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Air hammer parts

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I decided awhile ago I wanted to build a air hammer so i bought a compressor
it runs at 10.3 cfm 135 psi 12.4 100 psi

i want to run a small/medium sized hammer i was told 2 x 12 inch cylinder would work fine

I have none of the parts yet for it though because im not 100% sure what to get or where even to get it im hoping someone informed might be able to help me out a bit


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The experts at big blu say you need 17 cfm @ 140 psi. This is for their 110 lb hammer that has a 2.5" bore cylinder. I'm not sure how big you want to make your ram. If your compressor ends up being too small you can always add another compressor and use them both. I know of several people that have 150 lb hammers and use a couple of 5 hp compressor to give themselves continous use. I'm not an expert but this should help a little.

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Hi Bryce
If you do a google serch for air cylinders you will get a number of co. that want to sell you stuff, find one near you, likley the personel there can help you with the valveing. And determining what you really want for sizing of the components. If you don't have one yet a copy of Ron Kinyon's book would be a good idea. There is a you tube video on changeing the switch to be more dynamic on a kinyon hammer look there, I think the improvements are worth while unless all you are doing is drawing things out then I wouldn't bother.
I also think that your compressor may not be enough, but I would always try what I have before buying something more.
If you don't need that much room between your dies a 10 inch long cylinder will need about 17% less air.

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I recently finished building a Kinyon style air hammer. The ram weight with the die is around 55 pounds. I used a 2x10 cylinder, and it works fine. A 12.4 cfm compressor @ 100 psi should be more than adequate. I strongly suggest that you get a set of Ron Kinyon's plans from ABANA, unless you already have a good set of plans or access to another hammer that you want to copy.
I got my pneumatics package from Power Dynamics which had all the components except for the ball valves, hoses, and fittings. I believe that Kayne & Son Blacksmithing Supply has a pneumatics package that includes hoses and fittings, and I've also heard that Ron Kinyon sells a pneumatics package, but I haven't confirmed that.
You'll need basic metalworking tools, such as an O/A torch, stick welder, grinder, and drill press. You'll also helpful to have access to a chopsaw and horozontal bandsaw. I found that using a magnetic drillpress really helped. It's a lot easier to take a 35# drillpress to a 400# piece of steel than vise-versa. A chain hoist or sturdy engine hoist is also extremely helpful for moving the heavy stuff around.
You can either weld everything together or bolt it together or a combination of both. Mine is all bolted together, so it can be taken apart if I ever need to move it. It weighs 1500# assembled, but the heaviest component is the base plate, which weighs 400#. If you decide to go ahead with the project, I think that you'll be pleased with the results. The KInyon style air hammers can really pound out some work. Good luck!

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go to the top of the forum page and click on user cp
click on edit profile
go to the bottom of the page, enter your location, and save.

We would like to know where in the world you are located.

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Check out the link in the other air hammer post to John Linn's video "Controling your air hammer" he does an excellent job of laying out the options. I think he would recommend a 1.5" cyclinder, and I would too. With such a relatively small amount of CFM you will end up waiting on your compressor with a 2" cyclinder. I have a 75# Bull air hammer, and it has a 2" cyclinder and I can bury a 7.5hp Quincy Air Master light industrial compressor with ~22.3CFM @ 175 PSI, I run the hammer between 135PSI and 90-PSI most of the time. Do the math, do the research, try and understand the way it is suppose to work, before you go buying a lot of parts. If you are a famous scrounger, have at it, but if you are shelling out real money for things... KNOW what you are doing, it will save you time and money in the long run.

Other interesting tidbits, I am told that hydraulic cyclinders are relatively cheap and easy to find new or salvaged, and are strudier than air cyclinders generally. Also the shackle ends on the cyclinder can be used to protect the cyclinder in the case of misalignment of the guides, there is a name for that type of coupling but of course I can't remember it. ;-)

A well designed small hammer, that fits your compressor, and your budget will be a better investment than an overly ambitious hammer that has too small an anvil, and is constantly starved for air when you try and use it. The two best limiting factors to consider when designing your hammer are the size of the anvil, and the size of the compressor. Small anvil = smaller ram. Somewhere between a 10-1 ratio and a 40-1 ratio is best. I have a 6" axil forging that weighs 456# and that would be fine for a hammer between 25# and 45#. If you have too heavy a ram you WILL loose efficiency bouncing your anvil and your hammer around the shop, even if you bolt it down, it will vibrate more and will wear out faster if the anvil isn't heavy enough. Chambersburg did the studies on ideal ratios and found that anything above a 40-1 ratio the cost benifit analysis showed a seriously deminished return. There are lots of hammers out there that have been built with way too light, and springy an anvil, or nearly as bad a dead anvil, and people are happy with them... But the truth of the mater is a hammer with a proper balance between the anvil and ram ratio, will not shake the shop as badly, and is less likely to beat itself to death. Doing it right they just run more quietly and with less vibration. A power hammer should be overengineered, you really don't want one to fail catastrophicly while you are playing on it...

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