Is this idea for a power hammer for forge welding possible?

I am going into elevator cable knife making.

I was thinking of alternatives to pounding the hot steel cable on an anvil with a hammer using only "Armstrong" power, when I thought of my hammer drill.

What if: I chucked a hammer head on a ball bearing mount to a heavy duty 1" hammer drill and applied additional force with a hydraulic cylinder (or something like a Famco kick press)? Would 10,000 little hits per minute do the job?


Anyone with another innexpesnive way to wail the cable into a solid blade?


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Loading thread data ... (Stu) wrote in news:f8da9c78.0312280831.4ac52728

A hydraulic press or better a rolling mill. I am not an expert at forge welding but if you hit the work too hard the molten layer of metal will be driven out from between the laminated pieces. My best results have been from sure but not too forceful blows. A rolling mill give even consistant even pressure. Info on Hugh McDonald's rolling mill can be found at

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good source of forge press info is at
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hope this helps


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I would recommend you make several knives with "Armstrong" power first. You will learn more that way. You will also learn that if you try to WAIL the cable into a solid blade, you will be unsuccessful. Forge welding has really nothing to do with your hammer (almost). You must get the steel hot enough and clean enough. If you can accomplish this correctly, you can just touch the steels together and they will weld. You need to learn this part of your knifemaking first before trying to find faster methods to move steel. To properly forge weld you would just tap the steel with your hammer to get the weld assuming the other factors are correct.

There are a lot of ways to speed things up and I have seen a lot of them. I have seen people try hammer drills and did not like them afterwards.

What you may not know is that knifemakers use power tools to draw or stretch out the steel and not necessarily to form the blade shape. As for cable knives as you want to make, after welding up the cable to a solid billet, you would then forge to shape and that can take as little as ten minutes using the Armstrong method, depending on your knife.

Just make a few and then you will find ways that will better serve you for speeding things up. Go to the forum I told you about earlier and search the "Tool Time" forum for tools commonly used.


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I think your getting a bit ahead of yourself thinking of power hammers at this stage. I'm working on an air hammer for myself now, I started forging knives about

3 years ago. I started on cable and am now working on damascus. The reason I want an air hammer is for the damacus knives not the cable ones.

When you start the first one, hit lightly and slowly hit harder as the cable packs down into a solid, then wail away!

Have fun and have a fire extinguisher handy and a water hose.


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The only problem I see with the idea is one of getting an electric motor that close to yellow-hot steel and expecting the insulation to stand up to the heat. Maybe if you made a fixture to hold the rig with shielding to protect the motor from the radiant heat, you might have something. Lots of little hits will weld as good as a few really heavy ones, just remember to keep the metal HOT so you don't get a bunch of cold shuts.


Reply to
Charly the Bastard

Do you have compressed air in your shop, or a compressor and small tank? You can upset iron very nicely with a pneumatic chisel tool with a hammer bit. These tools can be as cheap as $25.

Bruce NJ

Reply to
Bruce Freeman

What does a hammer bit look like? TIA


Reply to
Ted Edwards

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