View Full Version : How to make P-Hammer Lower Anvils

BRENT in 10-uh-C
12-12-2004, 07:03 PM
Since I am "clueless" in this whole tool fabrication thingie, I'll yield to others that have 'been there & done that'.

I have fabbed a P-Hammer very similar to what the "Master Fabricator Tim Doty" built. (Imitation is indeed flattering!!) Below are some pixs on how I took some 3/4"x10 grade 8 bolts and shaped them into some lower Planishing Hammer anvils. I will try and give a small description prior to each photo....

Next, I wanted to make this project do-able for someone that does not hypothetically have access to a lathe in their shop. The problem that I had was that to be able to make several anvils, I needed a way to spin the bolts PLUS I needed a way when the P-Hammer was built to be able to "center" the lower anvil with the upper anvil in the Air Riveter. Thus, the lower fixture was indeed made on a lathe but maybe some can figure a way around it. Basically it is a piece of 1" bar stock that has a 3/4"x10 thread cut into one end, and a .401" stem turned onto the other end. This allows the .401" end to be spun in a drill, OR be used as a line-up fixture when locating the threads to hold the lower anvil directly underneath the upper anvil.

After the fixture is chucked into a drill motor, a bolt is threaded into the end of the fixture as a way to spin the bolt while grinding it so the profile will remain uniform.

I used an air grinder and while the drill was spun, the grinder was used to remove unwanted metal.

Graduating to finer and finer sandpaper, I used a Roloc grinding disc that I cut flaps where I could get smoother transitions

Using a DA Sander, I started smoothing the ground metal using paper from 180 grit through "worn-out" 320 grit

Using a large electric side grinder (Milwaukee brand) that I made an arbor for to spin cotton buffs that I also use on my bench-grinder/buffing machine. Again, using the drill to spin the bolt, white rouge is added to the cotton buff and placed against the bolt. Within a minute or two, the bolt is polished to the finish show in the photos below...

Some views of various stages...



12-12-2004, 07:49 PM
Hi Brent,

Nice step by step instructions. Thanks for posting your efforts.


12-12-2004, 08:47 PM
Brent, will the lower dies just screw into the toolholder? Will they be adjustable ?.........john

BRENT in 10-uh-C
12-13-2004, 12:53 AM
...will the lower dies just screw into the toolholder? Will they be adjustable?

Hey John,
I basically patterned my machine off of Tim's machine pictured below. Since the 3/4" Nut on the bottom has threads that match the anvils threads, you simply screw the anvil up or down to set your height. A jamb nut allows you to lock it into place.

I was able to "locate" the placement of the bottom nut onto the arm prior to welding by screwing in a small stud into the lower portion of the fixture, and screwing the exposed threads into a nut. By slipping the .401" shanked end up inside the rivet gun, this assured I was directly over center (or "under-center" I suppose) of the gun.

Next I guess someone needs to tell me how many, --and what shapes to make. :?


12-13-2004, 01:20 AM

Great tutorial from "the cheap seats" of tool fabrication! It's about the same method I use, and it is likely to become THE method that I use :lol: :lol: 8)

How many and what shapes? Hmmmmm.......tough question, and most of it depends on what you intend to use the hammer for. Tight radii might be good for certain places, but I've found you don't really need them as often as you'd think. If they're cheap to make, make a bunch :!: :lol: . 2, 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 24, 36 and maybe a 40 inch radius would be good. Oh yeah, and one as flat as you can get it with nice, killed edges. That set will get you by until you run into a need for something special :D . That's the great thing about making your own dies from fairly common materials, there isn't a lot that will stop you. If you need a special die for something, measure, figure or eyeball the radius and make a die for it 8) .

Looking good - how 'bout some pics of the hammer when it's done?

Tim D.

12-13-2004, 03:16 AM

Great post!

Simple but elegant solution. Materials as close as the nearest Tractor supply.

Great lineup tool too.

I think Tim hit the solution for how many. Churn one out when you need it.

Now use the lineup tool/mandrel in the upper with a bolt in it, shaped to whatever you need and the corresponding shape in the lower and you have special purpose tools. Need to solve that rotation issue.

I'm wondering if the aluminum screw on positive retainer I have will point to a solution .

12-13-2004, 04:50 AM
Ingenious! I've been planning on buildin a p-hammer for quite some time, but didnt want to buy the dies. Great picture tutorial as well!.

So now I ask, how well do they work?

12-13-2004, 08:25 AM
Pretty sweet deal Brent, can't wait to see the rest of the hammer...........john

12-27-2004, 06:12 AM
can you tell me how you set the profiles for different size radius. Flat is easy but how do you go from there. I am brand new to this so learning as much as I can. Loren

12-27-2004, 06:27 AM
can you tell me how you set the profiles for different size radius. Flat is easy but how do you go from there. I am brand new to this so learning as much as I can. Loren

Purchase a radius gauge.

12-27-2004, 06:45 AM
Nice work, Brent!!!

Pete's Metalshaping
12-27-2004, 08:10 AM
can you tell me how you set the profiles for different size radius. Flat is easy but how do you go from there. I am brand new to this so learning as much as I can. Loren

Purchase a radius gauge.

Jerry Gulley and Clay Cook have radius gauge's for sale; or you could make your own.

Steve Hamilton
12-27-2004, 10:30 AM
Hi Guys

The radius or (profile) gauges that cook Ent. And Jerry Gulley sell are very nice, very accurate, and very durable. They include the most common radii by inch and some 1/2 inch.

However if the need arises it is easy to make a gauge for any radius.

!. use a ruler or scale to set a compass to the desired radius.

2. clamp a small piece of sheetmetal to a table to keep it from moving.

3. locate the compass point off the metal in a position that will allow you to draw an arc on the edge of the sheet in a concave direction.

4. use aviation snips to trim the arc shape off the edge of the sheet metal.

5. number stamp or engrave the radius in the metal for permanant

6. repeat steps 1-5 further along the edge of the sheet for any other radii

7. drill a hole in the metal to hang close to where you do you metal shaping.

Steve Hamilton

01-21-2005, 05:38 PM
thats a pretty cool idea but im looking for some that i wouldnt have to make that way i know they would be true

01-21-2005, 06:10 PM
im confused. if i am understanding right, then a 2" radius die would be like half of a 2" circle. That would be a very steep radius, right? i ordered some from ebay, that were flat, 2", 4", 6". They didn't have very much of a crown at all. Is this wrong, or am i not understanding right? I am thinking of a die with alot of crown so i can like make a steel ball out of 2 halfs. A small ball to fit in your hand. Help me clear up my confusion!? If there is a picture or drawing explaining radius, let me know.

Brian =)

Tony Sanchez
01-21-2005, 06:50 PM
---Brian, If you set a compass with a two inch radius and draw a circle, the circle would be four inches across.

01-21-2005, 10:36 PM
Brian, as Tony said, the radius is half the width of a circle. A two inch radius would match the outline of a 4" circle............jb