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Blacksmith Power Hammers or Journey Hammers

If you have actually ever worked with a power hammer you see the blacksmithing world through different eyes. Power hammers actually fall into 3 basic classifications, Hydraulic Presses, Mechanical Hammers, and Air Hammers. They are all developed to increase the amount of force that you can apply to the steel. This suggests you can do more work in a provided quantity of time and you can work bigger bar. All of a sudden this opens a whole brand-new innovative reality with the steel.

Hydraulic Presses

I do not utilize one in my store however I have actually used one years back in another smiths store. Hydraulics have tons of power (actually) and can force the metal into many different shapes really successfully. They work for extreme regulated 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 drawing out steel but this is tedious. Although it would save time from drawing out by hand and allow you to work bigger bar I would go nuts with the sluggish procedure.

Basically the machine is a hydraulic ram mounted on a frame with an electrical pump. small hammer utilize a foot control to squish the metal. Action with the foot apply more force. Release the foot the passes away withdraw then you can move the bar and use the force once again in a different area.

There are a number of favorable elements of a hydraulic press. They have a little footprint, and need no special structure. Prices are manageable for this kind of tool. About $2000.00 in my location. There is no effect sound or vibration with this kind of device. The whine of the hydraulic pump can be loud but it doesn't have the very same inconvenience element for next-door neighbors as the effect from a hammer. Presses are rated by the variety of loads pressure that the ram can produce. 20 heap, 40 heap and 60 load prevail sizes.

Mechanical Hammers


All mechanical hammers deal with a variation of the very same concept. A rotating crank shaft lifts the weighted hammer head that is counter well balanced, then requires it down on the next half of the revolution. The attachment on other hammer head has to be a spring building and construction of some sort so that the impact is soaked up in the spring not the crank shaft. The counter weight eliminates some of the strain on the motor.

There have been various configurations of mechanical hammers for many years. Little Giant comes to mind but this is only one design. Others consist of Helve Hammers etc. Mechanical hammers are ranked by the hammer head rate. So a 25 lb Little Giant has a 25 lb hammer head weight. The heavier the head weight the bigger the steel that you can work under it however the larger the motor that you need to run it.

Something to think about. If your shop remains in outdoors however has no electrical energy you could run a mechanical hammer off a little gas engine. A little expensive but compared with the amount of work you could do this method, it might be worth it.

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

The charm of a mechanical hammer is that it is relative simple to build or fix. The principles of the motion are extremely basic and simple to follow in slow motion. Mechanical hammers were reasonably common in industrial settings in the late 1800's and early 1900's so you might have the ability to find one for a good cost in your area. The disadvantage is that parts may be impossible to discover and you might have to make your own.

You can likewise construct your own mechanical hammer. It will take some tinkering however an excellent working hammer can be made pretty financially. They don't use up a great deal of area. Maybe 2 feet by 3 feet for a small one. They are a bit loud to run and have an effect sound to them. They do require an excellent structure, although a small one can manage with a little structure. They are a bit limited by the jobs that you can do with them. If you are creative with your tooling you still can do a great deal of work and conserve your arm.

Air Hammers

My individual favorite. The air hammer was initially conceived as a steam hammer for big industrial applications. Like the mechanical hammers they are ranked by the hammer head mass, and normally range from 50 pound to 1200 pound or more. The upper end of the scale are massive devices that need massive foundations to work appropriately. These are poetry in motion to watch an experienced smith usage.

The principal behind the air hammer is fairly simply. Air pressure raises a weighted hammer head then some thing moves the atmospheric pressure and the hammer head is dropped under air pressure force then it is lifted once again. The air on the bottom of the air cylinder functions as the cushion replacing the springs in a mechanical hammer. This procedure creates a cyclic hammering of the steel. The weight of the hammer head and the pressure of the air both contribute to the force applied to the steel.

The majority of smaller blacksmithing stores utilize 50 lb to 150 pound size. There are 2 subclasses of air hammers that you need to understand. The self contained and the air compressor variation. The self contained uses two air cylinders. One is the compressor cylinder and is driven by a motor. This cylinder provides air to the hammer head cylinder. So every up stroke of the drive cylinder forces the hammer head cylinder down and every down stroke forces the hammer head cylinder up. Valving triggers the air to be either exhausted or sent in varying total up to the hammer head cylinder. This provides 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 constant line pressure and has a feed back circuit constructed into the design. The hammer head travels up and journeys a switch that tells it to return down. Once it reaches a particular travel point another switch tells it to return up. The quantity of the exhaust determines both the speed and the force applied to the steel.

Although air hammers appear to be a bit more complicated than a mechanical hammer there are actually less moving parts and less to break. I find them to be more versatile. You can change your stroke and force simply by moderating your foot pitch. With a mechanical hammer you have to make a mechanical modification to change your stroke height. Your force is controlled by the speed of the impact or the speed of rotation.