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Another would this work

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I am building up the anvil for a home made hammer and am at around 2000 lbs and have a hunk of 4" square around 24" long that I would like to use as a hammer. I have been thinking about a leaf spring type but am wondering how it would work to have a air cylinder attached to the hammer to create a air cushion. By varying the pressure on the sides of the piston, would that soften the hit of the hammer? I am building from the anvil up and figured I would work out the actual method of getting the thing to BANG when I get to the point of welding in the vertical tube every thing will hang off.
Thanks in advance for any tips

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You should get yourself a copy of "Pounding Out The Profits", all kinds of cool stuff like this in there. To answer your question, yes it would work to some extent, they even made some along the lines you're thinking of, check out this old machine. http://sandersoniron.com/JoelWeb%20Page%205-studio-machines-hackney.htm

You can also search Google Patents for "atmospheric hammer" and you'll find lots of stuff like this http://www.google.com/patents?id=ew4AAAAAEBAJ&pg=PA1&dq=atmospheric+hammer&source=gbs_selected_pages&cad=1#v=onepage&q&f=false

I'm not 100% sure but it seems to me that they didn't make these styles much past the early 1900's. They were superseded by mechanical spring hammers and self-contained hammers. Probably a reason for that. Great hammer to anvil ratio by the way.

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