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  #1  
Old 12-22-2011, 10:35 AM
gashammer gashammer is offline
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Default Chicago Pneumatic Planishing Hammer Setup

I recently acquired an old Chicago Pneumatic planishing hammer. I've used it a few times to get the hang of it and really like the tool. As with any tool, I'm sure there are setup parameters and techniques which should be adhered to when using the tool. Does anyone know the operating pressures I should be using? Also, what is the ideal distance between the upper hammer and lower die? Is there a place which I can download an operators manual for this thing?

I don't want to go 'hog wild' and end up with a broken tool!

Thanks!
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Old 12-22-2011, 10:43 AM
bobadame bobadame is offline
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Fay Butler wrote a pretty good book on the subject.
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Old 12-22-2011, 11:15 AM
CARS CARS is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobadame View Post
Fay Butler wrote a pretty good book on the subject.
Don't spend a minute posting a link

http://www.faybutler.com/airplanishbook.htm
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Old 12-22-2011, 11:16 AM
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mr.c mr.c is offline
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I had issues with getting mine to function consistantly. So I asked Neil.
Here is how Neil Dunder told me to set mine up:

You should have one inch of the air motor extension at full pedal with die contact.
Make sure that the pedal does not touch the floor.
Adjust pedal stop at the base so that the you have 1/16" air motor extention with no pedal pressure.

Something that I learned from Clay Cook as I was standing and observing someone using one of his demo hammers was that most people use too much air pressure. I dial my pressure way down. When I say way down, I mean in the 20-30 psi range. It depends on your work. You may need to run more pressure. Experiment with the pressure settings.
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Old 12-22-2011, 12:29 PM
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Marty Comstock Marty Comstock is offline
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If I were to run mine that low of a PSI, I would likely fall asleep while using it.
I generally run our handheld at full line pressure unless I am getting into something tricky. I just let up on the handle to throttle it. When I cant reach the handle for good control, then I am likely to cut the air pressure back and use a regulator. Different frames will require differing amounts of force too, a bigger frame will flex more, hence you'd likely want to put more into it to get more out of it.
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Old 12-22-2011, 12:34 PM
CARS CARS is offline
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I think I used my CP hand-held at around 90 psi.

I'm still trying to figure out my HF framed, IR powered planishing hammer. What works one day doesn't seem to work the next. (odds are, it's the operator!)
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Old 12-22-2011, 10:06 PM
John Buchtenkirch John Buchtenkirch is offline
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Mike, I really don’t care for CP hammers as a hand held hammer (much prefer my Watervliet) but I have certainly used enough of them. As long as you keep them oiled you just about can’t kill them, they just leak air when they get older. I have bought rust seized ones, soaked and literally beat them apart and they still hammered fine after a little cleanup. I like using planishing hammers in a state of constant die pinch, I only lift the die for jumping on top of a ripple in the metal. You might consider making a pedestal type stand to hold that hammer, in my opinion that is where and when a CP hammer really stands out and shines. ~ John Buchtenkirch

Last edited by John Buchtenkirch; 12-22-2011 at 10:29 PM.
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Old 12-23-2011, 09:29 AM
gashammer gashammer is offline
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Thanks to all for the replies. John, the unit I have is a floor mounted tool with a round pedestal. This is an old, robust machine that can really pound metal. As I've seen some for sale with a cracked power head, I didn't want to give it hell without learning some basic setup. Thanks for the tips!

Though I don't post much, I really appreciate all of the combined knowledge of this site.
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Old 12-23-2011, 12:19 PM
Overkill Overkill is offline
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Ron Covell just came out with a DVD regarding planishing hammers. He doesn't really get into the set up of each, but does go over some technique.

Although a bit messy, I've added an oiler and regulator to my CP floor mount hammer. My goal is to keep the motor from wearing as much as possible. I too run at low pressures for planishing, higher when I'm stretching.
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Old 12-27-2011, 02:49 AM
John Buchtenkirch John Buchtenkirch is offline
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Mike, I’m kind of surprised you have run into so many damaged CP hammers. I remember someone posted a photo of a CP main body barrel with the top broken off a few years ago but of the dozen or so pedestal type hammers (all ex Grumman or Republic Aviation hammers, some from WWII) i’ve had none of them were broken. Counting all the hand held hammers I picked up at swap meets and turned over I’ve had at the very least 20 CP hammers and they all worked after a little TLC so broken CP hammers haven’t been the norm for me. I also have quite a few hours running CP hammers without any failures but I did have a stem break off a non-CP lower die a few months back. ~ John Buchtenkirch
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Last edited by John Buchtenkirch; 12-27-2011 at 02:51 AM.
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