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Richard Furrer

Utility hammers

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Hello All,
I have not run the older utility hammers..only the self contained.

Is there a chart that shows air CFM and PSI?
Those of you who own or have operated the hammers..do you have a preference as to brand and why.


I am thinking of the Niles-Bement and Chambersburg (Grant's Bell seems like something too rare to find another).


Ric

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My Niles runs very well on 375 cfm from a diesel air compressor at 100 psi, we had it up to 125 psi and it was a little scary, cant imagine what these things do on steam. Portable air compressors are plentiful in the market, should be able to find one for reasonable $, I could run it 4 or 5 hours for about $15 worth of fuel, what a deal! I will be installing this hammer a second time, the foundation is a concern by if you plan it well and take your time its no big deal. I will be making some modifications so I can run it solo and I am very much looking forward to getting back in operation.

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My Niles runs very well on 375 cfm from a diesel air compressor at 100 psi, we had it up to 125 psi and it was a little scary, cant imagine what these things do on steam. Portable air compressors are plentiful in the market, should be able to find one for reasonable $, I could run it 4 or 5 hours for about $15 worth of fuel, what a deal! I will be installing this hammer a second time, the foundation is a concern by if you plan it well and take your time its no big deal. I will be making some modifications so I can run it solo and I am very much looking forward to getting back in operation.


Yes Michael and my chevy chevette in high school would have had some gitty-up with a 500 hp motor and a nitro injection, but it RAN on 1.4 L OHC gasoline I4 engine.

Does yours require 375 or can it get by with 30 or 40 or 45cfm at 100psi?

Ric

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Rule of thumb is 25 CFM per 100 Lb of hammer weight. But that is on a new hammer BUILT FOR AIR. The ones built for steam were quite loose, one because things swell up when they get hot and also to keep fresh steam bleeding through everything to keep everything hot. Condensed steam is water which is incompressible. Trapped in a hammer it can cause breakage. Hammers run on steam need to be warmed up carefully with the drain cocks open and the hammer cycled slowly until warmed up. So, the upshot is that many well worn hammers will require 2 – 3 times the rule of thumb. Also small hammers can take more than the rule of thumb because they cycle so fast. Rules are made for averages.

I've seen small hammers that leaked 50 CFM of air when sitting still!

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Your going to need all of that if you want it to run right. I rebuilt my Niles with very close tolerance, I'm probable lucky it was not too close. The hammer head will stay up with about 20 psi left in the compressor but under full stroke at top speed it will work my compressor fully. Its a huge amount of air for sure.

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Your going to need all of that if you want it to run right. I rebuilt my Niles with very close tolerance, I'm probable lucky it was not too close. The hammer head will stay up with about 20 psi left in the compressor but under full stroke at top speed it will work my compressor fully. Its a huge amount of air for sure.


It appears that I need a self contained then as I am limited to about 30HP here in the shop....I run a phase converter..I could tandem two converters and get juice for 60hp.
True three phase at the road would be about $45,000 as the local power utility would charge me for each pole and all the wire for the 1/4 mile run...and the neighbor could hook up for free after that.
Yes, I could run a generator, but in the long run the costs would work out better with a self contained I think.

I had no concept of the breath for these. I was hoping I could run them with the exhaust after a good mexican meal, but....its not meant to be.


John Larson...feel like building a 750 weight?

I am constructing the frame for a 140 ton press over the next few months and I'll see what that can do once its done. It may chew the steel I need chewed and I'll cogitate on the big hammer.

No free Lunch.

Thank you all,
Ric

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Ric Most people can't run a big enough compressor on the juice going to their shop, which is why the DEISEL screw compressors are so popular for making the switch from steam to air. It seems like if you don't already have 3phase to your shop, it is econmicly impractical to get it there in this day and age... What is funny is that when we were talking to the electric company about the sevice drop to the new house and shop, it was going to be 1500$ to bury a 200amp line, but when I asked about a 400amp they said they would do that for free... I hope that they don't recoup their money too fast;-) I have seen the screw compressors on running gear for as cheap as 500$, it's easier to find the ones big enough to really supply plenty of air starting in the 1500-2000 range used, but if you keep an eye open for a deal, you can snap it up. Some of the old steam hammers seem to be designed to run on pretty low pressure just a lot of volume. A guy I know had a 250# eire one peice hammer that he ran on 30PSI, he had a 2" line feeding it, but the pressure was cranked way low. He ran his 400# Chambersburg two piece hammer on about 90PSI on a 2" line. He had a little old ~100CFM screw outside hooked to an 800-1000 gallon reciever with a 2" pipe leading to the regulator, it was a nice setup you had to go after it pretty hard to bury the compressor. I nearly died when I heard that 400# C had sold at auction for only 3500$ I loved that hammer, and will miss it greatly and often... ;-)

Christian
Husband
Father
Blacksmith
Farrier
Farmer
is there time for anything else???

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It appears that I need a self contained then as I am limited to about 30HP here in the shop....I run a phase converter..I could tandem two converters and get juice for 60hp.
True three phase at the road would be about $45,000 as the local power utility would charge me for each pole and all the wire for the 1/4 mile run...and the neighbor could hook up for free after that.
Yes, I could run a generator, but in the long run the costs would work out better with a self contained I think.

I had no concept of the breath for these. I was hoping I could run them with the exhaust after a good mexican meal, but....its not meant to be.


John Larson...feel like building a 750 weight?

I am constructing the frame for a 140 ton press over the next few months and I'll see what that can do once its done. It may chew the steel I need chewed and I'll cogitate on the big hammer.

No free Lunch.

Thank you all,
Ric


I think your right.. A self contained hammer in good operating condition could be had for maybe $10,000-$15,000 and run on a 30 HP or smaller motor (up to about 750lb) Unless you just get lucky and find a "deal". I have seen big hammers sell for pennys because no one wanted to deal with them...

As with any big equipment though size is costly. I spent some time talking to a fellow who got a 1500lb and a 750lb chambersburgs... for free.... He figured doing all the grunt work himself it still cost him $20,000 to set up the two hamemrs If I remember right the two hammers and anvils clock in at right around a hundred thousand pounds...

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I think your right.. A self contained hammer in good operating condition could be had for maybe $10,000-$15,000 and run on a 30 HP or smaller motor (up to about 750lb) Unless you just get lucky and find a "deal". I have seen big hammers sell for pennys because no one wanted to deal with them...

As with any big equipment though size is costly. I spent some time talking to a fellow who got a 1500lb and a 750lb chambersburgs... for free.... He figured doing all the grunt work himself it still cost him $20,000 to set up the two hamemrs If I remember right the two hammers and anvils clock in at right around a hundred thousand pounds...


The local crane guy can pick 20,000..more if he borrows another crane. The local ship yards (Bay Ship in Sturgeon Bay) have metal buildings 30x30 with cable and lift hooks so they can lift the entire thing up and place it around a work area...I thought about the same for an "out" building.
I figure (cost aside ..if such a thing can be done) that if I can not pick it up with my hands it really does not matter what it weighs as I will use a lifting device anyway.
Being able to pick straight up is a good thing.
My Nazel and rolling mill had to come in like a tetras puzzle and I have no plans to move them ever again...and they are tiny by some standards for tooling..only being 13,000 pounds each.

At any rate..a 5B looks like the tool for me.....maybe I'll get the same deal your friend did...I have some pennies.

Ric

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Ric Most people can't run a big enough compressor on the juice going to their shop, which is why the DEISEL screw compressors are so popular for making the switch from steam to air. It seems like if you don't already have 3phase to your shop, it is econmicly impractical to get it there in this day and age... What is funny is that when we were talking to the electric company about the sevice drop to the new house and shop, it was going to be 1500$ to bury a 200amp line, but when I asked about a 400amp they said they would do that for free... I hope that they don't recoup their money too fast;-) I have seen the screw compressors on running gear for as cheap as 500$, it's easier to find the ones big enough to really supply plenty of air starting in the 1500-2000 range used, but if you keep an eye open for a deal, you can snap it up. Some of the old steam hammers seem to be designed to run on pretty low pressure just a lot of volume. A guy I know had a 250# eire one peice hammer that he ran on 30PSI, he had a 2" line feeding it, but the pressure was cranked way low. He ran his 400# Chambersburg two piece hammer on about 90PSI on a 2" line. He had a little old ~100CFM screw outside hooked to an 800-1000 gallon reciever with a 2" pipe leading to the regulator, it was a nice setup you had to go after it pretty hard to bury the compressor. I nearly died when I heard that 400# C had sold at auction for only 3500$ I loved that hammer, and will miss it greatly and often... ;-)

Christian
Husband
Father
Blacksmith
Farrier
Farmer
is there time for anything else???



Finn,

I have 400 amp single phase to the shop..they charged me for it and did not really want to put that in.

There is a 250 CFM compressor near me. Would that power a 750 weight do you think? Trailer mounted.
Ric
add reads
"quincy diesel air compreessor nice shape works like new . This was a former WPS unit and has very little use"
$4400

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Richard Furrer... Using Grant's guideline of 25CFM per 100# of ram, it would seem to... IF it has been properly converted for air. $4400 for a 250CFM compressor (good brand name) is probably less than a third of the cost of a new compressor (diesel screw). If patient though, you may be able to find one for less money. I just picked up a running IR 160CFM diesel screw compressor (towable unit) for $1500.

Also, keep in mind you will probably need a LARGE air tank with the compressor.

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I was once offered a 2000# chambersberg self contained pretty much for free. When I priced moving the beast it was close to $40,000 for trucks and cranes! As I never had intention of using it I had to pass. Quite the beast that one was -100 HP and 84,000# !

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If ya want big, Nazel is the way to go. 750 Nazel takes 25 HP, 750 Chambersburg 40 HP.

Don't accept on faith that an old compressor puts out anything like it's rated output.

Two schools of thought on tankage. Big tank will give a longer work cycle, smaller tank will recover faster. There is no one answer. Best to have two tanks so you can choose.

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I'm curious, seriously, Ric and D.D, what are you guys doing that needs so much tup weight?


John,
I can't speak for Mike, but for me its billet breakdown and exotic alloys.
I am torn between a large press and a hammer...each has its uses and issues.
Currently I have a 3B Nazel and a 48 ton press...I have maxed both out on past jobs. The jobs got done, but with a needless series of heats and extra "work" which I did not care for.
I have designed tooling to take best advantage of the machines I have, or so I think, but one can not substitute for raw power. Sure smaller die contact and push the top end of heat, but that has issues as well.

I am moving toward stainless more and more and will begin serious exploration of titanium this year as well. My interaction with both leads in one direction...power to the work piece. Couple this with an interest in exploring closed die work and I see only one path.

I'll put together that 140 ton forging press in a few months and see if my math is right (it never is ...so..) as to what is required for the sizes I wish to work.
If not then I'll work toward the next jump in size.

The other factor is that tools are cheap relative to what prices were asked in the past and if one is moving toward larger work then now may be the time to buy....of course money is tight in many sectors as well so...


Mike,
It appears that Schroeder's site is password protected...assuming he is the sculpture maker I located with the google search. Do you have contact information/location etc?
I know of a 1250NB several hundred miles away from me, but from what you folk who own them have to say it may need some work to run. I like tools, but more on the using end than the making it go side.


Ric

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Ric,

Thats him, his email is on his site. Your probable right, would take some work, I have over 300 hrs. in mine, cost around $5000.00 with air compressor. I like freeeeee!

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Ric,

Thats him, his email is on his site. Your probable right, would take some work, I have over 300 hrs. in mine, cost around $5000.00 with air compressor. I like freeeeee!

What foundation do you have under yours?

My clients like free as well...its a common discussion. ;)

Ric

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