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 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 indicates you can do more work in a given amount of time and you can work bigger bar. Unexpectedly this opens an entire brand-new imaginative truth with the steel.

Hydraulic Presses

I don’t utilize one in my shop but I have actually utilized one years back in another smiths shop. Hydraulics have lots of power (actually) and can force the metal into various shapes very efficiently. They work for severe regulated force applications such as requiring steel into preshaped dies, or cutting at specific lengths or angles and so on

. This is not an impact device 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 enable you to work bigger bar I would go crazy with the sluggish procedure.

Basically the device 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. Release the foot the dies back off then you can move the bar and use the force again in a different spot.

There are a few favorable aspects of a hydraulic press. They have a small footprint, and need no special structure. Costs are manageable 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 does not have the very same inconvenience element for neighbors as the effect from a hammer. Presses are ranked by the number of loads pressure that the ram can produce. 20 lot, 40 heap and 60 heap are common sizes.

Mechanical Hammers

All mechanical hammers deal with a variation of the same concept. A turning 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 and construction of some sort so that the effect is soaked up in the spring not the crank shaft. The counter weight eases some of the strain on the motor.

There have actually been several configurations of mechanical hammers throughout the years. Little Giant enters your mind but 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 pound 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 bigger the motor that you have to run it.

Something to think of. If your shop remains in outdoors but has no electricity you might run a mechanical hammer off a small gas engine. A little costly but compared to the amount of work you might do this method, it might be worth it.

I have only worked a little with mechanical hammers however 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 simple to build or fix. The ideas of the movement are very 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 may have the ability to find one for an excellent price in your area. The downside is that parts may be difficult to discover and you may have to produce your own.

You can also build your own mechanical hammer. It will take some tinkering but an excellent working hammer can be made quite financially. They don’t use up a great deal of area. Possibly 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 require a good foundation, although a little one can manage 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 personal favorite. The air hammer was initially developed as a steam hammer for substantial commercial applications. Like the mechanical hammers they are ranked by the hammer head mass, and normally vary from 50 lb to 1200 lb or more. The upper end of the scale are huge makers that require mammoth structures to work appropriately. These are poetry in motion to enjoy a proficient smith usage.


The principal behind the air hammer is fairly simply. Atmospheric pressure lifts 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 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.

Most smaller sized blacksmithing shops use 50 lb to 150 lb size. There are two subclasses of air hammers that you ought to be aware of. The self consisted of and the air compressor version. The self included utilizes 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 requires 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 electrical motor.

The air compressor reliant air hammer feeds off a continuous line pressure and has a feed back circuit constructed into the design. The hammer head takes a trip up and journeys a switch that tells it to go back down. Once it reaches a particular travel point another switch informs it to go back 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 complex than a mechanical hammer there are actually less moving parts and less to wear out. ball pein hammer find them to be more flexible. You can adjust your stroke and force just by moderating your foot pitch. With a mechanical hammer you have to make a mechanical adjustment to change your stroke height. Your force is managed by the speed of the effect or the speed of rotation.