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Hi all,


Had an account here a few years ago...can't get back into that one, so got me a new account now.


Just about finished gathering the heavy parts for a junkyard guided-helve hammer, figured I'd post the project here to make things more interesting.


It's a true junkyard dog, and as such won't be as efficient as I'd like, but I'm trying to make it as good as I can while keeping the $ down, and finding decent heavy scrap for short money is becoming pretty impossible in my area as the scrap scroungers become Rockefellers. I'll be using it only for moderate work, not quite hobby but not quite the Westinghouse foundry. Maximum stock I'll be working is probably 2" x 2", very rarely.


Main mast and head/anvil braces are cut from 12" x 6.5"  H-beam


Base plate is 2' x 4' 3/4" plate...much lighter than the 1" road plate I was hunting for, but after a few weeks of searching around, and calling friends of friends, this was the best I could locate, so I'm running with it.


Got UHMW-PE for the guide lining, and I'll be mounting it in 3" bands inside the guide, as I saw on someone else's hammer design, rather than as solid sheets. I'm not sure what grease will be best to use on this, or if I should use something beside grease entirely.


1" pushrod with turnbuckle


Leaf spring is from the rear end of a Pierce fire engine...20-ton vehicle with single rear axle. Needless to say, it is extreme overkill for this hammer, but it was free. The spring is so heavy, it's possible I may need to use only a single leaf of it, to ensure it will actually flex! The photo doesn't properly communicate how heavy the thing is. The left over leafs will be great spring steel for the stock pile.


The anvil base/die holder is a sticking point. It is 7"x7" square tube, and it was a telescoping outrigger jack from a fire department ladder truck, actually rated for 10,000lbs. It is geometrically perfect to serve as an die base, but of course it is heavy, but hollow, and will not be a 10:1 hammer anvil ratio. While I'm absolutely sure it will absorb more energy than solid steel, and it will reduce efficiency, I'm not entirely sure the difference will be drastic enough that I shouldn't use it. It seems logical that this square tube shape will deliver most of the force evenly down to the steel plate and concrete floor, and be pretty d*** solid. Filling with sand of course just deadens the sound, and does nothing to actually increase density.


Like I said, I'll be using it for moderate work, and I just wonder how much of a drawback it would be to use this as a base. Dies will be made from railroad track cap.


Well, there's the short intro to the project. Wish me luck, and I appreciate any input and pity.





Oh P.S....Home Depot Tool Rental for the saw. Saw was absolutely awesome for H-beam cutting...cut very square, very little cleanup grinding needed.




Edited by Moderator54
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Is the first picture how it is going to be constructed? How heaven is the hammer going to be?
I've seen one similar in pictures, but can't figure how it works.
One side of the spring is pulled down, which raises the other side of the spring/hammer?

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Yes sir, that's about the gist of it...using this one here for inspiration at the moment


Playing it a little bit by ear right now, I'm hoping to be able to get the hammer around 30-40lbs...heavier would be great, but then I'll really need to address that anvil base!!

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Can you get a 6" x 6" square tube to put inside it? Cut to the same length ... maybe even a 4" x 4" inside that... Weld the smallest to the base first... slide the next over it and weld it, then the last... fill the voids with sand and weld a heavy face-plate/sowblock on top...?

just a thought that popped into my head.

It still wouldn't be as good as a solid anvil, but wouldn't it be better than the single tube?

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I saw some scrap counterweight the other day, spring steel billet 5"x5" only catch, the shortest length was over 13 foot long, the rest were 37'.


Don't you have a hacksaw? Use a coarse blade, I could part 5x5 in half an hour or less, spring steel isn't normally very hard. A guy could make a LOT of darned nice blade anvils out of 30'+ of 5x5 spring steel.


Frosty The Lucky.

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I went and looked at the example, looks like a nice hammer. I have been spending  hours almost every day with my air hammer and I love it. You are in for a treat! Just walk over and turn irt on and then turn yourself loose!

More pics would be great!


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Love the video, thanks! You are about to have more fun than you can imagine! Really!


Oh I know that.  I done some damascus knives, tomahawks.  I also use it to make some of my special need horse shoes.  It is such a great work tool.  I think the best part was the build.  Actually making something myself and having it work the way I planned. 

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LastRonin that is a great idea...I'm going to see if I can find stock to do that with, I owe you one. Dave, thanks for the encouragement, and Beslagsmed that is a beauty!!

I'm looking to start welding this week. Here are a few more pics of hardware.

Grainger 1" pillow block bearings, supposed to be rated around 1800lbs static and 3100lbs dynamic load. The heavier bearings are about $30 more each. I think these will work absolutely fine for my application.

Grainger 1" precision centerless round, for spring mount and drive pulley shaft.

Also pics of the RR track caps cut off for dies, and the rest of the track bodies will be extremely useful in construction also I'm sure...they may end up part of the head assembly.

After the 9' H-beam was cut to size for main mast, head mount, and anvil brace, I had about an 8" piece left over, so I cut the flanges off the web, and got 3 heavy plates. I'll cut that plate stock to make the spring brackets and whatever else.

Also sharing the old trick of rolling heavy things on sch40 PVC pipe sections, in case a few guys never tried it. Works like a charm.









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  • 8 months later...

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