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I Forge Iron

Interesting hammer


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Yeah, I thought that was strange.  I know there are devices that will auto cycle it, but I guess he likes it.  Very compact, but I don't know, I can see that air cylinder failing in pretty quick order.

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Not a bad little powered treadle. I'd prefer to drive the hammer on the out stroke of the cylinder rather than retract, it's stronger and easier on the cylinder rod. It takes more head room though Or more reciprocating mass in the works. The more junk you have moving the more failure and wear points you  have. It comes down to what a person expects and can afford: utility, room, money, etc. as always.

Cycling has been pretty well developed for instance the Kinyon control valving, you can buy plans, kits, etc. and it's a solid proven design. There are others including old tyme steam hammer valving.

I can't tell if you can control striking power directly from the treadle but if I had to guess, controlling speed controls the striking power. That's just an educated guess, I don't see the kind of valving that'd allow you to control speed and power individually, cycling valving would be cheaper and easier.

I agree it's not moving a lot of metal very fast. He may  not have the psi turned up but it's pretty fast so probably. If you want a harder hitter use a heavier hammer and larger and cylinder.

Frosty The Lucky.

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I'm just thinking from the lighter end of things for planishing and smoothing.  I'd probably love a heavy hitting hammer, but as I've learned from reading other sections, that gets into all sorts of modifications to concrete slabs to create thick isolation blocks and then there's the consideration of motor HP needed to power them.  I am limited in that sense and have no desire to start cutting into concrete and building an isolation block.  Since I have no intention of becoming a business, I think a converted log splitter for a press and a light hammer (at some point a couple years down the road maybe, definitely not right away) might be the way to go. 

To get going, my main focus is building a forge, finding a suitable chunk of steel to use as an anvil, a pair or two of tongs and a hammer or two and then practice and learn the basics.  "Power" tools for forging won't even be considered until I am ready for them, but since I won't be building the forge until spring, I have time now to just sit, read, and delve into other subjects as well.  Looking into all these kinds of tools is strictly a mental exercise at this point.

It appears from his video he can control the power of the hit, but it seems sketchy at best, very fiddly or touchy as he tries to feather the pedal.  Heck, for what "I" would want a power hammer for, a treadle hammer might be plenty good enough, certainly simpler and cheaper to make. 

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Plannishing is usually done with very rapid light blows, I'd think you'd need to be a professional tap dancer to do it with that and I don't know if the cycle time would support it 

Look at the pettingell hammers designed for car and plane body work for a good example of plannishing.

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Before I would even consider a hammer though, I have to measure how thick the slab is where I would put it.  My house and the original rectangle barn were built in 1900.  The main barn is 2-story with wood floor above dirt (and the dang ground hogs love tunneling under it).  The floor boards are nice wide, old timber, around 14" to 20" wide and about 3" thick.  To the right side is a narrow room with some stalls that appear to have been used for milking cattle.  The next room over, which was added at some point, is a large tack room which then opens out to 9 horse stalls (the previous owners owned and raised some kind of special Spanish show horses).  At some point (in the 1950's I was told) a slab was poured almost the full width of the back and on the left side, like a big "L" shape and the entire barn added on to.  There is a 2-bedroom apartment up in the back.  Under the apartment, and to the far right of the slab, is an open area that has the hook ups for a washer and dryer and a small bathroom.  To the left of that room is a 1-car garage that currently houses some shelving and my utility trailer.  Moving left again is another room that is currently my woodworking room with a heavy bench I built along one wall and I'm putting up a french cleat wall on the other side.  My tool boxes and woodworking tools reside there.  And, off to the left of that is yet another room that is designated to become the "metal room."  It's around 22 feet wide and about 25 feet long (about half the slab on the left side of the barn).  Toward the front of the barn and in front of that room the slab is raised about a foot and a half (the entire barn sits kind of on the edge of a small hill).  This room has wide bi-fold doors and is where I store my tractor and race boat on its trailer.  The slab along the back side and to the far right is about 12" thick.  I suspect it is thinner in the room I am using for the metal working stuff because of the slight grade, but I need to confirm that.  I can't use the room to the far right since it is under part of the apartment upstairs, the ceiling height is too low for machines like a hammer or press.  I really wanted to remove the horse stalls, since we don't have horses (and no plans for any), and use that area with its nice hard pack dirt floor, but the wife said "No!."

If I am to get or make a hammer, I'm not going for a big heavy one (I don't want to have to do the isolation block thing). I need to see if a light hammer would be ok on say, some heavy timbers, like railroad ties or similar, without damaging the slab.  Anyway,  check out this guy's video and see his hammer.  It looks pretty light, I don't know the hammer weight, but I could ask, he's responded to some questions in the past.   Anyway, something along this line and even what he uses it for is what I'd be interested in.

Jump to about 7:40 into the video to see it in use:
 


 

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  • 1 year later...

He has revamped the hammer so it reciprocates now, and has upgraded to a 70lb hammer weight. It is an interesting hammer especially if it can be made for the $400 to $800 he claims. That would be a great way for someone without the cash for a large commercial hammer to have some sort of power hammer in the shop.

 

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I wondered about the rollers as well. I think the are roller skate wheels, which take quiet the abuse in skating so it seems like they would hold up for a while.

The hammer probably will not move metal as well as a $10,000 hammer you could buy, but it might be a nice inexpensive option for those who cannot afford to spend that. Being able to afford to build an inexpensive power hammer might allow people to speed production, grow your sales, and then afford a to purchase a bigger hammer in the future. That is the way I see something like this.

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Those cheap urethane wheels are going to fail for sure. I've blown off whole wheels on hills in San Francisco. There's definitely a difference between quality urethane wheels and cheap ones. I can almost guarantee he bought or scavenged the cheapest he could find. He'll be replacing them and the bearings inside them soon. 

Pnut

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I think they would work a lot better if they where flipped 90 degree along the vertical axis, so that the "tread" was doing the work, not the side of the wheel. Or, as little upgrade, remove the wheels and use Caged Ball Guides, those things are almost indestructible and can take force from almost any angle. 

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