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Another variable is; Lining up the anvil to the frame is a critical part of the fabricating, and if it's not spot on the dies are out of wack. Been there done that. :(
I discovered that a digital level is a real + when fabing these critical line ups. You can zero them on the base (even if it's not level) and forget about levels and squares so much. They are within 1/10 of one degree, they're not cheap but if they prevent one mistake, they are priceless.
I have to admit my first hammer took way longer than was feasible,a good learning experience though. I could actually call it fun, except for the 6, 1'' bolt holes I had to tap.
One cool thing about building your own hammer, you get what you want......Hopefully........mb



So how many hours if you don't mind sharing? I posted what I thought it would take me and a lot of folks seem to think that is ridiculous. I am not much of a fabricator and really not much of an estimator. I go one step forward then two steps back

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So how many hours if you don't mind sharing? I posted what I thought it would take me and a lot of folks seem to think that is ridiculous. I am not much of a fabricator and really not much of an estimator. I go one step forward then two steps back


I would estimate about 40 hrs. that is assuming you already have all your material in front of you rounded up. that should be enough time to make this a lesuirely fun project. this would give enough time as not to rush the critical part of lining and cut fit. Slowing down and taking the time to cut something accuratly and properly right the first time save hours of cutting grinding and refitting. not to mention it reduces your scrap pile inventory. start square and stay square. if you get out of line the problem gets exponetionally worse as you keep building. it actually may take me a bit more than this as I am pretty anal even about small details. it pays off though as in the end my stuff does work.

Also this gives the proper amount of time for mixing of whiskey and coke (aka liquid inspiration) and staring out the garage door while enjoying a beutiful day and a good song on the radio. and besides my dog need some attention every once in a while to lol.

that is just my estimate and others may work much faster than me. thats ok as this is just a fun hobby project designed to eat up free time and save me from the bordom of having to sit on the couch and watch tv or something like that.

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hay all I'm in oz if a broken down power hammer was for sale it would go for $2000 to $3000 or more then to dis mantle clean repair have re engineered and possibly recast would blow out the cost hence the reason I want to build my own oh and probably a day or two for making gards.

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hay all I'm in oz if a broken down power hammer was for sale it would go for $2000 to $3000 or more then to dis mantle clean repair have re engineered and possibly recast would blow out the cost hence the reason I want to build my own oh and probably a day or two for making gards.


Im right there with ya on that. Besides I have more time than I have money so thats the way im gona go. Part of the challange is to see just how cheap you can get it done. anyone can throw money at it but thats just not much of a challange.

Ok so your in oz? thats either kansas or not in kansas anymore toto. so is it kansas or ozarks? I am in springfield mo and it would be great to have someone close to share ideas with. maybee even do a hammer build and do two machine side by side.

so where ya at?

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yep that's it home of the down under dunney just for laughs it's up side down many years ago they were going to build a pub that way too roof on the ground stumps in the air. "Australia " Oztrailia where if ya aint being roasted you are being flooded.

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You've done it now, guess you've been away too long and forgotten, ''springtime in the Rockys''.......If I happen to get over Greeley way I'll check on (it). I embellished my post a little when I said there was a pile of em', never done THAT before.:lol: Your Caravan will be relieved to hear ..........mb


Ok Work shop rat, there they are!..........If you can drag your Dodge Caravan, kicking and screaming out here you can have em for .30 a lb......
I could even help to heave em in the back after a half dozen or so whiskey and cokes.............:P

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so so jealous you guys have it all. Our large scrap yards no longer sell direct to public as massive take over happened. bloody big business. small scrapie yards will sell but generally don't get the good stuff.

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when building large presses and old school steam and air drop hammers generally the anvil targetted weight is 20X the ram weight, some people go 10x but if you go any lower than that you will be losing energy right through the floor and frame of your machine, alot of machines also seem to buck, jump around, flex and if you look closely you will notice sometimes the machine will yawn in the "throat" there is no substitute for heavy solid mass in the backbone of the press. an alternative is to use to a steel sided design. in the attached vid you will notice the fellow here fabbed his hammer using solid steel sides which reduces all of the welding and eliminates yawning in the neck. either way theres no substitute for heavy built, the heavier you go the more energy from the ram blows will go into your work piece and reduces all of the jumping around. helve or tire hammer or pneumatic hammer are all good in their own ways and people will advocate for each.

 

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This guy's video shows all his equipment, much of it "home made". His hammer is small with a goofy treadle that works for him. His press is slow but it works for him. His mill spindle seems to be a bit jumpy, but it works for him. His surface grinder is 100%, but probably manual feeds instead of automatic. Everything is sized for his work pieces.

And the video is pretty well edited.

All in all, quite nice for its instructional valve.

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I can't help but notice that Workshop rat has not posted since March of 2011.......Though maybe we would have seen some progress pictures by now.....Oh well I am sure there are others that will get some value out of all the information in here he was given.

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It is always nice to see home made hammers. But it is disappointing to see the number of them that have the stroke bottom out on mechanical spring hammers. The hammer head should really have some space between the die and material being worked while the hammer is at rest and the head hanging at its lowest point on the concentric.
It is mostly the impact of the head on the material that causes deformation in the material. The spring being compressed by the concentric bottoming out in the rotation does almost nothing for work. It does however put unnesicary strain on the hammer and shorten the working life of the tool

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MLM, I thought the same thing.  While the home built in the most recent link is better built than most, any dwell time of the top die on the work piece is bad, no work being done and chill effect not to mention the underutilization of the potential energy of the mechanism.  

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You are right, it's not "rocket science" but you ARE the one ASKING the questions.... I completely understand that you want to go cheap as possible, as I do the same on everything, but buying a set of pre-existing plans for you to study and familiarize yourself with the operational assembly and other mechanical aspects of the item THEN you can figure out how you can substitute different material. Anything powered be it mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, steam, diesel, electric, gasoline, PTO, etc. have momentum, inertia, and other forces working with and against it.

1) Making the overall machine big/heavy enough is one factor you need to consider. 

2) The energy required to drive the hammer needs to be powerful enough.

3) The mass of the hammer needs to be heavy enough to form / deform / mold / shape the size and shape of the material you are forging.

4) The anvil (and hammer) NEEDS to be solid otherwise you will have a loss of energy transfer due to vibration and sound caused by that vibration.

5) The entire machine needs to be build/assembled with enough structural soundness to handle the abuse the power hammer will be inflicting upon itself.

Answering your initial questions:

1) The ram will be solid in some way, shape, or form. You could either use a solid piece of steel or use a tube and fill it with sand or lead but, if you use filled tubing, expect quicker deformation and warping of the tube due to less structural soundness of the tube itself.

2) Not really. The most ideal way is to buy a drawing plan and work from that. You can, however, do more and more research on how these different types of machines are build because they are all built differently according to their power source and intended purpose.

3) Solid, solid, solid..... The more density (with proper strength and hardness) the better, creating more inertia.

4) I am assuming you speak of railroad rail (the track the train drives on)( instead of the car's axel. There are distributors that deal in railroad rail to the public and it is sold by the yard (3 feet 91.44 cm) and weighs 33+ lbs. per foot (100 lbs. per yard). Again, do more research as I do not recall the specific distributor.

5) This should be the amount of power the machine will produce. Can be calculated by factoring the weight of the "hammer" along with the speed in which it will strike. This will only be an approximation due to other extenuating factors such as trying to calculate acceleration over that short distance, wind resistance for the shape/ size/ surface texture/ temperature/ etc. of the "hammer", friction of the pivot points, etc. (most of which are negligible but they do exist).

 

In my opinion, I think you need to get MUCH more information on the basic principles of how different power hammers work, designs of the different machines, why those designs are used, as well as principles of forging. I only say this because a few of your questions are just plain common knowledge of the metalworking craft. It is understandable that since you are new and don't know certain things yet, asking questions is the best way to find the answers but, then again, if you are truly THAT new to this, you are definitely not ready to go building a power hammer. Seems like you are biting off more than you can chew.

 

-Hillbilly

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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.

 

 

You are right, it's not "rocket science" but...........

>

>

Answering your initial questions:

1) The ram will be solid in some way, shape, or form. You could either use a solid piece of steel or use a tube and fill it with sand or lead but, if you use filled tubing, expect quicker deformation and warping of the tube due to less structural soundness of the tube itself.

2) Not really. The most ideal way is to buy a drawing plan and work from that. You can, however, do more and more research on how these different types of machines are build because they are all built differently according to their power source and intended purpose.

3) Solid, solid, solid..... The more density (with proper strength and hardness) the better, creating more inertia.

4) I am assuming you speak of railroad rail (the track the train drives on)( instead of the car's axel. There are distributors that deal in railroad rail to the public and it is sold by the yard (3 feet 91.44 cm) and weighs 33+ lbs. per foot (100 lbs. per yard). Again, do more research as I do not recall the specific distributor.

5) This should be the amount of power the machine will produce. Can be calculated by factoring the weight of the "hammer" along with the speed in which it will strike. This will only be an approximation due to other extenuating factors such as trying to calculate acceleration over that short distance, wind resistance for the shape/ size/ surface texture/ temperature/ etc. of the "hammer", friction of the pivot points, etc. (most of which are negligible but they do exist).

>

>

-Hillbilly

 

I am not sure why you would assume this. I have also seen hammers' anvils made from train car axle. The big heavy (5", 6" diameter?) shaft the wheels are attached to. Makes, IMHO, the finest solid anvil. Its heavy (much heavier than rail), its round, and good quality steel. They are available (as one suggested) at railroad shops as they are routinely changed out as necessary and sold as scrap. I've even seen it turned into sculpture (Probably not done on a home made hammer LOL) OTOH, I could be completely wrong but as Rich Hale pointed out, the OP hasn't been back in 2 years to confirm or deny ;)

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I am not sure why you would assume this. I have also seen hammers' anvils made from train car axle. The big heavy (5", 6" diameter?) shaft the wheels are attached to. Makes, IMHO, the finest solid anvil. Its heavy (much heavier than rail), its round, and good quality steel. They are available (as one suggested) at railroad shops as they are routinely changed out as necessary and sold as scrap. I've even seen it turned into sculpture (Probably not done on a home made hammer LOL) OTOH, I could be completely wrong but as Rich Hale pointed out, the OP hasn't been back in 2 years to confirm or deny ;)

Hey Dodge, where did you find that image? I saw some stuff like that in Omaha near the Bemis but have not figured out who forged them.

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Yup, Michael. I seem to remember a local news report about them being forged at the now closed Union Pacific shops here in Omaha. It was the major overhaul facility for the UP until the late 1980s and they had some multi-ton (as in 10s of 1000s) hammers and presses :)

 

The image, I simply Googled "scupture from train axle" or similar ;)

 

Edit: I re-googled  and re-discovered that this particular sculpture is actually at Kansas State University and done in 1976. It was created by Rev. Leland Lubbers, the founder of the fine arts program at Omaha's Creighton University. So, I am assuming he did it, and perhaps the others here in town, at the Omaha Shops.

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