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I Forge Iron

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Not many who own the hammers would say/think.......Ah Ha, longer toggle arms and links, bigger spring and it will run faster and more efficiently when the old ones look pretty good to me. We all know you're smart Ken but how did you arrive at that conclusion?..... That hammer rocks! I hope others with Fairbanks hammers will chime in cause I would have liked to see a before and after but ya can't think of everything ........Installing a varyable speed motor is something I've seen and operated on a 100lb LG and it wasn't a huge improvement but the guy who owned it had a motor with a double cone sheve unit so he tryed it out...not bad.

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I originally bought this hammer to forge bale spears for a local manufacturer of aftermarket bobcat equipment. The small spears are made from 1-1/2”round x 30” (1045) with a 4-1/2” taper and the large ones are made from 2” round x 40” (1045) with a 16-1/2” taper and are used in an attachment for moving big round bales of hay. The Fairbanks in its original state was taking way too long to forge out these tapers, it didn’t seem to hit as hard as I thought a 150lb. hammer should hit. One night I called Clifton Ralph to see if he could offer any suggestions and he said that the Fairbanks was a good hammer but that they were too choked up. That started me on my quest to improve my hammer. I don’t remember what the forging time was in the beginning, but after I made those changes I could forge the 4-1/2” taper in the 1-1/2” rd in 22 seconds and the 16-1/2” taper on the 2” rd took about 90 seconds (one heat).

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I think most of the LG style hammers can benefit from those same mods. I did a very similar thing with a 25 LG (same arms but longer adjustable toggles and stronger, longer spring). Afterwards, that hammer hit more like a 50 and could draw iron like crazy. I had my 100 lb hammer set up with flat dies and could go from the 25 to the bigger one for all sorts of jobs.

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Could you post more pics (lots) of the brake mod/head setup that you have now, as well as approx dimensions on the pieces that you used for the toggles (as well as what material/heat treat you used)? I have a 125lb fairbanks model D, and if your changes really upgrade the hammer in a big way, then count me in:) Thanks in advance:)


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I will see what I can put together for some dimensions and such and get some close up pix of the toggle links and toggle arms. As for the VFD I bought it used from a place in the Twin Cities (Phil Azow 952.495.8199 ) and there is also a place here in St. Cloud that sell used VFD's. (Electric Motor Service)..............ken

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Here are some pix of the toggle arms and linkage. The toggle arms were forged and fabricated out of 1" x 4" bar stock and some DOM tubing. Welded with some 7018 and normalized. The toggle links are grade 8 bolts with DOM tubing welded on the end and the extra link on the end is 1" x 1-1/2 cold rolled. If I missed anything let me know!















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The belt I am running is the old reinforced smooth rubber belt that was on the hammer when I got it. I also tried a solid rubber belting that I picked up at the local Mill's Fleet store. One side is smooth and the other side is a "raised" pattern. The side with the pattern would not slip at all and the smooth side would work until things warmed up and then it would squeak like crazy!

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  • 11 months later...

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