What Does a Planishing Hammer Do?

With the increased interest in DIY metal fab and TV shows showing more metal fabrication on the automotive build shows more DIY enthusiasts have been exposed to tools that were previously only used in high end shops. That’s where Eastwood comes in as we’ve been working hard to bring you tools previously only available to the pros or are too expensive for the home hobbyist.

One of the tools you’ll often see used in higher end restoration shops is a planishing hammer. So what is the purpose of a planishing hammer? It works much like your hammer and dolly or slapper work where it can smooth or stretch the metal when you hammer on it over a hard surface. The difference is that your arm gets tired and isn’t as accurate as a mechanical tool would be. A planishing hammer has a fixed head or air motor that quickly goes up and down in short strikes to almost “vibrate” the metal. The high rate of speed is set in the air hammer or motor you use and the air pressure will reduce how hard the hammer will hit. If you run a lower pressure you will reduce the impact of the hammer and can smooth metal without stretching it. But if you need to stretch an area or a flange you can turn the pressure up and stretch or dome metal. Much like a dolly you want to choose a lower anvil or die that will best fit the shape of the panel. Most planishing hammers are mounted on a pedestal and you bring the part to the tool but there are handheld planishing hammers that you can bring to the vehicle and smooth projects on the fly.

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