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I Forge Iron

High Speed Hammer Company

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Drove by the local auto salvage place and saw what looked like a little helve hammer in the parking lot. Price was right, now it's in my parking lot. Using Grant Sarvers logic, 'buy the darned thing, then figure out what it's good for'. The casting says, 'High Speed Hammer #3A-HD'. We fiddled with it a bit, got the clutch working, and got it de-goo-ed and re-lubed so it cycles easy by hand now.
-It has a wood beam helve design, with rubber cushions that are in good shape.
-It has about 5/8 inch throw, from bottom to top of cycle.
- There is a secondary pulley from the main driven crankshaft, that runs a small belt to the hammer guide, the belt turns a gear gizmo that slowly rotates the top die as the hammer runs. (Why?)
-The bottom die table sort of rachets down,with some bolts in tee-slots, to accomodate different stock sizes, with such a short throw.
-It appears I could use it like a pullmax demo I saw at a conference, maybe make a mushroom top die and generate bowl-shaped widgets with it.
-Anybody know anything about this little thing? It needs a driving motor and pulley, I did some math, and with a 1750 rpm motor and 2.5 inch driving pulley, the beats/minute would be around 800. I guess the High Speed moniker was aptly named.
I'll try and post some pictures, might take a few trys to get it.
Thanks, mike



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I have seen one sell one ebay, I think it brought in the neighborhood of $2500, Pretty sure They are a sheetmetal planishing hammer and I dont think would hit hard enough to move much hot iron... I think 600-800 blows per min...

On the plus side you might be able to sell it for enough money to buy what ever hammer you want!

Do you have any pictures?

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These little hammers are great for sheet metal. The rotating top die is for riveting which is a common application for these machines.
If you saw the Pullmax demo at an NWBA conference I was myself or Renato Muskovic. Renato had one of these machines he will be at next weeks conference so you might want to hook up with him.


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Thanks Glenn for helping me with the pictures!
Thanks for the replies, I'm starting to come down with that old iron endorphin buzz, you guys know what i mean, it feels good rescuing equipment from a slow death as a yard planter.
I got lucky and scored a tech manual this morning, buy it now on ebay. Has this hammer right on the cover!

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Thats a cool little unit, rotating top dies... interesting.

I still cant figure why someone doesn't make a production helve hammer, about 40# head, this design looks simple enough, casting iron isn't all that hard.
Liability aside, it could be in kit form, from raw castings to every bolt included.

Thanks for the pics.

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I spent a lot of last week taking it apart, fixing a few worn things, and painting. I thought i would post some tidbits I discovered in case somebody wants to fix up one of these in the future.
-There's two gooey thick flatwasher type spacers on the crankshaft, turns out they are actually thrust bearings, and have a tiny hole to inject grease into.
-The clutch disc is made from cork gasket material, works real good.
-The top dies are threaded in, 1/2-20 tpi Left Hand threads. A little set screw on the ram snugs them in. Handy having a lathe in the shop for making new dies.
It doesn't hit very hard, but I was able to victimize some bits of oil drum lids with good success. I'll try to attach a couple pictures.


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  • 2 weeks later...

I was in at my plating outfit today and while I was waiting I here the unmistakable THUM THUM THUM of a power hammer... So when Don comes out I say "man that sure sounds like a power hammer" and he shakes his head like well duh, every chrome shop has a power hammer... He takes me back in the rear of the place and here is one of these High Speed hammer helves with a guy running it straightening bumpers... I think it was a bit bigger than yours, it had no lower anvil but a real long rectangle post going to a heavy plate on the floor. It also had a rectangle ram and guide rather than a round one like yours...

I dont know if he would be of any help but the shop is Show Quality plating in South Seattle... It looks like they run that thing daily so maybe he can help if you have questions?

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  • 1 year later...

Guys I have a machine just like this but it's a French? machine....Progres 50B Guillemin Dijon. It is a iron rivet hammer. The spinning top die creates a uniform mushroom on the back (pin) side of the iron rivet. Some great ideas here as far as die swapping/usage.

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There are sheet metal power hammers (like yours) that are for forming sheet rather than simply planishing or reciprocal tooling. Check out allmetalshaping.com for more sheetmetal type info, they have forums for different types of tooling. You might be interested in the 'thumbnail' shrinking dies and some of the other stuff for forming sheet.

NIce work so far. Great find!

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[]Thanks so far.....I've had this machine for a while and used very little. I've been a little narrow minded as far as it's other uses... I was thinking of parting with it but now I'm not so sure. I've been playing with shaping sheet metal for a little while now, mostly cars stuff, and this may have some potential. Of course if the right offer is made....it may still go! Any ideas what she may be worth? The company is still in business (Guillemin) in France but thier web site is in French...me no speak wee wee! Lol.... anyway, I contacted them for possible more info. Looks to be one of thier first machines produced in the 1930's. I really would like to find out how it got here?

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[] I've been playing with shaping sheet metal for a little while now, mostly cars stuff, and this may have some potential.

That's what that hammer and the guys over on allmetalshaping are all about. Go check it out.

Oregon is a little far away for me to make an offer, right or wrong. Plus you've already painted it, so you've got an investment. ;-)
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