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Air Flange Tool And Auto Body Repair

Feb 6, 2008
Completing any job in the workshop is always easier if you have the right tool available. One area in which this is particularly true is body work on autos. If you want to be able to provide the best possible finish for a customer when repairing their vehicle, then you will need a full range of auto body work tools including an air flange tool.

One area where many workshops can really struggle is in providing large scale panel repair on a vehicle. In order to return an area of the body shell to its original condition, it is often necessary to replace an entire area of metal, and unless you have the tools to add metal to a frame work effectively, this will not be possible, and you will be forced to replace the entire component, such as a door or fender. This will result in a much higher cost to the client. With an air flange tool, you can use it to simply re-skin a door with fresh metal, negating the need to replace the entire door, or engage in a lengthy panel beating session.

An air flange tool is designed to use the compressed air supply in your workshop to deliver a compressive force to a piece of metal in order to fasten it into place without the need for welding. By using the air flange tool you crimp one piece of metal onto another, and thanks to the enormous force that the tool can deliver, it creates a very tight fit that will last.

An all-new panel will not suffer from any of the defects that you may get in one that has been beaten back into the correct shape, and will also sit better on the car than a wholly replaced door. If the panel is cut properly to shape in advance, then actually using the air flange tool can be a great deal quicker than actually hanging a door on the car and installing all the electrics.

Of course, there are many other uses for an air flange tool than reattaching panels, and the tool can be used to punch neat and clean holes in sheet metal for bolting into place, or for allowing wiring looms to pass easily into the correct place. The breadth of different jobs that you can use the air flange tool for will soon become apparent as it finds its way into your hand whenever you need a reliable tool.

There are a number of different air flange tools on the market, and all of them are compatible with the standard compressed air supply that you find in most modern workshops, meaning that it can be integrated seamlessly into your current work shop environment, and be used immediately.

Prices for an air flange tool start from under $65 for the pistol grip style Astro Pneumatic AST600PT model, which is a robust and reliable tool that is flexible enough to carry out most day to day jobs. While it will not handle the heaviest duty sheet metal, it, forms a smooth crimped edge that is set up ready for welding. Thanks to its relatively light weight at just two and a quarter pounds, you will be able to use if over extended periods of time without having to worry about getting tired.

Of course, by investing a little more in your tool, you can get something a little more powerful like the Mountain MTN 7378, which retails at less than $90 at Red Hill Supply. This tool can handle punching holes through metal up to 5/16" thick, and will crimp metal up to 5/32" inch, making it ideal for body work jobs.

At the top end of the market, there are a number of specialist tools that use the air flange tool technique to reliably and quickly re-skin doors. By spending around $280 on an Astro Pneumatic ASTDS1000 Pneumatic Door Skinner, you can complete the task of adding a new skin to a door to a factory standard very quickly.

If you are serious about getting the best finish for your body work repairs, then an air flange tool is the right item for you. It will cut the amount of time taken using a manually powered tool in half, and give you a much superior finish thanks to the high pressure it can apply to a task.
About the Author
Jason has been in the construction equipment and industrial sales business for over 10 years. He owns and operates Red Hill Supply to better serve the automotive and industrial industries. - Air Compressors
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