All right, as result of a recent class action suit I have $50 to spend on CH air tools. I'm going to get an air hose or two plus one smaller air tool. Either a cutoff tool, a 3/8" air ratchet, or a die grinder. Any oft-used recommendations from the group?
At the moment I'm thinking die grinder because I find myself outgrowing the old Dremel. The cutoff tool seems redundant since I don't do muffler work and I already have angle grinders and a Porta-Band. As far as the air ratchet, everyone talks about how handy they are but I've never seemed to need one. Either use an impact wrench for big stuff or a manual ratchet for small stuff.
There are some other possible tools, but mostly things I have no use for like penumatic caulking or grease guns.
Anyone? Would I really love getting an air ratchet?
I had to take up about 400 sf of tile. I thought about how to do it, and had dreams of breaking it with a hammer. Doing it with a hammer and chisel. Then my wife said, why not get one of those air thingies? (she meant an air chisel, but I didn't want her to think her ideas on tools were anywhere close to my level of expertise.) I tried for about an hour with a hammer, then a hammer and chisel. I removed a couple of tiles, broke a nail, and nearly wore out my right arm.
So, I went to Home Depot, and got a Husky. It comes with four or five points.
It was a stack of slab, glue, Congoleum, (the original floor), then mortar, then tile.That tile came off like big paint chips. Many came off whole, and could be reused. The underlying mortar came off like a breeze. Where adhesive had been used on concrete, it cut it like butter. It was worth the exorbidant price of $25 just for that one job.
Fast frame forward a few weeks. I needed to cut some more dome shaped panels out of 4x8' 22ga paint lock. I had used Wiss hand shears on the others, and had almost gotten over the blisters. I got out the cutter point, and zipped through six cuts of 4'+ each in no time.
I used it to fine chip out some concrete through a footer to lay a pipe.
An air chisel is one of those things like an impact driver. You use it only a couple of times a year, but when you do you absolutely know that it has just saved you a lot of time and work. I would definitely get an air chisel, but a die grinder is something I am currently shopping. I am looking at a $600 Foredom, but think I might try a $20 cheapie air die grinder first.
Why don't you just get one of everything.
A guy can't never have too many fishing poles, guns, or tools.
I am with Anthony, get a 90 degree die grinder. It is the tool in my shop I use most. It does suck a lot of air, so if you have less than a large 115V compressor it will get frustrating. I use mine with 2" Roloc sanding and scotchbrite disks, change in seconds. My cheap one was getting flaky, so I bought an Ingersoll Rand unit, why buy cheap when you use the tool a lot?
A regular 1/4 inch die grinder is also very useful, but I prefer my Makita electric one, looks like an oversized Dremel, to a 1/4 inch air die grinder. The Makita is easier to hold. Get Carbide burrs for it, I love the ball carbide burrs, but other shapes are also useful, such as the cone. Carbide burrs cost $5 to $10, and really remove metal.
Anth> firstname.lastname@example.org (GTO69RA4) wrote in
||It was a stack of slab, glue, Congoleum, (the original floor), then mortar, ||then tile.That tile came off like big paint chips. Many came off whole, and ||could be reused. The underlying mortar came off like a breeze. Where ||adhesive had been used on concrete, it cut it like butter. It was worth the ||exorbidant price of $25 just for that one job.
I had a similar experience removing a 5x5 section of ceramic tire from an entryway. After burning up an angle grinder and laboring a while over it's replacement, I got out the air chisel and made short work of it.
Same deal with removing the hard tar-like sound deadener in a racecar project. I spent most of a week trying the obvious methods - solvent, angle grinder, etc - then finished it with the air chisel in 30 minutes. Very satisfying. USE EAR PROTECTION.
But for small air tools, I use the 3/8 butterfly more than the 3/8" pistol-grip or the air ratchet, even though both of the latter are better quality. You will want a swivel whip hose with these small tools.
Die grinder is essential, 90-degree version much more comfortable to use.
I sure do like my HF Cheapo pneumatic grease gun. I will get another one. I sure do like my HF Cheapo pneumatic rivet gun. (are you getting a pattern here?)
I'm a convert to air ratchets after removing and replacing a water pump in about 20 minutes, used to take upwards of an hour to get at some of those inaccessible places. If you don't do a lot of car work, it might be toolbox ballast. It's not an impact tool, so there's not as much chance of shearing bolts off as with an impact wrench. You can throttle it down with one of those combo valve/swivels, too.
If you use a Dremel a lot, check out one of the 1/8" mini-die grinders, HF usually has them on sale for about $20. Two are better than one, swap tools instead of pulling mandrels or burrs. One of mine takes standard Foredom collets, a plus. There's another one that doesn't take anything standard, though. Foredom has a nice set of collet wrenches for changing tools, they're connected by a length of beaded chain, harder to lose one. Work great on the Chinese, too, better than the collet wrenches they come with.
One thing I'm currently contemplating is one of those pneumatic band sanders for weld cleanups and snagging castings, more than $50, though. I've got one of the angle grinder conversion units, it works pretty good, but isn't for continuous work.
If you use a lot of Dremel cutoff disks, the 3" cutoff tool lasts a whole lot longer and can do heavier work. Doesn't necessarily have to be limited to mufflers, I've used mine for carving up PC cases where I couldn't get an air nibbler in.
On 20 Dec 2004 23:56:35 GMT, email@example.com (GTO69RA4) calmly ranted:
Both cutoff tools and die grinders are really, really handy. And I suggest picking up rubber hoses if possible since they're MUCH easier to handle than the PVC hoses which have a mind of their own and a nasty attitude, especially when cold.
Air sanders, pistol-gripped 90-degree rotarys, are real handy, too. They can replace the heavier angle grinder, especially in tighter spots.
When I was wrenching for a living, I absolutely adored my air ratchet. But when not working in enclosed areas, it became less useful and the 3/8" butterfly impact works on most things at half the weight of the 1/2" drive gun. I just picked up a 3/8" pistol-grip impact gun from HF last weekend for $19.99. It should handle anything up to the lug nuts on the truck.
-------------------------------------------------------- Murphy was an Optimist ----------------------------
When you have gotten the usual list of air tools, add the big HF tile chisel when they put it on sale for 1/2 price, about 4 foot long, and when you see a venturi (sp) air cooler at a flea market for just a couple of dollars, get one of those, and oh yeah the 3/4 inch impact that was in a shoebox and looked reasonably complete although in parts, and a second, smaller, air ratchet for really, really, tight places, and the HF air recip saw, used it to slice through some trim nails when removing door molding, and the HF gasket scraping chisel, and get a needle scaler, not only good for rust, but also for stippling concrete to improve slippyness, and other uses yet undreamed off. And don't forget the 5hp IR twin to supply enough air, (although the term enough is never enough from it comes to compressed air), I did buy the IR air chisel (IIRC) as I figured when you use the air chisel you tend to abuse the tool.
I went out yesterday and blew $10.99 on a Taiwan made die grinder from Princess Auto. I made this choice because I ran out of disks for the dremel and had some 3" size but no high speed device to turn them. I also have a couple carbide burrs and some 1/4" mounted stones. Gerry :-)} London, Canada
I've got 2 of those venturi coolers (Exair); they are really cool (sorry)! You could get frostbite from the cold air, or a nasty burn from the hot exhaust. Trouble is, they seem to use a *lot* of air for the amount of cooling they generate. Not a gadget for the guy with only a 2 HP compressor. Lots of fun, nonetheless.
Also, someone recommended rubber air hoses. I've had no end of problems with every Taiwan and Chinese rubber hose I've bought (OK, after a couple of failures, I learned). The rubber outer jacket cracks after the first year. OTOH, the Boston Rubber hoses (hose-clamped onto quick release fittings) and the Goodyear made-up hoses have given me years of trouble-free service.
||I've got 2 of those venturi coolers (Exair); they are really cool (sorry)! You ||could get frostbite from the cold air, or a nasty burn from the hot exhaust.
never heard of them.
||Trouble is, they seem to use a *lot* of air for the amount of cooling they ||generate. Not a gadget for the guy with only a 2 HP compressor. Lots of fun, ||nonetheless. || ||Also, someone recommended rubber air hoses. I've had no end of problems with every ||Taiwan and Chinese rubber hose I've bought (OK, after a couple of failures, I ||learned). The rubber outer jacket cracks after the first year. OTOH, the Boston ||Rubber hoses (hose-clamped onto quick release fittings) and the Goodyear made-up ||hoses have given me years of trouble-free service.
If you want a great air hose, go to a place that makes hydraulic hoses and have them make you one up from low-pressure flexible hose. They will outlive you. Texas Parts Guy
A neat gadget which feeds compressed air in the side in such a way as to make it swirl around. Right beside where it is injected, there is a baffle which has a central hole about half the area of the swirl area. This leads to one side. The other side has a tube which is the diameter of the swirl area, and goes for enough distance (perhaps six to ten times the diameter, and then reaches a hole as small as the one in the baffle.
The air swirls, with the higher speed molecules spending most of their time near the OD, and the slower ones spending more of their time near the center. The hotter molicules are faster than the colder ones, so you wind up with cold air exiting through the hole in the baffle, and the hot air going to the other end.
With careful tuning of the hole sizes, you can get quite a difference in temperature of air out the two ends.
And this with no moving parts.
But -- it takes a *lot* of aiflow, so it is not an economical air conditioning system. It *is*, however, nice for cooling right where the cutter is working.
When I first learned about these, back in the mid 1960s, I had to try making one. It was my first time using a small milling machine which was available at work, to make the vents to inject the air in a swirling manner. I didn't know at first about the "hot" exit end needing to be about the size of the hole in the baffle, and only discovered that by holding my fingers to cover part of the exit (while connected to a filling station's air line). That got my fingers rather hot rather quickly. :-)