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Mechanical PH brake material


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I have a Beaudry #4 Champion - this is a 100lb mechanical power hammer for those not familiar. Beaudry's came with built-in mechanical brakes, which is normally a real good thing to have. 15 or so years ago when I bought mine, it came with a cork like substance for the brake liner but the material was in bad shape and didn't last more than a few days after the hammer was up and going. I think whatever it had been was dry-rotted and just disappeared. At any rate, I replaced the brake shoe with a piece of cloth belting but the oil from the main bearing ran down onto the liner so the belting eventually got gummy and went to pieces. I then replaced it with some commercial truck, brake shoe liner. This works OK but oil still gets on the liner, which changes how the hammer runs and stops. I have to use oil in the main bearing as grease will bind and cause the hammer to stop running so there is always some oil leakage onto the brake. That being said, does anyone have experience with leather as brake material and will it work when oily? I have a source of heavy saddle leather (1/4" or more thick) so it would be no problem to make the shoe but I don't want to go thru the exercise if I already have the best material on there (the truck brake liner). What do you all use for mechanical brake liners for power hammers and do you have to fight oil?

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I run rubber/cloth belting on my little giants (cloth side out). Oiled leather works fine in clutches so I am sure it would on brakes too.

You may have the best liner on there already though. Have you ever tried deliberately oiling the brake lining and adjusting it for proper function that way?

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