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in-line treadle hammer review

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I got to use John McLellan's newest in-line treadle hammer recently, when i demoed for 3 days at the CBA spring conference.
It was surprisingly good..struck a good, smart wallop despite the fairly short stroke.
His design safely tucked the springs ( dangerous, they can disembowel you when they snap) inside the back column, making a nice, compact unit.
The hardy holes, top and bottom, with cross wedge retainers were handy and this oliver was one that stayed solidly in place. Mine has to be bolted down.
I'm used to my parallel swing arm style oliver (TH) which unavoidably swings the hammer in an arc, smearing the blow everywhere except right at mid arc.
John's inline hammer had no arc to compensate for of course...nice!.. And the mechanism seemed to have little friction loss.
My home made oliver has almost twice the falling weight and 3 times the stroke length, but doesn't hit all that much harder.
It was kinda loud for the operator, but i should have been using ear protection anyway.
I wasn't too fond of the 4" cube stake/spacer that fitted in the anvil hardy hole, but it functioned OK, matched the hammer face, and was easily removed to insert taller tooling.
The recovery time between blows was as quick as one could ask and the linkage action was nice and crisp.
This is the third generation of these hammers. It has a compression spring that absorbs shock to the foot pedal...lowers operator fatigue.
John said he still has a few in stock from this last production run.
I reached him at.....

McLellan Blacksmithing
[email protected]
916-652-5790 office 916-652-5784 fax
916-539-5790 cell

He's a good guy who puts in a huge amount of time for us, both at the CBA and ABANA.
Now stop hitting your thumb and move some metal....Clang

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