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Kinyon Hammer Question...

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I just received the plans from ABANA for the Kinyon Hammer and was wondering if anyone here has built one? Any performance upgrades/improvements, any info would be appreciated. I would like to incorporate whatever improvements I can during construction, easier to do it now then tear it apart later to do it... This is looking to be a late fall/winter project, so I have some time to muddle things over before I begin. I appreciate it guys!

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  • 5 weeks later...

ive not really got much experiance on the kinion air hammers (there not as popular in the UK), But I think that this guy has got a cracking hammer deisgn that looks similar,

YouTube - air hammer functional walk through

If I was building one I would have this clip in my favourites file ! - theres another clip from the same guy on there worth a watch.


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I have seen several of the Kinyons in action and used the first Kinyon once at a demo. They are fine hammers but my air compressor isn't big enough to run one. If you have less then a five horse power they can be a little starved for air so a fellow named Zoller developed a small air hammer. Here is his link Zoeller Forge It can use a small home style air compressor. Good luck with your build.

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Looper567, I've built 12 of the Kinyon Clones. Also told Ron Kinyon about the tube in a tube ram/guide system he's using on his new one. I build the first prototype hammer years ago from the plans and found the open die space to be the same as a Little Giant (which I already owned) - so my newer prototype air hammers have used this ram tube in a guide tube like I mentioned above and got rid of all the time consuming drilling of brass guides like the plans asks for. I also went to a 2 1/2" cylinder and 3/8 porting on cylinder, valve, hoses, fittings, etc. The 2 1/2" cylinder is also 16 inches long now in my current hammer and I have 9 inches of open die space. I call this "Daylight" to work in and it makes for a much more versatile hammer if your going to take the time to build one. Those are the changes I've made from those plans over many hammers - it works better and is more versatile. I have purposely kept to 3/8 porting - as my goal was to achieve a power treadle hammer, tooling, swaging hammer - not a general forging hammer as I already have a Little Giant and a Nazel - so I don't need power and speed - I needed control and versatility.


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I believe that the Alabama Forge Council website has modifications to the Kinyon style hammers that they suggest. There are a few videos available on controling your air hammer. You should be able to do a search for both on Google or Ask.com

Design considerations:
-You want daylight between you dies, hand tooling opens up all kinds of possibilities... If you get some videos on flat die power hammer forging, like Clifton Ralph you will understand...
-Bigger cyclinder=larger CFM requirements, unless you use it like Ralph, instead of trying to get it to run like a Nazel;-)
-anvil to ram ratio should be AT Least 10-1, 20-1 is better, and after 40-1 there are diminishing returns...
-If you have to weld smaller pieces together to build up an anvil of suitable weight, it is better to bundle rounds or squares, or even plate along the vertical axis of the anvil, and weld it up. Not laminating a bunch of 1' square drops of 2" plate to get the height and weight you want...
-You CAN run most home built air hammers without a proper foundation, and tieing it down to that foundation, you can use a wooden "foundation", but The hammer will run better, hit harder, and run more "quietly" ;-) if you go ahead and make a seperate foundation for the hammer, and bolt it down securely. It also avoids the hammer wandering off and getting hurt (you or the hammer;-)
-Compressors, bigger is better;-) especially if you want to do some drawing out, or production runs, you can bury a smaller compressor and waste a bunch of time waiting for the air to recharge. With air recievers, again bigger is better, 30gal is worthless, 80gal is better, 200+ is more like it... :-)
-Air lines should be big enough to give you the free air flow you need... Larger hose, and larger fittings, and especially larger filters, regulators and oilers are more expensive but will give better proformance in the long run.
-A large muffler on a bigger exhaust line piped well away from the shop air will be a blessing, again your hammer will run more "quietly";-)
-Hearing protection is still neccessarry;-)
-Use the Blue Loctite, and cotter pins, because an air hammer, especially a hammer that doesn't have a heavy enough anvil, and a sturdy enough frame WILL beat itself to death and nuts and bolts will back out, and it is a bother to have to keep tightening them... Not to mention a safety hazard...

And despite how negative I might seem (although I am not intending it to be...) It is quite do able, and I do wish you good luck... Especially on finding a huge hunk of good steel for the anvil, generally it is better to size your ram to your anvil. I have a 454# axil forging that would make a nice 40# or smaller hammer, Not I want a 100# hammer how much steel can I cobble together to make an anvil for it...

All that being said, I have a Bull 75 (a commecially made utility style air hammer) with a 2" cyclinder. I have a 7.5 hp Quincy Air Master light industrial air compressor with an 80 gal reciever, that develops 22.3 CFM @ 175PSI, I run my hammer at ~135PSI, I have a seperate isolated foundation, an extra 1.5" baseplate, and its bolted down. I have 3/4" airlines and fittings throughout the system. I do not have a long enough, or a bigger line for the exhaust, or a big enough muffler. I can bury the compressor on production runs with my gas forge, but if I pace myself it can keep up by running almost all the time, it is more than adequete for tooling use, and has great control. It is still LOUD and I do have to tighten nuts and bolts on a regular basis, even with all that I have tried to do right;-) YMMV

Goodluck, take pride in doing a good job and work heartily as if unto the Lord, and take pics;-)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Been away from this thread for a while, thanks for all the replies! I'm familiar with Larry's modifications and I definitely like the new style ram guide. For the time being, I'm looking for maybe a 50 Lb head (won't be working anything heavier than 3/4"). We have a few large scrap yards, so finding an anvil shouldn't be a problem. Basically I am looking for something to get me by for a year or 2. When I get moved (VA hopefully) and have more space, I will be ordering one of Tom Clark's hammers. I have used his 50kg hammer extensively, and the price is right, I just don't have the space right now, and I'm just looking for something to weld small billets and forge tongs on (which I hope to make available on my website). That's all I really have time for, the shop keeps me too busy to play as much as I'd like. I will check out the videos and thank again for all of your responses.

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If you want to really learn how to make tongs on a power hammer take a class with Steve Parker. Steve works in an industrial forging plant and makes tongs for hydraulic presses all day long on a Nazel B3. He makes it look real easy and for the most part he uses very simple tools, one paddle. He sets the bite on the billet (to get the amount of stock need for the boss and the bit) then he draws the reins down to the length he wants. Then he pulls out this little paddle with two different radius on the top side, and offset the boss, then flattens it, then works both shoulders on the boss to get a nice tight little boss for the rivet. Then you work out what ever bits you want. His tongs are the nicest I have ever used, they are light and springy and just sweet. If you get the chance to watch him work he is awesome. You can get a DVD of him and Clifton Ralph, and Kurt Fehrenbach at the IBA Conference in Tipton, IN June o7 from UMBA well worth the minimial cost. All three of them are incredible industrial style blacksmiths (you should see what they can do with a decent sized steam hammer;-)

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I've got the tongs down pretty well, I forge the jaws by hand and use the hammer to draw out the handles. This way I can keep everything simple, without having to weld a set of handles on to the jaws. I have done the jaws in the power hammer, but I prefer doing them the "old fashioned" way... The best tutorial I've seen for tongs was in an old issue of the "Blacksmiths Journal". Made my first pair one day on lunch with the issue opened up in front of me on the bench...

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