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I am new to metalworking, am teaching myself and am practicing making a motorcycle fender.

I have managed to get a nice double curve in the sheet metal. However, this diminishes when I try to reduce the hammer blow marks during the planishing process - the metal begins to straighten out.

Would anyone have any tips on how to stop this from occurring?

migrated from diy.stackexchange.com Sep 8 '15 at 12:48

This question came from our site for contractors and serious DIYers.

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    I don't think that counts as a Home Improvement question, at least as currently posed. Try the Motor Vehicles area, unless there's a metalworking discussion. – keshlam Sep 8 '15 at 5:50
  • I would think an English wheel would work much better for what you are trying to do. It will allow for you to manage the metal without the marks of the planishing hammer. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Sep 9 '15 at 0:51
  • @Paulster2 an English wheel would be ideal, but is prohibitively expensive sadly – MeltingDog Sep 9 '15 at 2:40
  • Check your local makerspace. – David Winslow Sep 9 '15 at 17:21
  • Right tool for the right job. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Sep 9 '15 at 20:53
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Do you have a round backing object? My friend the armorer (as in steel plate) had a variety of objects for the backing, including an 8 inch solid steel ball welded to a stake (you probably won't need one of those if you re not making helmets.) The other trick is to not hit precisely on the point of contact with the backing object, but just off to one side. But if you planish with a flat backing it will make things flat.

In bodywork (automotive) a handheld backing is called a dolly, and again, an appropriately shaped one will help maintain the shape. Also, there comes a point where you move to a grinder (flap discs, for a start.)

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