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Okay guys,

I've been looking for a power hammer for a while now for my new shop. I really like the LG for no other reason (lack of experience) than the fact that I can order parts for it, and they just look awesome. 

Anyway. I found a guy that has 4 25#ers and one 50#

he wants 3100$ for the 25# and 2500$ for the 50#. Now I understand a picture only helps so much but since I don't know anyone who knows what to look for I thought I'd ask you guys if you can spot anything that is a "no go" before I jump in and buy something.  Also sorry for the pictures. They are what he sent me.  I appreciate any information I'm reading all I possibly can in the mean time. 

Thanks,

sam

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The hammer in your first 3 pictures is not a Little Giant it is a Mayor Brothers and I don't think you will be able to order parts for it. It is also in bad shape, the frame has a corner of the dove tail broken out and the wrap around guide has been repaired several times. I'd stay away from that one.

The red one it the last 2 pictures looks to be in OK shape. I don't see any major issues, all of the pieces seem to be there and the dies look fairly new. The bearing shims look fairly thin so be sure and check how much adjustment is left when you go to see it.

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The top hammer is a Mayer Brothers New Little Giant as it says on the flywheel.  Many of the parts may be interchangeable as they were designed by the same people.

Not know what your shop does I can't say which would be better; but I do know that repairs to the dovetails can be done by industrial weldors.

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2 hours ago, kubiack said:

The hammer in your first 3 pictures is not a Little Giant it is a Mayor Brothers and I don't think you will be able to order parts for it. It is also in bad shape, the frame has a corner of the dove tail broken out and the wrap around guide has been repaired several times. I'd stay away from that one.

The red one it the last 2 pictures looks to be in OK shape. I don't see any major issues, all of the pieces seem to be there and the dies look fairly new. The bearing shims look fairly thin so be sure and check how much adjustment is left when you go to see it.

I am totally new to even thinking about a power hammer. I honestly have no clue what to look for. so any information is great. im fairly mechanically inclined so once i get there im sure i can figure it out. only catch is its 4 hours away.  does 3100$ seem to be a fair price?

2 hours ago, ThomasPowers said:

The top hammer is a Mayer Brothers New Little Giant as it says on the flywheel.  Many of the parts may be interchangeable as they were designed by the same people.

Not know what your shop does I can't say which would be better; but I do know that repairs to the dovetails can be done by industrial weldors.

the "shop" is mine for my house, basically for me to play around with the forge, and park my trucks during bad weather haha. in the 10 year plan id like to be forging all the time. we will see.  

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1 hour ago, Scobb said:

does 3100$ seem to be a fair price?

That would be too much for me for a hammer that had not been rebuilt. I don’t think you are going to find an original specimen that does not need rebuilt. Sure you might find one that still runs and can do some work but more than likely the toggle linkage and clutch are going to be sloppy and the bearing nearing the end of their life. If you buy a hammer like that and then need to pour new bearings, buy some new parts, and possibly pay for some machine work you could easily end up spending another few grand plus you time and labor. Once the total investment to have a good running hammer gets to that range I’d start looking at the price of comparable sized new hammer or one that has been rebuilt by Little Giant. The value really depends on the condition and the hammer and the tooling and dies that come with it. However for a hammer needs rebuilt I’d pay no more than $1500.

Do a search here on IFI because Black Frog has a thread where he documented a rebuild and all the work that it took. He shows a lot of the machine work and welding that is involved, it’s a pretty good reference.

If you are serious about spend $3000 on a hammer I think it would be prudent to spend $100 on the Little Giant rebuilding video. They show a complete tear down, rebuild, and adjustment of a hammer. If nothing else you will be a lot more educated when you go to buy one.

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1 hour ago, kubiack said:

That would be too much for me for a hammer that had not been rebuilt. I don’t think you are going to find an original specimen that does not need rebuilt. Sure you might find one that still runs and can do some work but more than likely the toggle linkage and clutch are going to be sloppy and the bearing nearing the end of their life. If you buy a hammer like that and then need to pour new bearings, buy some new parts, and possibly pay for some machine work you could easily end up spending another few grand plus you time and labor. Once the total investment to have a good running hammer gets to that range I’d start looking at the price of comparable sized new hammer or one that has been rebuilt by Little Giant. The value really depends on the condition and the hammer and the tooling and dies that come with it. However for a hammer needs rebuilt I’d pay no more than $1500.

Do a search here on IFI because Black Frog has a thread where he documented a rebuild and all the work that it took. He shows a lot of the machine work and welding that is involved, it’s a pretty good reference.

If you are serious about spend $3000 on a hammer I think it would be prudent to spend $100 on the Little Giant rebuilding video. They show a complete tear down, rebuild, and adjustment of a hammer. If nothing else you will be a lot more educated when you go to buy one.

okay, well im serious about buying a hammer, but like you said i dont see myself paying that much for one that im gonna have to put another 1500$ into one. what would be a couple of brands i could look into for a new unit?

ive found a blu 65 and an anyang 33. but like we've all noticed i dont know much about them.

ive met this guy before he has a whole storage building full of iron working stuff, huge anvils and whatnot, but he absolutely does not negotiate on prices. so i think ill just save my gas money and put it towards a new one.

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I have seen rebuilt Little Giants for $3,500, keep looking. But, the recent spike in prices for any smithing gear due to TV shows may make finding one at that price tougher now. If you are looking at that price range, it may be better to look at a newer one.  

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In that size range I’d look at an Anyang 33 or the MZ75. You should also call Roger at Little Giant and see if he has a rebuilt hammer for sale.

One more thing the Little Giant rebuild video also has a section on evaluating a used hammer. It would be well worth buying if you decided to go with a Little Giant style hammer.

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14 hours ago, BIGGUNDOCTOR said:

I have seen rebuilt Little Giants for $3,500, keep looking. But, the recent spike in prices for any smithing gear due to TV shows may make finding one at that price tougher now. If you are looking at that price range, it may be better to look at a newer one.  

sometimes i feel like i picked the wrong time to finally start smithing, ive heard the shows are pretty terrible but havent watched it for myself.  

13 hours ago, kubiack said:

In that size range I’d look at an Anyang 33 or the MZ75. You should also call Roger at Little Giant and see if he has a rebuilt hammer for sale.

One more thing the Little Giant rebuild video also has a section on evaluating a used hammer. It would be well worth buying if you decided to go with a Little Giant style hammer.

thanks guys i appreciate it. I emailed LG to see if he has a rebuilt one for sale. and ill definitely check out the video.  

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1 hour ago, Scobb said:

sometimes i feel like i picked the wrong time to finally start smithing

The point is that you started. 

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The SWABA site has a Mayer Brothers hammer listed for sale for around $3500. It says it was rebuilt by Little Giant and sold to one of their members.

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BTW SWABA is now the New Mexico Artist Blacksmith Association; same folks, different name.  (And tools tend to go higher out here than in MO)

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A lot of good work can be done on a 25 pound hammer. More work can be done on a 50. A 50 can also do what a 25 will. With teaching, solid learning, and gaining experience, you soon wish, all things being equal, that you had bought the 50. I personally know a man with these regrets.

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