View Full Version : Power hammer shrinking dies
could anyone give me details on how these dies are shaped? I think I know, but it doesnt make sense to me. thanks.
12-05-2005, 09:39 AM
I haven't seen any good pictures on Kent White's shrinking dies. Even in his planishing hammer DVD, he doesn't show any good close up's. I think that Butch Duke has a set of these dies. Maybe he could explain how they work.
12-05-2005, 09:45 AM
If I recall correctly, the dies are made from some type of material with grip, but they are only textured, not shaped like a thumbnail die is. The shrinking comes with the technique of making a tuck by manipulating the panel to form a tuck and then hammering it down to shrink. This is all accomplished between those jaws. I think it is more about technique than it is the tool. Pretty clever! I believe I saw a tutorial on this on the other metalshaping web site that went into a lot more detail than Kent does on his web site.
12-05-2005, 10:25 AM
The dies are made of some special secret material. Howard Booster, a student of Kent's, has a set and posted some photos on the Metalshapers site a few years back. I couldn't find them just now.
Howard and I also had some off-line discussion about the dies after Kent sent me some nasty emails because I had the audacity to ask how they worked. Anyway, Kent's dies do make a difference BUT it is more process than tool, imho. The lower die is a radius and the upper die is flat. It takes a LOT of hammer to shrink. The CP hammers don't have enough guts and I doubt most rivet guns will unless you are up in the 6x/9x level. My IR chipping hammer will.
The process is as John described. Pull down on the metal to form tucks and then crush them with the hammer. If the dies are not polished they seem to work much better.
12-05-2005, 01:02 PM
I have been using Kent Whites system for almost 5 years now. The shrinking dies are Magnesium, both top and bottom. Mag wont stretch the material. The set for shrinking aluminum is plastic. The bottom is shaped like a button, with a flat spot of aprox 1" in the center of the bottom die. The top is flat. You shrink like what was mentioned, by making tucks and trapping with the machine, not a tucking tool.
I have shaped an awful lot of 16g CRS in this machine with a medium powered gun. It does a great job, but can not be compared to a thumbnail die.It has plenty of power, just the method is slow. This is a perfect machine for the average guy, but if you have lots of shrinking to do on large panels, its a pain in the butt!
I am buying a Shopdog to do my shrinking with, but these two machines together will shape some material really fast!
Tim @ Irrational Metalworks
12-05-2005, 04:25 PM
Out at MM04 John Tuto - Tinman - was shrinking with his homebuilt planishing hammer. That's the one with an e-wheel lower anvil. Like you have all said, it seems to be mostly a technique. John's lower anvil did seem to help in trapping the metal to form a tuck though.
Clever man http://184.108.40.206/forum/images/smilies/icon_smile.gif
12-05-2005, 08:10 PM
I have seen Kent do a few demonstrations at Airventure in Oshkosh and as in previous posts it is probably more technique than tool. I have a lot of pictures but at the moment I can't seem to lay hands on them, I have found a couple from 2004.
12-06-2005, 02:48 AM
I have shaped an awful lot of 16g CRS in this machine with a medium powered gun. It does a great job, but can not be compared to a thumbnail die.It has plenty of power, just the method is slow.
Two questions about the "medium powered gun". How much air does it consume?
What is it? A rivet gun? What power?
12-06-2005, 05:30 AM
Couldnt tell you how much air it uses, as my compressor is outside and I cant hear it over the hammer!
It is a medium power rivet gun. I have tried the next one up and it is violent! I use it for heavy shrinking on 16g. but the medium gun stays in the hammer most of the time.
Tim @ Irrational Metalworks
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