Thursday, July 31, 2014

After nearly four years of searching, I have finally completed my Snap-on autobody hammer collection.

My collection includes 22 hammers - 20 different part numbers, plus two duplicates.  The two duplicates were chosen because there was a significant redesign over the years, so I chose to include both.  There are three hammers that I have chosen to include although they don't match the style that I'm collecting, and a few older hammers (pre-WWII) that I have chosen to exclude because they were made in a completely different shape.  The last two I needed were the Blue-point BF615 and the Snap-on BF635.

I won the Blue-point BF615 on eBay last week, and finished up the restoration tonight.  I was able to save the original handle, but re-dressed both faces and repainted the head.

Here are the Blue-point BF615 and Snap-on BF615 hammers, you can see that the curve switched at some point in history.

I received the last hammer tonight - the Snap-on BF635 door skin hammer.  This is one of the hammers that doesn't fit the style I'm collecting, but I decided to include it.  I removed the factory supplied red fiberglass handle and installed a fresh 13" hickory handle.  I also sanded the edges around the striking faces for two reasons - it was very slightly too tall to fit into the 2" tall drawer where it will live, and it also better matches the rest of the collection.

This hammer has a weird "X" mark under the head.  It also looks different than all of the others, so I'm assuming it was made by another manufacturer.  It doesn't look like a Martin based on the eye in the head and the unknown "X" mark, but I'm not sure who it may be.

And here it is - all 22 hammers stuffed into one drawer.

From top to bottom:
BF616 dinging hammer - this one is really rare, but they do pop up pretty frequently.
BF614 long pick hammer
BF632 curved dinging hammer, modified with a hickory handle
BF603 pick hammer, modified with a flat face and sharp pick
Blue-point BF615 reverse curve hammer (sideways) painted with the modern black color scheme
Snap-on BF611, modified with a high-crown polished face and sharp pick
Blue-point BF611, modified with a polished face and blunted pick
BF635 door skin hammer, modified with a hickory handle
BF633 curved vertical chisel hammer
BF630 blunt pick hammer
BF634 vertical chisel shrinking hammer.  This is the rarest of them all, and is the most expensive hammer I have ever purchased.
BF613 dinging and finishing hammer
BF606 large face finishing hammer
BF610 shrinking hammer (sideways).  This one is totally useless.
BF604 cross peen hammer modified with polished faces and a Fay Butler handle
BF617 round face shrinking hammer
BF612 small finishing hammer (sideways) painted in the modern black color scheme
Snap-on BF615 reverse curve hammer
BF631 cross peen shrinking hammer.  This one is almost useless, but I might use the peen end.
BF618 high-crown cross peen hammer
BF608 curved cross chisel hammer
BF619 donkey dick hammer

Here are some highlights from the collection.  These two here are the most rare - the Snap-on BF634 and Snap-on BF633.  These were only made for a few years before being discontinued, and they only come up for sale about once a year.

These two hammers - the BF632 and BF635 - were only available with red fiberglass handles.  They don't fit the style of the body of my collection, but I decided to re-handle them and include both shapes.

The Blue-point BF619. This is the third hammer that doesn't quite fit in with the rest, but it's a useful shape so I decided to include it for practical reasons.

This is the Blue-point BF613 hammer, it has become one of my favorites to use.  It has a medium-crown small face and a low-crown large face, plus the long each makes it really versatile.  The balance is just right, and it just feels great to swing.

This is a modified Snap-on BF604B cross peen hammer.  I have polished the face to a near mirror finish, and shaved away some of the handle at the recommendation of Fay Butler's website.  Fay Butler is one of the most talented metal shaping teachers in the world.  I have not had the pleasure of meeting him, but I've read a lot of his articles.

These are my two BF611 hammers - one Blue-point and one Snap-on.  I have polished both of these to a mirror finish, and one has been ground into a high-crown shape.  One has a blunt pick, and one has a sharp pick.  These are useful for lightweight work, since they're both small frame hammers.

This hammer was my first restoration - a BF603 pick hammer

This is my Snap-on BF608B curved cross peen hammer - the first Snap-on body hammer I purchased.  I was instantly blown away by the quality, and this is truly what started the addiction!  You can also see the Martin 155 hammer that has since been sold, which is similar to the Blue-point BF619 that I recently restored. I took this photo in January 2011, 3-1/2 years ago!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

I'm back to my hammer addiction!

A few weeks back, I picked up some of the last two hammers I need to complete my collection.  This is a Snap-on BF610 shrinking hammer, which is essentially uesless, and a Blue Point BF619.

Neither hammer was in particularly good shape, so I refinished both of them.  I was able to save the original handles, which is a bonus in this case.  The BF610 is uesless other than my desire to build a complete collection, so wasting another $16 on a fresh handle was out of the cards.  The BF619 uses a slightly different handle, which is no longer available new.

The paint is a bit more glossy than I would prefer, but they turned out decent.

This face was really bad, I had to sand off quite a bit of material to get it smooth.  It's mostly round, with a slight barrel shape so the contact point is close to the center of the hammer.

I also scored another BF615 reverse curve hammer, but this is an earlier model branded as a Blue Point.  At some point in history, I believe somewhere in the late 1950s, these hammers switched from Blue Point to Snap-on brand.  Blue Point is a sub-brand usually reserved for products made by other companies.  The old Blue Point hammers were also red rather than black like the new hammers.

Here is how the early Blue Point BF615 hammers differ from the later Snap-on BF615 hammers: the curve direction of the round and square faces are switched!

This hammer will be my next restoration.  I have one more in the mail, so my collection should be complete within the week!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

New tools!

I found a cheap Proto 1-7/8" socket on eBay for hitch balls.

Then I went to visit my buddy Snap-on Dan...

He was in the mood to drive his forklift, so I let him load some things into my truck.

So I decided to upgrade my work toolbox from a Harbor Freight 4-drawer to a fresh Snap-on KRSC326 in gloss white.  I ordered it 5-6 weeks ago and it finally arrived!  The footprint isn't significantly larger, but it's a bit taller and full drawers.  Plus they're still made in Algona, Iowa, so I took the chance to support American manufacturing since it pays my bills.

The drawers are still an unorganized mess, the HF was so packed that everything was just thrown in place and I didn't have room for any organizers.

I also splurged on a 10-19mm Snap-on Flank Drive Plus combination wrench set.  I've been eyeing this up for years, and finally went for it.

I sold my US General cart to Jimmy, and moved it into his garage.  He has tons of storage space now!

I found a water pump for my old Ford from Bob's F100 in California.  I also ordered all new hoses and a thermostat from LMC, with the intention of replacing the entire cooling system (except the rad).

Nobody was at the shop Saturday morning, so I hooked up a tow strap and tugged the old Ford into the garage.

I replaced the upper and lower rad hoses, both heater hoses, all of the hose clamps, thermostat and gasket, water pump and gasket, and every bolt, nut, and clamp that I removed.

Then I went for a cruise!

I cruised to the Freedom Farms cafe.  This is the family from the Farm Kings reality show, which I have never actually watched, but they make delicious food.

In "random project" news, I dabbled in appliance repair.  These are such simple little creatures, only a handful of components that are all $20 to replace.

This time around it was the thermal fuse.  $20.

In other random news, I went to the beach with my family last week.

I sniffed out some old Fords!

Brother Fazz, Afazz, and Papa Fazz.

This weekend I went to the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix with my buddies Fro and Jason.

This Corrado was pretty clean.  I just noticed the creepy face in the background haha.

Tubbins' bagged R32 on CCW splits.

This old BMW had a cool Patina.

The paint on this 2002 was beautiful!

Under the hood wasn't so bad either.

This super clean E30 M3 passed us on the way home from the beach.  At legal speeds, of course.  I was happy to check it out at the show.

Jason's wrinkle red machine.

Wrinkle red, wrinkle black... WRINKLE EVERYWHERE!!!!111!

Clean '66

Ferrari F40!

This wasn't a real 250GTO, which are valued at ~$50 million, but was instead a re-bodied Ferrari 330 Series I.

Jason pointed out the asymmetry in the airdam of the Ferrari 348s, which is totally '80s rad.

F355s are badass.

I also went to visit Dave this weekend, and his '67 F100 is back on the road!  He welded in all new floors and cab mounts, after finishing up some wiring it was time for a victory cigar.