Hand held air hammers

Hi all,
I am looking for a hand-held air hammer for repousse work on 1mm copper.
Please could anybody recommend a model/brand that would be suitable for
this?
I guess I'm looking for something with a short stroke and reduced vibration (or something like that).
I live in Britain, so it would really help if somebody could recommend a brand that I can get over here.
Also, does anybody know where I could get a selection of hammer attachments (i.e. not the chisel attachments that are usually included with the air hammer).
Many thanks!
Dave Willis
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Hi Dave, Have you considered an SDS/breaker drill? The sort where you can turn the rotary motion off and just hammer with it.
John
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James Crean wrote:

Find an outfit that sells aircraft rivetting tools and tooling for building or repairing aircraft.
You want to look at rivet guns.
They are rated in X's
A 1X rivet gun is suitable for very tiny rivets of soft marterial. A 7x gun is one badass rivet gun!
You will likely want a 2x or 3x rivet gun and I suggest spending what it takes to get a good brand like Sioux, Ingersol Rand, or Dessouter (sp?). The cheap air hammers sold for automotive work are fit only for use flat-out, and lack the control that is available from what is called a "teasing" trigger.
Rivet snaps (the equivalent to a chisel) are available in a couple different shapes, sizes and profiles. About the only shape I think would be of use to you as is would be a mushroom snap. The rest, you will have to shape to your needs.
The standard shank size to look for is .401 inches. You can use a coiled spring retainer, or do what most of the shops I have worked in do, run a tight stretched bit of bungee cord around the tool and the gun body to hold the tool in place.
Check at the newsagents for magazines relating to homebuilt aircraft. The tool seller that advertise there would be a good place to start. Stay clear of places that cater to artists unless you have a really good idea of what the tools are actually worth, as, without fail, these places tend to charge the highest prices I have ever seen on items that are dead common, if you know where else they can be got.
Search on ebay for rivet gun. They go quite cheap compared to buying new, and they are rugged tools with few things to go wrong. If they do not come with one, put an adjustable regulator on, to control the maximum speed. Wear ear protection!
Cheers Trevor Jones
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You might also try rec.crafts.jewelry, that should be right up their alley.
Bob

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hi dave i use one of those air hammers that i bought at my auto supply house i adjust the power by turning down the regulator on my compressor. i found an easy way to make tools for it is to cut off the chisels that come with it and press on (bore out so as to make a press fit) my own heads. it helps if you have access to a lathe, or drill press. have fun, mark
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Gday Dave, whatever type you get, you've come to the right place to get hammer attachments and tools made..... we're Blacksmiths, thats what we do....
Actually it is pretty easyto reshape the tools that come with the air hammer. So if I were you, I'd look for some extra tools to suit whatever brand you get. Try flea markets and pawnbrokers. You'll often find the attachments forsale after the airhammer has been broken, you should get them for a song, after all what use are they to most people.
Do we have any British smiths here that could help??
good luck, regards Rusty_iron Brisbane, Oz.
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On Mon, 16 Jul 2007 17:24:01 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (Mark Finn) wrote:

Take a regulator and remove the screw. Mount it on a home-made foot pedal so that pressing on the pedal exerts a force on a rod that extends through the hole to the diaphragm. You've made a very sensitive foot-operated speed control for the gun.
I've made several of these and use them for a variety of air tools, from sanders to air hammers. You can add a spring to act in conjunction with foot pressure to add a bias or minimum air pressure if you desire.
John -- John De Armond See my website for my current email address http://www.neon-john.com http://www.johndearmond.com <-- best little blog on the net! Tellico Plains, Occupied TN It isn't Global Warming.... It's Jerry Falwell arriving in hell.
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Hey Dave & all, I use a cheap import, short stroke, air hammer/chisel unit for the same purpose that you have in mind. Auto parts stores, hardwares stores sell these probably all over the world. They are a good starting point anyway. Look for the slowest hammer rate (blows per minute). The faster the blow rate the harder it is to control the tool and you can end up work hardening the piece before you get much shaping done. I dream of a real aircraft rivet tool like from "usairtools" but at $300 compared to $30 I'll have to make due. I think US Air Tools does sell reconditioned units for about 1/2 price of new. The most effective tools I have made for my unit consist of an "engineering plastic" such as Delrin or Nylon, shaped like a bullet or blunt chisel, this is held in a tight fitting socket which has been welded to a standard air tool shank (end cut off first). SOrry if this is a little vague but it's easier to show than describe. There are certain problems when making these tools trouble free due to the stresses imposed by the action of the hammer. First I tried boring a hole in the end of my plastic bullet and press fitting it on the shank. After about ten minutes enough friction developed to melt the plastic. Second try, I welded a piece of steel tubing to the end of the shank then inserted the plastic bullet. Well the weld broke and that was that. After much farting around I finally got an arrangement that works. Check out the link for "metal shapers". This is aimed at homebuilders of cars bikes and aircraft and is absolutely the best source of information on sheet metal forming I have ever seen. There are some VERY clever people out there making machines and tools. And some of their completed projects are not be be believed! "metal meet"is OK too but "metalshapers" is THEE place. I am just completing a 3'x6' copper mural consisting of several panels framed together. It has a Chinese Dragon theme. Anyone wants a peek let me know and I'll post a petite jpg. image. All in all Dave, the airhammer method has a lot of potential but still won't replace a good set of hand hammers. They make an ungodly racket and are very hard on your hands. If you a reasonably equipped shop and a lot of patience the go for it.
Glen Gardner, Pgh. Pa
http://www.usairtools.com / http://www.metalshapers.org http://www.ustool.com / http://www.metalmeet.com /
James Crean wrote:

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wrote:

One of these http://www.axminster.co.uk/product.asp?pf_ide6657&name=palm+nailer&user_search=1&sfile=1&jump=0
Not one of these http://www.axminster.co.uk/product-Axminster-Air-Hammer-Kit-30625.htm
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http://woodworker.com/cgi-bin/FULLPRES.exe?PARTNUM 7-072&LARGEVIEW=ON Something like this.
Sears has a carver and so does the pro grinding tools what drive knives for wood.
Higher speed - small pulse and focused. A big tool has so much force it will take the copper sheet with it. The tools are also blunt.
Martin
Martin H. Eastburn @ home at Lions' Lair with our computer lionslair at consolidated dot net TSRA, Life; NRA LOH & Endowment Member, Golden Eagle, Patriot's Medal. NRA Second Amendment Task Force Charter Founder IHMSA and NRA Metallic Silhouette maker & member. http://lufkinced.com /
Andy Dingley wrote:

http://www.axminster.co.uk/product.asp?pf_ide6657&name=palm+nailer&user_search=1&sfile=1&jump=0
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Martin, If you support the work piece properly and shape your tools properly you can avoid tearing through the sheet metal, well, most of the time anyway. The tool you suggested might work for some fine surface chasing but will not have the force required to really push the metal. I have a self contained pneumatic engraving tool called a Gravermeister and it will do some "jewelery sized" repouse on softy metals but mostly I only use it for surface effects. This unit has a magicmarker sized handpiece with a chuck for holding tools. A lot of "bird carvers" use it on wood with sharp chisels. It is a great, albeit expensive unit. It all comes down to physics. You need a certain mass moving at a certain velocity to get a particular job done. Metal, even soft copper, needs a fair amount of force to make it go where you want it.
Glen G.
Martin H. Eastburn wrote:

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I know, I have an air chisel I use. It is by impact to much for a copper. A large sheet might be supported, but when doing humming birds there isn't much of a sheet the other side is 1/4" away.
I tend not to get them - but holding it down with a screw driver and using a carver would be the best. Most of my copper is 26 ga or .0216".
Martin Martin H. Eastburn @ home at Lions' Lair with our computer lionslair at consolidated dot net TSRA, Life; NRA LOH & Endowment Member, Golden Eagle, Patriot's Medal. NRA Second Amendment Task Force Charter Founder IHMSA and NRA Metallic Silhouette maker & member. http://lufkinced.com /
GSG wrote:

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Andy an all, First you should understand that any of these pneumatics will only help doing rough out work. Fine detail and fine control is difficult if not impossible in my expierience. I am imagining you want to work on fairly large pieces of sheet copper? How do you intend to support the work piece? I usually work the metal over some form of steel die with the copper clamped down tight against it, on a heavy steel bench. I work pieces up to about 1 meter square and about the same thickness as you (.050") I have tried a "palm nailer" but it did not have the yarbles to do much work. Try to borrow one from a cabinet maker and you will see what I mean. Really the most effective tool for the money is an auto shop,pistol grip air hammer. An "aircraft" riveting tool would be better but costs around 10x more in the U.S. The best hand held pneumatic hammer for this kind of work is made by the Swiss company Eckold but their unit is $1500.U.S.! The Eckold unit is used for shaping and planishing smooth curves on auto and aircraft panels. I imagine some one will raise Hell if I post a picture of the copper mural I just finished but if you want to see what I can do with a pistol hammer with nylon tipped tools i can send a small picture file. Just let me know. Glen G. In Pgh. Pa USofA
Andy Dingley wrote:

http://www.axminster.co.uk/product.asp?pf_ide6657&name=palm+nailer&user_search=1&sfile=1&jump=0
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GSG wrote:

Look at ww w. metal working .com (remove the spaces) click on "dropbox" and read the instructions.
It's a good place to drop the odd photo. Once it's there, copy a link to the pic and post that here.
Or use any of the free hosting sites, like photobucket or google pictures.
Many of the news servers will strip the image off your post if you send it direct over usenet.
Cheers Trevor Jones
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Thanks very much to all who have replied to this thread - lots of great suggestions there!
Dave Willis
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