Blacksmithing Tips - What Kind of Power Hammer is Right For Your Shop?

August 4, 2017

Blacksmith Power Hammers or Journey Hammers

If you have ever dealt with a power hammer you see the blacksmithing world through various eyes. Power hammers actually fall into 3 standard categories, Hydraulic Presses, Mechanical Hammers, and Air Hammers. They are all created to increase the amount of force that you can apply to the steel. This suggests you can do more operate in an offered amount of time and you can work larger bar. Unexpectedly this opens an entire brand-new creative reality with the steel.


Hydraulic Presses

I do not utilize one in my shop but I have actually used one years back in another smiths store. Hydraulics have lots of power (actually) and can require the metal into several shapes extremely efficiently. They work for severe controlled force applications such as forcing steel into preshaped passes away, or cutting at specific lengths or angles and so on

. This is not an impact machine such as mechanical hammers or air hammers, and is not quickly. It can be utilized for extracting steel but this bores. Although it would conserve time from extracting by hand and enable you to work bigger bar I would go nuts with the slow process.

Essentially the maker is a hydraulic ram installed on a frame with an electric pump. You utilize a foot control to squish the metal. Step with the foot apply more force. Launch the foot the passes away withdraw then you can move the bar and apply the force once again in a various area.

There are sledge hammer of a hydraulic press. They have a small footprint, and need no unique foundation. Costs are workable for this kind of tool. About $2000.00 in my location. There is no effect noise or vibration with this kind of machine. The whine of the hydraulic pump can be loud however it doesn’t have the very same inconvenience element for next-door neighbors as the impact from a hammer. Presses are rated by the number of heaps pressure that the ram can produce. 20 ton, 40 lot and 60 ton are common sizes.

Mechanical Hammers

All mechanical hammers work on a variation of the very same principle. A turning crank shaft raises the weighted hammer head that is counter balanced, then requires it down on the next half of the transformation. The accessory on other hammer head has to be a spring building of some sort so that the effect is absorbed in the spring not the crank shaft. The counter weight relieves some of the strain on the motor.

There have been various configurations of mechanical hammers over the years. Little Giant enters your mind however this is only one design. Others include Helve Hammers and so on. Mechanical hammers are rated by the hammer head rate. So a 25 lb Little Giant has a 25 pound hammer head weight. The much heavier the head weight the bigger the steel that you can work under it however the larger the motor that you have to run it.

Something to think about. If your store remains in outdoors but has no electricity you could run a mechanical hammer off a little fuel engine. A little expensive but compared with the amount of work you could do this way, it might be worth it.

I have just worked a little with mechanical hammers but a 1 hp motor will run up to about 50 lb Hammer head weight.

The charm of a mechanical hammer is that it is relative easy to build or fix. The principles of the movement are extremely simple and simple to follow in slow motion. Mechanical hammers were relatively common in commercial settings in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s so you might have the ability to find one for an excellent rate in your area. The disadvantage is that parts may be impossible to discover and you may need to produce your own.

You can likewise build your very own mechanical hammer. It will take some tinkering but an excellent working hammer can be made quite financially. They don’t use up a lot of area. Maybe 2 feet by 3 feet for a little one. They are a bit loud to run and have an effect sound to them. They do need a good structure, although a little one can get by with a small structure. They are a bit limited by the jobs that you can do with them. If you are innovative with your tooling you still can do a great deal of work and save your arm.

Air Hammers

My individual favorite. The air hammer was originally developed as a steam hammer for substantial industrial applications. Like the mechanical hammers they are ranked by the hammer head mass, and generally vary from 50 pound to 1200 pound or more. The upper end of the scale are enormous devices that need mammoth foundations to work correctly. These are poetry in motion to see a knowledgeable smith use.

The principal behind the air hammer is fairly merely. Atmospheric pressure lifts a weighted hammer head then some thing shifts the air pressure and the hammer head is dropped under atmospheric pressure force then it is raised once again. The air on the bottom of the air cylinder functions as the cushion replacing the springs in a mechanical hammer. This procedure develops a cyclic hammering of the steel. The weight of the hammer head and the pressure of the air both add to the force applied to the steel.

The majority of smaller blacksmithing shops use 50 lb to 150 pound size. There are 2 subclasses of air hammers that you need to be aware of. The self included and the air compressor version. The self included utilizes 2 air cylinders. One is the compressor cylinder and is owned by a motor. This cylinder offers air to the hammer head cylinder. So every up stroke of the drive cylinder requires the hammer head cylinder down and every down stroke requires the hammer head cylinder up. Valving causes the air to be either tired or sent in differing amounts to the hammer head cylinder. This offers the control on the stroke and force applied to the steel. This cyclic timing is governed by the speed of the electrical motor.

The air compressor reliant air hammer feeds off a continuous line pressure and has a feed back circuit developed into the style. The hammer head travels up and trips a switch that informs it to return down. Once it reaches a particular travel point another switch tells it to go back up. The amount of the exhaust dictates both the speed and the force applied to the steel.

Although air hammers appear to be a bit more complex than a mechanical hammer there are actually less moving parts and less to wear. I discover them to be more versatile. You can change your stroke and force simply by moderating your foot market. With a mechanical hammer you need to make a mechanical change to change your stroke height. Your force is controlled by the speed of the effect or the speed of rotation.