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power-hammer arms...

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hello guys......
I have a answer for you, I have an old power-hammer but I don't know if I must compress the springs.
the two arms who maintain hammer are not horizontal, hammer is heavy (150lbs!), but when I watch several power hammer pictures on google, many of them have horizontal arm.........http://www.eptingknives.com/Photos/PowerHammer.jpg

but sometimes I see other like this:http://home.comcast.net/~paabasec/CoopPH1.jpg
What's the best ???

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If you post a pic of your hammer, and we can see the set up we will be able to tell better if you need to have your arms horizontal or not. Some hammers were designed with some slant to their arms, some with the arms flat, you can't make one into the other without risk of damaging your hammer and you... Since your hammer is ~150# then I will assume it is NOT a Little Giant, since they never offered that size to my knowledge, so you cannot compare how a LG is properly adjusted to how your hammer is properly adjusted 1 to 1... You will be able to learn about mechanical hammer systems and apply that to your hammer.

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Not seeing the hammer, and if it has the same type of arms as the ones in your links, if it was mine I'd adjust it so that the arms are as close to horizontal as possible. If your hammer has adjusting nuts on both arms aim to get the arms as close to the same length as you can.

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If your hammer is a Little Giant/Murray/Murco/Mayer/Mulloc It is likely rated as a 100# hammer even if it does have an over sized die that weighs more than it specs out at... and it should be able to be adjusted to have the arms horizontal, and if you can't get them were they need to be you might need to get some new replacement parts from Sid...

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Unless there is a way to tighten the springs on the top of the arms, it would seem that this is how the hammer is suppose to be set up since there doesn't appear to be any way to shorten your toggles. This is an unusual variation on the standard dupont linkage which normally has the springs inside the arms forcing the toggles horizontal. Replacing the springs might? support the ram better and improve the performance of the hammer, and then again it might not, and could be dangerous? I looked up Hercules power hammers up in the book "Pounding Out The Profits" and the Hercules Patented Power Hammer had a bow spring linkage... I am puzzled is this a latter model, a Little Giant Hercules Hammer? Or a mechanical hammer made by a European manufacturer. I have seen a couple of drawings of LGs with a hole through the frame like this one has, but I don't remember any of the LGs I have seen having a hole through the frame? Probably me being oblivious, and that part of the hammer being dirty... But in my own defense I often can't remember stupid obvious details that I should be able to ;-)

Could you post one more picture of the full side view with the cast in names and numbers of the hammer? Just to satisfy my curiosity... ;-)

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hello !
sorry I have not precise it is an old english hammer,
Hercules 160 lbs, Samuel Patt ltd........
I have try to found other information, but if we can found some detail Samuel Platt 's life, it is impossible to found something on this hammer..... (except some guys on british blades forum who have the same or the smaller size, Goliath 60lbs...)
That's right, hole through the frame,I take a picture and I post it this afternoon......
before I tense springs (on each side) I haven't very different blow at hight or slow speed, this hammer strike metal with hammer weight.
now at slow speed, hammer is retain and more controlable......
I hope my posts are not too difficult to read, my english speaking ....:(

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Fabien: I don't know about your specific hammer. The arrangement of yours is much more like the Little Giant or Fairbanks opposing coil springs than the leaf springs in the Beaudry hammers with which I am familiar.

But in principle, the springs should always be in some tension. A mechanical power hammer works by throwing the weight up and down without a direct link to the frame. This prevents the impact of the hammer from repeatedly shocking the rest of the hammer.

In order for this to work properly, the weight of the ram must be always under the control of the spring. If not, there will be at least one part of the travel where the spring is slack and the hammer can be unpredictable. Finding the right tension is part of tuning it for best performance.

Here are a few links that aren't much direct help, but do show pictures of other spring arrangements if you rummage around:

Little Giant Hammer- Nebraska City, NE

Forging Hammer Sales and Service Network

Wendy Gardner and Power Hammer

The last one was to see if you were paying attention. :)

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Fabien: The Fairbanks has a hole in the same place. I've never seen anybody use it, but it does look cool. :) Maybe it provides a safe spot for mice to watch as you forge.

LOL , mice, now theres an image.

I have a Fairbanks with the mystery hole and I find that I use it frequently. Its where I designed all of my spring / clapper dies to go. The frame that holds the interchangable tooling I have fits around the die on top of the sow block and the clappers fit into a "hardy hole" in this frame. Not by coincidence is it the same size as my actual hardy hole.

Anyway I also use it to put flats in middle of large round rods occasionally. Sometimes you just need a twisty in a roundy thingy.

Of course no one else I know uses theirs very often but I seem to.

On the matte of the original post- If there is no adjustment to the springs to level up the arms , then the springs may be in the beginnings of failure.

Crystallized brittle breakable dangerous. Find replacements.

Very cool hammer BTW and with that crossed arm mechanism it is a thing of beauty.
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This really isn't a mystery hole - it is an area that long stock that is being forged can be passed though. You'll notice the dies are perpendicular to the frame, this design was changed as years went by - as in the little giants - so the dies were turned at an angle so that wagon wheels could be welded with the power hammer, and the frame would not get in the way. I have a 50lb Little Giant that was made in 1900, and it has this same hole in the frame (which is level with the bottom die), and my 1912 model 50 has the dies on an angle. This information was read in the book "Pounding out the profits" If I recall correctly. I'm sure others will agree or have a better description of what it was used for. -JK


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  • 1 year later...
hello !
but if we can found some detail Samuel Platt 's life, it is impossible to found something on this hammer..... (except some guys on british blades forum who have the same or the smaller size, Goliath 60lbs...)

G'day guys,
Just joined this forum after a Google search for Samuel Platt.
Samuel Platt was my 5 x great-grandfather.
I've been researching my family history for about 15 years now, and have collected a bit of info on the Samuel Platt foundry & the equipment made by them.
I have a few photo's on my website at SAMUEL PLATT LTD
I don't know a lot about the machinery but if you have any questions regarding the foundry I'll try and help.
I'm in touch with a bloke in England who has collected a few of the hammers and is a blacksmith. He seems to know quite a bit about these hammers.
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I'm happy to see my hammer is'nt orphan:D
you can take my pictures about it for your website;)
I 'll take pictures about my friend Goliath Hammer....
your pictures said me I was in right when I said arms must be straight!
thanks a lot !!!!!

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Here is an old picture of a hammer with a similar linkage.

I had saved this picture because I have a punch/shear unit identical to the one in the lower righthand part of the photo. Only other one I have seen.


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  • 6 months later...

I have one of these hammers fully rebuilt,improved brake shoe assembly(old one was mangled).Made new lower arms-forged 4140 then machined.New springs.Severn half hp & 240 bpm flat out,hits real hard with exelent control.Single blow or multiple.Patent taken out in 1910-got a copy from England for about one pound seventy pence.Arms on mine hang down a little.cycles real well,nothing binds up-spent much time getting thatall just so.any faster or more weight on mine and things would bind up/break.

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Welcome aboard Peter, good to have you.

Sounds like you've been around the block a couple times so we can pump you for all you know.

If you'll click on "User CP" at the top of the page and edit your profile to show your location we'll know who to visit when we're in your area. ;)

Seriously, it's good to see you join the gang. Do you have pics of your hammer? We love pics.


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