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I Forge Iron

Longer vs. Shorter springs for an App hammer?

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OK, so I went to my friend's epic scrap pile and he has 98% of everything I'll need for an Appalachian style hammer.  I may shoot for build-along pics as I go, but for now I have some specific questions about materials selection.  He's got so much to choose from!

First question...  Let's say I have the choice between a dozen different sizes of leaf springs.  Shooting for a 300 pound anvil and 25-30 pound head.  

Should I look for a shorter set, 36-40" or so, to minimize the footprint?  Or, would a longer set, 60" or so, have better performance?  

Next, should I look for a heavier set, so they functioned more like a solid bar, or for a softer set, so that I get more whip?

What would your ideal set be?

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thinner and more springs will work best, thicker like a solid bar will be more prone to breaking. The industrial hammer that i have has 36 springs in the pack none being more than 36". The snap will be dependant on the harmonics so the spring thickness and speed of the hammer. more springs will give you more flex at the right speed with less likelihood of breaking and hurting you if a piece flies off.

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