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Looking for recommendations on die dimensions


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I've built a junkyard tire hammer, and I'm getting ready to modify it again.  I've procured some steel that should allow me to end up with a 6x6 inch cross section anvil which should weigh in around 300 lbs.  The base plate weighs over 500 lbs. Right now I'm planning on keeping the ram around 30 lbs, give or take a little. It's powered by a 1 hp motor and has a maximum bpm around 250.  This is the only power hammer I've ever used, so I have no frame of reference for what works better/best.  Since I'm planning to replace the anvil I'll most likely use a different die system. 

So far I've used the top portion of a RR track (or maybe mining track) welded to a plate for the lower die and I welded another piece of rail directly to the ram for the upper die.  The surface where the dies meet is a little over 2 inches square, but that seems a bit small to me.  Anyone have good recommendations for die dimensions based on using a hammer with similar characteristics?

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That sounds like a  pretty cool setup buzzkill, do you have pictures of it? 

Thomas, I don’t have a have a champion #0 or a power hammer of any kind  but If yours is in the way I’d be happy to run over there and get your champion  #1 out of your way! 

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TW; that's very kind of you but finally, after 17 years, I'm getting power to my shop and expect to start using my 25# LG and 60# Champion.  However I have a basket case Champion #1  I'd be happy to pass on for what I paid for it.

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16 hours ago, TWISTEDWILLOW said:

That sounds like a  pretty cool setup buzzkill, do you have pictures of it? 

Strangely enough I haven't taken any pictures of it yet.  Currently it's using a broken waist Hay Budden anvil mounted on I beam. I made it mobile since it lives in my detached garage and I do actually like to park my truck in there during the winter months. I'm hoping that the new modifications I have planned will eliminate or reduce the tendency it has to slowly walk across the floor in heavy use.  I also don't use any springs of a traditional nature.   I have an air bag from the cab suspension of a Peterbilt truck providing the tension between the linkage arms.   I'll try to remember to grab a picture or two before I start tearing it apart again to make more modifications.  The funny thing is I originally planned on making a light anvil mounted power hammer, but the more I got into the build the more I "upgraded" it.  The idea was to use materials I already had or could get cheap/free.  So far I've only put a couple hundred dollars into it, but I have spent a fair amount of time building and modifying it over the past year and a half or so.  

 

16 hours ago, Irondragon ForgeClay Works said:

My 30 pound Star has dies that are approximately 1.5 inches X 3.5 inches that work very well for me.

Thanks for that info.  That sounds more reasonable than what I've been using.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I had a 25#little giant quite a few years ago. I had 2x3” flat does that seemed a tad small, and 1 1/4”x4” crowned dies that were more effective when drawing out. A hammer that size has pretty limited power so a big die can rob some forging force, but small dies make using tools difficult. My 100# has 3x8” combo does and the 250 has 4 1/2”x9” dies. Bigger is better as it gives you more space, but has to fit the hammer. For a 30#, a 2 inch 3-4” would be my first try. If it seems small go up to a 2 1/2x4 or so- if you have room. If you want to draw faster make some skinny dies that are 1” or3/4” wide with a generous radius. Sometimes you have to pull a few tricks to get what you need out of a small hammer

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Thanks for the reply and info.  Right now I'm planning on making the dies 3.5 inches long and 1.75 to 2 inches wide.  Unfortunately it may be months before I can make that modification.  I have rotator cuff surgery next week and I don't think I'll get that far this coming weekend.  It gives me more time to think about how I want to do it I guess.

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On 7/6/2021 at 6:23 PM, TWISTEDWILLOW said:

That sounds like a  pretty cool setup buzzkill, do you have pictures of it? 

Here's a pic of it.   I have about half the material cut for the new anvil, but I doubt I'll be able to work on it much more for a few months now. 

JYhammer.thumb.jpg.518052d64dfbec3a7832866893e287e5.jpg

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More than half, but yes.  I got it from someone who was using it as a yard decoration.  It's a HB, and appears to have broken at the waist.  It's a clean break though, so it's always made me wonder if someone did machine work on it or if it was made that way intentionally.  It has 2 3/8" holes bored completely through the body.  The spacing, placement, and precision of the holes makes me think it could have been manufactured that way, but it could also be the result of a skilled machinist with the right tools later on.

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