Monday 9 March 2020

Hammer Weathering Applied to Skips

Some of the six skips of German DIN type I aquired last year have been on the workbench to receive some punishing before painting and weathering. Most skips lived a hard and productive life leaving traces like bulges, bends, dirt and corrosion.
A line of skips showing some of the irregular buckling and wear resulting from many years of hard service.
I'm currently drilling three holes in the skips' body's bottom centre line. On the prototypes the holes helped to drain water from the skip bucket. I marked out the position of the holes with a simple jig to ensure equal spacing. Each hole were then started with a hand drill and drilled through with a Dremel.

With the body off the frame I first used flat nosed pliers to lightly bend parts of the metal work. I predominantly added bends to corners and exposed edges, where the skip body would most likely suffer contact with excavator shovel, structures or hit the ground during unloading or derailments.

I also tested if I could replicate the damage inflicted when trying to empty the skips from dried or frozen gravel sticking to the skips' sides. Workers used sledge hammers or iron bars to work the outside of the skip body to release sticky loads. At Nystrup particularly the clay rich overburden could be hard to release from the skips. After years of treatment like that many skips had a pronounced inward bulging.

I went about the process quite simply. I went to my shed where I keep tools etc. On the workbench there I used a piece of wood to position the skip body. With a hammer I made a series of quick blows (well directed, of course) to the skip body. The result was dents of different shapes depending on angle of attack and strength of force. I kept testing if the body still moved freely on the skip frame.
At the workbench in the shed. Ready for hammer weathering!

Bang! Hitting with a corner of the hammer's sharp end produces a small diameter depression in the metal. The skip's frame is standing by for testing if the body looses its overall shape.

The skip body with traces from my rather harsh hammer weathering treatment. This body still needs 3 holes drilled.
With 5-8 blows by the hammer I decided to take a break and examine the results. While the damage done by the hammer can be repaired to a certain degree with the same tool, it's better to stop and assess the result.
Two skips with hammer weathering. The rusty skip has been prepared with two different rust colours in preparation for air brushing with chipping medium and a covering paint. Its wheel treads protected by masking tape. The grey skip has only had the hammer treatment.
While it may not be too obvious in this image, both skips have a random pattern of hammer damage added.


  1. Hej Claus

    Fint med "hård patinering", men husk nu på at de fleste buler kom fra indersiderne af baljerne!


  2. Hej Arne.
    Tak for kommentaren. Faktisk kommer det lidt an på hvad vognene kørte med. Grus buler ikke meget. Større sten kunne beskadige baljen indefra og ud. Jord og ler gav ikke mange buler ved læsning, men hvis lasten hang fast, skulle der tæves med hammer for at få leret til at slippe. Det gav buler, der kom udefra. Det kender jeg af personlig erfaring fra veteranbanen - selv grus kan hænge godt fast. En kilde til skade var naturligvis også maskinførere med dårlig kontrol over gravemaskinens skovl. På det øverste billede ses lidt af variationen i hvordan bulerne kan se ud.