Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Beaterblog Product Review - Harbor Freight 7 Piece Body and Fender Set

Want to try out your own panel beating but don't feel like dropping a bunch of money on a hammer and dolly set just to see if you like it? Although I'm no body man, but I can say this set is a great starting point for trying to pick up the skill. For my Simca crash course in emergency auto body repair, I found that this set made the task bearable - enjoyable even. Like most items on the shelves of your local Harbor Freight, it's not perfect. But for $29.99 with a lifetime warranty, it doesn't really have to be.

This set nestles cozily inside the ubiquitous and unlabeled injection molded box that all Harbor Freight tools seem to come in, but possesses a slightly higher manufacturing quality than most items you'd normally find inside. Included are 3 double ended hammers of various types and 4 dollies, two of which are also double ended and easy to hold on to. The hammers are solid cast units so you won't have to worry about the pickhammer head coming off the handle and going into your person upon backswing.

I can't say that I know what each of these hammers and dollies are actually for at this point in my bodywork career, but all of the hammers seem to have some use in my project. Whether it was identifying corroded areas with a swift punch, dressing down raised areas, forming contours, or making crisp corners, I seemed to always have the hammer I needed - well, for my skill level anyway. The one thing that this set could use is a shrinking faced hammer, or one with a grid pattern on the face, but these are also cheap and readily available.

From a bodywork newbie's perspective, I'd say that you can't really go wrong with this set to get you started. Click here for the listing on Harbor Freight's site.

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