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I Forge Iron

Hammer breaking ups and downs...


Torin

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Well, I *thought* I was ready to sit down and break a hammer. Everything was set up and seemed to be working great.

However, I noticed that the hammer speed seemed to be running fairly slow. So I timed it. 150 hits a minute on the VFD was actually running about 120 hits. So, since the torque is less the slower you go with a VFD, I went ahead and upped the speed on it to 180. Timed it and it was actually running at just over 100 hits a minute.

Crud :mad:

Ok, time to face the fact that I've got an underpowered rig here. I can trade up on the VFD (getting a 3hp maximum rated), but not the motor. So I'm getting a 2 hp motor, and since they don't use the same frame, or have the same shaft size, I need to do some more work on the rig. On the plus side, I can use more rigid construction.

On the other side of this project, it looks like the hammers i got are REALLY cheap. The one I hardened in superquench only got up to 45 Rockwell C! :o

Does anybody know any brand name hammers that have more carbon in them than that? I need ones with a metal handle all the way through. I need it for how I mount them after hardening.

Thanks.

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I gave Estwing a call today. They wouldn't tell me the alloy other than 'High Carbon Steel'. However they did tell me that their hammers run from 50-55 Rc. I've got 3 now. 1 for the anvil (so to speak), 1 for breaking, and 1 in case I need to harden it up some more. I think 50 will be good enough. Motor and drive should arrive in the next day or two.

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Sounds like you are putting some cash into this project-
I have an old cross peen that was chipped on the edge of the face & the edge of the peen but I ground down the rough edges.
Have you tried a Blacksmiths hammer?

I was allways told to never hit 2 hammers together -think there is a difference?
I think I have an old sledge hammer head thats chipped some where ,Ill see If I can find it.

Ive never chipped a hammer myself but have seen a few that were .
Ron

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Hey Torin.
Just a thought here, and it might not apply to the exact conditions of your experiment. But, have you though of setting it up so the EDGE of the hammers hit. It seems that I have seen lots of hammers with chipped EDGES but rarely if ever have I seen a hammer with a FACE that is cracked or chipped all the way across. Might try setting it up so the hammer are hitting the edges or something.

Don't give up. I usually don't watch mythbuster's (unless they are blowing up something HUGE) but if you can get on there let us know and I'll tune in.

-Aaron @ the SCF

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Hey Torin.
Just a thought here, and it might not apply to the exact conditions of your experiment. But, have you though of setting it up so the EDGE of the hammers hit. It seems that I have seen lots of hammers with chipped EDGES but rarely if ever have I seen a hammer with a FACE that is cracked or chipped all the way across. Might try setting it up so the hammer are hitting the edges or something.


Yes, I will be trying to get it to hit along the edge of the face. And yes it is more likely to chip that way.

Don't give up. I usually don't watch mythbuster's (unless they are blowing up something HUGE) but if you can get on there let us know and I'll tune in.

-Aaron @ the SCF


Oh, I seriously doubt I'm going to wind up on Mythbusters. I'm just going to be presenting this in person to some of the build team...assuming I can get it up and running in time to break some hammers. The new VFD just arrived today, and I'm hoping the motor arrives tomorrow.
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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi Torin.
Looks like you ran out of time. I saw the new mythbusters tonite is on hammers revisited. Hope you didn't spend to much money on setting up your experament.
Unless of course you were one of the blacksmiths mentioned, in which case congradulations!

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Hi Torin.
Looks like you ran out of time. I saw the new mythbusters tonite is on hammers revisited. Hope you didn't spend to much money on setting up your experament.
Unless of course you were one of the blacksmiths mentioned, in which case congradulations!


I didn't see it yet, but it says on the wikipedia site that it was re-busted.

However my wife just called me from work about it...apparently they want the whole hammer to shatter...

Most of the money I spent on it, has been able to be converted into a KMG grinder.

And I may still get to meet them.
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Hey Torin:
Congrats on the new grinder! Shame about the mythbusters though.
-Aaron @ the SCF


Thanks! I'll get a chance to watch the episode when I get home tonight and see if there is anything I can cover. It looks from what I've read, they are still ignoring the effects of repeated hits over time.

I'm also still invited to the convention, so I'll be going and at least I'll get to meet them...probably get to play up the fact my timing sucks ;).

Also got a nice compliment today...a friend of mine has told me that on close examination, my patternwelding is better than several makers that she knows. Apparently while I haven't made that much, I've make sure to follow instructions well enough that the material turns out better.

Now I just need to make more and put the grinder to work :D!
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Hey Torin.
Glad to hear that you were able to convert it to a grinder. And yea all of a sudden they decided that it was the myth of the EXPLODING hammer. Kind of annoying but also really funny. Since they are standing there saying " Well look we have cracks , stress fractures, and chips flying off But the hammers didn't actually explode like a bomb, so the myth is busted!" ?????????

The trouble is I personally can think of atleast a couple of things the've called busted that I have had happen to me and know for a fact can occur under the right circumstances. But this one especially is common enough that it seems irresponsible of them to give people the impression that it's OK to bang two hammers together.

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My problem with the show is that they start with a bad premise: hammers explode; gun barrels will make that banana peel effect like in a CARTOON (what's next- the myth that if you don't look down you don't fall off a cliff?!); swords cut through other swords. Then they test to the bad premise, show that the REAL myth does in fact happen (hammers chip and the pieces are lethal/very dangerous; gun barrels can split when you leave in the barrel sight; swords can be broken by another sword so that it looks like it's been cut.)

And who wasn't watching and thinking "hmm... he just quenched that entire all-steel hammer. The neck is gonna snap like a twig before the head explodes"? But oh well, at least people are aware that blacksmiths are still around and it's not as easy as just throwing stuff in a fire :D

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And the final down.

I made it to the convention, but neither I or my other non-mythbuster panel-mate were asked to join in. Didn't get to speak or to even talk to them. :mad: :mad:

Oh well.

I think I'm going to spend the day welding up billets.

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Ahhh Torin I am so sorry. That really stinks, but atleast you got a nice motor for your grinder, and a GREAT story to tell. I was enraged to see them using that hammer swinging machine against that Hofi anvil, oh man everytime it hit I almost cried, but WOW look at the rebound slap, even with all that machine power behind the hammer.

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Like everything on TV, Mythbusters is aiming for drama. If the truth is a fortunate coincidence, then it may get presented but they really don't want anyone questioning the results since that casts a shadow on their authority. Many shows presented as fact on the History Channel are also mixed up with regard to already published literature. I really think the producers just google a subject and read a few pages - that seems to be the modern solution to a scholarly approach, which in the past meant real research using books and other printed material, checking sources and proving the validity of a claim.

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Already know about the message boards. There is so much garbage on them I figured the video would have a better chance of getting heard. Do a search on samurai sword to see all the people who insist that you can cut through a machine gun barrel with a katana.

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