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I Forge Iron

Choosing a Power Hammer

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 So I just started this account because I'm looking for a power hammer. This is gonna be long because I need specific information, so I appreciate the patience of anyone who can help. I work in a production metal shop building very high end lighting and furniture with no forged elements whatsoever. I started this job after working for three years as a full time blacksmith. So I've been pushing the company towards forged work since I started a year ago, and they've now started to respond. I'm currently purchasing the tools necessary to make that happen, and of course the big decision is the power hammer. I have a lot of experience with a Big Blu 155lb. and if it were my decision I would just get one of those because I know them and I like the guys there. My boss though is not decided because he's used to old Nazels. The main concern, with us being a production shop is the consistency of blows and the repeatability of  a texture.  What are some hammers that offer that? Any suggestions would be welcome.


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There are not a lot of options when you are talking about a new machine for a production environment.    Your choices are Anyang, IronKiss and Big Blu.   the Big Blu is my least favorite out of the lot.        As far as used equipment goes just about anything you get is going to be hugely condition dependent.   A number of years ago I bought a running Nazel 4B and installed it at my shop.   I have spent close to 30 grand rebuilding it and its still not exactly like I would like, and that was a running machine.   Big old hammers are a huge time investment and really need folks who are mechanical and care enough to maintain them properly.    Far too often folks buy basket case air hammers thinking they will "fix it to save money" only to find out that they would have been far, far better off to spend a little more and get something running.


If I was you I would talk to James @ Anyang about a 165 lb one piece machine.    That size is a good compromise and would be adequate for texture work.    One thing about texturing is you control a lot with tooling.    A small, local tool is very dependent on a repeatable blow.   A large spread out tool far less so.       

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If you are planning to do a lot of repeated textures of constant depth, you might want to get a punch press rather than a hammer. These machines don't have quite the versatiity of a hammer since the stroke length is fixed and there is no flexiblity in the linkage, but, for very precise, repeated patterns, they are likely going to be more efficient than a hammer. For examples of work make with these types of tools visit sandersoniron.com.

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