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I Forge Iron

New Tire hammer

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Larry-Clay Spencer conducts the workshops where the hammers are built. Usually arranged by one or another ABANA affiliate. There is usually a weekend or a day of prep work then the workshop is a weekend. Everyone who pays to do the workshop goes home with a hammer, drawn by lot after they are all done. The shop owner/host gets one for hosting and Clay keeps one for running the weekend. Clay brings jigs and fixtures to standardize parts and speed things up.

He used to do the same type of workshops for treadle hammers but that has been taken over by Bob Alexander.

You can contact Clay to find a workshop near you or try to generate interest in having one with your local affiliate. Tell him I said Hi!

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Ray Clontz Tire Hammer by Clay Spencer
Ray Clontz invented the drive for a power hammer and allowed me to use it to lead workshops to build hammers for blacksmithing groups and sell plans.
It is a 50 lb. power hammer that uses the rear axle and hub from a front drive car and emergency spare tire and weighs about 700 lbs. It is powered by a 1 hp, 1750 rpm electric motor, 120 or 240 volts, runs about 250 blows per minute and uses a spring toggle mechanism similar to Little Giant hammers. The anvil is 6" solid round (minimum size) by 36" high and the frame is 5" square tubing. We usually put flat dies on the hammers so tools may be used. Over 300 of these hammers have been built in workshops. I sell detailed plans including list of materials for $30 including postage.

In the workshops, we get a group of 15 to 20 blacksmiths together to build hammers as a group. The shop owner, a coordinator and I get a free hammer and all the others divide all the costs. I send plans and jigs for the subassemblies. The coordinator has the toughest job-signing up people, collecting money, purchasing all parts and material, scheduling prework sessions to get all the subassemblies built. Most workshops have built hammers for $1000, depending on how much free or cheap stock they can get. Workshops over 1 day drive from my place in north Alabama are more expensive because of my travel costs.

I sell hammers for $2000 (8" diameter anvils are $2500). I don't have any for sale just now but Ned Digh in Fulton, MO (npdigh@ktis.net) has a hammer for sale. There is a class at new England School of Metalwork in early May (don't know if it is full) and a workshop in Elgin, SC in early October is full.
I learned just this afternoon that John Wayne Taylor (334-514-2254)will be scheduling a workshop in his Wetumpka, AL shop, probably late spring 2008.

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I was fortunate enough to get in Clays power hammer class about a year ago or so. I am very very happy with my tire hammer. I have used two different 50lb Little giants and my hammer hits much harder than they did, I am very impressed with this design.
I just last night forged 2" round to square for making a blacksmith hammer, I had to take off the lower die is all as 2" was alittle bit much for the hammer but it handled that size stock no problem once I removed the lower die, just used the lower anvil as a die. I probably push the design far more than I should but it keeps on running strong.
I have been meaning to make shorter lower dies to accomodate thicker stock. One of these days. Attached a link of our build
Blindhogg custom gunworks

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Its all my work, I used to build 1911's for fun.
Now I got bit by the knifesmithing/blacksmithing bug. Dont do alot of gun building anymore.
Seem to spend all my time making new tools for blacksmithing now, am making a rod parter now that can cut 1/2 rod. Hopefully it works.
LarryNJR no problem glad you enjoyed them.

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Oh sorry, I thought you were talking about the assembly and machining (Checkering, snakeskinning etc)
All were store bought components, I usually purchased Caspian oversized frames/slides and machined them to fit. Fairly straightforward stuff, not challenging enough, hence my new knifemaking addiction.

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