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Just made a nice top die for my 1908 Star from a piece of trolley track... Previous owner had welded old die surface with some sort of hard surfacing and it starting to fly like shrapnel... Only trouble I have with both old and new dies is that they have to be adjusted right down to touching the lower die in order to work..all my other mechanical hammer have at least an inch gap when at rest....Trying leaf spring adjustment next to see if that helps.. any  ideas?  I just am uncomfortable about lower die getting smacked by top one.

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I've made dies for my 30 pound Star out of RR track. It had a drawing top die when I got it and was adjusted so the dies touched at rest. I made a top flat die and made it match the factory die, also touching at rest. Haven't had any trouble with them in 20 years of use. It's kinda hard to see the dies in this old picture. The previous owner reinforced the frame with steel plates because he had read about the Star had an inherent weakness in that area.

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THANKS !!!! I had visions of the lower anvil getting cracked to smitherines..  Funny how all the old mechanical hammers have different rhythm to them.. I ran my first Little Giant in 1967 so I have a feel for them. Took me an hour to get the feel of this Star..It really moves a lot of metal but in a kind of gentler way.. Is that too "woo woo"?  It has this nice smooth way..  Yours seems to have a different clutch. Mine is more like an LG. Mine has a built in guard in front..  Actually-I have not seen any two 50# Stars that were exactly the same..Wonder if that led to the demise of this fine hammer outfit.

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The only other power hammer I have used is a Big Blu 155 in a school (ESSA) I used to volunteer in the Blacksmith shop. An air hammer is totally different animal.  My 30 Pound Star has a fairly simple clutch system. Just 2 wood faced shoes that engage the taper on the pulley, the harder the foot feed is pressed the faster it runs. Mine runs at 120 BPM wide open. I took this picture for another member who has a Star and needed a picture of the clutch pads.

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  • 3 months later...

Just wondering if you had adjusted your hammer and how it worked out. I'm thinking about making a new bottom die for mine and want to make it taller, which will require raising the TUP. As you can see the bottom die is close to the sow block.

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Edited by Irondragon ForgeClay Works
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