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I am making a motorcycle fender. First time working with metal. I understand the principals of planishing but understand that most people achieve the best effect with a pneumatic hammer or English wheel.

All I have available are hammers, forming dollies and a slapper. With a bit more work is it reasonable to expect that I can achieve the same results with the tools I have?

  • It's a bit ambitious to expect a decent result (regardless of tools) without some practice. I know a guy who could certainly achieve a stunning result without an English wheel, but he'd been working at metalwork for some years when I met him, and improved over the decades I knew him. If you can't see yourself in the faces of the tools you are using, step one will be to polish those adequately. – Ecnerwal Aug 18 '15 at 1:42
  • There's people who can do amazing work with a wood mallet and a cottonwood stump. They've had lots of practice. Your equivalent will be a smooth slapper and a lead-shot filled leather bag. Get some sheet aluminum and practice before you do the real thing. The secret is to never hit it with an edge that leaves a kink. – Fiasco Labs Aug 18 '15 at 3:27
  • if you can get it close, body soldering is not really as hard as it might seem. So perhaps you get it close and then solder fill it from there. – Bob Aug 18 '15 at 14:52

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