All of us can stand and admire a beautiful paintjob. But how many of us can appreciate the prep required to make the primer work just perfect? Then what about all the bodywork leading up to the primer? Keep following the trail and at some point you get to the basics of having to move metal around.

The Eastwood Company (TEC) offers several different hammer and dolly sets with the seven-piece body and fender kit well suited for at-home builders-and pounders. The seven-piece body and fender repair set contains the most commonly used hammers, dollies, and spoon. All of TEC's tools are forged using U.S. alloy steel, and the handles are durable fiberglass. Hammers are ergonomically balanced to increase efficiency and reduce fatigue. Dollies are forged for optimal density and full polished working surfaces.

The Martin Fiberglass Handle Body Fender Hammer Dolly seven-piece kit (PN 50800) offered by TEC is made up of a utility pick hammer (PN 31229), a shrinking hammer (PN 31221), a curved cross-chisel hammer (PN 31317), a light-dinging spoon (PN 31032), general-purpose dolly (PN 31032), toe dolly (PN 31039), and a heel dolly (PN 31225). (This is the upscale kit and costs approximately $249.99.) TEC offers two other kits that still contain the same seven pieces but are more budget priced at $99.99 (PN 11979) and $59.99 (PN 31198).

Sounds great but what the heck do these names mean? Well, if you are new to the trade it's understandable so here goes a quick explanation of each tool's function. The pick hammer is used for raising low points and finessing character (body) lines. The shrinking/skinning hammer is used for shrinking the metal on large, flatter surfaces. The skinning head is ideal for doorskins as well as high crown areas and, again, character (body) lines. The cross-chisel hammer is ideal for tight inside corners. The dinging spoon with its offset handle is well-suited for working around sharp ridges and lines. (As TEC will remind us, "Do not use as a pry tool." The heel dolly sounds like it might be used for tight spaces but that's not entirely true. It is ideal for larger curved surfaces and the inside radius of sharp corners.)

The toe dolly is used for smoothing larger expanse, sharp edges for corner work, and straightedges for working flanges, and for access in tight areas. The general-purpose dolly is ideal for cantilevered edges and access to deeply recessed corners and lips. Because of its handhold area and size it is ideal for back up on heavier hammer strikes.

There are other hammer and dolly accessories, such as the metal-bumping block (PN 31063), the body-smoothing hammer (PN 11138), the trim hammer (PN 13146), and the repousse hammer (PN 28241). (Don't worry, I had no idea what that was either! The repousse hammer has a 11/16-inch ball peen and 1-inch flat face, usually comes with an anvil and stand and is ideal for straightening trim.)

Channellock offers an ideal handtool for anyone who welds

Handtools occupy the bottom of every hot rodder's toolbox-and rightly so as they're at the core of what all of us treasure about working on our cars. Handtools are the "learning instrument" whereby all of us figured what the difference was between a 1/2-inch socket and a 1/2-inch drive. Wiggle sockets, crimping tool, short and long extensions, and hand tools are the devices by which we learned our hobby.

With this understanding Channellock Inc. (126 years making tools!) now offers something new for the toolbox that is both a useful handtool and something every welder should have at his/her immediate disposal. Channellock now offers a 9-inch 360 Professional Multi-Purpose Welder's Plier. (A Code Blue version of the tool, model number 360CB, is also available.)

Designed as a six-in-one plier, it's made from drop-forged, high-carbon C1080 North American steel. The design provides ample cutting power to the laser heat-treated edges to slice through weld wire. Since it is also a spring-loaded plier it can be used for the following welders tasks: An original groove-nose design for clean spatter removal; a diamond-shape welder tip installation and removal tool that prevents stripping by gripping four sides of the welder tip; a precision-machined, laser heat-treated, knife-and-anvil cutting edge for long-term, cutting performance; an elongated nose with cross-hatch grips for secure drawing of wire or gripping of hot metal; a welder bushings and nozzle installation and removal tool; two hammering surfaces; and the well-known Channellock blue comfort handle grips.

The best ideas are often the simplest and this welder's plier is just such an example of a tool that will be used plenty as part of any hot rodder's tool chest.

Eastwood Tech Tip

Prior to assembling a freshly painted car, run taps through any threads to remove any dirt, rust, or paint buildup this will make assembly that much easier.

Sponsored by:

The Eastwood Company
(800) 345-1178


The Eastwood Company