John Larson

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About John Larson

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  • Birthday 01/15/1942

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    http:[email protected]

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Baltimore, MD
  • Interests
    Metal working, wood working, old trucks, hot rods


  • Location
    Baltimore, MD
  • Occupation
    metal worker

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  1. Thanks, JNewman. SJS should have been more explanatory. Troy, you won't have trouble with the Ironkiss 50's grunt. By the way, another customer rescheduled later, for September, which moves your build to early summer. :-)
  2. It is imperative to NOT expose your utility air hammer cylinder and valves to synthetic oil in liquid or fume form because the synthetic oil causes the O-rings and seals to swell irreparably. Because air compressor manufacturers now seem to want to place synthetic oil in crankcases to increase times between oil changes, they have sabotaged valve and cylinder manufacturers who declare it imperative to not use synthetic oils. The NFPA published a technical paper in 1977 advising of the problem. Quincy reciprocating compressors seem to arrive with non-synthetic break-in oil, so when changing the oil after the break-in period just use standard non-synthetic oil. Every single encounter I have had with Ingersoll-Rand new compressors is that they use synthetic oil, but you need to verify the situation for yourself. If you obtain a new compressor or a used one that is almost new that uses synthetic oil you will have to clean out the crank case thoroughly, not just drain it, to eliminate all traces of synthetic oil. Fumes travel into the main air line and will definitely affect longevity of the valves in the utility hammer. A contaminated receiver tank will eventually cleanse itself, I suppose, but you may want to use a post-tank high efficiency oil fume filter to attempt to capture the fumes. Screw compressors are far worse than piston compressors in this regard. Tis a shame, but it is reality. Use old-fashioned mineral oil to avoid potential grief and expense. Apparently not all synthetic oils are damaging or damaging in equal; amounts. And not all valves are equally susceptible. Norgren valves are. I am doing research on Bosch-Rexroth (now Aventics) ceramic valves. As for air compressor sizing, Iron Kiss 50s can use a 3hp 2-stage compressor produce about 12 cfm at 100 psi. A 75 uses 5 hp, a 100 uses 7.5 hp. Quincy suggests 1 hp per 4 cfm at about 100 psi, but I think of a 5 hp pump producing 15 to 17 cfm at 150 psi. These suggestions for IK hammer sizes are for continuous running (multiple irons in the fire) A 60 gallon tank is best because it fills faster than an 80, and anything larger than 80 is too large for rapid tank recharging.
  3. I haven't posted a blog since mid-December. The 75 mentioned then has been completed some time ago and is awaiting somewhat better weather for delivery 40 miles up the road. I did receive the order for a 125 and I will be starting on that about Feb 16. I have also been building a special 125 for myself to use in R&D. It uses a custom 4" bore cylinder with internal modifications to improve air flows. It uses a 13" hammer head stroke instead of standard 11" to help me determine later in the year whether or not the steam hammer-like valving is more beneficial with more air space. It ought to be. In any case its early operation with standard back pressure throttling shows that its new-to-me ceramic five-port valve (with 40% better flow potential) in conjunction with the cylinder flow potential provides beastly top end power with traditional Iron Kiss control at light treadle. The hammer design is a thought extension of the work done in August-September-October where a second throttle valve on the inlet air was tried. Now I am using tie rods from the treadle to external throttle shaft levers on each side--one for exhaust throttling and one for intake throttling. This surmounts the complexity of running two valves with one throttle shaft and allows readily converted linkage to intake-only, exhaust-only, or both intake and exhaust throttling. Intake-only throttling uses less air to run any utility hammer, but then exhaust dumps to ambient. This provides a rather clunky behaviour at die contact such that planishing blows are sub-par compared to exhaust-only throttling where the treadle tends to determine the degree of pressure drop across the cylinder ports upon reciprocation. Some people decry back-pressure controlled utility hammers for their air compressor requirements in contrast to in-flow controlled versions. Point taken. Part of my tedious R&D program is learning how to merge the two approaches.
  4. SJS, you are a good advocate of power hammering. :-)
  5. Troy, I may as well say something for your benefit. You have the option to switch your order to a 75 if that is what you end up deciding may be your best choice. I sell 50s and 75s about equally in number. Whatever you decide on, just let me know. Any questions or comments can be sent to me via e-mail.
  6. In addition to considering the maximum distance between hammer dies, it pays to know the inherent stroke length; most hammers short stroke. My air compressor driven utility hammers tends to have a 3 to 4 inch inherent stroke and a lever is used to position that range of reciprocating motion to account for tooling and stock thickness. So with my 11" maximum air space machines, a 4" inherent reciprocation at full throttle still allows for up to 7" of stock. For doing hammer heads I'd recommend a 125 to 150 pound hammer, large flat dies, and tooling that keeps the stock under control. If you use a press to shape the billet, you can get by with a lighter hammer for finishing work and probably eye punching.
  7. I shipped a 50 today to Alabama. And received a (tentative) order for a 125. A good day. I worked on mounting the cabinet frame and anvil to the 75.
  8. I got the tower frame mounted to the 75's base plate today and cleaned up the shop substantially.
  9. I am working on an Octagon 75. Today I machined its base plate. I also machined 4 sides of an anvil billet for the middle of the bottom block of an Octagon 125 anvil. It was acquired at the same time as the 75 billet and base plate, was in my way, so I just processed it to get it outta the way. Used my new 6" facing cutter for a couple of its edges, this cutter being the last item acquired in a set of 1.5", 2", 4", 6", 8" and 10". The 6,8,and 10 are only used in the 10 hp horizontal spindle for single passing the edges on the larger anvil billets. The 3 hp vertical spindle won't adequately power them. I also would have to trammel the adjustable vertical spindle extremely carefully, more easily said than done. Mostly I use small cutters in the vertical spindle at its highest rpm level, which is pretty tame by today's standards of high speed machining. I have many pieces of 50 taper tooling and quite a few facing cutters that use sort of out of date carbides, all auction buys. The new cutters are Mil-tec and all use the same carbides. It has been a major investment over 5 or 6 years, not something I just impetuously purchased in a tool frenzy. The standardization on carbides makes life a whole lot simpler. There are so many shapes and sizes and grades of carbides it is a major study project to fathom them. One vendor wrote a book to help customers do their selections. Egads!
  10. Back up and operating on the computer front, with the help of my service provider technician. The completed 50 has to be prepared for shipment next week. I moved on to making frames for the next machine, a 75. A new door has been installed in my industrial shop and they finished the weather stripping this afternoon. I am hoping I can now concentrate on hammer building and not have to solve any more equipment problems.
  11. I am having an assortment of troubles with my computer and the Geek Squad that just removed 331 viruses. My access to facebook has been damaged somehow. So my late fall/early winter hardware strife is agonizing.
  12. John is a very good bloke who has provided me things freely. This is not a forum for airing resentments and anger; just doesn't work.
  13. Well, I have completed the Octagon 50. The milling machine is working fine now. I had a new door installed in the industrial shop. This required me to move overhead lighting fixtures. I am starting work on the frames for the next 75 pound hammer. Hopefully there will be fewer delays along the way.
  14. I have gotten the Cincinnati 307-14 mill back in running condition after having the motor rewound, having a professional industrial electrician debug all the wiring, and having him help me install the motor. This finished up yesterday afternoon. I won't get back to work on hammers until Saturday. Running a business like mine without back up machinery is reckless, but not always avoidable. I do have two back up machines, however each in partial running condition. Each had a burnt knee motor, one being a surprise. So I had to call Jack at Industrial Salvage in Berlin, Conn seeking a motor. His advice was rewinding what I had but he was wildly on the low side in suggesting the cost of rewinding. Now I know how to manage a milling machine electrical breakdown, and from previous experiences have someone who can help me with the machines' mechanical malfunctions. I have gone from being rather depressed to being rather up beat. Regardless of the huge expense involved, it has been very interesting. One of the back up mills yielded a pair of electrical components for the electrician to use in the 307-14. I also had wiring blueprints for him to scan simultaneously with the actual wiring. I am so far behind it is daunting. All I can do plug away until I get back on track.
  15. It has been since mid-September since I last blogged, before Quad States. The hammers were reasonably well perceived at QS and it was enjoyable to be there. Since returning I've received orders to extend the backlog a bit, and I am building another machine for myself. The personal machine has longer stroke and exposed dies at TDC to facilitate big die experiments. Not there yet. The primary milling machine knee motor shorted out and went up in smoke. The intended replacement motor was found frozen from gunk to my surprise. A call to my best contact led to the suggestion to have the existing smoked motor rewound. That is in process right now. Until it is back and the electrical circuits are checked out by a pro I can only do work on the back log hammers that does not require the milling machine. The temperatures have been cold in the shop, but nothing to complain about as compared to Buffalo, NY with its 6 feet of snow in one day!!!