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I Forge Iron

Busted Arm, now what!

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Very satisfing when you can make your own parts. Good job. Now 1 out of 4 has broken. While you have your hammer back in operation make you some spares so you don't have to forge them by hand next time. If you make a couple you will never break another one. :)

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Well I think the issue here was a number of things adding up to the catastrophic failure. The hammer is VERY old and the former owners ( who knows which one) paint job covers possible weak points. When I set things up and adjusted the stroke I noted a number of different past settings that caused the hammer to rub or strike itself slightly causing stress points and possible fractures in the arms but I think in the end it was just miss treated and hacked back together just like the poorly welded I-beam framework its mounted on.

As for uploading pics 40meg is huge! but maybe you meant was kb? I think that hints at what the problem could be is a simple code error in allowed file sizes on the storage drive or a corrupt line of code in the save directory just a guess~

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Wesley great job on the the arms. I went back and looked at the hammer it is set-up a lot like my Champion power hammer The adjustment on the top arm is critical. I was told that you place you material under the die and put a piece of 3/4" stock on top and lower the die so it is set the outside points on the spring and the inside points on the hammer head are level. If it double taps before the hammer lifts the hammer its time to re adjust. would not want to see you break an other arm. I put to large a piece of stock in once and jammed it solid real scary. I have a sheet of notes at home I will try to find it you might find it helpful. There is no book on the equipment so I have compiled a list of things other champion hammer users have suggested. It was a big help in getting to know the hammer.

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here is a copy of the information collected so far if you have any other tips I would like them thanks

Info from other users

The only place you should not oil is on the drive belt surface area.
One main thing to do.
Make sure the toggle arms. The four arms that conect the ram to the spring arm, are drawn up so they are almost level. Not level. About 3/4" slop. you can measure this by holding a straight edge across the pins holding the arms at the spring, and the main pin through the ram should be about 3/4" of an inch below the straight edge. Play with this to find the optimum stroke for your hammer. This will also be affected by how far down you set the whole ram and spring arm assembly. To start tunning I would set that halfway with the double set screw holding the main pin.
Going back to the toggle arms. If they are too sloppy, the hammer will skip or double hit. When they are too tight you stand a good chance of snapping the toggle arm at the spring pin junction.
One other member recomended not over driving the bottom die wedge. RIGHT ON! My hammer was repaired due to this long before I got it. It is much better to re tighten the wedges every so often than to crack that front piece out. When mine was repaired they set the cracked piece back in place, drilled and tapped for three 3/4" bolts, bolted the 3 bolts after that, then they ground a V all the way around the 3 outside planes and welded it. I have had no problems with it, but I baby it there.

As for other suggestions make sure the arm pins fit well in the spring arm holes. Where the spring wraps around the pin. Those pins should be no more than a 1/16" smaller than the spring holes. If they are sloppy the hammer won't hit right. One of the #0's I tunned had like 1 1/4" pins in a 1 3/4" hole. WAY to sloppy.

The dovetail ways should be a little looser than you might think. Very scientific sounding, I know. But the best thing to do with them is after you have the hammer up and running. Move them in and out with the set screws until they are snug but not so snug as to stop the ram mid way in its stroke.

That Champion is in super shape. The guides are like new in the thing and with that overhead jackshaft it should give very nice control. One thing that was wonky on that hammer was the brake did not engage when the treadle was up, It might return back to where it should be one the motor is in place and under tension. What I would do with that hammer is carfully scribe the outline of the smaller die onto the bigger die and then take them into a machine shop that can mate them up and flatten them out. I would do a combination style die with the fuller at front. if you change the motor its pretty critical to get the speed right so take note of the pulley diameter on that 5 horse. I ran my last one with a 110V 1.5HP motor and it worked perfectly. If it was going to be in severe use I would step up to a 2HP Once you get it timed right, the brake engaging and the toggles adjusted that hammer should give you single blow capability. One thing that will help down the road is make your self up a set of wood blocks to set the working hight of the upper die. at rest you want that die to be about a 1/8 above the thickness your working for the best control and hardest hit. I kept mine adjusted so when you rolled the machine over by hand the upper die would come within about 1/4" of the lower die and I didnt move it up until I got over 3/4 stock unless I was going to do real fine work..

should clarify in the earlier post about setting the die position... that 1/4 clear between the die is with the crank on its lowest possible position on the flywheel and with the toggle arms pulled good and tight on the spring and a very well adjusted hammer... Most hammers with a little slop in them you would need more like 3/4 of a inch to get a solid wack but yet have a light touch... and thats if your forging 1/4 or 3/8 stock... if your forging 1" bar you would need more like 1 3/4 clear at idle and the lowest position... Thats one of those things that really impacts performance and you just need to play with your hammer to see what works best... start with half a dozen 5/8 or 3/4 square bars that are a foot long with a center punch mark at 8" ( if you dont want to hold it with tongs make them as long as you want I guess) get them all up to temp and consistently forge out as long of taper as you can in one heat from the center punch mark... make an adjustment and go to the next one.... listen to how and where in its stroke the hammer hits and how hard of blows it lands... and it it is double tapping or missing a beat (way out of tune) its surprising how drastic of change you can get... also it will show you directly what your adjustments do

Also I said I would do combo dies on that hammer and the only reason for that is because unlike a little giant the center of the tup weight is centered in the skinny of the die so working on either end has much less of a negative effect on the hammer.. and since it sounds likely this will be your primary hammer and its relatively small ( but capable ... a 65lb Champion that is well tuned will almost do the work of a run of the mill 100lb little Giant though) its sure nice to have fullering dies to quickly break down material and blend transitions..... If you have any questions Id be happy to help... I have owned two #1's and done some pretty major work on them including pouring new bearings in one....

oiling use SAE 30 for all contact points

After doing a lot of research the original dies had three round swedges in the die 1/4”-3/8”-1/2” one of my dies had been refaced with hard facing rod and the swedges were filled in so I opted to fill in the top die as well and make all my tools clamp on to the bottom die. Like Clay Spencers method. Makes changing out fast I use a C clamp with a piece of angle iron as the base to all my tools so far I am pleased with how it works,

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