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I Forge Iron

Fairbanks "B", 75#, bringing back to life.


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Recently acquired a new addition to the shop, a Fairbanks "B" 75#. Got lucky on this one as I bought it semi "sight unseen" just going by a few photos. It was reasonably close as far as "power hammer distance" goes, about 3 hours away. Got if from Wind Chapman who was really good to work with on this deal, as soon as I agreed to buy it my truck decided to need multiple repairs so it took a month for me to go get the darn thing.

Went fairly easy loading, hardest part was just moving it so the truck could get to it.


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Blasted the flaky paint as much as possible at the car wash, then disassembled most of the moving parts. Going to take some work getting the die block keys out, as there is no way to "drive" them out, will have to build a puller (see last 2 pics). There was very little wear to the pins and all the holes were in real good shape, no real wear there either. Also found it interesting that the ram weighs 94#.

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think im going to take a 1/2" plate and cut a slot(to fit over key), and 2 holes for threaded rod. On the keys I will drill a hole in the end and slip a piece of roundbar in there. Will use 3/4" threaded rod and nuts to back out/force the plate/key out from the die block. Got this tip from Kevin Wiley.

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Good looking hammer - instead of taking out the keys - why not leave them in being they are "set" now. No real reason to take it apart if you don't have to.


Thanks, yes overall its real nice, especially condition. I need to remove the die block so I can center it with the ram. It is offset flush to one side of the anvil. There may be enough room to adjust the top die to center with the bottom, but that wouldn't be optimal for the hammer. I would rather spend the time to center the die block.
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yes it has some flat dies, real big, cant remember the measurement someing like 5 x 7. There was a "V" groove cut into the bottom die. This hammer had been set up for 1 specific use, and judging by the marks on the dies it was worked "cold". Also was set to run for very "thin" stock.

Im going to have some combo dies made for it.

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only needs to go a 1/2" or so, but really needs to be centered. On a side note, im going to set it up with a direct drive (no jack shaft) slack belt. I have a 5hp 1150 rpm motor, a 4" pulley puts me at 354 bpm (factory calls for 350). My question is will a 4" fiber pulley give me enough traction/grab on the slack belt???

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How wide a belt can you run?  That hammer should not need 5 hp to run so you will not need a 5 hp belt. I would use the motor because you have it and it is slower rpm. I have the best luck by drilling and tapping the key for a bolt out a 2 or 3 jaw puller  then use a sleeve  and washer.  Put on all the pressuer I can, soak it with ATF and acetone let it sit over night. If you can cut the small end of the keybelow flush get on it with a good fitting drift in a heavy air gun.  Be patient,  More pressure and hammer some let set etc.

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thanks all. I was able to get the key to move up/down a bit on the big end but still not moving "out" of the dovetail. At first I thought it was 2 keys driven in from each side, as both key ends were "mushroomed". However, after measureing the key as it enters the die block there is a 3/32" difference from one side to the other.

Blasted it periodically all day with PB penetrant. Will build some sort of puller this week and get this thing out!

The motor I currently have is 1150, 5hp, and I know it only calls for a 3hp but I have this one on hand. I will measure belt width but I think it will take a 3-1/2" wide belt.

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thanks highsider... The more I got into this hammer, the more I liked and appreciated its design and manufacturing process etc. The odd thing is ive always got my ear to the ground listening for power hammers for sale, and rarely would I hear of any Fairbanks hammers. In a short month I not only found this "B" but also an "E" that will be here soon, and its turn key.

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