How to Form Sheet Metal with a Rubber Mallet

A rubber mallet.
  • 1 hours
  • Beginner
  • 25
What You'll Need
Rubber mallet
Block of wood
Old towel

If softer blows are required when shaping something such as a metal sheet, a rubber mallet is the most effective tool to use. It actually looks like a typical wooden or metal hammer only that the head is equipped with a rubberized cover. Because of this, every pounding on the metal will not leave any mark on the material being shaped up with a milder blow.

Typical designs come with a wooden handle and are 12 to 28 ounces heavy. Rubber mallets are commonly used for forcing tight-fitting wooden parts together, changing the position of plasterboard, or in upholstery. But aside from this, a sheet metal can be formed using a rubber mallet or a dent or piece of metal can be disassembled or flattened again using the same tool. A perfect example where a rubber mallet is perfect for use is to flatten out the metal dent on your car. Here are the steps on how to do it.

Step 1 - Assess the Damage on the Metal First

Before you start tinkering on your metal or start pounding, evaluate first how large the damage is. Examine if there are ripples, bumps, or creases. This is important as it will help you determine the extent of effort you will have to exert as well as the amount of time that you have to spend in order to flatten the metal.

Step 2 - Clean the Area to be Flatten

After assessing and determining the area to be flattened out, remove any dirt on top of the metal so that during pounding it will not be incorporated with each blow. For most cases, it's recommended that you wash the area to be flattened out. After washing, the area should be dried before you start pounding on it. Aside from dirt or grease, remove anything that may interfere with the whole process of pounding. Nails or other metal sheets that will not be used should be placed away from the working area.

Step 3 - Put an Appropriate Block of Wood against the Metal

The block is placed against the metal in order to aid in spreading and even out the force every time the rubber mallet strikes the metal. It is also done such that no marks will be left on the metal during each blow. It is also important to wrap the block of wood with a piece of rug so that the mallet will not leave any marks on the metal nor will it damage existing paints.

Step 4 - Start Flatting out the Metal

When the block is already in place, you can now start flattening the metal. Before the first strike, it is often advised that the head or the rubberized part of the rubber mallet be covered with a rug. This is also done to eradicate marks on the metal. It is important to always remember that taking ones’ time will help give the best result.

Since rubber mallet is often used due to the relatively softer impact it has on the metal, then it should follow that the pounding is gentle but with just enough force. Firmly take a strong grip on the handle of the mallet and strike the part that needs to be flattened with force. Ensure that you observe proper interval before proceeding with the next stroke.