Very recently, I’ve seen some hammers and dollies imported from Asia that appear to be of decent quality. Unfortunately, there is no good way to know exactly what you are buying, unless you can talk with someone who has used these tools, but if you are looking at imported hammers and dollies that have an obviously “cast” appearance (cast metals usually have a distinctive texture to the surface), I’d suggest going with something that you know is made from forged tool steel.

What is the best way to fill the 3⁄8-inch holes in the body panels like on the bedside of a truck or fender, where the clips have been used to mount trim? Should I just fill the hole with a rosette weld, make a plug for the hole, or put a piece on the back side?

Tom Hickey
Via the Internet

The BEST way is to use tightly-fitted plugs. You’ll get more shrinking with a rosette weld, and if you weld a piece on the back side, you’ll be creating areas on the panel that are double-thickness, making it nearly impossible to do accurate hammer and dolly work to straighten the panel. To make this job easier, Bob Drake sells “Plug Kits” that provide an assortment of pre-cut round sheetmetal plugs in various sizes. The phone number for Bob Drake is (800) 221-3673, and their website is www.bobdrake.com.