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I Forge Iron

Treadle on anvil?

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Have a small shop and was considering a treadle hammer that would attach to a wall post and be used on my working anvil (300lb) rather than having its own anvil separately.

I was considering a treadle hammer design which could swing up out of the way when not in use to free up the anvil for hand work.

I would love to hear ideas and comments from people if this is a good idea, or is it may actually damage the anvil if used in this way, or really if there would be some other downside to this set up Im not seeing.

I feel it might be tough to make an anvil base from scrap that would be as large or solid as my current anvil anyway, so it made sense to me in that regard.

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There are some vids of old school chain making on that most common video site which show pretty much exactly what you are describing.  Worked for them in a commercial operation so I suspect you could find a way to make it work for your use.

My take though from seeing those vids is that the smith in charge must permanently walk funny.  Doing that treadle thing more than here or there has gotta rip one's hip joint to bits over time..and since that's a joint which has a high failure rate in people anyway, it's definitely a process to take special care with.  Don't go with super heavy just because it seems like the right thing to do--consider that sweet spot where it gets the job done but isn't like kicking a raging bull.


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My treadle hammer has a steel frame that holds it the proper distance from the anvil and a chain linkage that can be disengaged to allow the head to swing up and out of the way:


Note that since this photo was taken, I have modified the linkage to incorporate a shock-absorbing spring:


And the shortening/lengthening mechanism described here:


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