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rebuilding my Bradley 40lb helve hammer


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Well, I got a bit of time to work on the ol' girl today. I power washed it to get the crud off, loosened the helve husk to see if I could work it free so when I have a helve I can spread it open...

 

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...then had it slip off the pivot on the left side! Thought for sure the entire upper half of the hammer was coming down. I managed to jury rig a platform and got my floor jack under it, propped it back into place, and tried to tighten it in place with the fulcrum pivot screw. The bolt moved freely, but I can see the threads next to the husk, and they ain't budging. Removed the bolt to find that it's sheared, with the pivot point of it in place.

 

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Now I gotta find a bolt, and find a way to get the sheared end out. I'm guessing I'll to have to build a chainfall cradle in order to keep the upper assembly from collapsing. Oh well, she's over 100 years old. I guess this stuff is bound to happen!

 

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Matt.

 

sad.gif One thing after another .. you mentioned you could see the threads not turning ... Do they stick out far enough that you could file a square or flats to be able to get a wrench on it?

 

 

I guess other wise you'll have to use the old drill with easy outs and lots of liquid wrench... Good luck . I hope it doesn't hold you up too long... The snow is on it;s waycool.gif right after the

 

bugs...

 

 

Dick

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I think what will likely end up happening is that I'll make a cradle to pull the entire pivoting portion of the hammer... this will buy me access to the pivot bolts (assuming, of course, the same thing doesn't happen on the other side!!!). No worries - like I said, this poor thing ain't young, and I'm not relying on it working any time soon to keep me fed. ^_^ All good fun - as soon as it stops being so, it'll be someone else's project. :D

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Cool! The Illinois Valley Blacksmith Association (IBVA) is also rebuilding one in Carlinville IL.

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Cool! The Illinois Valley Blacksmith Association (IBVA) is also rebuilding one in Carlinville IL.

 

Sweet! If I can be of any help, tell them to contact me... heck, for all I know, I may need their help!!! :D

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  • 4 months later...

Finally, something to update!!

 

Cool story first...

 

The guy I buy my firewood from decided to retire this year. He stopped by the house early this summer to tell me, and also to refer a friend of his as a new source. "You'll get along swell - he collects antique tractors and stuff". So the long, hot summer goes by, with nary a thought passing through my brain regarding firewood. Sure as you're born, the mercury finally starts to drop and I manage to crawl out from under my rock and commence prepping my wood shelter for the next batch. I remember to call the new guy, and Joe (the new guy) says that five cords won't be an issue.

"It's all cherry, though..." (you can just sense my heartbreak after hearing this)

 

"...and it's cut a bit oversize. I have a big fireplace. Is this okay?" (you've gotta be kidding me - is this guy for real?)

 

Cut to his delivery. Overlooking that the wood is nothing short of superb (really - almost a shame it ended up as firewood rather than a piece of furniture. THAT good!). I remember to ask him about his old tractors, and that leads to his obsession with all sorts of old machinery. Lathes, mills, drills - you name it. Of course, I have to show him my own monstrosity, and I mention to him that I'm in a bit of a quandary. After examining the machine, he asks to see the sheared bolt.

 

"How soon do you need it?" says Joe.

 

Here it is, just a few days later. How's it look?

 

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Now to finally start to disassemble the helve husk, clean everything up, and remove the broken stub for the pivot!!!!!

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This is just too cool Matt. I wish you all the luck in the world to get this beauty going.

You will be a hero to many of us.

Too cool!!!!

 

Mark

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Thanks, Dick - I missed seeing you and the rest of the pack! Some time we'll have to schedule a get-together that's less of an 'event' so we can actually talk!

 

No worries for me regarding time - this project is just a project for me, not a race. I work on it when I'm in the mood, that way it only happens when it's fun for me!

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  • 7 months later...

Finally got my xxx out to fiddle with this thing again. Many of the problems I'm facing with it are beyond my skill level, so I decided (only after exhausting myself after five hours of wrestling with it) that it's time to call in a heavy gun. He's agreed to stop by and assess the situation in the near future, so hopefully some REAL progress will be made!!!!

 

Nonetheless, I removed the helve height adjusting bolts, cleaned 'em up and re-assembled them. Using the jamb nut as a 'knob', you can raise or lower the entire helve assembly with the twist of a wrist!!!!! I can only guess at it's actual weight, but I certainly think no less than 400 pounds. All of the bolts run in their threads nice and smooth. Awesome.

 

Anyway, after finding that I wasn't getting any further, I cleaned up and grabbed the camera and took a couple glamor photos - here's my favorite:

 

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