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I started a Rusty hammer yesterday.  It’ll probably take me three or four weeks more work to finish, but I have a few pictures from day one.  Yesterday we did most of the major cutting, layout, and engineering. This kind of project is like building from a tub of Legos. You know what you want to build, find the pieces you have that will work, and you put it together. It’s not at all like building Legos from a set.

The head of the hammer will be about 40 pounds, and the anvil around 400.  I have a 32" length of 5 1/2" solid that'll go inside that green sleeve in the pics.

Layout on the floor... we don’t need no stinking plans, LOL.
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Most of the big parts laid out.
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A closer shot of the spring arm and head lay out.
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After that, I put it all in the truck and hauled it home. 1000 or 1200 pounds in the back of a Tacoma is quite a load. Lowrider for sure, LOL.   

Lots of drilling, tapping, welding to go, but I have the next two weekends to do it.  I'm sure as I hit challenges, I'll ask you folks plenty of questions, lol. 

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So yesterday I started some of the assembly process.  I have a Lincoln 180 running flux core.  It's "almost" enough machine for most of the welding required here.  Cranked to the max, it'll run a bead and get some penetration on 3/8 to 3/8, but the proof will be in the pudding as to whether that's enough.  I'm building this with no cash, a couple of babies, and life being what it is, so I'll have to settle for a few things that may be less than ideal.  I hope to chronicle some of that stuff through this thread, so that other folks can learn if "almost" is or isn't sufficient in some of these cases.  As for now, I've got a list of things to scrounge or buy for next weekend's work.  I'll try and put some pics up of the weekend's progress maybe tomorrow evening.

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preheating with a torch or whatever you have can increase, at least a little, weld penetration. I'm NOT a certified welder, but have probably burned 1000 lb of 7018 growing up on a farm in AZ and fixing/fabricating equipment. Often all we had was 3/32 and I would weld 1/2" with it, as hot as the little welder would go, preheating with a propane/oxy torch would yield less of a sharp heat affected zone, and most often better penetration (my only evidence was I noticed drastically less weld failure when I started pre-heating)

 

My 2 cents, I know there are much more experienced welders on here though, they may have better advice. 

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I ended up breaking my tap wrench threading holes for the head guide, so I switched to laying out the flywheel. The idea is to bolt the flywheel to the car room, so that if the tire wears I can just replace the tire. I plan to put three big nuts welded to the flywheel, maybe four, so that I can adjust the stroke length.  I’m thinking of setting it up for six, 6.5, 7, 7.5 inch stroke. I left 10 inches of room in my layout on the head to allow for some flex in the springs. The flywheel is 11 inch circle of 1/2 inch plate.
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Any comments from the gallery about stroke length?  I was thinking of keeping adjustable by 1/2 inch increments, so that I could have another way to tune the hammer.  Is there a standard or recommended stroke for a hammer like this?

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Worked on the top of the center upright, to get the pivot in place for the leaf springs. All recycled/used/scrounged materials so far. 

 

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Closer look at the pivot. 

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The hammer ram goes up and down inside a guide. That’s the “guided” part of the guided helve hammer. Inside the guide will be UHMW plastic, adjustable with screws. Lots of tapping in 1/4” thick tubing with 3/8” tap.

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Here’s the roller assembly that will transfer the curved path of the helve spring into a straight up and down guided hammer head.

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Here’s the other end of the hammer head. Made for interchangeable heads in case I want to try different die shapes.

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Also built die plates for the anvil top. That way I can change the die or angle there as well.

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Got the base plate screwed to the RR tie base last night.  I also have most of the pieces ready to assemble on the base.  Got bearings in the mail yesterday, and the motor should arrive tomorrow.  Went with a 1.5 HP 1750 RPM motor and 3" drive wheel, which should end up around 218 beats per minute.  I'll still have to fabricate the wheel once the round stock arrives later this week.  Still lack the treadle and motor mount, but the design and fab there shouldn't be much, an hour or two.  It'll be a hard push this weekend.  If I can get it together on Saturday and work out the kinks on Sunday, that'll be perfect.  Just as likely I'll fall a little short.

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More progress. Got the tire mounted where I think it needs to be on the base. 9c4f55c47960c5a767f0d347af7b343a.jpg

 

Got the bearings for the ends of the drive arm set up. Smaller one goes on the spring end, bigger one on the tire end. Threaded parts allow me to adjust the distance between the dies. 

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Hers a shot of the plate from further up the page. Bolts to the rim. Nuts welded on for 6.5, 7, 7.5 stroke. 

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Long way to go yet. More pics tomorrow and Sunday.

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Here’s the part I was most worried about. The anvil for the hammer is. 32” piece of 5.5” round stock, at 215 pounds. That is then inserted into a mud pump sleeve that’s another 175 or so, and also 5.5” bore. Now y’all know a hole has to be bigger than the thing you plan to stick in it. I polished all the rust out of the sleeve, then worked over the post with a flap wheel to knock off all the handling gouges and high spots. With that much weight, there’s not an easy way to test fit. It is all or nothing. I welded on some lift points to the anvil so I could lift it with a come along. I set the sleeve underneath, and used the come along to slowly lower the rod into the sleeve. I’ll be darned, it slid right in there. Whew!

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Thanks so much for the pictures/progress reports, very interesting to me.  If you feel comfortable, I'd like to know your rough cost for all parts.  Jason, I am a little concerned about your welds, they are what they are, but if you have any more big structural welds to do, I think you may want to ask an experienced welder to do  them.  I see you are not getting good penetration on almost all of them, and it looks like some are done over rust which could easily have been cleaned off.  So clean your joints, go slow, and ask for help on the big ones, and maybe have someone take a close look at the ones on the top plates, for safety they may have to be redone.  I hope not, but now is the time to look it over.  Thanks again for the updates.

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So far I'm only in around $200, and 160 of that is the motor.  The rest was all scrap from a buddy's ranch.  when he put the ranch up for sale, all the scrap had to go.  

As far as the welds, I agree, they are what they are.  I don't intend to go wide-open crazy on this thing, and plan to take things slow.  Most all the heavier welds were beveled, and the flat pieces ground down to clean metal.  There's rust, but not in the joints.  I intend to add some more support bracing as I get farther along as well, to take out some of the potential stress from movement on the main column. 

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Good the hear on the welds.  Remember it's not the end of the world to have to grind off a weld, that is the voice of experience taking.  Good job on the cost, I have a motor, so hopefully I would be looking at $.2 a pound for the scrap.  Again, thanks for the updates.

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First major error. Got the column together and figured out that the column was a foot too tall. That 4” square tube is 3/8 wall, killed a chop saw blade but got it cut down and re-welded. Back on track. 

 

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Here's the guide installed.  I'm thinking of cutting it off and lowering it a couple of inches, as there's still more slop in the head at the dies than I want to see.  I got the push arm attached, and hooked up the motor and treadle.  I ran it about four or five hits for proof of concept, but still have some tack welds to finish welding, and need to add some lock washers in several places.  I'll take a few more pics of the motor mount and push arm assemblies likely this evening.  Won't likely upload a video for youtube until It's running all the way right.

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I've never built one of these, but it makes sense that you'd want the guides as close to the work as possible.

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1 hour ago, JHCC said:

I've never built one of these, but it makes sense that you'd want the guides as close to the work as possible.

I was worried about the hammer ends hitting the guide more than anything... should have been more worried about the control.  I've thought about adding a second, smaller guide as low as possible, but I'm thinking the better solution is to grind the current guide loose and lower it. 

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I don't know -- a second guide might not be such a bad idea, both for precision and the overall strength of the system.

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Yeah, maybe the big heavier guide up top to handle the stress from the spring/roller, and a smaller more precise one on the bottom to tighten it all down.  Drawing out some options.

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Final pic of the anvil assembly. 400 pounds. 

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Linkage between the push rod and the spring pack. 

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Final tire assembly 

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Lookin' good!

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Today’s the last day of my road trip. This hammer must absolutely be running by next Monday. Expect the finishing touches this weekend.

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Here is a picture of the toggle linkage that lifts the motor up into the drive wheel. I revised this from a simple lever, and it works much better.  Stepping down pulls the top bar forward, which lifts the motor. A couple of 90° joints and pivot points and it works pretty good.

 

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Looks great, thanks for taking the time to document the process. I've planned for several years to build a similar setup, just working on getting the space in my shop.

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