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Old 04-25-2018, 09:46 PM
egw egw is offline
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Default Hammering out dents in metal shells?

I'm wondering if anyone here has had any luck doing this. I've got 3 metal-shelled snare drums (2 brass and 1 aluminum) that have dents. In fact, all 3 of them have dents under the strainer. And to be clear, what I mean by "dents", is they were probably dropped and landed on the strainer, which pushed the metal of the shell in slightly. Not a direct blow to the shell or anything like that.

I'd like to apply pressure somehow from the inside to push them back out. But the trick would be doing it without causing any further structural or cosmetic damage to the shell. I seem to remember having read somewhere about pounding a bag of sand with a hammer from the inside? Does that sound right?

Any ideas or help are welcome. Thanks in advance! Ed
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Old 04-25-2018, 11:37 PM
cin cin is offline
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Default Re: Hammering out dents in metal shells?

I've done it successfully using this technique:

Remove all the hardware, obv...
- Put a soft cloth on a sand bag and form the curve of the drum into the sandbag using a nice undented area of the drum as model.
- Rotate the drum to lay a dented area on the sandbag.
- Put a soft cloth inside the drum where you're about to hammer.
- Using a rubber mallet carefully and slowly hammer out the dent, checking often under the rag for aim and results, and at the outside too.

Repeat as needed for all dents. You may want to reform the sandbag between dents.

I was very careful on mine, and got great results.

Last edited by cin; 04-25-2018 at 11:49 PM.
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Old 04-26-2018, 10:05 AM
cuquito717 cuquito717 is offline
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Default Re: Hammering out dents in metal shells?

To remove dents use a steel Ball roll it over the dent till dent is removed. By banging with hammer you make more indentations in the metal.
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Old 04-26-2018, 05:25 PM
egw egw is offline
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Default Re: Hammering out dents in metal shells?

Thanks for the advice, guys!

Cin, are you talking about a standard large rubber mallet?

And Cuquito, how big a steel ball are you talking about? And do you just roll it by hand? And using how much force?
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Old 04-27-2018, 07:55 AM
OddBall OddBall is offline
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Default Re: Hammering out dents in metal shells?

Most auto body shops have a rolling machine for dents and fabricating. Maybe check one out. Not mechanic, go to auto body, it's a different skill.
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Old 04-27-2018, 10:50 AM
seantdrums seantdrums is offline
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Default Re: Hammering out dents in metal shells?

I have knocked dents out of every make and price range of snare drum shell using lots of techniques. I agree with oddball if your not sure take it to an auto body place and they have all the skills and tools ive even used their services myself on odd occasions.....sean
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Old 04-27-2018, 11:01 AM
cin cin is offline
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Default Re: Hammering out dents in metal shells?

Yea, I've done mine with a regular rubber mallet, but grabbing it high on the handle and strategically using various surfaces of it. Start slow and gentle and look at the effect it has, then adjust accordingly. The autobody place is not a bad idea though..
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Old 04-27-2018, 07:09 PM
egw egw is offline
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Default Re: Hammering out dents in metal shells?

Funny, my father-in-law's shop does auto body work in addition to mechanic work (in addition to inspection/insurance). But I generally try to keep my distance from the father-in-law, so I haven't asked him about it. Plus, I had assumed that an auto body shop would really only focus on how it looks from the outside.

Last edited by egw; 04-27-2018 at 07:12 PM.
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