Air hammers are one of the greatest tools for shaping metal. The air hammer uses pressure to pound, score, and cut metal. Shaping metal has never been easier. While it requires some knowledge, having the basics down will help you become better at air hammering.
Step 1 – Plan your Project
Before you even think about hammering, you need to plan. What is your goal with the metal? Think about the metal in terms of steps. Think about what you need to shape by pounding. Then, think about the more intricate work, through the cutting and scoring. What lines are you planning to cut on? Marking lines and marking out areas is the best way to ensure a clean project. Air hammers simply cannot be undone. Taking the time to set up steps will help you to have the perfectly shaped metal.
Step 2 - Adjust the Pressure for the Metal
Different metals require different levels of pressure. Certain metals, such as copper or aluminum, are going to require a low pressure. Other metals, such as stainless steel, will require high amounts of pressure. Not using the right pressure could ruin the metal, effectively ruining your project. Do the research, and ask professionals the right questions to understand exactly which levels of pressure should be used for specific metals.
Step 3- Shape the Metal
The first major step when working with metal is to do the shaping in general. Pounding out the metal, high and low, to get the exact look that you need. While some use these for looks, most will use air hammers for functionality. It is generally easier to shape larger pieces of metal. Simply cut off the pieces that you do not need once you have finished.
Step 4 - Cut or Score the Metal
After you have done the basic shaping of the metal, you are going to want to cut the metal. This is going to be time consuming; taking your time will allow you to have clean cuts and scores. Rushing may cause misguided cuts. Remember; the air hammer is pounding at hundreds or thousands of times per minute. Moving too fast could ruin your project. It is important to use the right tip for your cutting and scoring. Again, speaking with a professional for advice is the best way to make sure that you are using the right tip possible.
Using an air hammer can be difficult at first. Use a piece of scrap metal to practice. This will help you to get a feel for the tool; how fast it will move, and how you should operate it to get the results you want. Air hammering pieces by yourself can save you money and time in the long run. Taking the time to learn air hammering is the only way to do so.