Blacksmithing tool idea

@Team_Blacksmithing I saw this on a thread for an alternative for big power hammers, seems intriguing and useful for us since we can’t get a real power hammer :rage:. It also looks like something we could build.


Definitely looks like a doable build

There are plans available for these “tire hammers”. They often use the sub-sized spare tires for the clutch/drive wheel/flywheel.

Clay Spencer is supposed to have a pretty good set of plans and occasionally does build clinics for group builds.

I’ve considered making one when I can find a workshop nearby - not willing to travel to Virginia to make one.

They run $3500-4000 with shipping. Would need to make dies as well. At that price, a press would be comparable, and much quieter.

One can drop the price significantly through scrounging at scrap yards - trading (non-trivial amounts of) time for $$$.

Another BIY option is a spring-arm hammer which uses an offset cam on a motor to drive a hammer arm mounted on a truck suspension spring.


Yeah, I got the picture off clay spencers site

You will need a larger base plate to dissipate the stress on the concrete floor. The DMS building was built as a warehouse, not an industrial manufacturing site. The concrete floor is not very thick.

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Unlike industrial power hammers, tire hammers are much lighter-duty and are designed to be usable in a home garage installation. Some blacksmiths even use them on compacted gravel floors.

The downside is that the lighter-weight build also means they don’t move metal as effectively as a larger “big blue” type hammer.

Is there a reason we don’t have a power hammer in blacksmithing? I’ve floated the idea to someone before, and was essentially told it’s too dangerous. We have significantly more dangerous tools at the makerspace, so that doesn’t seem like the reason.

As @richmeyer mentioned, an industrial-sized power hammer requires a more substantial foundation to support it or it will hammer the concrete apart over time.

We had a large power hammer at DMS four (?) years ago, but we were unable to to provision it due to foundation issues and ended up disposing of it.