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Through my research (read obsession) on steam hammers, massey hammers and all things big and smitey, i have come across so many different problems, and the ingenious methods used to overcome such problems.

 

I have learned that there are many diehard members on this site who, at the drop of the hat (or forging fez) will go on a random rampage about their chosen hammers.

 

the mechanical hammers seem to be over represented (probably due to the relative abundance of such items) but i have become addicted to the air/steam hammer.

 

for we few, oh we happy few, who have delved too deep in these dark arts, these machines have become the stuff of our subconscious.

 

my head is spinning with the many possibilities and incarnations of the valving of these beasts, and pneumodynamics is so mind boggling to me that i am constantly found staring into oblivion....

 

john n (nonjic), phil, jnewman, ken zitur, john larson, danger dillon, moony, basher, basically everyone who has chimed into the Steam Hammers thread, and not to mention the late Mr Sarver, have given so many hours of thought and knowledge to this subject, and i thank you all.

 

there are so many questions that fly through my head that i think that even if anyone feels inclined, could maybe be answered some day, and i would like to open this thread, basically to ask the cosmos and see what happens....

 

 

in pilkington/ alldays hammers, which i have been told operate on a vacuum vs pressure (suck vs blow) above the tup, i am assuming that every stroke of the feed piston is mirrored in the tup, with varying degrees of pressure allowed in for the regulation of the blow. if this is the case, does the single blow /hold down on a pilkington/ alldays vary in its pressure, like a heartbeat (to make it romantic :P ) or is there a way of metering the air to a constant pressure?

 

alternately,  on a self contained massey, which i have been led to believe is a pressure above/ below the tup piston, and only gives air on the upstroke of the feed piston, does the feed piston make two pressure strokes for every one return stroke of the tup? or is the volume of the feed piston more than the volume needed for one stroke of the tup? (either up or down) and therefore left with extra compressed air to start the upstroke??

 

is the exhaust air ever used back into the system, like it is in a compound steam engine?

or is the air exhausted at such low pressures that it cannot be re-used?

 

in a steam vs self contained question, could a steam hammer be run with a varying supply (like a selfcontained hammer), and likewise could a self contained hammer be run on a constant supply?

 

what raises the last question is seeing what i would call a transitional massey (basically looks like a steam hammer with a rotary valve, and a feed piston) which seems like an early version of the massey in slides.

'>

 

 

would it react differently to a steam hammer, due to the fluctuation in supply? (would it have a fluctuation???) 

could a steam hammer with a shuttle valve be modified to run off a retrofit feed piston? or is the valving such that it can only run on a constant supply?

 

just the tip of the iceberg i am afraid.......5733712506_e0314cac37_z.jpg

woody.

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woody i wish i knew what you were on about - because that might mean i had a hope in hell of mending my own badly functioning little anyang.. as luck would have it i have a friendly neighbour smith who can help me at some point, and i hope that it will all then seem a bit clearer becasue i would love to understand the problem. 

i totally relate to your streams of questions, as i have similar continuous dialogues with myself on many subjects - sometimes youve just got to write it down or tell someone havnt you!?? i will read your thread with my usual mixture of bewilderment despair and interest :)

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So many questions. It would be of keen interest to me to learn a great deal more about Massey clearspace hammers. The graphics on masseyforging.com are too illegible to ascertain air circuitry. The machines in action shown by Phil and john n have me very interested. So when you remarked that they pump only on one side of the pump piston, well, that really caught me by surprise.

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well as far as i know!

maybe i have just been confusing myself! but the feed piston we pulled out of the massey 1cwt when i did my apprenticeship, just looked like an over sized engine piston, two compression rings , gudgeon pin and skirt, and a long conn rod to the crank, so it would be impossible to get air on the down stroke!?!

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Woody, there is a guy here in the US, Mark Krause that broke down the Nazel and Beche' circuitry for all to understand. he put together an excellent booklet describing the double acting action of self contained hammers. look him up on FB, he's always travelling around fixing old hammers.  I know Masseys are unique but I can't imagine they don't share some similarities

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by suck, do you mean air intake, or internal vacuum? and is there a gland on the compressor piston to stop air loss on the down stroke? is this a clearspace only thing? because the 1cwt in slides we worked on definately didnt.....

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Right now I believe the clear space Massey design has features that make it distinct from, say, Nazel-Beche.  These distinctions would seem to induce people to consider the clear space machine the epitome of self-contained hammers./  The very long tup and stroke length capability undoubtedly led to its "clear space" moniker.  Its noted durability has to relate to Massey precision of manufacture of that long tup and the bore and piston fit.  Older Nazels seem to always have a problem with bore wear and piston and seal fit./  The spool valve is a superior way to create valves from my research.  Hydraulic systems uniformly use spool valves.  Old steam hammers used spool valves.  It is possible to achieve precise metering with spool valves and that is harder to do with "quarter-turn" valves./  The air reservoir used in a clear space Massey is totally unique amongst self-contained hammer designs so far as I know at present.  In use with the single blow feature, it is possible to segregate the tup from pulsations of the pump, and therefore the machine is operating as a utility hammer/steam hammer.  Here the spool valve is without doubt controlling both in-flow and out-flow, hence the very precise tup positioning and rate of movement.  Because of passageway size and piston size and air pressure, there are obvious synchronization time lags between driver movements of the lever and the tup movements./  Finally, for now anyway, the clear space machines were provided in a wider assortment of sizes than Nazel in the USA.  Conceivably European Beche and other brand machines were made in a larger variety of sizes.

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Im not going to put up any detailed information about hammer valves, and how they work as the info on Massey hammers is my companies 'IP' and I don't want to effectively grant websites a licence to the information, which I would be doing by putting it on a forum.... sorry guys, I wont be much of a contributor in this thread.

 

This is a sectional view through a clear space hammer, which should clarify the compressor piston arrangement. ie, the head of the piston compresses on its up and down stroke (which of course, means it pulls on both sides of the stroke) . The with slides hammers have a similar arrangement.

 

15ccsphsectionalview_zps11818e99.jpg

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john (nonjic) please dont feel that i am trying to lure you into posting protected information!

you have provided the exact information, as it was needed in every thread i have read that has your contribution, and you are a living international treasure (to hammer enthusiasts).

please feel free to chime in on non protected steam hammer and other pneumatic air hammer information ;)

was it you or phil that once mentioned a type of "retrofit" rear cylinder for steam hammers??

would you consider the heat from the compression piston too great for a rear cylinder to be fabricated from heavy wall steam pipe of the right diameter?

 

thankyou for posting this image as it will keep my mind really busy over the next few hammer free months.... (this thread comes as a direct result of hammer withdrawls....) after which i can drool over HJPs massey #3

 

john larson, my steam hammer has a spool valve, all be it a very simple one, but i am sure i have seen some that have rotary valving setups in steam hammers.

maybe a sort of evolutionary process weeded the fellas out.....

like brass wind instruments, the spool or slide valve just seems to be "the way" :) mind you, there are some slide trombones with a rudimentary rotary valve key to get higher notes.....

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The clear space masses are certainly doing somthing special, somthing so special that I have never met a Massey owner who knew that these hammers could operate like that.
In practice most of the ones I have used have been down right scary.
Often you have to operate your foot past heavy blows (full power blows) to get the progressive recipricating blows that one would expect from normal hammer operation.
Possably a case of "art" smiths badly operating an industrial hammer or poorly maintained or set up hammers?

The valving on an alldays is a lot simpler.....I can understand it!
The compressor is compressing on the up stroke and pulling in air from he front piston on the down.
In idle the compression stroke is exhausted to air , so the ram chugs at he top of stroke. As you rotate the valve, some of the exhausted compression air is sent to the front piston so the ram lowers progressively,increasing untill full blows are reached.
At full blow this is a simple backward and forward action , a closed system .the drive piston is oversized to allow for losses in the elasticity of the air.
There are one way flap valves in the rotary valve, during hold up and hold down the hammer is working the front ram at either compression only, or vaccume only.
On hold down you can hear the pulse of he piston but I can't feel it in practice( I seldom use this feature)
The ram has to have a large surface area so that the partial vaccume fom the sucking drive piston will lift the ram, there is a dead space at the top of the ram bore to prevent the ram hitting cylinder top at top of stroke and a little one way flap valve to channel the compressed air to the top of the cylinder and prevent it being stuck at he top of the stroke.
The large front ram makes for a big bearing surface,these are big hammers for their weight.
In practice these type of hammer perform well under hard blows and seem to run a miss,tap,miss, tap when wanting light blows...
Some of them have a valve to divert the drive piston to atmosphere so that there is less starting load on the motor.
By altering this valve to nearly closed it is possable to get very light blows. This s a wonderfull feature and makes a powerfull hammer a usable pussycat....
I have thought to link the main rotery valve with this divert valve to allow a more progressive flow through gentle blows and into the harder blows......
as soon as you go suck and push above and below the drive piston I am a little lost.....

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Woody         why dont you buy the grey 2cwt ,the one i send you a picture of and you can pull it apart (in my workshop B) i will make a  corner available for you to play ) and see what makes it tick and you put it back together again of course,and i let you use it . -_-  :P this is the only way for you to get peace of mind (and to keep your fingers of my 3cwt :D  Hans

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Thanks for the thanks Woody :D Thats a great pic of a early Massey, any idea the year or specs? Retrofitting your hammer would be more work than its worth, I think the valving is just to dissimilar from utility to self contained, not only would you have to build the piston but all the valving. Just get some AIR!

 

John thanks for the diagram, thats some crazy looking valve for sure. My hammers have a much shorter and simpler motion valve but you have to consider the utility is also directly tied to the ram through the sword. Could you include the description of #17-22?

 

Not sure how the "art" smiths get blamed for dangerous equipment but I'll take it! AND like it!

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Id include myself as an "art" smith hammer user.....

 no instruction on hammer use apart from personal experience and how to draw tapers at college....... which is exactly what I used a hammer for for 15 years.......

I would recon that the majority of us do not have a clue how best to use these machines at all.

 my eyes were open'd by the Clifton Ralph video and the stream of information on this site.

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hey basher, i think you are referring to the fact that if you depress the treadle (or driver lever) (with the floating quadrant set in the "hold up" notch,) you can lower the hammer through the full motion of "hold down" "neutral" and into the "full working" or reciprocating range.

there is a pivoting stop to prevent accidental full depression, and it has a telescopic function which actually allows the motion to be locked entirely, to enable the smith (or assistant) to work between the dies with no fear of accidental smiting.

 

when going on a tour of the railway workshops in Ipswich, ( QLD, Austraila) i saw that their Massey 3cwt "inslides" hammer was always set to neutral, (in which the dies or pallets are sitting together and the air is open to the atmosphere) and when they wanted to work a pick or such, they would depress the treadle and wiat for the dies to open, as the valve went into in full working mode!

it looked like a clumsy way of forging! if the apprentice doing the demo (which it usually was) didnt get the job out from between the dies, he (or she) would have to depress the pedal again to release the job!

 

this is the reason i dont like mechanical hammers nearly as much as a pneumatic, as the dies have a tendancy to clamp your job, or give it a final hit, if you are not wary.

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hans, i would buy the little grey 2cwt, but someone wont tell me where it is! :p

and they want me to split it in two ;)

 

mr danger, i found that hammer on google, it appears to be a Massey 7cwt, which they have put a plaque on to state it is a STEAM HAMMER?!?! no idea of the date.

5733168695_d7ca0c05af_z.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

here is an interesting hammer i just found..... steam hydraulic???

Steam_hydraulic_hammer_%28Rankin_Kennedy

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John n, I totally understand the need for avoiding threats to your intellectual property.  I very much appreciate your engagement in this and related threads.  Hope you continue.  I will study the schematic that you have supplied.  Thank you,

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John n, I totally understand the need for avoiding threats to your intellectual property.  I very much appreciate your engagement in this and related threads.  Hope you continue.  I will study the schematic that you have supplied.  Thank you,


Seems like sharing information gets increasingly more difficult :)
I too understand why a maker or supplier of parts doesn't want to freely give information. I went back to read some post that JohnN made, that were full of excelent information, and he got banned. Makes one hesitant to add information that one day, even they won't have access to.

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John N I read about a Naval Gentleman of a foreign power who was being shown through the works of Weir pumps back in the old days when they still were in the big business of making reciprocating steam feed pumps with their little patented steam valves and associated shuttle valves and chests, when the naval officer asked the old Scots engineer who was conducting the tour if it was possible to explain to him how their shuttle valve system worked, the old Scots man thought for a second or two and then said "why sure laddie, tis easy, ye see the steam goo's in this here port, blooo's aboot a bit inside here ad then comes ooot this port here laddie,  noo did ye have any more questions I can answer for you".  Question answered in my opinion. 

 

Phil

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Woody that's a C frame press, not a hammer.

this is Picky my C frame with the manip when it was at BHP Newcastle.

 

Phil

post-5537-0-56619700-1381211557_thumb.jp

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congratulations phil, you win the steak knives!

of course it is a press,

and i love your steam secrets story, it is always much more easy to believe a story if it has a bad scottish accent in it :p

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Just to clarify that I am happy to discuss all of the inner workings of the hammers with just about anyone who will stand still long enough to listen! and I have no problem including the 'secret' how it works and tuning document with the manuals I supply. I just cant post the drawings online, as that gives the website a licence to the information, and once you give it im sure you cant take it back! (ie, you can only do it once, and repent at leisure!)

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John N that is above and beyond!  So I can't let the offer go unheeded.  :-)

 

As I look at the cross sectional view that you provided and the photograph provided by John Newman, there are to my eye some differences.

 

In the diagram there seem to be shown the central rod, the outer casing, and the parts that the photograph shows.  In the diagram at the top of the rod there appears to be a valve that the vertical movement of the rod opens/closes (under the dome on top).  In reciprocation mode where do the exhaust flows go?  

John Larson

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The exhaust flows go back inside the crankcase of the hammer, (via that bonnet that is bolted on the top of the hammer covering the valve spool/chamber) same as the hammer draws its air from inside the crankcase as its oily and mostly clean, there is a big port at the back bottom of the hammer so that it can all breath to the outside through,  it is connected to the crankcase via a vertical "cast in" airway.  When you put the hammer from single blow into drive you can hear a definite woosh of air out the back breathing port as the hammer dumps excess air.

John N the patterns for the masseys castings must have been a work of art, do any still survive?

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