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Seeking advice on mechanical power hammer maintenance.

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A good while ago I got my hands on an Oliveras 17 power hammer, and now I'm starting to put it to use.
I have no experience with maintaining power hammers and unfortunately I haven't been able to find any information about this model, let alone an user manual.

Mechanically it appears to be fairly similar to the smallest little giant models, but it has a rubber spring and a different clutch. I'm pretty sure the ram weighs 17kg, which is about 37lb.

The clutch appears to be a metal-on-metal conical clutch.


Now for my questions. I've noticed two kinds of lubricant ports on the machine, grease nipples and conical holes:


What kind of products are appropiate for each part of the hammer? Is lithic grease okay for the parts with nipples?
What about the parts with conical holes? Can I just put some three in one  on them before a day of heavy use? Would car engine oil be better?

Same thing about the slides and the clutch, which has conical holes conecting to the contact surface. Should the clutch have oil at all?

Lubrication aside, how tight should the slides be? Is a bit of play desirable? I tightened them a bit after noticing some sideways play on the ram. Currently there is enough friction on the ram that it can remain in the up position when the crankshaft is between the 10'o clock and 2'o clock position (there is no brake and the clutch is disengaged):

 This is too much friction, right?

Regarding the rubber spring, could it have degenerated with time and use? Is it viable to replace them if no official replacements are available?

As about the timing, as far as I can tell the hits are consistent, I took a slow motion video and it appears like the ram hits when the crankshaft is on the 6'o clock position.


Does that look okay?

I would also be interested if anyone could tell me more about Oliveras power hammers and this model in particular.

Thanks for your time in advance and sorry if I didn't express myself clearly.

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It looks good to me. Grease in the grease fitting, I use lithium or graphite grease in mine but plain automotive chassis grease is fine and a few drops of oil in the oil cups. 3 in 1 is not heavy enough, 30 weight motor oil is what it's designed to use but I use chain saw bar oil in mine. It's thick and sticky so it doesn't get slung off chain saw bar so it doesn't slobber out of the link arm journals like 30 wt. I also smear a little grease on the ram guides.

LOOSEN those guides back up! A little side to side notion is necessary, it's a power hammer not a wrist watch. The guides just keep the ram in line enough it can't get cocked and wedge but it MUST have some wiggle room or as you've discovered it will stick without power but worse it will cause excessive wear.

The movie shows it working just the way it should.

Use it in good health.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Good Morning,

Good Luck on your workpiece. Forget about looking for a Manual. Make your Own. Make a Chart/Drawing with all the lube points. If someone starts it up without giving it a squirt or two, Tie their arms to their side with Duct Tape. "You can't use my Machine. Can is a question of Ability" They failed the Permission Test!

I figure if it isn't dripping, It needs more Oil. Think of it as an early Harley, "If it ain't dripping, it is out of Oil!!"   Chain Oil is nice and sticky, better than Engine Oil. Don't make it Tight, check the clearances after running for an hour or so. Slight Loose is good, Slightly tight is bad news!

Never use a Hammer wearing white clothes, unless you don't mind the Clothes going Black.  Blue might be the language, when Learning.


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To quote Francis Whitaker of Blessed Memory, "Lubricate early and often." (or words to that effect).  He was famous for going around the shop with an oil can in hand and oiling everything in sight.  One group of his students presented him with a gold plated oil can.

If anyone is unfamiliar with Francis Whitaker, particularly those new to the craft, here is a link to the wiki article about him:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Whitaker

I learned some things from him in the '90s when he was in his mid to late 80s and he was an inspiration.

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand."

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It looks pretty good to be honest. I am not familiar with this exact machine but it is very similar to a little giant. Grease the grease fittings and oil all the ports, and the ram guides. My procedure for my little giant, I start with grease. The points vs to hit, the main clutch bearing and two main shaft bearings. In mine they get grease but most main bearings get oil. The clutch faces need a bit of oil and all the arm pins need a squirt of oil. Get plenty of oil on those guides, and grease that front nipple.  Motor oil and plain axel grease are a minimum. I use a heavy graphite loaded lithium grease and bar/chain oil ( heavy gear oil) both are quite thick and sticky. My machines are pretty worn out and heavy oils and grease make up for some sloppy bearings. The sluggishness might be a break, something too tight, or just lack of lubricant. Little giant did not include a break, but some makers did. Running it looks pretty good.

Replacing the rubber ( it has nice action for just one slug of rubber) you can get cylindrical “elastomer springs” from Mc Master Carr, tool and die supply houses and some belting/hose suppliers. Measure it now and write it down where you will be able to find it later. I had rubber for my Bradley cast from an ether urethane back in the 90s. You can actually get kits to mix rubber and pour into molds, though I have not done it ( a friend did these for me) The molds were rolled from aluminum flashing and held together with duct tape. I forget the hardness he settled on based on the old rubber, I want to say it was a 40-50 durometer (?) I would check what hardness mold stripper springs are, or take the old one to a belting supplier and let them check it. As long as it isn’t cracked or worn to the point that it moves around when running it should be good though. Changing it is probably going to be challenging with no screw adjustment. Good luck.

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