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Tire/Japanese Spring Power Hammer Build

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OK-FOUNDATION time   One of my not so favorite things.   Set and ready to go. 75 bags of 60lb concrete mix, big horse watering bucket and a great mixer I got on sale at Northern tool. It can mix t

That's an ingenious shaft-polishing setup you have there.

This is the first run for Finn the power hammer on hot steel. It is also the first firing for the forge. Nothing fancy, just forging down some orishigane I made in an earlier version of the forge out

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Finn is a great name . my no1 hammer is called Athelstan.

looks to work really well . great job.

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Nice. You must feel like a proud papa. Looks like everything it coming together for the kajiba.

LOL-I do! That a good way to put it. I seems that this was the 800 lb gorilla in the room. Now that this is done everything else is just busy work. I did not realize how much I worried this would be an epic (and public) fail


That was Beautiful to see.


Such a great feeling it must be. I am looking forward to see how it moves hot steel.


The shape of the hammer face and the anvil will be important for how it moves and draws the material.

Have you made a slight crowning of the hammer face, or is it flat with beveled edges?

(Perhaps you have commented on this already, sorry)


Your workshop is charged with goodness: seems like a very happy place to be.


Great work!



Thanks of the kind works. It does indeed feel good there.


I thought a lot about the shape of the hammer. I wanted to simulate as best I could the hand sledges that the apprentices would use. These hammers move the metal in all directions. The smith compensates by cutting alternately across and with the grain during welding. I put a slight crown with a small flat in the middle. I am sure that I will be tinkering with this.


Wow, it's awesome to see it all come together! You must feel a great sense of accomplishment and satisfaction after such a build. Now let's see it move some steel B)




Happening today :D


Cannot wait to help put Finn through his paces :D



Looking forward to it as well. We need to talk about what paces we will be putting him through.


What an impressive result of Desire, Knowledge, Discipline and Skill.

Very impressive.



Thanks JJ

Finn is a great name . my no1 hammer is called Athelstan.

looks to work really well . great job.


Thanks Owen,


So you named him after an almost unknown Anglo-Saxon king whose only claim to fame was the small act of unifying Saxon England.

Must be a story there. :D

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Very fine work. One of the things I realized after we built AbiYoyo (a giant in an African story made into a song by Pete Seeger) was that the 19th century smiths who built mechanical hammers were not rocket scientists, they were guys with a need to move some steel. They built what they could with what they had, just like us.


Looking at your build makes me want to build another hammer. I don't need another one, I just want to steal some of your ideas :lol: .


Great work, Finn will be working for someone long after you and I are in the ground. That is a pretty good way to be remembered, I think.



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  • 2 weeks later...

This is the first run for Finn the power hammer on hot steel. It is also the first firing for the forge. Nothing fancy, just forging down some orishigane I made in an earlier version of the forge out of some 1800's wrought iron nails. It is clear that I am way out of practice with forge and hammer:)


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Well Sam graced Texas with his presence this last Friday. Picked him up at DFW airport and immediately stuffed him with Texas Barbecue. Spent a pleasant evening out at the forge just chit chatting.


Got started right at it Saturday morning. Got a LOT accomplished. Blew out the run capacitor of the motor about 11:00 am and we were done for the weekend. Maybe just as well-it was around 98 on Saturday and the same on Sunday.


Made a cool field trip to Anyang hammers that afternoon and then watched him have a religious experience over a steak. :lol: Took in the Dallas Japanese Fall festival on Sunday before shipping him back north.

Don't think he is quite the same though now. A little bit of Texas went back with him. ;)


Sam is one stand up guy.


P.S. The anvil still needs to be ground and polished along with a way to attach a shaped die we talked about in the video.

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That is one fineeee piece of machinery B) Glad to see everything coming to fruition so nicely, but that's too bad about the capacitor.



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  • 2 months later...

how are you finding the hammer?



I have not really put it through its paces since Sam's visit. I have replaced the cheap ass 2hp Chinese motor with a 5hp Baldor, remaking the motor mount in the process. It runs very nicely now. Played with it some but have been finishing out the forge.Floor, hinged walls, electricity, lighting, doors, smoke hood, chimney- that sort of thing.


Forge is done now. I have received some 4140 bars this past week and I think some new hammers are in order. Just the thing to get me back in practice and test the hammer. Work is getting in the way the next two weeks though. I must confess sometimes I just turn it on and stick a piece of wood on the anvil and watch it run. :lol:/> Working to see how much control I can coax out of it. Full on 3 beats a second down to a single beat on command-sometimes.


Thanks for asking.

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  • 7 months later...


Quick question; I saw the pictures of the bearing assembly for the tire hub and it looks to me like you took a hub bearing and slipped it inside some square tubing with a couple set screws. Is that an automotive hub bearing or was it something you adapted/built?

Contemplating ideas for my own upcoming power hammer build and that bearing is my biggest "?" at this point.



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It is a heavy duty (1750 lbs) trailer hub and axle from Northern Tool. Buy the hub and axle separately. A hub assembly will come with a round shaft. You want square if you are using square tubing.


2" square tubing 1/8th wall has an ID of 1.75" . Perfect for the 1.75" axle below.I welded and bolted it in. Make sure the axle ODs match the bearing IDs. (1-3/8ths etc)









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  • 3 years later...

I have had that happen more than once where my drill will try to break my wrists. I was using a 500 rpm d-handled drill with an auger to drill a post hole in the North Alabama clay and it about took me off at the knees.

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