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25 lb Bradley Helve questions

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Hello I have a chance to purchase a 25 lb Bradley Helve. It is missing the wood on the main beam and the foot bar. The owner has told me it is also missing the dies. He has said everything else is there and it turns freely. The babbitt is good.. I can buy it for near $1000.00. I want this style of hammer to put in a hewn log smithy. I want to run it with one of our hit and miss engines. Does any one have an idea of the required hp I will need to power this thing? Also for the price is this a fair deal? I have the oak to replace any wood but the dies are a concern. Thanks for your answers.

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If you contact me via email I will send you the owner's manual for the guided helve/strap hammer. It should give you a fair idea of what you will need for your hammer. Oak is not recommended for the beams on Bradleys since it is realively brittle. Hard rock maple will probably last longer, but if you already have oak, use it until it breaks and then replace with something better. A laminated beam will also last longer than a solid one.
As for $1000, I consider that to be an excellent price provided there is no significant damage to the hammer. Bradley hammers are still supported to some extent by Cortland Machine, so you may be able to purchase new dies, but they really aren't that hard to make. I bought a 15 lb Bradley strap hammer earlier this year and it needs a complete overhall, including new dies, machine work on the anvil dovetail, machine work on the guides, probable a new crank shaft and definitly new leather. I paid $1000 and thougt I got a steal, mostly because Bradley hammers this small are pretty rare.


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I have specs on it if it is a cushioned helve. Factory said 3 hp 400 blows per minute. patrick is right on about the wood, hard maple is the only thing I have had success with, anything else is a waste of time if you use the hammer much. dies are 2x5x1 1/4inch not including the male dovetail it weighs about 2100lb price is good. if you don,t want it. let me know.

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