advice on air chisel
just need it for panel separation and maybe knocking off under coating and some cutting. Not sure though. Mainly for panel separation. 3500 bpm or 2100? I imagine 3500 would be smoother but wouldn't it be kind of weak? Any advice appreciated. Already have a quick connect thingy so would be nice if it's compatible with that and has a trigger that you can control for the softer hammering when needed and not just full blast.
Put a paint gun regulator valve in the air line when you want to slow it down if you canít feather the trigger easy enough. I use it full speed 95% of the time. I use a bit with a slight bend to open up the seam when I pull the skin off a door. Goes fast. I also have a bit that cuts a strip of metal and rolls up the strip. Nice for demolition on collision damage when I want to walk my way in to look for other damage without sawing into something that is going to stay.
hahaha, sounds awesome. I'll go with the 2100 bpm and that sounds fun.
TGWYPF. A harbor freight air hammer IS NOT a tool you want. Spend 100 bucks or more on a good one.
I only have a harbor freight cut off wheel. I don't really get air tools from there. Is this a good one? Doesn't have to be the best and I have a quick connect thing that screws in already.
Not so fast.
Originally Posted by 88GT
I have a cheapie HF air hammer image_222.jpg and an Ingersol Rand heavy hitter hammer. 15413_lg.jpgThe cheapie doesn't hit as hard, but it's like a little buzzsaw on steroids. The bad thing about it is the all or nothing trigger . There's no in between.
The IR hits slower, and harder, and has a nice trigger that you can feather.
I replaced a couple of control arm bushings once, and I thought the IR would work better, but the little HF hammer worked better. It hits so fast it moved the bushings better.
For cutting sheet metal the high hitting hammer would be better.
If I were you, I'd get both since you want to get the IR anyway.
The cheapie HF can be had for under $10 usually including a few chisels.
Air chisels 101
A good air chisel/air hammer is an important tool for the bodyshop and picking the right tool will make your job a lot easier and less tedious. They come in short barrel and long barrel versions. You can buy a short barrel air chisel (taiwani) for around $12 and it is a real piece of sh*t because they have no power and they are either fully on at some ridiculous speed that its hard to keep it from jumping out of your hand ----- NO CONTROL. I have three air chisels, a Snap On long barrel, an antique Ingersol Rand long barrel that I bought used in the mid 1970's and have used it often (great tool). I also have a long barrel new Ingersol Rand which is a good all around air chisel. I use the Snap on mainly for doing front end work like ball joints, tie rod ends etc etc. It hits the hardest but is not as controllable as the 2 IR's I have. For bodywork you want an air chisel that is controllable down to very slow beats per second. Faster beats per second does NOT mean the tool will be more smooth to operate, the opposite is true. The faster it hits the harder it is to control. A cheap one will dance around more than a cheap DA.
All the good air chisels I've seen come with a built in air regulator so no need for a screw on regulator. And I agree with Bob about chisel blade choice for panel separation. Get a relatively long chisel blade with a slight angle about three inches from the end. It should be about and inch wide at the chisel end (a little wider won't hurt).
They make two different types of panel cutting blades. One is like Bob told you about that cuts out a 1/8" ribbon of metal and the other does not cut a ribbon of metal out, it just rips right down the panel. I one I have used the most for demolition work is the ripper blade.
If you have any access to used surplus aviation air tools an air rivet gun/rivet hammer makes a good bodyshop air chisel. They come in numbers followed by an "X". The higher number X the more power (harder hitting) they are. That is what my antique ingersoll rand air chisel is (I think its a 4X).
I just noticed Cools post and the two IR chisels I have look the same as the picture of the tool on the right.
Also if you look at the two pictures of the air chisels you will see that the cheap chisel on the left is SHORT barrel chisel while the chisel on the right is a LONG barrel chisel. Short barrel - NOT good. Long barrel - Good.
so the actual body has to be longer and not just what comes out of it? It's hard to tell The one on the right that cool posted looks like it has a longer barrel. Do I just get one that's advertised as a long barrel?
Yes, make sure the chisel/hammer you get is a long barrel. If you're still not clear on the differences then do a search on ebay for Long barrel air hammers then do a search on ebay for short barrel air hammers. The long barrel ones sell in the $100+ range up to $200 while the short barrel air hammers sell for $20 or less. There is a reason why one is $200 and the other is $20.
Buy a good air hammer and while you're at it buy a cheap one Just for the hell of it. There is no better teacher than experience. Use them both and you will quickly appreciate why one is better than the other.
You will be amazed at the difference working with one then the other. Normally I wouldn't suggest someone buy a cheap piece of crap air tool that will probably end up in the trash can but in this case the cost of less than $20 for a cheap air hammer is really money well spent when used in evaluating the actual differences between a short barrel and a long barrel air hammer.
I have a cornwell long barrel. I have or had an IR short. Also had a craftsman short and a couple HFs long and short. The HF long was ok but it didnt last and lacked gonads. Big gonads and copious trigger control are key. An air hammer/chisel is useless without those 2 traits IMO.
The IR short I had was fair. The rest were all bonified POS tools
My advice on the air chisel is to buy the best you can afford and then SELDOM take it out of the tool box!
Drill spot welds and split panels with hand operated tools will provide you with a MUCH better job with less work than the "time saving" air chisel does.
If you use a hammer and panel spliter after drilling out the welds properly you will spend a little more time and save a LOT more time repairing the bent up metal to weld in the new one.
The first thing you have to remember and something that a lot of guys will forget, even pros, you don't have to be careful with the panel you are replacing, and you don't to save it, you don't have to be careful with what you are throwing away! Cut the darn thing away to give you working room. Cut the darn thing away to give you access to welds AND most importantly to the seam so you can split it apart, "unbolting" it.
I personally use a spot weld remover 95% of the time. You want to talk about buying tools? THIS is the tool you want to buy.
It's a Spitsnagle (crap I forgot how to spell it) sold by Dent Fix. It is the ONLY tool I would own for this use and worth every dime of it's cost. You will save money just in the drill bits you are not wearing out! They last five or ten times longer because they are being used perfectly like in a drill press.
This is what your average panel looks like when removed by an air chisel after drilling spot welds. Now tell me, what time did he save?
This is another method for removing spot welds, lots of guys will use this method the entire job! In a tight spot like a drip rail it can come in handy. I personally use a little 1/32" wide disc for everything I do, including cutting spot welds like this. I took this photo of a co-worker's work.
I am a big believer in not abusing tools and damn it, use it the way it was intended. But this is one case where I use the wrong tool and have found that it is the best tool for splitting seams. This is a gasket scraper, one from one of the big boys, SnapOn and I have been splitting seams with it for over 20 years!
I sharpened the sides as well as the end and it is without a doubt the best tool I have ever used for splitting seams.
thanks for that martin. I've used a disc before and like that method if the top piece is gonna get replaced. Right now I use the hole saw type bit and they tend to break but they have two good sides to them. I'll probably get the ew one that's like that but with a thicker holesaw bit but I have to drill a small hole in there before hand. I hear those ones last forever. I think I'm gonna get a mac ah750 for $150. Comes with bits as well. Thanks guys.
Forget that hole saw, I used them for about a week before I trashed them. If you don't want to spend the money for the tool that Brian shows you can get excellent results using a Wivico bit shown below and a decent variable speed drill. Put a drop of oil on the metal before you start drilling and rotate the bit slowly so that it mills off the top piece of metal. Doing it this way the bit doesn't get hot and it lasts a long time.
Originally Posted by tech69