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Treadle hammer build pictures

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Here is a couple shots of the treadle hammer i built in process, some are more fun and funny than technical, though i tried to get as many shots of the actual working parts and process as possible. been working with the treadle a bit more, for seperate tooling with chisels punches and stamps it is an unequaled tool, makes using hand tooling WORLDS easier. Not too great though sadly for forging of hot steel, for the hammer head weight and size of dies, the force is not focused enough to do sufficiently efficient forge work. Though I will try and make up another set of dies with a small 1 inch wide by 4 inch long work surface which should work a bit better. Well here's the pictures:).











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Thanks Frosty, very well said. Yeah, i like sturdily built KISS (Keep It Super Simple) machines, easy to build and easy to fix, easy to modifiy if need be also. I still have some work to do to this machine, add a hardy spring tool receiver, tool tray, and some other little mods here and there:D.

Extremely happy, nothing makes me more so than working steel, glad to see i am not alone:D. Be it with welding forging, grinding or whatever, and of course getting dirty is always fun no matter what you are doing:D, i just love every minute of it.

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Not too great though sadly for forging of hot steel, for the hammer head weight and size of dies, the force is not focused enough to do sufficiently efficient forge work. Though I will try and make up another set of dies with a small 1 inch wide by 4 inch long work surface which should work a bit better.

You don't need smaller dies to make this hammer forge better. Try putting less of the piece you are forging onto the die. Try forging some 1/2" square. Put just 3/8" to 1/2" of it on the die and forge down to 3/8". Then feed another 3/8" or so onto the die and forge that next section down etc etc. This technique is used even on large forging hammers. Clifton Ralph calls it "feeding the baby".
By decreasing the area of what you put on the die you decrease the volume of material being forged which in turn offers less resistance to the power available. VARP

When forging in steps like this you need a good radius on the edge of your dies so you don't get a cold shut when forging down the shoulder of the previous step. In your pics it looks like you already have a nice radius on the edge of your dies.
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I Just found your photos today.
It looks like you could modify it to do what ever you want with it in the future as you said at one time. Simple is bliss in my book.:)
I like the idea that it would not take up a lot of room.
Thanks for sharing Sam.
Be safe!
Old Rusty Ted

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I'm considering building a treadle hammer and yours looks the best and most straight forward of all the ones I've seen to date. A couple of questions though. How heavy is the hammer part and roughly how much force do you get out of it? Also with the treadle / pedal so close to the upright does that make working on longer pieces a problem?


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The head weight is a guesstimation of about 25-30 pounds. More so if i would fill the ram rube with lead or sand or concrete, which would probably bring it up to 45-50 pounds. Guys if you are gonna build one, Shoot Glenn the moderator an email he has plans for sale for a similar hammer i based mine off of, and then modify with any accoutrments(like i did) as you see fit. Will help you loads with the rough measurements.

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I guess I'm guilty of over-engineering and over-building. What can I say - I really have fun designing things. I'm an electronics engineer, so it's in my blood. The over-building was mainly due to the stuff I had on hand. I've got this enormous I-beam that someone gave to me already mounted to a 5/8 plate. And about 500-lbs of anvil because it was free. I think I put maybe $50 at the most into this thing.

Plans were helpful. Mine were Clay Spencer's inline hammer plans. They gave me some great starting points as to spring sizes, heights and lengths, etc. Then I took those and over-engineered from them. Woo Hoo!!!

As for forging long items, I haven't done that yet with this, but I would probably use a stand to hold up the far end while I manipulated closer to the hammer. If you use top tools for drawing and spreading, then you don't have to move things around much.

For dies I have my basic flat plates that I made out of 3/8" leaf spring and some drawing dies, which are just top and bottom fullers made of pieces of solid 1-1/4" round, forged with a slight crown to keep the edges from digging in. I use them for heavier drawing and spreading.

For lighter stuff I use the flat dies and a top fuller/flatter tool. I find I like using this much more than the drawing dies. It's the only good thing for tapering, too.

I'm thinking of making some kind of tenoning jig. My over-engineer is going to try something that I think is called "kiss blocks". The bottom die has a fairly sharp edge and some 5/8" holes in it for the kiss blocks. The kiss block acts as a stop for a top tool, like my flatter or maybe something with a sharper edge. I would hammer down until the top hits the kiss block, rotate and repeat. The kiss blocks will be 5/8" round, maybe something harder than mild, and be different lengths to accommodate different tenon, or really any type of shoulder, thicknesses.

Another top tool I use all the time is a hack. It's basically a hot cutter made from some spring steel. With that and an aluminum plate on the bottom, I can cut 1/2" in two or three wacks. I've also got some other veining and texturing tools.

The next thing I'm going to make is a can dispenser to drop a recycling bin's worth of cans one at a time, end-up, for recycling. OK, I'm only partially serious about that one :)

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larrynjr: there are many welders out there, you will want one that has support. Miller, Lincoln, Hobart, Esab. You will want one that you can run on what you have available. 220 is a better choice for power than 110 IF you have 220. A 140 size machine will be on 110 usually and a 180 or more will be on 220. The 140 is gonna need a 20A circut for its heaviest capacity but a 15 A will get by on lower settings if it is all by itself.

There are some discussions already in the archives or you can start a new thread if you wish.

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I found the BP for the treadle yours is based on ApprenticeMan, one thing I'm wondering about are the springs. I'm assuming 2? None of the pictures make it clear that there are indeed 2 springs being used. Also how strong should the springs be rated? I found several suppliers of garage door extension springs with ratings from 10 lbs. up to 220 lbs. I'm thinking, roughly twice the weight of the hammer?

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I salvaged my springs so i cannot recommend a size. build the hammer and get your springs, then attach the spring mount hook to the upper swing arm, then stretch them down and when the hammer head rises up mark how long the spring was stretched, then weld your second spring mount hook there. I used 2 springs so that i would not have one spring under high stretch, but two under medium stretch.

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