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Have any of you compared iron kiss hammers to big blu hammers?  Specifically the octagon 100 vs the big blu 110.   From what I've read, air consumption on the octagon may be less.  I only have a 5hp/80 gal compressor and trying not to buy a new one.  For the price difference I can get a blu 110 and 10hp compressor  for about the same money, I've heard big blu is an air hog.  The other factor is big blu is only 1.5 hrs away should problems arise, I can get replacement parts easily, and travel to pick up is less.  

I've used a big blu for an evening, and liked it a lot compared to only other hammers I've used a lg 50 and trip air 40lb.  I guess it's all in how to use your equipment also, but iron kiss seems to be the dream hammer on some sites..

thanks

 

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I don't think you can compare them, I'd take the I.K. every time.

Talk to John Larson about I.K. air consumption requirements, I doubt either will run on your current compressor efficiently.

 

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Years ago I took a power hammer class with Steve Parker in NC. John Larson was also in the class. All the hammers in the school were Big Blue. The first thing John did was to change out the air lines on the BB to what he used (bigger diameter) and there was a noticiable change in performance. The BB and IK hammers are completely different and have different philosophies of design behind them. John builds the IK to be more like a small steam hammer in is size and construction. They are very robust and super solid. The BB is not designed to mimic a traditional steam hammer but to be a bit lighter duty. It seams to me based on the class I took and the movies that BB has done featuring their hammers that they are designed to be used with relatively narrow dies that give a heavy texture to the work. Nothing wrong with that approach at all.  The IK is designed to use a bigger die to accomodate many more tooling options, so in that sense is it more like the old industrial machines. They both are good machines, but they are designed with different principles and functionality in mind so you really need to do some good research and spend time running  both machines before you make a decision. Because of the way I work, I would go with the IK, but there are certainly many satisfied BB customers out there, so it really comes down to personal preference.

Patrick

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How marvelously diplomatic of you Patrick ;-)  and very well said too.  

J what do you want to do with YOUR hammer? as Patrick noted the IK is designed more along the flat die steam hammer lines, which has a bunch of pluses.  The Blu MAX system has the quick change die set up, and a lot of die options off the shelf.  Which school of thought are you leaning toward?  Flat die with lots of hand tooling, or switching out dies, or just leaving narrow flat dies in that act like gentle drawing dies, or the most barbaric option combo dies lol ;-)  Blu guy use tooling too, and John does have die options, but like Patrick said they really seem to be designed differently...  If money were no object I would buy the IK, but I'm a flat die guy...  My father-in law 'stole' a Blu at auction with 4 sets of dies... I wouldn't turn my nose up at it;-) 

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Thanks for the input, and differences of the two.  I've not spent a lot of time on power hammers.  I worked on an lg50 last year and successfully made trapezoidal stock from perfectly new round... Learning curve was short tho.  I used a big blu last year for a brief time and again for about an hour this Saturday and really liked it, Im sure I'd be happy with it.  I don't know anyone around here (central NC) that has an IK. So a direct comparison on my part may be hard to do.  I enjoy making tooling and have made several sets of spring swages for my treadle hammer and would have no problem making more as needed for use under the IK hammer.  I also don't see myself getting and changing out dies a lot unless they're at a bargain or I have a job I can charge them to.

I'm leaning towards an IK, my comparisons were along the lines of air consumption, value, and longevity.  

And what's so wrong with combo dies??? :)

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I have never used the IK, if I were trying to get a new hammer that is what I would be working to buy. That said I think it will use more air than the blu hammer, I think the air cylinder is larger, I think that is a good thing. At least that is what I remember from past checking on these hammers. If you are stepping into the production mode which is the normal reason for buying a hammer then the best hammer for your purpose is the one to get, make it buy you a larger compressor, I would think that it will work on the small compressor well enough to improve out put to buy the next tool. On the other hand maybe you can buy 2 blu hammers for about the same price, that might be a really good thing as well, going from one hammer set up for one step to the next step in the same heat can speed things up.  Really depends on what you are making. Combo dies have you working not in the center of the die this is hard on the machine and is a less effective blow. If it makes enough money to pay for a new machine by saving time it is good, IMO it will take quite awhile to have an impact on a quality machine ,normally it is IMO they are over used by those who do not know better. New hammer owners often only have the combo die set and they use it for everything.  (they are cheaper than that 2nd hammer though).

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An Octagon 75 was listed listed for sale a few days ago over a Blademsith's Forum.

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CONFIRMED

I spoke with John Larson this morning and he told me he has retired and closed the doors to the shop. He is no longer making hammers. He is now playing with his antique trucks, and enjoying retirement.

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Please post any WTB requests or for sale offers for the Iron Kiss and other hammers in the tailgating section.

 

As the IK hammers are no longer made I will close the thread.

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