Old School Mechanic Tip #4: Homemade Gaskets Using Ball Peen Hammer

Happy to see you made it to the fourth installment of my favorite old school mechanic tips. This one is also pretty well-known but also not used enough. Instead of chasing around ordering gaskets for old engines you can easily cut your own gaskets. The old school mechanic way to do it; simply place the gasket material above whatever item you are wanting to cut a gasket for and use a ball peen hammer to lightly tap away the extra gasket material. It works awesome, is fast, and you’ll end up with a perfectly cut gasket.

Tools & Supplies Needed: 

  1. Ball Peen Hammer (16oz works great) here is my favorite ball peen hammer on Amazon you’ll use it for tons of car-related repairs over time I promise.
  2. Gasket Material– the most well-reviewed and cheapest gasket material can be found on Amazon hereIt is really stupidly cheap, and you can find it at any auto-parts store as well. 

Steps To Cutting Your Own Gaskets: 

  1. Clean the part you are making a gasket for completely leave any studs or bolts sticking up so you can tap out holes for them. In this example, we are cutting a gasket for a carburetor. 
  2. Cut a piece of gasket material wider and longer than the gasket you need. Make sure you have enough that every edge is covered. You will be cutting off the excess. 
  3. Using a ball peen hammer lightly tap around the bolts so that you can get the gasket to sit flat against the surface. Then proceed to use the rounded end of the hammer to tap around the outer edge of the gasket. The gasket material will then rip easily wherever you have hit with the ball peen hammer. Please be gentle! 
  4. Finish the process including tapping around the inside diameter. You can also use a tiny bit of grease smeared around the carb inlet so you can remove the gasket and cut the inner diameter out. Or just tap around the edges with your ball peen hammer and remove the extra gasket material. The beauty is that these custom gaskets work just as well, and cost pennies to make!


To see this mechanic life hack in action watch the video here:

Getting started with Auto Repair?

I spent hours compiling a list of tools needed for beginner entry-level mechanics and technicians, you can read my post here. I included photos and descriptions, as well as some of my favorite recommendations for inexpensive tools that are very high-quality.

Or if you love the topic of mechanic life hacks and tricks, click here to read my article on mechanic life hacks that actually work!



Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *