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I Forge Iron

Erie Steam and Air hammers

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I  recently was able to visit a Navy chain making forge shop..  While I was interested in purchasing a hammer Sadly with the New shop going up the extra funds were not there.. 

I contacted Erie and the contact person is excellent..  Right off he offered up literature with also letting me know they fully stock parts for the Hammers.. He also shared a few other photos of pages of a monster hammer..   Anyhow, If I can ever find one of these hammers again, I'll scoop it up..   It's rare these days to find a company who stands behind their products and to still carry parts.. 

26173 parts drawing steam hammer.PDF

Beth Forge 1891 Steam Hammer 250000 lbs.pdf

Erie Single Frame Forging Hammers Bulletin 404.pdf


Hammer spec. sheet.pdf













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6 hours ago, Justin Carnecchia said:

Wow, you've got some serious hammer dreams! Unbelievable that they still make parts for there hammers. 

Any idea what their smaller hammers were sized at?

I do.. Yes for sure..

Do you mean working stock size or smallest size produced..    50lbs was smallest steam/air hammer dual acting single frame Names a Tool Dressing Hammer (these have the anvils integral with the frame).  The single side frame PDF has the ratios for work size recommendations which shows 1.5" for the 50lbs hammer.. But:

The Erie steam hammers from what I read could be used on over sized pieces and still be able to strike a deformation blow..  Unlike a mechanical hammer which once you get to a certain size will not function very well.. 

The PDF's have all the information listed..  

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 The foundation plans for the Erie hammers are pretty interesting with the anvil block set on top of oak timbers set on end on top of the massive concrete footing with the vertical anchor bolts running all the way through.  I suppose that the oak timbers if they were properly seasoned would last a long time buried away from the atmosphere and saturated with oil seeping down from the hammer.

The original Beaudry factory literature  calls for an all timber foundation with a bolted together block of vertical  oak timbers sitting on a larger foundation platform of horizontal timbers with the hammer bolted down all the way through.

 It also doesn't look like they specified any reinforcing bar in the concrete.  I've come across other references to large monolithic concrete foundations under hammers. Is that still the current accepted practice for large hammers ? Has the oak been replaced with something else  for a cushion ?

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I have seen numerous foundation structures in Mag's and Power hammer literature..   Not sure whether it was a personal preference thing or that one or the other had a better way to do it.. 


I know that with these hammers the anvil block is a separate piece and not integral on the single sided ones.  and they do show different layouts for single vs Double hammers..  

The 200lbs Fairbanks also has a different arrangement..  

on that I also noticed there are 4 different types of hammers..  The tool dresser,  The single sided, the double sided  (dual acting) and the double sided (drop)..   On the drop version there piston head is actually a different configuration.. I wonder if the steam only keep the hammer up with a free fall, much like a board hammer or typical "Drop hammer".. 

i personally can see where having the timbers on end on top of a chunck of concrrete as a good method just like mounting the anvils we talk so much about today.. 

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 In my previous post I was wondering about the lack of  rebar reinforcement within the poured concrete foundation under the anvil block. Was that not shown in the illustration for clarity or was that intentional ?

Most people, myself included tend to put a lot of tied or welded reinforcing steel in a power hammer foundation with the hold down bolts welded to the cage, thinking that some is good ,more is better, but I've also seen some literature calling for a foundation block with no rebar at all to get a truly monolithic block under the anvil. Any idea of what is really the '' right way'' ? or does it really matter  for the relatively small hammers [ up to 200-300 lb ] most of us are setting up and using.


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Sorry that is a great question but goes above my pay grade..     

Back when I used my hammer it was only for a brief time and used no foundation at all.. with getting the new shop up I'll be putting in a foundation but it will be based on what is recommended by the MFG's..    I would imagine they came up with a design that they liked best or shown the best results..  Sometimes with items like this the rebar is a given as it was common practice or a known entity..  I've used a lot of Factory repair manuals for Auto repair and they will leave out information which they consider to be common sense or a known factor and is the reason they are factory manuals vs  " How to fix your VW" .. 

A lot of the newer hammers don't even have foundations and just get mounted to the slab of concrete...   

What or which hammer do you have I'm guessing a Beaudry?  They make/made excellent hammers..  I'd be a hammer collector if they weren't so big and hard to move... 

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