matto

new to power hammers

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finaly got my 25# lg up and running can t find what i want in the power hammer form so going with a basic
any tips greatly helpful. i will post pics tomorrow.

one question would be do you dress the new dies before using? my hammer has new bolt on flat dies should i dress the edges be for hammering?

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Yes. Ease the edges of all forging tools or you will mark up or begin cold shuts depending. 

I took a course after I built my power hammer but this should get you started;

 

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on a 25 a 1/16-1/8" radius is about right on the edges. More would be good and leave work very smooth but there are advantages to keeping the dies pretty flat.

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thank you both with your replys. I have my bottom dies dresses just need to finish the top dies. the hammer came with a set of changable flat dies and drawing dies. I might order a set of drawing dies from LG so i don't have to mess with the die keys i just have to undo 2 bolts. what are the flat dies mainly for? my mind says they are for general purpose. so you can draw out or smooth out. but are more for shoulder work?

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I don't understand the fear of keys lots of people seem to have.  Bolt on dies are easier to make for custom dies but the bolts are just as likely to vibrate loose as the keys are to come loose.  Well fitting keys that are greased before driving in are easy to change and hold securely.  My home built hammer has bolt in dies and they vibrate loose as often or more than my hammer with keys.   Using bolts and keys you will have both vibrating loose unless you don't oil or grease you keys and end up with them rusted in place.  A key won't break off needing drilling and easy outs. 

 

Buy the Cliftom Ralph videos that he produced years ago.  They are available from either artisan ideas or blue moon press on DVD.  He has a lot of info on them about LG type hammers as well.  They are 12hr long and could use some editing but there are tons of little information nuggets buried in them on power hammer usage.

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thank you both with your replys. I have my bottom dies dresses just need to finish the top dies. the hammer came with a set of changable flat dies and drawing dies. I might order a set of drawing dies from LG so i don't have to mess with the die keys i just have to undo 2 bolts. what are the flat dies mainly for? my mind says they are for general purpose. so you can draw out or smooth out. but are more for shoulder work?

I use my flat dies for general work and for tooling, spring dies and such. I have not relieved the edges much on the front as it great for drawing out material for the hooks on utensils and such.

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I really only use flat dies. They can do everything. On a small hammer like a 25 you don't have a lot of clearance for tooling so it is sometimes easier to change dies than try to fit a punch, bolster, shim and work  all under the die and have enough room to hit it. My 25 had about 20 or so sets of dies when I sold it. The dies I used most on my 25 were a set of 2x4 flat and 1 1/4x4 flat that were really radiused heavily(3/8" r) The narrow dies were my drawing dies. I did have a set that were 3/4 wide that were full round but never really cared for them. Tapers aren't all that complicated, they work like the morse taper on a drill bit. I think the big reason to use bolt on dies is the difficulty of cutting the dovetail, esp the female when building a hammer with limited tooling.

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I think a lot of folks get their hammers with improperly made keys pounded into almost ruin and so have a learned fear of them. A properly made set with proper angles and length for easy removal would soon change their minds.

(I know on one of my hammers I had to cross drill the key so I could hook a comealong to it and apply several hundred pounds of constant pull wile oiling and tapping to get it to come free. Also a good friend asked me to consult on his first powerhammer when he was having trouble getting the key out---I looked at it a bit and said "it goes the other way" and a few minutes later there was a *ping* as the key shot out... As revenge he now has larger anvils and powerhammer(s) than I do...)

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Flat dies are pretty much the universal tool, you generally use tooling with them for versitilty. For production work specialty dies made for the job can make things go quicker. ( more profit, if you price according to value of product)

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My bolt on dies never come loose but I use a special compound.......It's called TORQUE......No lock washers,ever,

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Thanks all for the info, I do not fear the keys it was more a thought not to have to remove them.
Macbruce this hammer came from a great man from your neck of the woods came from golden co.
It was my good friend Leroy Jacobs. I hope I can do him justice. Finally getting it running is a good start.

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