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I picked up on Friday and its now sitting in my garage.  I am leaving the plastic cover on it until I get a chance to cut the floor to isolate it.

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Blame the site software.  I had two long posts vanish into the ether.

Short story is it took twice as long to ship as the factory's original commitment.  The factory was easy to deal with, responsive, and honest in all of their dealings.  I knew to expect about $300 in extra costs on my end, and it was about twice that much.  I didn't realize how many different people need to be involved to get all of the steps done and they each need to be paid.  The extra cost was because of my ignorance, not because anyone didn't disclose costs properly or raised prices after the fact.  All of the people along the way who handle huge volumes of cargo all day long treated me and my one time 2 cubic meter load with efficiency and professionalism.

So now I need to cut some concrete, do some wiring, and try the thing out.  I'm also trying to move out of the house where I've lived for 30 years into 1/2 the space and I've got a new owner for my division at work and so on, so I'm not sure when I'll first be able to strike hot metal with it.

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I checked all of the bolts for tightness, added some grease to all the zerks, filled up the oil, and fired up the motor for the first time.  I stuck a block under the linkage to keep it cycling but not smacking the dies and ran it for about 30 minutes with the oil valves pretty open.

First thing I noticed is I will likely need a foundation.  My soil is what the soils engineer calls class B liquifactionable, which I think means it is a bit better than chocolate pudding.  with every motion of the ram, I could feel the shock transmitted to the rest of the slab.  This is with a cut all around the hammer.

After a few minutes of operation, I could see oil running down the hammer leaking from the check valve at the working cylinder.  I'm sure they saw the same thing at the factory when they tested it, and I'm a bit annoyed that they didn't fix it.

I made a few toothpicks from a 2x4 and if felt like a good solid hit and I'm sure I'll get better control as I get used to it.

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It will run longer sloppy wet with oil rather than dry. Some new hammer owners obsess about keeping the hammer clean, don't worry about that too much.  Don't let the scale form a lapping compound with the oil and or grease, but a little oil slinging off the ram is a good thing. Leaking past a fitting is a little annoying, but you could treat it like a sight window, when its not leaking you need to add more oil;-)  Make some lemonade and have some fun;-)

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Before you dig out and make the foundation, get hold of some rubber pads to sit it on at each corner. One or two 1/2" layers of wire reinforced conveyor belting is ideal. Then check on  the vibration transmission through the soil.

Running it with the oil valves fully open you should expect to see a significant number of oil weeps. My Reiter has a drip feed into the inlet airstream. It has a click stop wheel to adjust flow. If it gets moved to more than two clicks open, the relief valve becomes over oiled and sticks open so the hammer ceases to cycle. Terrified the life out me when it first happened, I guess it has caught me out three or four times now over the 35 years I have been using it!

My other huge mistake was over-greasing the main bearings, which unfortunately led to the rotting of the vee drive belts when the excess grease dropped onto them, it meant they only lasted twenty five years. On the other hand the main bearings have never needed replacement. :)

With the Reiter I was told that a full oil sight glass should last a working day, and that one should grease the bearings every week. Because of my intermittent use of the hammer, I translated that to every time I filled the sight glass I would put a chalk mark on the cupboard door. Every fifth mark (five days in the working week) I would strike through with a horizontal chalk mark and then grease up the bearings. Often it would be an actual month or more between the "weekly"  greasings.

Clifton Ralph said that hammers run on oil whatever drives them.

Alan

PS do you happen to know where the USA  term "zerk" comes from? Is it a proprietary name for a grease nipple manufacturer or the inventor perhaps?

Alan

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I have some waffle shaped rubber pads that are designed for vibration isolation that I am planning to slip under the corners to try to avoid busting concrete and digging.  The hammer is about 60ft from a year round stream that runs at the edge of my property and it is basically fine wet sand.  I think the hammer pushes against it and the sand just flows away then flows back.

I was careful to limit myself to two strokes of the grease gun on the bearings.  I've seen more blown seals on bearings from overgreasing than I have failed bearing from running dry.  That's a good idea to measure the lube intervals by oil use.  Maybe I'll grease with each new jug of oil or something.

My only other thing is to take the spare rings that came wrapped in plastic wrap, put some packing grease on them, and vacuum seal them in a mylar bag until I need them.

I'll post a couple of pictures when I get a few minutes.

 

Wikipedia says " The patent for the Zerk fitting was granted to Oscar U. Zerk in January 1929, and the assignee was the Alemite Manufacturing Corporation[1] (thus the eponymous names for the fittings). "

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2 hours ago, Alan Evans said:

I filled the sight glass I would put a chalk mark on the cupboard door. Every fifth mark (five days in the working week) I would strike through with a horizontal chalk mark and then grease up the bearings. Often it would be an actual month or more between the "weekly"  greasings.

Where did you pick up this system of timekeeping? :) 

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Ian, I got the idea after discovering some scratches on the wall of my cell...umm bedsit room that I stayed in once. You should remember, I am sure you were in the adjacent room along the corridor :)

Apropos Oscar U. Zerk and Alemite I have only heard reference to them since visiting this forum. Grease Nipple is the only name I have heard used over here. Mind you I did buy some slide-on brass fittings and gun adaptors and some standard format Stainless Steel fittings from an Emporium which rejoices in the name of "The Nipple Shop" and is based in Bolton (or Notlob...for those who remember the parrot sketch from Monty Python)

Alan

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On the broad topic of eponymous tools.  What we in the US call a Heim joint, you guys in England call a Rose joint.  During WWII, German airplanes were found to have this joint which reduced slop in the controls and made them more responsive.  The technology was passed on to two bearing companies to build for the allied forces.  Heim Bearing in the US and Rose Bearing in England.

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Interesting, I have just looked that up. I hadn't heard of Rose or Heim before, but I guessed from your description it was what I know as a "rod end" joint. I wonder what the Germans call them as they invented them! Brilliant things, I use M20 (3/4") female threaded ones in the linkages for gate movers. There are a two or three M6 (1/4") ones on the hydraulic joy-stick of my little Merlo tele handler.

Alan

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Sorry I let so much dust settle on your question.  I have been super busy at work and moving, and also working on design and permitting for construction of some houses so I haven't had much time.

Yes, I would do it again, and given my positive experience and the other people who came forward and were also satisfied buying from the same factory I think the risk of getting nothing after sending your money is very, very low, and I have not heard of a DOA hammer either.  This factory seems to deliver equipment that works, but could use some tweaks by the user to really reach 100%.  If you're OK with that and comfortable going ahead without a dealer to help and support you in the future I think this is a good way to go.

With moving into the new place and everything else on the to do list, yesterday was the first time that I got to really use the hammer.  It works well as far as I can tell with nothing to compare it to.  It quickly became obvious that I really will need some time and practice with it.  Sometimes when drawing out some tong handles, I'd hit the sweet spot and get a lot done in one heat and have the nice smooth reduction in size that I was after.  Other times, I'd either get too much power and have a gouge in the work, or just sit there with the ram idling up and down and never making contact while my metal cooled.

I also need to spend some time with a grinder and dress the dies.  They came totally sharp cornered from the factory and I put maybe a 1/8" radius on the edges.  I think about twice that would have been a better choice.

With the 15kg hammer, the power wasn't available to do as much damage with a couple of too forceful blows the way I could with the 25.  I'm glad I didn't give in to the "go bigger" voice talking in my ear and get the 40.  Just for grins, I looked at the electric meter and the idling hammer uses about 2kw.  I expect it would go up during use.

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Good to hear a report! You might want to leave one edge of the dies at the 1/8" radius, sometimes you want a little sharper definition say a shoulder. Just a thought. Keep us posted please.

Frosty The Lucky.

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To judge the quality you need reports by people totally unconnected with the company who have used them for a substantial amount of time; is this so?

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I recently took delivery of a 15kg/33lb Ston Forging Tools ST hammer from Anyang, China. I am writing up a separate post regarding 'my experience with a "non-Anyang" chinese air hammer.'  Not to spoil too much but I'll say this, the cost savings seems to have been worth it after the customer service experience and what seems to be a good quality hammer. 

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On 7/24/2015 at 11:36 AM, arftist said:

Are you an American? Buy an American hammer. There are plenty of good ones to choose from and nearly no risks at all. 

Who is selling American self-contained Air Hammers? Is there a US manufacturer?  If so, I've missed it.

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There are several self contained and pneumatic hammers being made in the US. Discussions on those hammers can be found in the forum.

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I don't believe there are any commercial makers of self-contained hammers manufacturing in the USA.  Utility hammers, yes, but not self-contained.  

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Can you please explain the difference between a self-contained hammer and a utility hammer for future reference?

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17 minutes ago, Glenn said:

Can you please explain the difference between a self-contained hammer and a utility hammer for future reference?

Whether or not the hammer needs an external air compressor. As far as I’m aware there are no USA made self contained air hammers.  Examples of self contained: Nazel, Massey, Anyang. Examples of utility hammer: Big Blu, mz75, etc.  there are significant differences in how they perform as well. 

I could be completely wrong though. I just don’t know a US made self contained hammer maker, to answer the guy who was indicating that it might be unpatriotic to buy one made elsewhere.  In his defense he did say "buy an American hammer" to which I would say he's referring to the utility hammers, which are great but they may not fit the bill if someone wants a self contained.

 

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