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I don't care what color you paint your hammer, but chances are I'll scratch it and cover it with oil if you choose to have me service the machine. Especially if you paint the hardware or have me using a manual chain hoist to take things apart. My recommendation would be to wait until service has been completed before applying that hot pink topcoat, or bomber art, or at least lay off the nuts and bolts, and save some paint for touch ups.

The hammer you should buy depends a lot on your budget, experience level, and what you want to do, a 25 pound little giant is better than your right arm. That being said, I would only have a self contained air hammer, no external compressor hammers, no mechanical hammers. If you already have a huge air compressor, a utility type is an ok option, but not my first choice, there are a lot of reasons for this. In the self contained market, my first choice would be an old Nazel. Second, Massey clearspace. Third any of the following in no particular order; beche, chambersburg, vulkan, demoor, some kuhns. Fourth, Turkish import, sahinler before say-mak. Chinese last. Any used machine will probably require service.
Kind of a loaded question, big vague answer, sorry. I'd be happy to help further but I really need more info, and you might too. I get this question a lot and it's almost unanswerable without at least having the data I touched on in the first sentence.

I make keys on a milling machine. Tom Clark used to forge a taper roughly similar to the key then drive it in until it stopped at the small end. Then he would heat a short area just to the big end of that and hammer it in, upsetting the key into the hole. Repeating this process a little at a time until he had filled the entire keyway. I don't know if that's any better than just measuring, laying out, and carefully sawing and grinding to shape. Either way, and I usually do this with machined keys as well, they really need to be hand fit. It's more important with really big hammers because all the force, but even small ones need good key fit. When I know I'm getting good contact on quite a bit of key, I put some Prussian blue on there, put it in and out, working the high spots in between with a file then scraper until there's a good 85-90% contact. Then cut the ends off in the case of top keys that will interfere with ram guides. In all other cases I leave them long so they're easy to hit.