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I have been looking at making my own power hammer and have been watching many videos and reading as much as possible. All the home made hammers seem to suffer from the same thing. they all jump and buck and dance around making it hard to keep the work where you want it in the anvil as it is dancing around. I have even seen some that will about clean jump off of the floor. I think this is a result of a lack of base weight and should be easy to avoid by sheer mass. I do however have some questions

#1 is the ram solid or square tube?

#2 is there some good information on the ram way construction without having to buy some plan set?

#3 is the anvil solid or is it a tube with a heavy plate welded on it?

#4 I saw were one guy used a cut down rail road axle for a anvil. Where would one get some of this material?

# 5 the weight of the machine IE: 100 lbs hammer. Does that refer to the actuall weight of the hammer and ram set up or is that how much force the hammer will develope when struck?

Thanks in advance for any advice or help. I am sure I will have more questions to come.

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Hello Workshoprat, Arftist answered those questions perfect and right to the point and you really can't get any cleaner than that. What might help in your pursuit of what you might be trying to do

400 Hours???? Now I've built a few hammers (not to mention the first 100 KA hammers) so I kinda know what I'm doing, but 400 hours? If I had the materials marshaled and a plan, I can't imagine it taki


I have been looking at making my own power hammer and have been watching many videos and reading as much as possible. All the home made hammers seem to suffer from the same thing. they all jump and buck and dance around making it hard to keep the work where you want it in the anvil as it is dancing around. I have even seen some that will about clean jump off of the floor. I think this is a result of a lack of base weight and should be easy to avoid by sheer mass. I do however have some questions

#1 is the ram solid or square tube?

#2 is there some good information on the ram way construction without having to buy some plan set?

#3 is the anvil solid or is it a tube with a heavy plate welded on it?

#4 I saw were one guy used a cut down rail road axle for a anvil. Where would one get some of this material?

# 5 the weight of the machine IE: 100 lbs hammer. Does that refer to the actuall weight of the hammer and ram set up or is that how much force the hammer will develope when struck?

Thanks in advance for any advice or help. I am sure I will have more questions to come.


1. Solid though tube is being used by some, but like I said, solid.
2. No. Buy some plans. Plans are cheaper than re-work.
3. The only goof anvil is a solid anvil.
4. At a rail yard?
5. Hammer (tup) weight.
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1. Solid though tube is being used by some, but like I said, solid.
2. No. Buy some plans. Plans are cheaper than re-work.
3. The only goof anvil is a solid anvil.
4. At a rail yard?
5. Hammer (tup) weight.

Soild is what I thought but like i say its hard to tell.

I am quite sure I can do this without buying plans and i really dont want to be stuck to a material bill called for in the plans. It really isnt rocket science and these are pretty simple machines.

Solid anvil makes sense

Has anyone bought such an item from a railyard and if so how does one go about that cause Im pretty sure they dont sell open to the public and they get pretty pissed when ya just take it.

Lastly What is (tup) weight?
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Hello Workshoprat,

Arftist answered those questions perfect and right to the point and you really can't get any cleaner than that. What might help in your pursuit of what you might be trying to do is inform the people of the forum of what your purpose is. Like if you've been making blades by hand hammering and your looking for something that can smash 3" thick stacks of metal. Or maybe you just want to make small leaf key chains and your wondering how little of a machine you can get away with. Read through the archives on this forum and read through the advertisements of commercial power hammers such as Big Blu and Anyang and eventually you will find exactly what will suit you. Good luck in your pursuits. Spears.

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Hello Workshoprat,

Arftist answered those questions perfect and right to the point and you really can't get any cleaner than that. What might help in your pursuit of what you might be trying to do is inform the people of the forum of what your purpose is. Like if you've been making blades by hand hammering and your looking for something that can smash 3" thick stacks of metal. Or maybe you just want to make small leaf key chains and your wondering how little of a machine you can get away with. Read through the archives on this forum and read through the advertisements of commercial power hammers such as Big Blu and Anyang and eventually you will find exactly what will suit you. Good luck in your pursuits. Spears.

I am sure he did answer them fine and im not arguing. I Kind of want a general all purpose machine as im not sure what i will be making as projects ussually present themselves as tooling is acuired. mostly i will be making tooling and whatever kind of widget i might need. I dont really think i will be doing knives as i just dont get the knife thing but one never knows as i may catch the bug. i would like to try some axes though. not looking to make ornamental type things but more usefell items to actually be used. I dont know if that adequatly explains what i want to do. I dont know If I can expalin it.

as far as (tup) weight i know im a newbie and i dont know much about this. acronyms like tup really dont help me and need to be explained a little more as i have never heard that term. I understand hammer weight but what does the tup mean?
I did take the reply to the rail axle kind of condesending. A rail yard? yea like I hadent thought of that. The railroad dosent deal open to the public. they are in the scrap business themselves and salvage all their own equipment. when surplussed it is usually sold under a very large contract. It actually amazes me that this individual found one for and anvil. makes sense though for a perfect anvil. anyhow just wondering if there was a source that i hadent heard of or if the salvage yard he got it from maybee had the railroad contract for the scrap.

I am stuck in a location where all I can get is dial up. searching for information is a very long painstaking process for me as most sites are now so laden with photos that mean nothing and its barely all i can do with dialup. if i seem unwilling to reaserch its not that i dont want to its that i am doing all i can in the time i have avalible and it takes hours to weed through all the junk.
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I am quite sure I can do this without buying plans and i really dont want to be stuck to a material bill called for in the plans. It really isnt rocket science and these are pretty simple machines.




If that is true maybe you should be answering instead of asking?

Just saying....

Bobcool.gif
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If that is true maybe you should be answering instead of asking?

Just saying....

Bobcool.gif

bob im not trying to be a pain but i really dont want to buy a set of plans to just get the details of the ram ways. Besides I really want to see what others have done and get some comparisons. that way if i do decide to go the plan set way then i will know which one to buy. I am a pretty acomplished metal worker and am quite sure I can figure it out. I understand you have no way of knowing what my skill level is and I really dont care for the assumption that I know nothing. I decided to try and branch into the forging part of metalworking and yes I am not familiar with forging and the acronyms associated with that.
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Kind of a general purpose machine. That helps a little. I'm a spare time/part time metal artist and I purchased my plans from David Robertson at Artistblacksmith.com. I did that to educate myself about the sizes and weights of a power hammer that he uses himself for artwork. It is a Kinyon style hammer of light to medium duty and you can alter the plans accordingly if you choose a heavier anvil (which I did). You will need an air compressor of substantial size. I posted the report of my build with 60+ pictures on the Metal Artist Forum. (Only because we already have kinyon build reports here on Iforgeiron) I would also encourage people to look at the hammer build reports in the archives here because more ideas are better. I post nearly all of my widget prototype tooling here that I use with the hammer for contribution because I'm not in the financial shape to donate funds directly. At least not yet. Good luck with your hammer build and when you do get it going on maybe you can throw us in some pictures. Regards, Spears.

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Kind of a general purpose machine. That helps a little. I'm a spare time/part time metal artist and I purchased my plans from David Robertson at Artistblacksmith.com. I did that to educate myself about the sizes and weights of a power hammer that he uses himself for artwork. It is a Kinyon style hammer of light to medium duty and you can alter the plans accordingly if you choose a heavier anvil (which I did). You will need an air compressor of substantial size. I posted the report of my build with 60+ pictures on the Metal Artist Forum. (Only because we already have kinyon build reports here on Iforgeiron) I would also encourage people to look at the hammer build reports in the archives here because more ideas are better. I post nearly all of my widget prototype tooling here that I use with the hammer for contribution because I'm not in the financial shape to donate funds directly. At least not yet. Good luck with your hammer build and when you do get it going on maybe you can throw us in some pictures. Regards, Spears.

I really want to stay away from air power if at all possible. not that air power is a problem but i think i would preffer a mechanical and motor type. just seems more inline with vintage methods. Im just kind of a fan of the old ways.

so how about tup weight as i am prety stymied on the meaning of it?
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Are you wanting to make an air hammer or a mechanical hammer? Yes, tup is the ram. "Hammer" is not sufficiently descriptive as it's often used to refer to the whole machine. Guides come in all varieties from simple tube-in-tube to sophisticated "V" ways.

Nakedanvil thanks for the info. Ok so tup is the whole ram assembly with the hammer bolted to it right? maybee im not understanding the terminology as I am assuming the hammer is the part that is bolted tot the ram and actually strikes the metal. so if i get it right tup is the combination of these two pieces right? sorry if im overcomplicating this as im just trying to acuratly understand.

I am trying to build a mechanical hammer. Like i say to me its more in line with the vintage way of doing things and i like the older nostalgic ways. I have plenty of air power and could esily go that way but would rather not.

Vways would be a litle more complicated than just a tube in tube type of way. I guess the next question should be just how accurate and tight (as in no slop) should a ram way be?
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"Tup" or "Ram" or "Head" refer to the moving part or working mass of material that is moved by the mechanical linkage/fluid power/gravity. A relatively small part of the machine called a "hammer". When you read about the weight of a power hammer i.e.: 25#, this is the part that folks are talking about. Many 25# hammers actually have a total weight of 900 to 1000 pounds. The part of the ram that strikes the work-piece is called the "die". Note that there is one die fixed to the tup and one to the anvil, optimally by a dovetail and wedge arrangement but bolts or welding are acceptable. The dies are best made of properly heat treated alloy steel.

When you see video of home made hammers jumping around that is indeed due to lack of mass, mostly missing mass in the anvil portion of the hammer. Best practice is to have a 20:1 anvil to tup weight ratio, thou 10:1 is minimally sufficient. Sometimes it's because of unbalanced mechanisms or machines that are not fastened down to the floor, but most of the time it's simply lack of mass.

If you are on a limited bandwidth connection, look for your information the old fashioned way. I strongly recommend the book "Pounding Out the Profits" by Douglas Freund. An outstanding primer on historic power hammers. It's out of print but if your local library hasn't fallen to budget cuts try to ILL.

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"Tup" or "Ram" or "Head" refer to the moving part or working mass of material that is moved by the mechanical linkage/fluid power/gravity. A relatively small part of the machine called a "hammer". When you read about the weight of a power hammer i.e.: 25#, this is the part that folks are talking about. Many 25# hammers actually have a total weight of 900 to 1000 pounds. The part of the ram that strikes the work-piece is called the "die". Note that there is one die fixed to the tup and one to the anvil, optimally by a dovetail and wedge arrangement but bolts or welding are acceptable. The dies are best made of properly heat treated alloy steel.

When you see video of home made hammers jumping around that is indeed due to lack of mass, mostly missing mass in the anvil portion of the hammer. Best practice is to have a 20:1 anvil to tup weight ratio, thou 10:1 is minimally sufficient. Sometimes it's because of unbalanced mechanisms or machines that are not fastened down to the floor, but most of the time it's simply lack of mass.

If you are on a limited bandwidth connection, look for your information the old fashioned way. I strongly recommend the book "Pounding Out the Profits" by Douglas Freund. An outstanding primer on historic power hammers. It's out of print but if your local library hasn't fallen to budget cuts try to ILL.


Thanks for the excellent description. I am now armed with the proper terminology to discuss this inteigently. I will look for that book as I read all I can. i have several of the lindsey catalog books already. I am planning on attending the show/meet in sedalia missouri next month. should be real fun. I am still looking for a good anvil as used good ones are hard to find. most are used up junk. One of the reasons to know what types of material to build with is so that I can now start keeping an eye out for material to build with. I am planning on building with as much used salvage as i can as thats all i really have to work with as money is a problem since the market crash.

Does anyone have any ideas where I could get a solid mass round or square stock in small quantity and preferable salved and cheap to form the anvil? I really like the rail car axle idea but im just not sure thats going to be easy to find.
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I am sure he did answer them fine and im not arguing. I Kind of want a general all purpose machine as im not sure what i will be making as projects ussually present themselves as tooling is acuired. mostly i will be making tooling and whatever kind of widget i might need. I dont really think i will be doing knives as i just dont get the knife thing but one never knows as i may catch the bug. i would like to try some axes though. not looking to make ornamental type things but more usefell items to actually be used. I dont know if that adequatly explains what i want to do. I dont know If I can expalin it.

as far as (tup) weight i know im a newbie and i dont know much about this. acronyms like tup really dont help me and need to be explained a little more as i have never heard that term. I understand hammer weight but what does the tup mean?
I did take the reply to the rail axle kind of condesending. A rail yard? yea like I hadent thought of that. The railroad dosent deal open to the public. they are in the scrap business themselves and salvage all their own equipment. when surplussed it is usually sold under a very large contract. It actually amazes me that this individual found one for and anvil. makes sense though for a perfect anvil. anyhow just wondering if there was a source that i hadent heard of or if the salvage yard he got it from maybee had the railroad contract for the scrap.

I am stuck in a location where all I can get is dial up. searching for information is a very long painstaking process for me as most sites are now so laden with photos that mean nothing and its barely all i can do with dialup. if i seem unwilling to reaserch its not that i dont want to its that i am doing all i can in the time i have avalible and it takes hours to weed through all the junk.

I don't know where you are from so it is kind of hard to tell you where to go to get a RR axle. Be careful what you ask for & be patient, some of the sarcasm might be because of the question. For my hammer I found 5" round stock at my local scrap yard. Yes a good base is important. You didn't say what kind of hammer you are making. I bought plans from Jerry Allen. He had good working drawings and it made my modifications easy. I asked a lot of questions here and got really good advice. Build it heavy, square, Plum, and level, put time in especially where your slide is.
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The single most important thing you need to do before you start this build is learn what a
power hammer can do and what it cannot do.
It will be very hard to build something that you are not familar with. With that said
I will be at Sedila next month. Sid and I will be doing some demos on Little Giant hammers.
We will try to answer questions and show what a good hamer can do. Hope to see you at Bam.

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The single most important thing you need to do before you start this build is learn what a
power hammer can do and what it cannot do.
It will be very hard to build something that you are not familar with. With that said
I will be at Sedila next month. Sid and I will be doing some demos on Little Giant hammers.
We will try to answer questions and show what a good hamer can do. Hope to see you at Bam.

Wow thats cool and i hope to see you guys at the BAM meet. I am thinking saturday will be the best day for me to go. I really dont think i could make it thursday or friday. anyhow I will definatly try to find you.

I guess i didnt explain what type of hammer i am wanting to build as was pointed out. Ok so im not sure the proper name for this type as they seem to be called junk yard hammers on the videos. anyhow it has a motor that runs a crankshaft which in turn rocks the large spring assy on top via a conecting rod. the rocking of the spring runs the ram up and down.

scrap yards here in springfield mo are a real pain and they wont let ya buy out of their piles. they really dont want ya on site as they dont want ya to see all the stolen scrap they have. they will tell you its cause of insurance reasons but really its cause they dont want you to see their stolen swag and they are very scared that you might be a informant or undercover officer. i dont know if you have been following the scrap theft problem here in springfield but it is savagly rampant. I even gave a speach to the city couincil monday on the subject and the need for new regulations.
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I'm also in the planning and research stage of a power hammer build. I'm going to build a Appalachian style power hammer with a 1hp rockwell motor. I'm probably gonna try for about a 50 lb ram ( or tup ;) ) and as big of an anvil as I can afford. My local steel yard has hundreds of drops from large stock, and I saw plenty of 30" long or so 6" round that would make a perfect anvil base. I'm sure you can find appropriate stuff at the scrap yard too.
RR track is a pretty ubiquitous thing at metal working shops around here. I use a piece as a small anvil, and we've got another piece laying around the shop too. Ask around, I'm sure you can find some.
For the ram on mine I plan to use something like 2" solid cold rolled. For the guides I'll probably fabricate a heavy box of something like 1/2 by 3, and use UMHW plates as bearings. I plan on taking lots of pictures of the build and I'll post them up if there's interest.

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I'm also in the planning and research stage of a power hammer build. I'm going to build a Appalachian style power hammer with a 1hp rockwell motor. I'm probably gonna try for about a 50 lb ram ( or tup ;) ) and as big of an anvil as I can afford. My local steel yard has hundreds of drops from large stock, and I saw plenty of 30" long or so 6" round that would make a perfect anvil base. I'm sure you can find appropriate stuff at the scrap yard too.
RR track is a pretty ubiquitous thing at metal working shops around here. I use a piece as a small anvil, and we've got another piece laying around the shop too. Ask around, I'm sure you can find some.
For the ram on mine I plan to use something like 2" solid cold rolled. For the guides I'll probably fabricate a heavy box of something like 1/2 by 3, and use UMHW plates as bearings. I plan on taking lots of pictures of the build and I'll post them up if there's interest.

umhw? you mean the slippy white plastic material? it thought that might work pretty good also. I dont know anyone around here that would have those kind of drops. may have to make a trip to kansas city for such a thing. 6" round sounds good. man that must be heavy.
I was hoping i could find something that could be had cheap and I would be doing good by recycling. whats something like that set you back?
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Sorry, didn't mean to be curt, I was in a hurry and wanted to answer all your questions. The hammer you want to build is called an appalachian power hammer, also known as a spring helve hammer. Spring helves have been around for at least 140 years that I know of and are related to helve hammers of antiquity. There have been modern versions as well, manufactured in Europe, which are extremely high quality reliable hammers.

For bearings, some people are using various plastics, which work but bronze is a better bearing material for the application.

I made a box of 3/4"x10" cold rolled plate 10"high. The box is bolted together and each side has two bronze strips bolted in, which guide near the corners of the tup. You do not want or need solid or complete bearing contact.

Finaly, a 6" round bar 30" long is only marginaly heavy enough for a 50# hammer.

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6x30= about 240# add a good die should make about a 10 to 1 for a 25# My 40 lb. bradley helve hammers anvil weights 900 lb


Yar, six inch might now be enough for a fifty poundr, i might need to go up to something like 8". I'm not sure how much it will cost yet, it kinda depends on what kinda mood the steel yard guys are in. You'd be unbelievably lucky to come across an 800 lb chunk of steel of any sort for without shelling a bit of change. Stuff like that is valuable.
Yes, UMHW is the slick white plasticy stuff. Its much tougher than normal plastics, and I do believe it is slicker and more wear resistant than bronze.
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You could also do what I did. I built the clay spencer tire hammer. And for the Anvil I laminated 14 7x34 inch 1/2 inch plate. Then welded a 6x6x2 cap on that. This gave me an anvil wight of 491 pounds. It is a 50 pound hammer and works extremly well.

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Yar, six inch might now be enough for a fifty poundr, i might need to go up to something like 8". I'm not sure how much it will cost yet, it kinda depends on what kinda mood the steel yard guys are in. You'd be unbelievably lucky to come across an 800 lb chunk of steel of any sort for without shelling a bit of change. Stuff like that is valuable.
Yes, UMHW is the slick white plasticy stuff. Its much tougher than normal plastics, and I do believe it is slicker and more wear resistant than bronze.


It could be more wear resistant than bronze but it is not more impact resistant. The tup of a spring helve tries to follow an eliptical path. The ram guides try to force it to follow a verticaly oriented linear path. Plastic guides are well suited to a dupont linkage hammer such as a tire hammer or of course an air hammer. For a spring helve, not so much. Yes, it will work, just not as well as bronze.
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When I built mine(Krusty plans), I followed the plans somewhat. I also changed a few things here and there to work with the sizes of materials I could get. I don't know how much my anvil weighs in at, but I couldn't pick it up myself. It is 150cm(di) and 80cm tall. I am not real sure of the content of the steel as I was at a steel yard and talked with the forman there. We discussed what I was doing, the amount of force and he came up with the the piece I got. I then welded a 25mm thick plate on top to mount my die. It was not very stable when I first started it, but have since put a rubber mat under it and secured it to my shop floor which made a big difference. As soon as the weather turns I will build a better base which will deaden the vibration in my shop floor.

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Please add your location to your profile so when you ask where to find something folks don't waste their time telling you about sources in Australia, England, China, South Africa, Maine, Florida, New Mexico, etc.

As for getting stuff from scrapyards: yes many of then have closed down to outsiders due to insurance demands. It's often not a scam. However a box of doughnuts dropped off to the front office and a chat on what you are looking for and why can often work wonders with them dragging out a possibility for you to look at. (Of course this has to be somewhere you have not previously set their hackles up.)

(a variation of this technique was how I got a lot of welding done on the cheap. Delivered a sixpack of cold brown pop to a small local welding shop right around closing on hot summer Fridays---with the boss's consent of course.)

You may want to look into the tire hammer as a more elegant system.

BTW: Top line when I searched on: Dictionary tup

tup - definition of tup by the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus ...
A heavy metal body, especially the head of a power hammer.

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