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mount for tire hammer

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I am about 1/2 way through a C.Spencer tire hammer build. Going ok with one problem. The mounting plate warped in the welding process . I am wondering about pouring grout under the plate . There are some epoxy gouts out there ( expensive) and cementitious grout (cheaper) .Or maybe a sheet of High quality plywood with plate well bolted down .If anyone has experience with this Id appreciate input.







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If you welded a tube in the center of a flat plate thereby creating a hot spot in the center that would cause it to "dish" it might be easier to cut and straighten the plate than to do a "Heath Robinson " fix with grout! job(although there are grout out there that do a wonderful job) I'm sure that if you post some pictures someone will chime in with constructive advise .there are some smart folk on this site (sadly some not so smart ones too):D

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  • 2 weeks later...

If your going by the Spencer plans and using 1/2" plate, I'd highly recommend going thicker.  Several years ago, before he offered plans and was doing build workshops, I finally wound up buying one as I never could get time off to go to a build.  Anyway, the 1/2" plate was cupping up from the anvil and the square tubing from not being mounted and just sitting on a concrete slab.  It wasn't heavily used either.  When I got it home I welded it to a thicker and larger plate, left the 1/2" in place and added to it, welding around the perimeter and a few plug welds.  And mounted to a large concrete foundation, hits hard, doesn't walk around or vibrate, and no more flexing of the base plate.

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Part of it was due to welding, I am a welder and am aware of how and how much metal shrinks.  Part was due to not being solidly mounted and wobbling on the concrete and dishing towards the edges, you could see the wear marks on the base when I laid the hammer in the back of my truck to transport.  It was not major cupping, but when your used to looked at straight edges and angles it pops out at you.  If it'd been solidly mounted to a concrete slab it'd most likely been OK.  The original owner did not run it nearly as hard as I've run mine, with me it gets no mercy.  To the point where I need to once again resurface the dies due to wear.

Here's the thing, the 1/2" plate is what I'd consider minimal for a hammer base.  It's what I'd consider barely adequate.  I can't remember all the math as it's been a while since I researched it, but part of your anvil weight comes from a percentage of your base.  The anvil on the tire hammer is minimal as is, and any extra weight you give it will help.  That includes the concrete slab it's mounted to as well.  I will mention that I have run mine hard, to the point I found many of the builder's weak welds and had to repair.  Have not had too many problems with it, so it's a good design.  I did have the lead in the head come loose.  Re melted that and welded a cap on the inside so if it does come loose again it's not going anywhere.  If was was pouring lead in a new head I'd likely put in a couple cross bars to pour around to lock everything in.

All I did was use what I had on hand.  If I was to do it from scratch I'd go with 3/4", or preferably 1" thick to start with base plate.  What I did was simply place the hammer on a couple pieces of 1/2"x24"x36" plate I had laying around and welded together.  I didn't bother shortening the plate, just stacked up, drilled a few 1" holes in the top piece to plug weld, think I did two or three roughly in the center.  Grind any high spots and set the hammer on.  Weld it through the existing bolt holes and then weld around the perimeter of the whole mess.  It would have been easier if I'd had one thick piece of plate, but I used what I had.  Drilled 4 bolt holes and made a rebar frame work to sit in the concrete and welded long bolts to the rebar cage.  After pouring the slab I had 4 bolts sticking up.  Slab was about 30"x40" and about foot deep, smithy floor is clay gravel, so I didn't use forms, just dug down and used the dirt as a form.  Wish I'd put a little forming at the top just to neaten everything up though.  I used a tractor and front end loader to set the hammer down on the bolts, with a couple layers of tar paper between the slab and base plate, and tightened everything down.

If I was building from scratch, most likely I'd try and get my hands on 1" thick plate, make it the same size as Clay calls for and forget about it.  I'd likely make the anvil a little larger as well, provided I could find the steel for a reasonable price, possibly adding a few heavy braces for weight and to spread the load out.  One other possibility I'd consider, I'd look into using commercial power hammer dies instead of the bolt on's.  The bolt on's work well, but can be a pain to change, to the point that I don't bother changing them unless I have to.  Might or might not would go that way, would have to do a lot of thinking and planing to make the dove tails before doing it.  The other thing I did while I had the linkage apart to fix the lead was to add grease zerks to the linkage pivots.  It works, but not sure if it's better than spraying silicon in oil holes or not, and it takes a while to warm up on cold days.

What I used for underlayment was to use a rebar cage with long bolts welded to it.  I also put 4 nuts on and set to set flush with the concrete surface.  Put grease on the bolt threads when mixing and pouring your slab, after the slab is finished and set you simply wipe the grease and concrete residue off, maybe a little wire brushing for good measure.  Since the base I welded to was fairly flat, I just put a couple layers of tar paper down and bolted everything solid.  If I'd had more cupping on the base plate I'd likely have mixed up a thin sand/portland cement mix and grouted the surface and set the hammer down on it and lightly running the hammer to settle it and let it dry before bolting solid.

Hope this helps, and remember, there's more than one way to skin a cat.

I don't know your skill level at welding so please don't take this the wrong way, but when welding around the perimeter of the plates I had everything tacked in place and would weld a rod or two on one side, then go to the other side to help prevent warpage.  Also had them clamped together while tacking.

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