Howard Booster Shrinking with TM-Technologies shrinking dies

Flat blank .032 aluminum 3003 H14

Turn flange (no shrink yet)
Resting the piece on the lower die move it back and forth, letting the hammer knock over a flange. The main panel will bow because you haven't shrunk the flange yet.
 Push to form ruffle. Use both hands to push metal around post and this will force a ruffle to pop up.

Aggressive ruffle forming. Put some muscle into it and don't hammer too hard and you'll quickly shrink the ruffles.

Work ruffle down, Trap and crush just like you would by hand ... but be careful that you don't fold the ruffle over double.

Flange with shrink (1 minute)
With the flange shrunk down, the main panel will again be flat.

Work crown, Back off on the air pressure & gently work the crown down to drive shrink inward.

Drive shrink into the panel
Continue working shrink inward.

Driving shrink aggressively.
To be more aggressive, start at edge and gently drive inward. Hammer too hard and you'll just stretch the edge out again.
Continue driving Hammer hard enough to work down the ruffles and wrinkles and drive the shrink inward, but not so hard that you stretch the metal.

The shrink has been driven about half way across the panel.

Howard Booster

Total time about 3 min
This should get you started. As you get
better at the process, the steps shown
above flow into one another and you
learn to work the metal as opposed to just following a receipe by rote. 
For best results, get 1-on-1 instruction.
It's worth it.
Shrinking the center
by  Howard Booster
Using the air hammer to shrink in the middle of a panel is a little trickier than shrinking from the edge, although the basic idea is the same.  Somehow you need to gather all the extra metal from the crown you want to reduce into one place with as steep a ridge as you can.  Then you gently drive it down just like you do on the edge.  This is easy to do on soft materials and high crowns.  It tougher on hard or springy material and long low crowns. 

To accomplish the gathering and ridge forming I use two methods.  The first is the squeegy approach used to drive a shrink in from the edge of the panel.  I set the hammer up so that the dies are fairly close together and then start at the edge of the crown I want to reduce and drive inward toward the center of the crown.  If you lift up on the piece as you feed it into the dies, this tends to leave the metal flat behind the dies and gathers up the extra metal in front of the dies.  At some point a wrinkle will usually appear and the idea is to encourage it, making more passes toward the wrinkle trying to sharpen it up and trap it by running the dies up to it from each direction.  When you have captured the ridge, then gently work it down.

The other approach is similar to setting the piece with the crown to be reduced on the floor and bashing it flat with a mallet.  With the dies set up with a normal spacing, hold the piece up off the lower die a bit (perhaps 1/4") and let the upper die come down and make dents in it.  Then you gather up the wrinkles as before and work them down.  If the metal is thin, you can sometimes use light taps to gracefully work down the crown without forming wrinkles or dents first.  Rather like using a metal slapper to flatten a high spot.


click here for tool analysis