Blacksmithing Tips - Exactly what Type of Power Hammer is Right For Your Store?


  1. Blacksmith Power Hammers or Journey Hammers
  2. If you have ever worked with a power hammer you see the blacksmithing world through different eyes. Power hammers really fall into 3 basic categories, Hydraulic Presses, Mechanical Hammers, and Air Hammers. They are all designed to increase the quantity 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 bigger bar. Unexpectedly this opens a whole new imaginative truth with the steel.
  3. Hydraulic Presses
  4. I do not use one in my store but I have actually used one years back in another smiths shop. Hydraulics have tons of power (actually) and can force the metal into various shapes extremely efficiently. They work for extreme regulated force applications such as forcing steel into preshaped dies, or cutting at particular lengths or angles etc
  5. . This is not an effect machine such as mechanical hammers or air hammers, and is not quick. It can be utilized for extracting steel but this is tedious. Although it would save time from extracting by hand and allow you to work larger bar I would go bananas with the slow procedure.
  6. Basically the device is a hydraulic ram mounted on a frame with an electric pump. You utilize a foot control to crush the metal. Step with the foot apply more force. Launch the foot the passes away back off then you can move the bar and apply the force again in a different area.
  7. There are a number of favorable elements of a hydraulic press. They have a small footprint, and require no special foundation. Rates are workable for this type of tool. About $2000.00 in my area. There is no impact noise or vibration with this type of device. The whine of the hydraulic pump can be loud but it does not have the same annoyance factor for neighbors as the impact from a hammer. Presses are rated by the variety of lots pressure that the ram can produce. 20 load, 40 ton and 60 heap are common sizes.
  8. Mechanical Hammers
  9. All mechanical hammers deal with a variation of the very same principle. A rotating crank shaft raises the weighted hammer head that is counter well balanced, then requires it down on the next half of the revolution. The accessory on other hammer head needs 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 stress on the motor.
  10. There have actually been many different setups of mechanical hammers over the years. Little Giant enters your mind however this is only one style. Others consist of Helve Hammers and so on. Mechanical hammers are ranked by the hammer head rate. So a 25 lb Little Giant has a 25 pound hammer head weight. The heavier the head weight the larger the steel that you can work under it however the larger the motor that you have to run it.
  11. Something to think about. If your shop remains in open air but has no electrical power you might run a mechanical hammer off a little fuel engine. A little pricey but compared to the amount of work you could do this way, it might be worth it.
  12. I have actually only worked a little with mechanical hammers however a 1 hp motor will run up to about 50 pound Hammer head weight.
  13. The beauty of a mechanical hammer is that it is relative easy to construct or fix. The principles of the movement are very easy and easy to follow in slow motion. Mechanical hammers were reasonably typical in industrial settings in the late 1800's and early 1900's so you may be able to find one for a good cost in your area. The downside is that parts might be difficult to discover and you may need to make your very own.
  14. You can also construct your own mechanical hammer. It will take some tinkering however a good working hammer can be made quite economically. They don't use up a great deal of space. Perhaps 2 feet by 3 feet for a small one. rubber hammer are a bit loud to run and have an effect sound to them. They do need a good foundation, although a small one can manage with a little foundation. They are a bit limited by the tasks that you can do with them. If you are innovative with your tooling you still can do a lot of work and save your arm.
  15. Air Hammers
  16. My personal favorite. The air hammer was originally developed as a steam hammer for substantial commercial applications. Like the mechanical hammers they are ranked by the hammer head mass, and generally vary from 50 lb to 1200 pound or more. The upper end of the scale are massive makers that need mammoth structures to work properly. These are poetry in motion to view a knowledgeable smith use.
  17. The principal behind the air hammer is fairly merely. Air pressure lifts a weighted hammer head then some thing moves the atmospheric pressure and the hammer head is dropped under atmospheric pressure force then it is lifted again. The air on the bottom of the air cylinder serves as the cushion changing the springs in a mechanical hammer. This procedure produces 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.
  18. Many smaller sized blacksmithing stores utilize 50 lb to 150 pound size. There are two subclasses of air hammers that you should know. The self contained and the air compressor variation. The self consisted of 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 varying total up 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.
  19. The air compressor reliant air hammer feeds off a constant line pressure and has a feed back circuit constructed into the style. The hammer head travels up and trips a switch that tells it to go back down. Once it reaches a particular travel point another switch tells it to return up. The quantity of the exhaust dictates both the speed and the force applied to the steel.
  20. Although air hammers seem a bit more complicated than a mechanical hammer there are really less moving parts and less to wear. I find them to be more flexible. You can change your stroke and force simply by moderating your foot peddle. With a mechanical hammer you need to make a mechanical modification to alter your stroke height. Your force is controlled by the speed of the effect or the speed of rotation.