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

Blacksmith Power Hammers or Journey Hammers

If you have ever dealt with a power hammer you see the blacksmithing world through different eyes. Power hammers actually fall under 3 basic classifications, 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 means you can do more work in an offered quantity of time and you can work larger bar. All of a sudden this opens an entire new imaginative reality with the steel.

Hydraulic Presses


I do not use one in my store but I have actually utilized one years back in another smiths shop. Hydraulics have lots of power (literally) and can require the metal into several shapes very efficiently. They are useful for extreme regulated force applications such as forcing steel into preshaped dies, or cutting at specific lengths or angles etc

. This is not an effect device such as mechanical hammers or air hammers, and is not quickly. It can be utilized for extracting steel but this bores. Although it would save time from extracting by hand and allow you to work larger bar I would go nuts with the sluggish process.

Essentially the maker is a hydraulic ram installed on a frame with an electric pump. You use a foot control to crush the metal. Action with the foot apply more force. Launch the foot the passes away back off then you can move the bar and use the force again in a various spot.

There are a few favorable elements of a hydraulic press. They have a small footprint, and need no unique structure. Rates are manageable for this kind of tool. About $2000.00 in my area. There is no impact sound or vibration with this kind of maker. The whine of the hydraulic pump can be loud but it does not have the exact same inconvenience element for next-door neighbors as the effect from a hammer. Presses are rated by the number of tons pressure that the ram can produce. 20 ton, 40 load and 60 load prevail sizes.

Mechanical Hammers

All mechanical hammers work on a variation of the same concept. A rotating crank shaft lifts the weighted hammer head that is counter balanced, then forces it down on the next half of the transformation. The attachment 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 eliminates some of the pressure on the motor.

There have actually been several configurations of mechanical hammers throughout the years. Little Giant comes to mind however this is only one design. Others include Helve Hammers and so on. 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 but the bigger the motor that you have to run it.

Something to think of. If rubber hammer is in outdoors but has no electricity you could run a mechanical hammer off a small fuel engine. A little expensive however compared to the quantity of work you might do this way, it might be worth it.

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

The beauty of a mechanical hammer is that it is relative simple to build or repair. The ideas of the movement are really easy and simple to follow in slow motion. Mechanical hammers were relatively typical in industrial settings in the late 1800's and early 1900's so you might have the ability to discover one for a good rate in your location. The disadvantage is that parts might be impossible to discover and you may have to fabricate 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 do not use up a lot of area. Possibly 2 feet by 3 feet for a small one. They are a bit loud to run and have an effect noise to them. They do require a good foundation, although a little one can manage with a little foundation. 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 personal favorite. The air hammer was initially conceived as a steam hammer for huge industrial applications. Like the mechanical hammers they are ranked by the hammer head mass, and usually vary from 50 lb to 1200 lb or more. The upper end of the scale are huge devices that need massive foundations to work effectively. These are poetry in motion to watch a competent smith use.

The principal behind the air hammer is fairly simply. Atmospheric pressure raises a weighted hammer head then some thing moves the atmospheric 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 acts as the cushion replacing the springs in a mechanical hammer. This process creates 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.

Many smaller sized blacksmithing stores utilize 50 pound to 150 pound size. There are two subclasses of air hammers that you should be aware of. The self contained and the air compressor version. The self consisted of utilizes 2 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 causes the air to be either exhausted or sent in differing 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.

The air compressor reliant air hammer feeds off a consistent line pressure and has a feed back circuit constructed into the style. The hammer head travels up and trips a switch that informs it to go back down. Once it reaches a certain 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 flexible. You can adjust your stroke and force just by moderating your foot peddle. With a mechanical hammer you have to make a mechanical adjustment to alter your stroke height. Your force is managed by the speed of the effect or the speed of rotation.

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