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Scranton Scramble


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#1 stuarthesmith

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 09:04 PM

Today, as a consultant in an advisory capacity, I accompanied Dan Manders, a member of my new group, the Philadelphia Blacksmiths Guild, to examine a "90 pound Scranton" hammer which was for sale. I have seen many Scranton hammers, and saw immediately that the hammer was smaller than the 90, and was in fact the model with the 70 pound head. Further consulting with Dan, I advised him that the hammer was generally mechanically sound, with tight babbit main bearings, no broken parts, and only in need of minor tweeks. Although the hammer has a 70 pound head, it hits way harder, because the "tup" also includes the spring mechanism, and upper die, as well as the saddle holding the spring mechanism. These hammers actually hit very hard. The only tweeks this hammer is in need of are new canvas belting to replace the rotted leather belting between the shackles on the leaf spring ends(the hammer has been outside for ten years, hence the "rot"), and straightening the arm which actuates the belt tightening pulley wheel, which is slightly bent, and easily straightened. We used a rollback truck owned by a friend of Dan's, chain binders and chains, holding the hammer down on the truck diagonally through the hole in the casting for long forgings, and a safety strap across the top of the hammer. Upon arrival at his shop in Philadelphia, we winched the hammer down the truck bed, then rolled the hammer over 100 feet through Dan's shop on short lengths of pipe used as "wheels", to its final resting place. For folks interested in replaciing the "metalica" which runs through the hammer head from the ends of the spring with canvas belting, we shall absolutely post a latter thread, complete with step by step pictures, of how we wind the canvas through the head. Several months ago, I posted a thread, showing pictures of my very similar hammer, my 200 lb. williams and white hammer, showing the canvas wound through MY head, so I thought I might accommodate folks interested in how I do this in a future thread. Enjoy the pictures!

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#2 peacock

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 09:41 PM

Looks like a good hammer. Will be looking forward to the tweeks. I have never used canvas. I work with leather and I always have some so I use that, will be interesting to learn something new. Your young friend is lucky ot have someone to help him. Pass it on Stewart.

#3 stuarthesmith

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 10:00 PM

I served a five year apprenticeship, back in the seventies, under a very generous russian master. I consider this my opportunity to "pay it forward". There is nothing better than contributing to the enthusiasm of someone thirty years my junior that has the same love of iron that I did three decades ago.
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#4 K A Willey

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 08:09 PM

That looks like it will be a nice hammer when you guys get it rebuilt.

#5 stuarthesmith

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 01:21 PM

http://www.iforgeiro...210#entry261210I took these pictures of my 200 lb williams and white for dan manders' benefit. Just like his scranton 70 pounder, flexible belting material goes through the hammerhead from the ends of the hammer's leaf springs. I brought down from my shop in upstate pennsy a brand new roll of canvas belting, to accommodate his hammer. It will handsomely replace the rotted leather belting that runs through the head of his new acquisition! In the first picture, in the background on the floor, you can see boxloads of the steel that I am using to manufacture anvil tools for big anvils

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#6 Dan Manders

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 01:33 PM

Thanks Stuart! I'll be in touch after the weekend.

#7 stuarthesmith

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 03:07 PM

Here is the rebuild. The first thing we did was to take off the old rotted leather belts. To do this, we rotated the flywheel until the upper die was in the highest position. We put woodblocks between the dies to keep the head in the highest position and not slip or fall downwards, creating easy access to both the hammerhead and the leather belting needing replacement, We had to remove the bolted clamps holding the rotted leather in place in order to get rid of the rotted leather, which you see in the first few pictures laying on the shop floor after removal.

The next thing we did was to wind new canvas belting through the head, from the clasps on the ends of the springs, winding the canvas as tight as we could through the head, three complete revolutions through the head. To keep the canvas belting from slipping, rather than using the original clamps which held the leather belts taut by drilling through the leather belting using threaded bolts which tightened up the leather, we fashioned new tightening clamps which hold the canvas tight AROUND the canvas belting, tightening the bolts OUTSIDE the new canvas belting. This enables us to get the canvas way tighter, preventing it from sagging the hammerhead too low. Finally, I thoroughly lubricated the hammer, greasing the living daylights out of the ways, and oiling the two main bearings and the stroke arm bushing which the leaf spring mechanism is suspended from, after thoroughly cleaning up the oil reservoirs and hammerhead ways. As soon as Dan locates a jackshaft and electric motor, this hammer will be "good to go"!!!!!!!!!!!

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#8 John Hartzell

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 08:32 AM

Nice hammer

#9 E.F. Thumann

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 09:55 PM

Manders,

I was hijacking the other thread, so I thought I would post my response here. I don't know how clear I was when I said it was natural that the oil would drain out of the front bearing b/c that is the one that takes the higher radial load. To clear things up I didn't mean that it needs more oil, I meant that the excessive radial load causes the front bearing to wear faster than the rear one, and that leads to increased clearance between the shaft/bearing (which is why the oil drains out of the reservoir quickly). You have a few options: 1) the simplest "get-you-up-and-running", would be to get a piece of clean cotton, wrap it tightly, and put it in the holes on the bottom of the reservoir to act as a large wick, and then make a small sheet metal cap for the reservoir. It's import that you keep the reservoir covered bc the EBD (evil black dust) that is pervasive in all fab/smith shops is abrasive, and it will gather on any flat surface, and in the reservoir's case, it will mix with the oil and get drained down into the bearing (not what you want). Option 2) you can either drill/tap those holes or drill/tap brass plugs that will allow you to put two small wicked oil cups on the top of the bearing cap, which will keep the oil clean, and evenly metered (within reason). 3) You do the same drill tap scenario, but install grease zerks for applying grease to the hammer instead of oil. I was using Vactra #2 on my fairbanks before I switched to grease for the main shaft bearings. I was in the same predicament as you are now(in that the bearings would puke the oil immediately), so I felt it was a safe bet to just go with a quality red lithium grease and call it a day. The red color is also sweet in that you can pump until you stop seeing any dirtiness in the grease, and know that you are fresh up with all good stuff.
Andrew

#10 Dan Manders

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 11:33 AM

Thanks Andrew, I understood what you meant about the draining being natural on the front, I just didn't know if you were saying that it indicated the need for an immediate fix (vs. just adding more oil frequently). I did some research on that type of bearing though and I guess that is what you were saying, since it looks like the shaft doesn't just want to be lubricated but actually wants to ride on the film. In the interest of keeping it simple I'd rather use the wicking method for the front bearing if I'm going to stick with oil for the back, even though it seems like grease may be a better option at this point up front. I'm wondering if since the back bearing is still tight enough that it doesn't dump the oil it will be too tight a fit for the grease. I have no idea if that's a legitimate concern or not. If not. I'll probably just put zerks on both and start using grease. Thanks again for all the advice, it's much appreciated.

#11 stuarthesmith

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 11:56 AM

I agree that grease is a viable option, or, oil the heck out of the leaky bearing, often and repeatedly. Oil and grease are extremely cheap, in comparison to the cost of parts. I oil and grease the living daylights out of my hammers, which may be why I have given them such hard use with so little downtime
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#12 coolhand

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 08:27 PM

I just pulled the zircs out of my babbit bearings and switched back to oil. I always thought thinner was better just as long as you keep it oiled. And that was originally how the hammer was made. Im not into reinventing the wheel

#13 Dan Manders

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 03:59 PM

DAN!!!!!!!!!!!!! Wedges holding sowblocks need to be DRIVEN out. On all my hammers, for this purpose, I have forged COUNTERWEDGES for loosening both dies and sow blocks. Custom forged counterwedges are a godsend for loosening dies and sow blocks. I use medium carbon steel for the wedges, and smack them with a 20 pound sledge. If you still cannot get the wedges out that hold the dies, or the sow block, call me..............I will be in philly for a few days!


I tried knocking the wedge out, so many times! Never forged something to fit though, just used flat bar that fit the slot well. At any rate, I've done something stupid and knocking it out is no longer an option. I tried drilling it out from the far side, using one of those really long drill bits, and put a few holes in it but the bit didn't reach all the way through. So I grabbed a length of star dirll rod that fit the size hole the bit made, and started hammering that in, thought being it would go nearly to the end of where the wedge was grabbing. Well, as I hammered it it kept moving in slightly, and I figured the whole time that it was smushing itself into one of the long holes I'd made. When I ran out of length to hammer on after an inch or two, I used a piece of flat bar to keep pushing it. Kept going in, but the wedge didn't move....by the time I realized something was wrong and looked inside with a flashlight, the rod was bent up like an accordion in there.

After this I welded 1" bars to the protruding end of the wedge and put a 1" crossbar on that, and attempted to pull it out as mentioned in the other thread. After the chain snapped I set it up differently, and this time the wedge sheared off an inch INSIDE the slot. At that point there are few options remaining, so I used a cutting torch and went at it a little at a time, melting some and then chipping the slag out. This worked well, only problem is that I got it back far enough that the tip on my torch no longer reaches far enough inside the slot and I've still got an inch or two of wedge left. My next step was going to be making a very small oxygen lance, with a guide so I don't hit the edges of the dovetail slot or the dovetail on the sowblock. I figure worst case I can touch up the slot if it gets marred, since I plan on adapting the sow block for a quick change die insert system (no mill or shaper, and I can't pay a machine shop every time I want a set of dies). If you think there's a better way, let me know and we'll try. I'll be working in the shop all day for the next few days.

PS, I swore I had a lot of pictues documenting the above ordeal, but I think my phone got tired of me not clearing stuff out and has decided to start doing it on its own. I guess they don't call it a "smart" phone for nothing :rolleyes:

#14 ThomasPowers

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 04:13 PM

Have you tried heating up the entire system and see if that loosens it up a bit? Remember the old trick about the ball and the circle and them interfering until heated? I'd go with that *before* mashing things or drilling. Even better is heating the outside and chilling the die/wedge with dry ice.
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#15 Dan Manders

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 04:36 PM

I did try heating it all gently with rosebud and letting it cool. And a whole can of penetrating oil. I did read about the dry ice trick somewhere while researching it, but never tried it. At this point though, there is an inch or two of wedge left, one side covered in slag and the other blocked by a bent up piece of tool steel, and the closest piece of the wedge to daylight is about 2". Good grief. I agree with you on not mashing or drilling until necessary, but at this point it's already been done...any thoughts on a logical next step?

PS, just for reference regarding how stuck the keys are, the guy I bought this from had it sitting outside & uncovered for the last 10 years, and I have no idea as to its last use before that.

#16 divermike

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 04:50 PM

man, I am really enjoying reading this thread, thanks all for sharing.

When the metal speaks to you, the learning has begun.


#17 stuarthesmith

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 08:22 PM

worst comes to worst, call me...............................I have been changing dies on my hammers for decades, and have become pretty adept at knocking out the wedges that fasten the dies to the sowblock. I do a lot of swaging on my hammers, and drive the wedges that hold these dies in for dear life, to prevent die wandering. I once used a wedge that was too short, and couldn't get it out, after hours of pounding. Instead, I got a big block of lead, found a colleague who acted as my striker, and using the lead as a shock absorber, drove the DIE out, rather than the wedge!
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#18 Sam Salvati

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 08:07 AM

This will be a fun hammer when done! Might pay you guys a visit out there once it's runnin!

#19 Dan Manders

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 08:22 PM

Haven't really gotten to work on the sow block yet, but today Stuart found me this lineshaft. It's got pulleys in sizes that will work for my hammer's 12" pulley, and has some nice hangars with it. One step closer...thanks Stuart!

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#20 maltesehunter

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 06:57 PM

Dan, you got yourself a very nice hammer. Should be a real joy to use once it is up and running. Jake




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