Metalsmith Chris Lee of Australia

(Photos by Chris Lee)

This hammer uses the popular tire hammer concept rather than a belt-drive to operate the hammer.

At the Appalachian Blacksmiths Association, we call this style the

"RUSTY Unicycle."



Appalachian Power Hammer in Australia

Hi Guys.

First of all thank you for your wonderful website. It has enabled me to build a fantastic hammer, something I have dreamed of having in my workshop for years but always assumed I would have to source some massive factory-built thing. And where would you start looking in Australia for such a thing?

I have been working with hot steel for about 15 years, although not all the time. The rest of the time I build wooden boats. My steel work is mostly staircases, balustrading, gates and some furniture. I am now getting on for my mid-50s and find I am limited by how much hammering my arm can take in a day. No longer an issue it seems.

Most of the materials in the hammer were lying around the shop. The tower is two bits of 150x75 RSJ 'C' section welded together with various sizes of RHS for bracing etc and a length of 200x19 angle to bolt it to the base. The base was a great score from the local scrap yard and weighs 360kg! It is an extruding wheel from the place where they make wood chip pellets for the power station, a bit like an old fashioned mincer plate. The hammer weighs in at 30kg, you can see from the photos that I added another 9.5kg after the first trial. It runs in a slider
made from a piece of 12x70 tool steel I had. The springs are from a Toyota Landcruiser, straightened in a press. They are 75x7, three pieces. I found a massive pair of self aligning blocks and a length of  shaft in a mates shed for the spring pivot. I bought two new end bearings for the drive shaft and a new 1.5hp single phase motor running at 1400rpm. The motor runs with a 60mm piece of local hardwood called Sheoak glued with epoxy to the shaft. This drives a car wheel and tyre which is 600 in diameter giving a 10-1 reduction, 140 blows per minute.

I find that the clutch gives very good control and I can slip it to give lighter slower blows. The pedal action is very direct, made from 50mm RHS and the travel is about 40mm at the pedal.

I have a double hammer head at the moment, one side for drawing out and one for planishing, and it seems to work well for the work I am doing. The heads are bolted on so I can make an alternative set later and are made from 40mm axle shaft from a truck.

I am on the lookout for a bit more weight to weld to the anvil, working on the theory that it can't be too heavy.
The machine works well and I am very happy with it. The cost was about AUS$500 and it took about 2 weeks to complete.

I will post a video to youtube soon and will send you the link.

Once again, thanks for the information and keep up the good work.

Chris Lee
Youngs Siding, Western Australia.


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