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I Forge Iron

25 lb Little Giant not stopping


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I have tried researching this, but it's surprisingly bare on the internet.  I inherited this hammer from my dad when I bought his house.   I had to adjust the clutch blocks.  The wheel is a rear mount, and I've got it to where I push down on the treadle, it runs like it should, but when I let off, the hammer won't disengage.  It'll slow down, but not disengage.  When I kill power and cycle it by hand, the treadle works as it should (push down, engage...let off, disengage).  I'm on the verge of just putting new clutch blocks in (current ones are plywood...not my idea), unless there's something easier or more obvious I'm missing.  

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Welcome aboard Bob, glad to have you. If you'll  put your general location in the header maybe a member within visiting distance can give you a hand.

Do you have "The Little Giant Powerhammer Book?" It lays adjusting the clutch clearly. A copy is well worth the price. 

My guess is you have it too tight, back off till it slips then give it a DROP OR TWO of oil. I don't have the book at hand but IIRC a dry clutch adjust too tight was the leading cause of a hammer not disengaging. The #2 cause is too much oil. Don't expect these adjustments to effect it immediately, give it a little time for the oil to spread on the clutch. Nothing fancy, use plain old motor oil.

My 50lb LG coasted to a stop so I put a brake on it, now it just stops where I let off the treadle. It stopped before but I wanted it to stop where I wanted it to. It only takes a little too much oil to make the clutch stick, I over did it and went through a whole can of carb cleaner getting it dried out enough to function properly. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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I have the book (Dad left it with the hammer), and I'm thumbing through it looking for the answer.  I'm in Northeast Louisiana, Frosty, and when you say "back off" the clutch tightness, where do I do that?  

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I checked the shims.  Old hacksaw blade.  I tightened the block bolts, and that actually helped more than anything.  With the shims in (even the old, thin ones), it would stay engaged constantly.  Never had to press the treadle.  I would up removing all the shims that fell out.  It may be the oil, it's greasy, oily as all get out, like caked on and I want to strip it apart and clean it SO BAD.  The clutch springs....I've played with them a little.  I wonder if they may be too tight, but need to get a longer threaded i-hook to check it.  I loosened them and got better results.  The treadle rod has already been replaced.  

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5 hours ago, Lord Bob said:

when you say "back off" the clutch tightness, where do I do that? 

There are two places on mine but the easiest was to lengthen the treadle connecting rod and tighten the return spring a bit. The locking nuts on the clutch lever were so tight I didn't want to try forcing them so I went for the treadle rod.

Drats, I can't find a pic of the right side of the hammer that shows the clutch arm and clutch cone. The first pic shows the arm I installed to make the brake. on the far right of the red arm is the pin with the clevis and link arm to the treadle. Barely visible is the clutch arm which is what I piggy backed the brake lever arm. The link arm has a turn buckle adjustment and the clutch lever arm has an adjustment screw where it connects to the spider which carries the clutch cone. Think throwout bearing on an automotive clutch. It works that way but is different.

The brake adjustment is on the left of the brake lever arm. 

The second pic shows the brake band, if I'd extended it farther on the right side it would work a bit better. The left side of the band is where it is because that was the best place to anchor it without having to drill or weld on the hammer. Its mounted to the main bearing cap screws. The band has a leather brake shoe, rough out of course. 

The third pic is the spring scatter shield. I used grizzly screen so I can see the spring clearly. It's intended to stop flying pieces softly so they'll drop straight down. The spring is painted in automotive enamel, red to mark it as dangerous and worth keeping an eye on. Paint is in itself an indicator, if the spring develops a crack the paint will fake off. If you see paint flaking it's time to take a close look. 

Frosty The Lucky.

 

897703749_Brakelever.jpg.4eb3ffbdaead30bfc03d9621a7730eaa.jpg    1837880584_LGBrake1.jpg.a68dd8ab6c0288016d4801ccc3b86ca0.jpg     

306604300_Newspringguard02.jpg.eb3e78dcb3a308904cbbc089415e8c8d.jpg

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By the way, sometimes an old piece of equipment covered in hardened old grease is a sign of a well maintained tool. However, when time does it's job and the grease hardens up, it needs to be cleaned to bring it back to a good working tool. 

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I like the idea of the brake and the safety screen.  I'd like to pull mine apart for a rebuilt or just a deep cleaning, but I haven't the time.  The inside of the clutch where the blocks engage have a spotty residue, like grease or wood fibers friction burned onto the metal.  I may have to pull the spider and clean that, as I think that may be what's causing the stickiness when they heat up. I like the pictures of the brake.  I need to build one, if you have more pictures.  I'll see if I can post some pictures when I have time to mess with it some more.  

Thank you for all the advice. 

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Too much oil will make them stick, I don't know where I put my copy of the LG powerhammer book or I'd post the page number.

Is there any side lash to the main shaft? Push sideways on the crank plate and again at the pully end, it shouldn't move sideways. None of the pivots nor hammer should have much lash, a LITTLE is okay but not much. 

By all means clean that baby off! I sprayed mine with degreaser several times over a couple days of soak time then took it to the caw wash and blasted the crud out of it. Darned carwash put up signs visible from the road that cleaning parts was prohibited just a couple days later. Go figure.:ph34r: 

There is no good reason a mechanical hammer should slobber and sling oil that just means you're using too much. I took the big oil cups off the mains and give it two drops and hand turn the crank plate before starting it. I get grease sliding off the ram guides but they're wide open. All the pivots get ONE drop of oil and if you wipe them off with a clean white paper towel you can easily see if they're wearing, metal particles show up a treat. A magnet will collect iron particles so you can stick one where you think it may be wearing to gage if it is. 

I use chainsaw bar oil with about 1/4 c of one of those automotive super lubricant additives. Bar oil is sticky so it doesn't just run off and the additive really reduces friction. This mix in my chainsaws keeps the chain and bar from warming enough to need adjustment after cutting a while. Adjusting the bar after cutting a while is the norm for chainsaws. 

I'd avoid taking your hammer apart if possible, it certainly shouldn't be necessary just to clean the clutch cone. If you pull the pin from the clutch arm the spider will slide a lot farther out and be easier to clean.

Once you get it clean it MUST have a little oil on it or it won't work properly, I do NOT use my bar oil mix on the clutch I use new motor oil. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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