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I Forge Iron

Clontz/Spencer based hammer finished

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I just finished building my Mechanical Power Hammer. I spent the last week building the frame and finishing up this project. The ram is 50lbs, with a 450lb anvil. The hammer has amazing control. I added a lot of gusseting and supports, as well as a different treadle design. I lowered the anvil and column height, used taller dies, and a bunch of other smaller changes, but no changes to the linkage/ram design.

This is extremely exciting and a big step. 4 years of hard work has landed me here. I never would have dreamed of the day that I would own a power hammer, much less build my own. I think that I have about 160 hours invested in this thing total. So much welding. 2-3 days straight of welding, 20lb of welding rod, and about 3lb of mig wire. I still want to wire another switch and brace the treadle linkage but it works, and well.












Edited by Matthew Paul
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eThank you fellas.

Stormcrow, the forging videos that I have are not too hot but here is one from last night. Im by no means a pro on a power hammer. In this video is only the 3rd time that Ive used one :)

This is forging down some 3/4" round W1 for some hammer tooling... I might as well post the photos of those too!





I made a swage block to form the ends of these tools. I used the corner of my anvil and some round stock for the double sided one, and some 1" round, 3/8x 1" flat, and 2"x1/4" flat as top tools to make the swage for the single sided tool. The handle diameter on these is 5/16"




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Nice job!  Love how you built up the anvil, and braced everything, a very professional looking job.  A buddy of mine just built his tire hammer from looking at the shop drawings that came with mine.  Love the tire hammer.  I tried to get to one of the tire hammer building classes, but could never work it out where I was stateside to make it.  I got lucky and found one for sale where the owner was upgrading to an air hammer.

From personal experience, other than some less than professional welds on mine that needed repairing, the only real design flaws I've seen are

1:  Really needs a heavier base than 1/2" plate, added a 1" to mine.

2:  If I was to build one I'd add grease fittings to the link pin bushings instead of oil holes.

3:  The motor likes to break the spot welds to it's base when running hard, I fixed this by welding a brace on the motor and luckily didn't damage the motor.

4:  I'd use a small car tire mounted on pillow block bearings with the tire in the back and the counter weight in the front.  Mainly to make it a lot easier to fix or change the tire.  Not a huge issue, it'd just simplify some things.


All in all I've given my no mercy over several years now and other than fixing some of the prior builders pore welding, have had very little issue with it, and it's for sure saved my arm and make it a lot easier to work larger stock.  I make knives, so I'm talking about pounding on 52100 and such at 1625 deg.F., not mild steel at welding heat.  A very impressive design that should give years of service.

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From what I've seen of this design online (never have seen it in person), the #4 suggestion of Will52100 is the one that has really stood out to me.  Seems like welding directly to the tire rim adds unnecessary difficulty to the process that a shaft and a couple of pillow blocks could fix easily.

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Actually from a construction and size standpoint, the spare tire donut and current methode is the quickest and easiest way to fab up the cluctch and pinon.  That is if you don't have access to machine tools and shafting and such.  I'd take a little more work to use pillow blocks and put the tire at the back, but in the long run it'd make maintence a whole lot easier.

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Replacing the 1/2" plate with 1" is most definitely something that I would do if I built another one. I may brace the base plate to remove some deflection. 

The motor spot weld issue I did not see as I had to make the mounts for my motor as it was a 56c frame.

I have grease fittings and all that but I have not put them in yet, nor have I drilled the holes to oil as the plans have said. I wanted to run it first and see what I thought. It's really quite siimple to oil it daily so I think that I'll leave it for now.

As far as welding to the wheel, it is one of the most simple parts of the build. I completely removed the tire from the wheel when I did this. These small tires are pretty easy to take off with spoons, and if you dont want to do that or don't have access to a tire machine, a tire shop would do it for about $10. As far as the ease of replacing the tire down the road, that's fairly simple as well, the hammer can stay in the tube so you just block it up, Back out the hex bolts for the spring tension, remove to spring, two clevis pins, two set screws, and unbolt the hub. The wheel does not need to be removed from the hub to change the tire.

I am a tool maker as well so I deal with various "high carbon" steels from 1075 to 80crv2, W1, W2, etc... as well as medium and low carbon steel. It's noticeable forging tool steel vs mild under the hammer, but it still beats doing the heavy work by hand as far as labor goes.

Also, if I made another I would think about building it on a 2' by 3' wide piece of 1" instead opf the 2' square, and adding lateral supports to the main column. But Ive got a problem with over doing things....

I also did some more bracing last night. The 1/2" round stock that is used for the treadle linkage, and the turnbuckle without a bottom lock nut has a lot of play in it.



Edited by Matthew Paul
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Good to know, I've heard it's a PITA to change a donut tire after putting the faceplate and pinion on.  That was the main reason I was thinking if I built one to put it at the back.

The motor mount I'm talking about is the spot welded base to the motor, can't remember the frame size, just your average 1 horse 120 volt electric motor.  I was carefull and braced and welded the base on with a fast pass cooling the motor housing as I welded it.  So far, no shorts after 4-5 years.

No such thing as overbuilding, I totally understand the desire to do so.
Now if I could just find the time and material to build a 100 pound tire hammer.  I'm thinking something along the lines of anvilfire's X1.

I get to where I can look at video's I'll check your posting out, rite now bandwidth is so small I can't look at them.

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  • 3 weeks later...

20150522_202059.thumb.jpg.3594a127339028tthat is o e sweet hammer you built I am almost complete with mine except for dies and beefing up my anvil. And I got a little carried away with the lead on my ram so it's around 65lbs. Without the dies . I am super excited to do some forging. Those hammer drifts and hammer heads have to be easier forged with a power hammer lol.

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  • 2 weeks later...

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