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I Forge Iron

Beaudry hammer spring safety guard

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I have a #100 Beaudry that has been running in my shop since 1978. After a discussion with Dick Sargent this past weekend at the Ashokan, NY meeting, a tale of a broken spring brought me up short. While Beaudry springs do not fail often, it does happen.

In the case of the failure described to me by Dick Sargent, no abuse of the hammer was involved at the time of failure and was likely the result of fatigue. The spring failure resulted in ejection of a piece of spring past the ear of the operator, which was not seen but heard, with terminal embedment in a wall many feet away.

With that tale in mind I have been looking to fit my hammer with a spring guard. I can't recall seeing one online. If anyone familiar with the design of a spring guard for the Beaudry and could post a photo or description, I would be in their debt.

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I've heard of at least 3 other springs breaking on Beaudrys. Kinda makes you wonder. Any kind of spring guard would need to be easily opened or removed to allow access to the crank box for adjustment of the die height.
The spring guards on my Little Giants are made from 1/8'' plate. I suspect spring failures would consist of small sharp splinters flying at high speed, easily going through a mesh guard. An outer guard of flat bar and expanded mesh protects the operator from those flailing toggle arms as well.
I went to some trouble to make a proper guard to cover the drive belt on my motor driven #7. Any exposed belt is a real hazard on any machine, this one was a real menace.

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I saw someone post an idea of wrapping the springs in leather. A actual gaurd may make more sense.

That was me. I've seen it done on a couple of hamers, & apparently it's a fairly common solution. Heavy leather is used, not book-binder's stuff. As I understand it the idea is that with the spring wrapped, if it fails the pieces aren't going to pick up any momentum in order to punch their way through & should therefore be contained within the wrapping.

However this is what I've been told, so I can't take any responsibility for the experiences of others.
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Many thanks for all the suggestions and especially for the photo added by Lamey Knives which was very useful. I hope to get some kind of guard fabricated forthwith and will post some photos when it is completed.

I suppose after todays' financial news that I shouldn't be worrying to much about being decapitated by a spring, although now that I think about it I do have term insurance with AIG. I better check on that.

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