2015, 11:47 PM
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Originally Posted by 52 Merc View Post
Don't overlook used tools, which can be commonly found at pawn shops, yard sales, craigslist, ebay, etc.
I didn't think about pawn shops...good idea.
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Old 01-12-2015, 11:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harrier View Post
You guys are enablers without really even trying.
By now, you should be thinking about body and fender repair in your sleep.

You're getting drowsy...

Your eyelids are getting heavy...

Listen to the sound of my voice...

You want to be like AXracer... (good luck with that)

You need another truck to practice on...
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Old 01-12-2015, 11:54 PM
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Of course I love old tools:

Click the image to open in full size.


I also just saw they sell rubber sets. I think our trucks would laugh at those.
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Old 01-13-2015, 01:00 AM
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For 20 bucks, you can't go wrong with those, Joe. They appear to have enough experience they might even teach you a thing or two.
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Old 01-13-2015, 06:53 AM
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I attended a workshop with Ron Covell and learned quite a bit about hammers and dollies from him. There are some parameters that should drive your choice in hammers and dollies; the size and shape of the head of the hammer and the size and shape of the dolly make a big difference in the quality of the work you can do with them. I spent the extra $$$ and bought Martin tools. That said, Ron Covell uses a couple of HF dollies as well...these are vise mounted dollies and are drop forged. Sometimes you need a dolly that is more of an "anvil" than a handheld dolly, these work great and they are CHEAP.
I would suggest that you get a copy of one of Ron Covell's DVDs, he has a beginners video on metalworking where he discusses various metal working tools. It's good to watch a master at work.
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Old 01-13-2015, 10:24 AM
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I have a 7 pc I think, Matco kit and it works pretty well. I think I got it for less than 100 bucks
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