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

Blacksmith Power Hammers or Trip Hammers

If you have actually ever dealt with a power hammer you see the blacksmithing world through different eyes. Power hammers really fall into 3 standard 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 indicates you can do more work in a given amount of time and you can work larger bar. Suddenly this opens an entire brand-new imaginative reality with the steel.

Hydraulic Presses

I do not utilize one in my shop however I have actually utilized one years back in another smiths store. Hydraulics have lots of power (literally) and can require the metal into several shapes very successfully. They work for severe regulated force applications such as requiring steel into preshaped dies, or cutting at particular lengths or angles and so on

. This is not an effect device such as mechanical hammers or air hammers, and is not quickly. It can be used for drawing out steel however this is tedious. Although it would save time from drawing out by hand and allow you to work larger bar I would go crazy with the slow procedure.

Basically 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 use more force. Launch the foot the dies withdraw then you can move the bar and use the force once again in a different area.

There are a couple of positive aspects of a hydraulic press. They have a little footprint, and need no unique foundation. Costs are manageable for this type of tool. About $2000.00 in my area. There is no impact noise or vibration with this type of machine. The whine of the hydraulic pump can be loud but it doesn't have the very same inconvenience aspect for neighbors as the effect from a hammer. Presses are ranked by the variety of loads pressure that the ram can produce. 20 heap, 40 load and 60 heap prevail sizes.

Mechanical Hammers

All mechanical hammers deal with a variation of the same concept. A turning crank shaft lifts the weighted hammer head that is counter well balanced, then forces it down on the next half of the transformation. The accessory 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 a few of the strain on the motor.

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

Something to think about. If your store is in outdoors but has no electricity you could run a mechanical hammer off a little fuel engine. A little pricey however 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 however a 1 hp motor will add to about 50 pound Hammer head weight.

The charm of a mechanical hammer is that it is relative basic to construct or fix. The concepts 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 be able to discover one for a great rate in your area. The disadvantage is that parts might be difficult to discover and you may need to produce your very own.

You can likewise develop your own mechanical hammer. It will take some tinkering however a good working hammer can be made quite economically. They don't take up a great deal of area. Perhaps 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 small one can get by with a small 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 originally conceived as a steam hammer for substantial industrial applications. Like the mechanical hammers they are ranked by the hammer head mass, and usually range from 50 lb to 1200 lb or more. The upper end of the scale are enormous makers that need massive foundations to work effectively. These are poetry in motion to see a knowledgeable smith use.

The principal behind the air hammer is relatively merely. Atmospheric pressure raises a weighted hammer head then some thing shifts the atmospheric pressure and the hammer head is dropped under atmospheric pressure force then it is lifted once again. The air on the bottom of the air cylinder acts 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 add to the force applied to the steel.


Most smaller sized blacksmithing shops use 50 pound to 150 lb size. There are two subclasses of air hammers that you need to be aware of. The self included and the air compressor variation. The self consisted of utilizes 2 air cylinders. One is the compressor cylinder and is driven by a motor. This cylinder supplies air to the hammer head cylinder. So small hammer of the drive cylinder requires 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 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 electric motor.

The air compressor reliant air hammer feeds off a consistent line pressure and has a feed back circuit built into the style. The hammer head takes a trip up and trips a switch that tells it to return down. Once it reaches a certain travel point another switch informs it to return 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 simply by moderating your foot market. 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.

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