Air Swages

Tool Adjustment and Operating Instructions

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Suggested Overhead Support Method

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Place Trolley rail high enough so not to interfere with handling saws (approximately 7 feet).  To lift swage up and out of the way when not in use, arrange a small rope and sheave from higher up with end of line and attach to swage loop "A".

Detail of Trolley

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Setting Anvil to Gauge

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  1. Remove pin that connects die lever arm to cylinder shaft and remove die lever assembly.
  2. Make sure anvil gauge number corresponds with swage die.
  3. Insert anvil setting gauge into die hole.  Remove top anvil screw and insert anvil into anvil hole.  Tighten side anvil screw just until it will hold the anvil from falling out.
  4. Make sure you can turn the anvil setting gauge freely.  Re-insert top anvil screw.   Continue turning anvil setting gauge, and begin t tighten top anvil screw.   Tighten just until you feel a slight "Drag" on setting gauge and stop.
  5. Remove anvil setting gauge.
  6. Tighten side anvil screw.

Setting Head to Tooth

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  1. Set swage on saw.  Run saw through slot in swage head and rest shoe on saw tips.  Remove die from die hole and look to see if flat end of anvil is sitting flat on tooth with no light at either front or back of anvil.
  2. To adjust, loosen two screws holding guide arm and rotate head forward or backward until anvil sets flat on back clearance of tooth.
  3. Tighten screws in guide arm.  Recheck.

Setting Die Lever to End of Stroke

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  1. Assemble die holder, handle and die holder nut snugly.
  2. Insert into die hole and rotate lever counter-clockwise until eccentric die contacts anvil.
  3. Slip die lever on die holder until a comfortable swaging position is reached.
  4. Remove lever and die assembly.  Tighten nut on die holder.  Then replace in die hole.  Mark die lever to correspond with split in die holder for ease of re-establishing setting and as a reference if die holder should slip in lever.
  5. Move die lever forward until eccentric die contacts anvil.
  6. Move die lever back slightly (about 1/16").  Set front stop by bringing it up against the die lever and tighten.
  7. It is important to set front stop to hold eccentric die away from face of anvil to avoid damage to die or anvil.

WARNING:  Avoid contact with the air cylinder shaft when air supply is connected to swage.  You are working in a dangerous environment.  To minimize risk of injury, keep your work area clean and all tools in good working condition.
Setting Stop Collar For Bite

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  1. Set swage on saw and line up eccentric part of die by eye so it will pick up about 1/8" or 3/16" of tooth.
  2. Set stop collar (farthest from swage head) by sliding it back and forth along the cylinder shaft.  Toward cylinder reduces bite, away from cylinder increases bite.
  3. Swage tooth.
  4. Adjust stop for more or less bite.

Set Front Guide Arm Spring Screw

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  1. Set gap between end of the screw and guide arm spring if it is  desired to pull the tooth point down.
  2. Pulling point down will permit heavier grinding on back of tooth, if necessary to maintain tooth shape.



Armstrong Air Swages require very little maintenance. Regular cleaning is the key to keeping a good, accurate, reliable tool.   Swages have a number of parts that are consumed during swaging and need to be replaced.  Don't wait until you are having difficulties to replace them.

  • Keep spare parts on hand and use carbide whenever possible.  Carbide lasts longer, works better and costs less in the long run.
  • Keep swage valve and cylinder well lubricated using the lubricator supplied with each swage or you may wish to use an in-line oiler attached to your air source.
  • Make sure only clean, filtered air is directed into the swage cylinder.
  • Wipe swage down and inspect for loose parts and wear at least once a week.  When the die shows signs of wear, move it over 1/4" minimum.
  • Refer to Armstrong's "Back to the Basics" Swage and Shaper Troubleshooting Guide for more detailed information and answers to many commonly asked questions.



Long The long bite die is the mildest die, and produces the smallest kerf.
Short The short bite die is the most frequently used for "average" conditions.
Extra Short The extra short die is the most aggressive, giving the heaviest kerf.


Additional Recommendations for Air Swages

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  1. Use 1/4" air hose.  We recommend 80 lbs. maximum and 60 lbs. minimum.
  2. Use an air regulator and gauge to control pressure, in addition to the usual shut-off valve in the air line.  This allows precise control of the air pressure.  The regulator and gauge should be placed in the air line near swage operation, but not attached to the swage.
  3. The piston in the air cylinder is fastened to the piston rod with a shearing pin.   In the event of an accident or excessive air pressure, the pin shears off, releasing the piston and preventing possible damage to parts.
  4. Armstrong has air valve repair kits available (Part No. 5352-R) or you can send air valves directly to Armstrong for repair.
  5. Armstrong manufactures an optional air trigger conversion kit or "trip assembly".  Refer to photo.  (Part No. 6276-C1)
  6. Speed of cylinder stroke can be controlled by two screws located on the valve (see front photo) - one for each direction.  Note: Swaging too quickly can cause tooth crumble.   Keep your stroke smooth and steady.

Copyright(c) 1998-02, Armstrong Mfg. Co., All Rights Reserved
2700 SE Tacoma St., Portland OR  97202
voice: 800-426-6226  fax: 800-513-2529

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