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Robert Burns

Buying my first power hammer

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So I am finally moving on to having a forge assistant and not having to hand forge all of my billets. I found a 50 lb little giant about an hour away at a reasonable price and wanted some opinions on it. When I learned about blacksmithing I initially used a self contained air hammer with a 250 lb head, so I am not unfamiliar with the use of bigger hammers but I have never owned or worked on one. I've been looking at the little giant site and reading the various threads on them, it's starting to make some sense but I would love some help or a point in the right direction.

 

The seller sent me this video of the hammer:

 

 

 

So it's in running order. He says that he has run it for a decade with the wobble in the babbitt but I'm not sure of how much of an issue that is. How does it look to you guys?

 

Thanks!

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It's a good clean looking hammer. Which raises my first question. The clutch should be oiled along with all moving parts (ram guide, knuckles and such). If it was cleaned recently, okay. I'd ask about oiling and greasing.

 

The second thing I spotted was the dies, not original and I would ask about height. Dies can be a major investment.

 

On the plus side the arms look good no rewelds, the babbit looked good, the wobble was no issue, the ram guide looked original and it hit amazing hard.

 

One last thought 50's need a minimum of 2hp or a 3hp motor. I have a feeling after watching it run you've met these requirements.

 

For a reasonable price this would be an outstanding hammer for you. (If you learned on a 250# air hammer don't expect the same results instantly). Wow!!!

 

Dave from Diller

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Thanks for the helpful info guys, right now it has a 3/4 hp motor but it does seem to certainly have a heavy hit, should I get the new motor more in the 2 hp range?

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Wow is all I can say, about a 3/4.

 

Yes, I'd get the 2hp, but remeber to get it in the 1750rpm range. It might wake that hammer up enough to feel like a 250. Rpms and HP are important components. To making these hammers run well. Easiest way to explain it speed for the slap you hear and HP to pick it back up. You have not only the weight of the ram but the counter weight of the flyweel.

 

Use the same drive pulley's if possible. Or get ones in the right matching sizes (O.D.). I bet this is how he got it to run so well.

 

I once saw a gentleman that was running a 50 with 1hp motor and a 1 inch pulley. He felt this added to control. I out forged this 50 with a 3lb hand hammer.

 

Having said the above another thought came to me 3/4hp 3450rpms. Will have to watch the video again.

 

Dave from diller

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I watched the video it's 3450rpms.

 

He's using rpms to make up for the hp.

 

The correct pulley size on a 50 is 3.5 inches O.D.

 

The drive pulley look quite a bit smaller. Hence more speed smaller pulley.

 

Still a great hammer though.

 

Dave from diller

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I found an affordable 1 1/2 HP motor at 1800 rpms would you recommend that instead of the older 3/4? I have a 5 HP sitting in the shop (can't remeber the rpms off hand) but I thought that would be overkill on a hammer this size, what do you think?

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Save the 5hp for another project.

 

Check the affordable 1.5hp I bet it's a 1.5 at 220v and 3/4 at 110v.

 

Dave from diller

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I just recently bought a 3hp 1750rpm 220v motor with a 1.125" shaft for my 50#. Seems to be the perfect size. Found the correct pulley as well that brings my bpm to 319bpm at surplus center using 4L belts.

 

My motor is a Marathon brand and set me back around $400-$500 being new.

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Daniel,

 

Excellent purchase, the 3.5 pulley is just a guide line really you can set up the size a little bigger for a little more speed and it won't hurt anything. When running properly with everything oiled/greased (clutch, ram and shaft main items). There's always some slip.

 

I once watch a 100 run with a rear clutch and stood to the rear everytime the hammer struck the clutch slipped, the extra rpm plus the hp caused it to pick up a lot more smoothly. Don't focus on getting the beat per minutes right use what works.

 

Folks feel a hammer running to fast will be out of control. Then I always say don't step on the threadle so hard.

 

I've got to ring a bell now for the surplus center. It's located in Lincoln NE just a short 50 miles away. It's an outstanding source for motors and other things. It's a big kids warehouse. Kind of like the "yard" in Wichita KS. (scrap aluminum, and metal in any size). The rejects of the aircraft industry.

 

Dave from diller

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Dave,

 

That sounds like an awesome place, wish I had something like that around here. I did find a marathon motor at 1.5 HP for around $230 or so brand new and I think that is my best bet at this time. I know I also have to build a guard as well. The guard will definitely be my first project and then monkeying with the motor. From that wobble with the babbitt do you think I should re babbitt it or just leave it be for now?

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I'd leave it alone for now. It seems to be coming more from the clutch linkage rather than the pulley.

 

Dave from diller

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Good lookin hammer! But like Dave, I'd want to know why it's not covered in oil & grease.

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