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Bradley 200 compact hammer project


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I have been working on a Bradley hammer i recently got.  It was originally set up similarly to a line shaft but with its own motor and pulley system mounted in the roof structure above it.

The motor drove a large pulley on the same shaft as a smaller pulley which drove the main crank shaft pulley.  There was a canvas /rubber ? belt from the motor to the large pulley and a leather belt from the secondary pulley to the slack belt system to the machine .

The leather belt on the slack belt clutch side is old and and dry but not completely ruined and I haven't gotten a new leather belt yet . What do I use to soften and treat the leather belt on a slack belt system ?  It is a 2 ply 6 inch wide belt.

Does any one out there have a running Bradley 200 compact hammer?

If so I want to talk to you!!!!!!!

Please

David

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I don't know if it would work for a belt but mink oil will work wonders on old dried out leather. It's what I used on my baseball gloves when I was a kid and on boots and anything else leather later on. It's good for reconditioning dry leather but I don't know if it will have a negative effect on the performance of a drive belt. It might make it slip until it absorbs it.

Pnut

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Also, if there are any cracks in the belt, replacing it will be much, much safer than trying to recondition it. Even if you do restore flexibility, those cracks will be a weak spot that you do NOT want letting go mid-forge. 

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Very true. I was going on the assumption it was just dry and hard. Cracks will grow and usually let go at the least opportune time. Replacement would be the safest option. I would still recommend conditioning the new belt when you get it and periodically depending on climate etc.

Pnut

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I am definitely going to replace the belt once I find a source. The belt I have has a few small cracks but only on one side of the belt. The construction of the belt is interesting it has 2 layers of leather 6" by about 4 foot long bonded together with some type of adhesive or plastic?. The plys each overlap the other by about 2 foot . Since it is made like that I don't think it would completely fail with out showing signs of failure. Right now I am getting close to getting it going and just want to use the belt I have for testing.

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Talk to a farm implement place about belts; there might be a better material than leather for yours. (You preferable want to find a dealer that still repairs old farm equipment---the kind with a massive bone pile out back and considers tractors from the 1960's as "the new models"...

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The above posts are correct about replacing a drive belt that has cracks in it.

Periodic leather dressing helps prolong the life of leather.

A good leather dressing is a product called neatsfoot oil. I apply it to most of my leather items, from,  time to time, to keep the leather supple and to prevent it drying out.

FEAR NOT!  there is no such thing as a living neat. (or a dead one, for that matter). Neatsfoot oil is a petroleum product.

So animal lovers (such as the SLAG) relax.

When you purchase the oil,   transfer it to a glass container with a metal closure.

Why? because the oil evaporated from a well-sealed plastic container, chez nous. Not nice.

Regards,

SLAG

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I have a 100lber, I use a 2 ply leather belt with some kind of fabric glued in between the layers.

Works great no stretch haven't treated the leather for 10+ years still looks perfect.

 

A couple of tips

Keep your rear guide adjusted a tight as you can with out making the ram drag = less stress on the front guide while off centered hammering.

Keep the lever in the proper orientation so you can properly clamp the pitman. If the pitman slips out of the sleeve while forging you can break the sleeve casting.

In your video it looks like you could use more compression on your rubbers.

Do you have your anvil bolted tight to your frame? I use a piece of 1/2 plywood with saw kerfs 1" or so in between the hammer and anvil. You need a cushion in between.

Apologies if you know this already , just my experience with my hammer.

 

 

 

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Slag

I will try the Neatsfoot oil  glad to hear there is no danger to Neats or Feets

Andrew

I have no experience with this or any hammer so I am winging it any advice is appreciated  . You say you have a 100# hammer is it a Bradley Compact like mine?

I don't know if my videos are even loading . When i look they are empty I just posted another is it viewable?

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Both vids are working for me. Yes I have a Bradley Compact, same as yours just smaller.

Try tightening  the nuts on the left and right sides of the rubbers a 1/2 turn or more. This will put more compression on the rubbers and smooth out the action of the ram when running it faster and it will make it hit harder. I can see your rubbers are a bit loose in your 1st vid and the ram flutters and flops a bit when you pick up speed. Also if there isn't enough compression on the rubbers the top of the ram can get thrown up too high and contact the linkage, don't let that happen.

It looks like you're missing the middle bolt in the rectangle cut out in the frame. There are three bolts/jam nuts that adjust the tightness of the rear guide. Top and bottom bolts pull the guide away from the ram, the middle one pushes it in.  There are also two more bolts on the side of the frame that clamp the guide in position after the adjustment is made.

Hope this makes sense, after you stare at it long enough you should be able to figure it out.

Here is a parts list and some basic info for your hammer

http://www.newenglandblacksmiths.org/bradley-compact/

Feel free to ask questions I gone over ever inch of my hammer and use it quite a bit.

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I run Bradley's too but mine are guided helve. I have a lot of literature on the Bradley hammers and would be happy to help. In your first video it looks like you might have the dies a little too close. There should be a gap of a couple inches between them when the hammer is at the bottom of the stroke. This allows the linkage and cushions to flex when the hammer is running. With that flex the dies should just touch. 

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  • 5 months later...

I spent all day in the shop !   The first time I have been able to do that for several months.

I first had to clean out the spot that my power hammer will probably reside for a while . Then I moved it into place and set it on some 1 inch thick rubber mat. It is bolted to a 1 inch thick piece of AR 500 hardened steel plate which will eventually be bolted down to the slab. 

The slack belt was old dry and slipping so I insta;;ed a new belt. The machine has 2 belts and each has to have just the right amount of tension to work properly so I spent quite a while trying to get them both adjusted. I got close but am not quite there yet

IMG_6052 (1).jpg

Once i had it close to right I needed to smash something!!!   I have some 4" round 4340 I had cut into a square blank for a hammer head. I saved the partially round cut offs so I got a piece of that hot.

IMG_6053.jpg

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I welded a 1/2 rod to it and heated it up in my JABOD and did my first power hammering with my Bradley 200 compact. I have very little experience with power hammers so I was basically playing around with no real goal or out come in mind. I ended up smashing it from the 1/4 round cut of into a somewhat square and drawing it out into this

IMG_6055.jpg

I may try to square it up for my hardy hole and then make it into a hot cut. The Bradley definitely hammers but I still have some tuning to do.  Does any one out there have a Bradley hammer? and want to give me some pointers on set up?

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Most definitely !

I am greener than grass and don't know how much I don't know.  The hammer is a beast an OLD sexy beast !   I spent hours messing with the belts trying to get it to run consistently . And still failed. I have not put any belt dressing on the new belt. The main problem was getting the slack belt to engage. To much tension and it would hammer without stepping on the treadle not enough and it won't engage. when adjusted so it would engage the brake wouldn't hold.

So  more tinkering 

But I smashed hot steel with it !!!!:)

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Ayup, that sounds like trying to adjust a 100 yro machine without knowing the tricks. I'd start with it adjusted so it cycles while idle, no treadle, then ease off the adjuster till it stops cycling. This works well if you can adjust while it's running without getting close to the works. Is there an adjuster on the brake? I had to adjust both on mine. Then again I made the brake on mine . . . Nevermind.

Do you have a copy of, "The Little Giant Powerhammer" book by Richard Kern? Getting your hammer tuned up should be covered, even if your specific hammer isn't listed, there really wasn't much difference. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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8 hours ago, Old Crew said:

I welded a 1/2 rod to it and heated it up in my JABOD and did my first power hammering with my Bradley 200 compact. I

This sentence warms my heart. I love that you are using a jabod and a powerhammer. I'm going to save that post for when someone tries to act like a jabod just isn't good enough for them. I don't know how many times I've heard someone asking about getting into blacksmithing on Reddit say, "Yeah but I want to build a "real" forge."  In my head that's said with an annoying whiny voice also just to make it more annoying. Anyway it tickled me just a bit to read that sentence. Thanks  Old Crew. 

Pnut

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Old Crew.. Well done on all of it.. Now you have heat, power hammer, anvil, vise and I'm sure a few hand hammers.. You are now unstoppable. 

You might need belt dressing or the sheeves might not be clean enough..  Not sure if your hammer has factory linkage but many times the hammers were ran by the same person and they tuned the hammer engagement for the type of work they did.. 

If your looking to have that light feather touch it can be kinda tough with mechanical hammers unless setup "JUST" right as they have a tendency to be go, no go in action..  Being bumped  or surged slightly and lightly with a very light touch for one hit and such slow starts. 

There was a discussion I had read some years back that talked about this very factor and involved 4 gents talking about different aspects of control and the way different makers addressed the issue with deft touch and full on boogie.  there was a book that talked about the right amount of slack in the belt etc, etc.. 

I don't believe there is a spring tension adjustment on your hammer..  So the only adjustment is the throw or height adjustment.   

All of the mechanical hammers that use the toggle links are supposed to be adjusted so the toggles are not slackened thru the movement..  So the hammer still has snap and the head is not resting on the metal being worked for to long a time.   Not sure if I am explaining it in a way that makes sense. 

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Old Crew, can you show us a picture of the linkages square from the front side of the hammer?   I have a Kayne&Roach which has a very similar linkage, perhaps I could help out with spring tension if I could see the positions of the arms.  

Jennifer, you can adjust spring tension on these, the nuts on the outside of the rubbers can be cranked down to increase compression.  

I would make the drive belt nice and tight, no slip obviously.  Then I would adjust slack belt tension so the hammer just barely cranks over with your foot off the treadle.  Then tighten the brake band till that overcomes the slack belt.  Be sure that the brake is fully disengaged when you stomp the treadle.  These are very well designed and built hammers, you should be able to get everything from single slow kissing blows to single hard blows to full on metal munching if everything is adjusted correctly.  

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Juddson

Here are a couple pictures of the front of the machine

IMG_6058.jpg

IMG_6056.jpg

It has several adjustments . The length of stroke can be adjusted by turning the square headed crank pin screw which moves the crank pin in the eccentric.

The opening between the dies is adjusted by the slip sleeve , which is the lever on the right just above the rubber blocks.

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