smfg_mendo

Little Giant 50 lb Power Hammer Refurbish

30 posts in this topic

I just recently inherited this little giant power hammer from my grandfather.  It has sat unused for the past 30 plus years. It looks to be in very good condition. I couldn't find any damage cracks or broken components. Has a set on dies on it and a large hollow cone anvil that came with it as well as a swage block that weights around 150lbs maybe more.

I plan on doing a refurbish rather than a full restoration.  I want to convert it to a timing belt and timing pulley from mcmasterr-carr and stop using the flat fiber belting.

Any information on the machine, condition concerns, advice, questions or comments are welcomed.  I am young and learning so criticism is good too!  I will continue to read through this great site as I get started on this awesome old piece of equipment. 

Does anyone know the age it or original purchaser, I have not been able to find any information. I posted a picture of the serial number.  I also sent an email to someone at little giant a few months ago but never received a reply.

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No need for a timing belt IMHO. 

If you want more grip than an organic belt try a four ply power transmission belt (what I used on my 75#) but most hands will probably tell you to use leather.

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I have a similar one and also did not do a complete restore.  Call Little Giant and they will tell you when yours was built and who it was sent to way back then.  They can really help you with the restore process.  I replaced the spring, knuckles, dies, and a motor.  The old motor was 3 phase and the new single phase was not purchased through the Little Giant folks. Remember to oil it well, before each start up and each hour when in use.  If it is not covered in oil you are not oiling it enough.  I purchased the set of DVD's from Little Giant for a complete rebuild and it was very helpful even for setting up my hammer with the few new parts I ordered.  Good luck and you are going to have so much fun with your hammer.  Don't be afraid of posting pictures on this site as you progress or if you have questions.    

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I have heard they need to covered in oil to be happy!  It has an old three phase on it but it is very large, old and tired, so i will probably be changing over to a single phase.  I will look into the dvd's. I will be sure to get more pictures and post them up as I go along with this project.

I cant quite tell is the serial number is 4702 or 1702

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That looks just like mine and mine runs fine with an automotive fan belt. I lube mine with chain saw bar oil with a good dollop of "Duralube" the automotive oil additive. Bar oil is sticky and doesn't sling and drip like motor or tranny oils, the Duralube is a very high film strength low viscosity lubricant that sticks to metal and lubs it after everything else runs off.

I only get a little dripping off the arms if I over oil it on start up and she purrs like a kitten.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Congrats on that hammer.
As SoCal Dave and Frosty mentioned, don't be afraid to get some oil on that thing.
It may seem like a pain but I like the mystique of maintaining my 50. You'll learn to hear it run the more you use it.
This is a lube guide from the LG site: http://www.littlegianthammer.com/resources/oldstyle.pdf
Did you call Little Giant?

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Forgot to add.
Take some photos straight on and from different angles so the folks at LG can tell you if anything needs to be replaced, or its worn, etc.
The toggle links look like they need tightening before you use it but its hard to tell.

Edited by Grundsau

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I use a lot of bar oil for the exact same reason and was thinking today why wouldnt it work on these hammers?  Thank you for the confirmation on that.  I called them today and talked to Roger I believe, he was extremely helpful.  He told me how to order parts and he also told me my hammer was shipped july 1st 1925 to Dunning Iron Store in Los Angeles.  I found the company in a 1921 engineering directory under california hardware wholesale company. so there is no way to tell who they sold it to, that part was blank on his end of the records.

I printed all the information off the website today and made put together a binder of manuals and pictures (yes i still do this even with all the technology).

The toggle links are loose I loosened them up when I was checking to make sure it was spinning freely.

I have it stored at my uncles shop right now until My shop goes up this summer.  Im working on the concrete foundation as we speak!  Its only 20'x26'x9' but its all I need.  I hope it will be enough space!

Thank you everyone for the great information

Edited by smfg_mendo

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Good Morning,

There is a standard size for every new Shop, "2 Feet too Small"!!!

If you build a bigger Shop, it is still not big enough!!

It doesn't matter what the history of your Hammer is, It is yours Now!! If it came from your Grandfather, that's all the History you need. No more!!

When you get a little cover, set it up on some timbers. Get it running first, figure out what it needs, give it the "Bar Oil Blessing". Forget about wiping that GRIN off your Face, that is your Grandpa talkin' to you. Ear to Ear Grin!!!!!

There is time to take it apart, when you know what to take it apart for. Take an old photo of your Grandpa and place it in a place where he can see you.

Neil

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I Like the thoughts Neil and good advice about the hammer, not fixing things before you know they're broke is a wise course.

You are one sentimental guy. A good thing I think.

Frosty The Lucky.

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That size shop will be great and also that you know where it has been.
My hammer originally went to a dealer in Washington state and ended up back here in Pennsylvania just down the road from me where I bought it from my mentor.
Mine runs fine on 8" x 9" white oak timbers bolted together with all thread rod.
Not to tell you to stop building the concrete foundation, but having your LG on timbers will make it easier to move it if needed.
Once you are in your smithy and working, you may realize that it will be better in another spot.

10881627_10152786150136638_2908420334389

Edited by Grundsau

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Good Morning,

There is a standard size for every new Shop, "2 Feet too Small"!!!

If you build a bigger Shop, it is still not big enough!!

It doesn't matter what the history of your Hammer is, It is yours Now!! If it came from your Grandfather, that's all the History you need. No more!!

When you get a little cover, set it up on some timbers. Get it running first, figure out what it needs, give it the "Bar Oil Blessing". Forget about wiping that GRIN off your Face, that is your Grandpa talkin' to you. Ear to Ear Grin!!!!!

There is time to take it apart, when you know what to take it apart for. Take an old photo of your Grandpa and place it in a place where he can see you.

Neil

​Thanks for the great advice it means alot!  I have a picture with him and all his friends together in the first shop they started together it was taken early 50's. Its one of my favorites.  They were structural steel mostly so the power hammer was not a heavy work horse for them.  i think my grandpa used it alot for making and repairing leaf springs back before you could just order and set online and have them shipped to your doorstep!

Edited by smfg_mendo

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That size shop will be great and also that you know where it has been.
My hammer originally went to a dealer in Washington state and ended up back here in Pennsylvania just down the road from me where I bought it from my mentor.
Mine runs fine on 8" x 9" white oak timbers bolted together with all thread rod.
Not to tell you to stop building the concrete foundation, but having your LG on timbers will make it easier to move it if needed.
Once you are in your smithy and working, you may realize that it will be better in another spot.

10881627_10152786150136638_2908420334389

​The foundation Im working on is for the shop.  But I think i will put it up on a block pad like yours.  My father in law works for pg&e and gave me a huge stack of 8 ft 6"x8" power pole cross supports that will make a perfect pad i think!  Plus Im 6'6" so my back will thank me for having it up off the ground a little more

Thats a very nice looking set up you have there to.  That looks alot like the motor mine has. Is it three phase?

Thanks everyone for the great information.

Edited by smfg_mendo

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This is my 50lb. LG right after I got her home and stood up and shows the foot pad I made her. I used 4"x12" timbers. If you look closely you can see the counter sunk holes where I bolted it together with 3/8" allthread. I wish I hadn't cut the radius on front to match the hammer the extra would've made a nice place to rest my feet while running it.

I put a 2" sq. pin on the other side to keep it from going walk about. The pin fits a gozinta in the floor. The gozintas in my floor are 2" sq. receiver tubing welded into the rebar grid on a 2' grid. The ends set flush with the floor and they're interconnected by  the down draft exhaust system. The details and pics are in another thread here.

This is about as unmodified as she ever was after I got my  hands on her. The motor is now on this side on a completely different mount and it has the brake, scatter shield and new paint. The fellow I got it from ran it with 4 automotive fan belts but I find one does belt  just fine.

Not that it matters one whit but mine was Delivered to LA Heavy Hardware Jan 12th. 1913. I bought it from a bladesmith in Alaska a few years ago I have no idea of her travels in between.

Frosty The Lucky.

 

Bobbie_in_place01.thumb.jpg.2a4c965bf3ed

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before you replace that 3 phase motor, if it is three phase, you might consider using a vfd like this:

http://www.automationdirect.com/adc/Shopping/Catalog/Drives/GS1_(120_-z-_230_VAC_V-z-Hz_Control)/GS1_Drive_Units_(120_-z-_230_VAC)

one advantage is it gives you a degree of variable speed and another is it's probably cheeper than buying a new 2 horse motor. be sure to match the size of the vfd to the size of the motor. you might also consider/buying building a phase convertor.

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This is my 50lb. LG right after I got her home and stood up and shows the foot pad I made her. I used 4"x12" timbers. If you look closely you can see the counter sunk holes where I bolted it together with 3/8" allthread. I wish I hadn't cut the radius on front to match the hammer the extra would've made a nice place to rest my feet while running it.

I put a 2" sq. pin on the other side to keep it from going walk about. The pin fits a gozinta in the floor. The gozintas in my floor are 2" sq. receiver tubing welded into the rebar grid on a 2' grid. The ends set flush with the floor and they're interconnected by  the down draft exhaust system. The details and pics are in another thread here.

This is about as unmodified as she ever was after I got my  hands on her. The motor is now on this side on a completely different mount and it has the brake, scatter shield and new paint. The fellow I got it from ran it with 4 automotive fan belts but I find one does belt  just fine.

Not that it matters one whit but mine was Delivered to LA Heavy Hardware Jan 12th. 1913. I bought it from a bladesmith in Alaska a few years ago I have no idea of her travels in between.

Frosty The Lucky.

 

Bobbie_in_place01.thumb.jpg.2a4c965bf3ed

​Im assuming these are gozinta's?  Nice job on the foundation.  So the rebar is welded to the square tubing. does the square tubing go into the ground or just sit flush on top.  Is the square tubing beneath the concrete or flush with the shop floor surface?

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Edited by smfg_mendo

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Yes, they're welded to the rebar so I can ground a thing without having to trip over another cable though I keep the lead close. The top of the gozita cap sets flush with the floor surface. The bottoms connect (sort of) with 3" ABS pipe that is interconnected and runs to a piece I can hook up to a blower and exhaust outside. That'd be the down draft exhaust system I've talked about. The idea being eave fans have to exchange the air completely a couple few times to clear smoke, fumes, etc. With a bar grate table top over a hopper shaped sheet metal plenum connected to table legs that fit the gozintas, smoke, etc. gets sucked down into the floor not off into the air.

The down draft exhaust system also has the advantage of drawing cold air off the floor which is still warmer than the ground so it warms the floor a bit every time it's on. If it's hooked to a hood over the gas forge it becomes a pretty serious sub floor heating system.

Frosty The Lucky.

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I just got my first powerhammer, the post right under yours, and it was recommended I pick up a copy of Richard Kern's "The Little Giant Power Hammer". My copy arrived Friday and I must say I think every Little Giant owner should have a copy of this work. It is fantastic and full of useful information from history to use and practically walks you through a complete rebuild.

Congrats on the hammer btw. By far the coolest thing about it in my book is it came from your Grandfather. Mine has been gone for many years but I think about him every day. He wasn't a blacksmith but were he I would use and cheerish his old tools! You are very lucky to be able to do that! Good luck, I imagine you are as excited as I am to get it up and start hammering hot steel!

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congrats on your hammer,an injury to my shoulder put me out of business for 8 months until I found my.50 lber #1306,made in 1906.It had sat in a farmers field up at Tri Cities in the Colombia George Washington state for 42 years until he gave it to me in 2004.I found little giant helpful for most parts.I wanted to replace some pretty worn out parts,in particular the knuckles,BUT,the replacements were just machined parts,I wanted cast origionals.If anyone out there has a spare 2 of them I would pay them genereously for them.I'm a full time blacksmith and am at Rose Lodge Forge on the central coast of Oregon,holler at me if you have or know where I can get "original" knuckles,541-994-2118.Thanks and "happy hammering".Don.

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Sorry, I missed your question.
The motor is a single phase and chainsaw bar oil gets added to the oil bath bearings before each session of using it.

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get on the internet,go to little giant contact us,you'll get the phone number for them,they'll tell you who and when it was "first' purchased

 

get on the internet,go to little giant contact us,you'll get the phone number for them,they'll tell you who and when it was "first' purchased

 

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hi, new member here

just purchased a 50 lb LG.

comes with Westinghouse 2HP 220V motor with 4v pulley, this thing is a beast of a motor and must weigh 80lbs

motor doesn't work and I don't have 220 currently available. I can get 220 service wired but don't want to incur electrical upgrade costs.

question, will a 2hp motor on 110V be sufficient to get this hammer going?  I will just need to sort out the shaft length

pulley is 4 belts, about 3.5" long and 1" ID

From what I'm reading here in this thread, a few of you use a 110 V motor successfully to drive your hammers.  I'm not a motor expert :-)

thank you

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Welcome aboard HSC slasher guy, glad to have you. If you'll put your general location in the header you might be surprised how many of the Iforge gang live within visiting distance.

I have a 50lb. LG that runs satisfactorily for me on a 120v. 1/2 hp motor and a two belt pully. The drive pully on the motor is smaller than called for in the book so my hammer runs about 1/2 speed about 150 bpm tops.

I may have a line on more powerful 120v motors I can maybe afford. I'd like the option of more speed and power. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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29 minutes ago, Frosty said:

Welcome aboard HSC slasher guy, glad to have you. If you'll put your general location in the header you might be surprised how many of the Iforge gang live within visiting distance.

I have a 50lb. LG that runs satisfactorily for me on a 120v. 1/2 hp motor and a two belt pully. The drive pully on the motor is smaller than called for in the book so my hammer runs about 1/2 speed about 150 bpm tops.

I may have a line on more powerful 120v motors I can maybe afford. I'd like the option of more speed and power. 

Frosty The Lucky.

thanks, I updated it

oh wow, even a 1/2 HP is enough?

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Hi HSC.  2hp is 2 hp regardless of the voltage used to power it.  The 110V motor will draw twice the current as the 220V version so your electric bill for the use of the 110V motor will be twice the cost. . Also the 110V motor is going to draw about 17 amp's so you will have to have it on a 20 amp circuit maybe more to cover startup.  Congratulations on getting a power hammer. 

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