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Old 12-28-2016, 07:55 PM
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Jack 1957 Jack 1957 is offline
MetalShaper of the Month Dec . 2016, Sept 2019 Metal Shaper Of The Year 2021
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Strongsville,OH
Posts: 1,063

Originally Posted by Kerry Pinkerton View Post
A suggestion Jack. Not trying to be a know it all and you may already know this.

You'll find it is much more efficient to have the top of the stump about crotch level. That way, your elbow will still be bent and your stroke more efficient. Plus it is easier on your body. Also, while you certainly CAN crush tucks with a bat hammer, you'll find it is much more efficient with a cross pein plastic head. Wray Schelin and Joe Andrews sell them.

Finally, while I can't tell if your stump is flat or has a dish in it, if it doesn't, you'll find that a dish in a wooden stump will hold the tuck in place and help it to shrink much easier. If your dish is cone shaped, you can actually create the tuck by whacking the metal held over the dish and then simply crush it down.
Thanks for the input,Kerry. I used to have this stump on a roller cart that raised it up but the garage floor has a ridiculous grade to it and even with the wheels chocked I ended up chasing it all over the garage. When I put the stump back on the ground I did notice that it was a little less ergo-correct but just got on with business. I considered scouting out a new stump also since just last year this one developed a full length crack that goes in to the center. I never gave much thought to ergonomics but what you're saying about ideal height makes sense. Even on the cart it was never at crotch height
As for the plastic hammers, I have a couple. They're way back in the bottom drawer where they've rested virtually unused for decades. I could never develop a "feel" for them, especially while tuck shrinking. I always had a problem with them when trying to close the tuck. At the point when the tuck starts getting a sharp bend, the hammer slides off the peak if you don't hit it exactly right. The wood mallets and bat hammers don't do that.
Today I was watching the Jag quarter video Wray did and noticed that he was having the same problem sometimes. If you watch it you'll see it. It really isn't that much of a problem and if I took the time to be a little more accurate I could get past that problem. I guess my point is that I am familiar and comfortable with wood mallets so I instinctively reach for one. I have a few and one that I really like. It needs to be replaced since one of the faces, from use and abuse, looks more like a broom than a mallet. Maybe I'll dig out the plastic and give it another shot.
Also, my stump does have a dish but I think it's too small for this. It's about 7 or 8 inches diameter and about 2 inches deep. I think I'm going to make that into a teardrop or comma shape, or maybe just an oval tomorrow.
Usually when I do a tuck, I am putting in the initial blow like you see in the last picture. Then to crush, I would be holding the panel away from me with the tuck edge dug into the hollow face nearest to me and hammering toward me on the tuck walking it up the hollow toward the edge. This works fine for the smaller stuff but a radius this large needs a larger dish.
Sometimes I do what I do because it has worked in the past, without considering that every job is different. Lesson learned; Think about what I'm doing and keep an open mind.

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