Treadle hammers

Hello All
I am planning on building a treadle hammer. I have go the clay Spencer plans and have had a good look at them as a starting point. I have built
a small power hammer. http://myweb.absa.co.za/gjnelson/PowerHammer.html
I got a 150mm diameter round bar 1 meter long at a scrap yard this morning. I also have a 90 by 100 mm piece for the hammer.
I have been browsing the archives. On and off for the last two weeks for comments and ideas. I am interested in finding out more about the grasshopper design. I cannot find anything on the net and was wondering if any one on the list has built one and knows where I can get a look at the plans. I can work it out for myself but would like some idea on how successful the design was.
Then I would also like some recommendation how high the anvil should be. I have some 50mm thick plate that I can add to the round bar cut in half and add a piece from the hammer material. SO the total height will be 725mm plus what whatever I use to hold tooling. Will this be way too low. I guess I could just raise the whole hammer up by adding wood underneath, that will also insulate it a little from.
I would also like the group to comment on the ratio from experience of those who have built power and treadle hammers. The mass of the anvil is going to be about 250kg. I know from stuff I have gleaned from the net that people recommend a 10:1 ratio but people have worked successfully with a 3:1 ratio. My power hammer has a ratio of about 6:1 and works well. I am not really that keen to stretch the limits to get heaviest hammer possible but would like something that works really well.
I would consider a air hammer as that may fit the bill better than a treadle hammer but I would then have to outlay a lot more money on a compressor to run it and that I don't have the cash at the moment to outlay for a large enough compressor.
Thank you for comments and advice.
Geoff
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The original Gade-Marx treadle hammer (see www.spaco.org/trdlhamr.html) anvils are about 37 1/2" high (you get to do the math) and most of the others are about that height, too. The Otto Schmirler design was also about that height. Anvil heights for power hammers don't apply here, because you have to be close to the treadle hammer to apply the power with your foot, not to just regualate speed. I'd use your round bar at full height and add the 50mm plate to that, but--- consider putting a hardy hole in the top of that plate somehow for lower tooling. Some people would space your 50mm plate a couple of inches above your round bar so the hardy tools could poke through. This would also leave an opening for punch-outs to fall through. To cover that hardy hole for normal use, make another 50mm plate with a hardy stem. These hammer heads weigh about 67 pounds. A treadle hammer is not a replacement for a power hammer. The average human being has about 100 to 300 watts to put into work on a continuous basis and that compares to about 1/3 hp, at best.
Try this link: http://www.grasshopperhammer.com / I typed "+hammer +grasshopper" into google and got 233,000 hits, so you should be able to find all you want there. I appreciate Bruce Freeman's knowledge and skill, but there are about as many parts in the grasshopper hammer as there are in my car!
I don't know which set of Clay Spencer plans you have, but they should give you all the info you are asking about. If you don't have his in-line hammer plans, maybe you should get them.
If you really want a power hammer, check out Clay Spencer's Tire Hammer Take this link to a really good picture of one: http://forums.dfoggknives.com/index.php?showtopicS02 You could even come to the USA for an October vacation at the John C Campbell Folk School for a workshop on this hammer.
Google (use the quotes) +"clay spencer" +"tire hammer" to get about 77 hits on the subject.
Last comment---- the "ratio": We have built bunches of treadle hammers 3 different times and they all have hollow anvil bases, 4" X 6" X 3/8" wall (Gade-Marx). That makes them pretty light and easily transportable. They work just fine.
Hope this helps, Pete Stanaitis -----------------
Geoff wrote:

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Geoff,
I appreciate Pete's referring you to my website, but if his car has only as many parts as the Grasshopper, then he must be riding a bicycle!
You are welcome to attempt to duplicate the Grasshopper without buying the plans. The design is not patented. But I would appreciate it if you not CALL the result a Grasshopper, because I can assure you it will not BE one.
The reason you will not be able to duplicate the Grasshopper is the same reason that the Grasshopper gets bad PR, like Pete's, below. There's a level of complexity that defies easy description. It is because of that that I have published plans consisting of over 100 drawings, fully dimensional, and several pages of instructions.
Unfortunately, I have yet to be able to repost the complete website I once had, that showed existing Grasshopper hammers. However, one of these machines was built by one inexperienced worker, with guidance by an experienced one, in 40 hours, I'm told.
For the advantages of the Grasshopper over other designs, please review the features list on my website. http://www.grasshopperhammer.com / If you have any questions, you may use the email link from that page.
All the best,
Bruce Freeman
Geoff View profile Hello All I am planning on building a treadle hammer. <snip> I am interested in finding out more about the grasshopper design. I cannot find anything on the net and was wondering if any one on the list has built one and knows where I can get a look at the plans. I can work it out for myself but would like some idea on how successful the design was. <snip>
<snip> Try this link: http://www.grasshopperhammer.com / I typed "+hammer +grasshopper" into google and got 233,000 hits, so you should be able to find all you want there. I appreciate Bruce Freeman's knowledge and skill, but there are about as many parts in the grasshopper hammer as there are in my car!
<snip> Pete Stanaitis
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Another last comment:
I wouldn't make the anvil shorter than about 1 meter and put wood underneath as you suggest. That would get the treadle up off the floor and you won't like that. Your knee would be bent too much for comfort. I stand up when hitting hard and sit down when chiselling and doing decorative work.
Pete Stanaitis -------------------
Geoff wrote:

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Thank you very much for the comments Pete. The goggle search does not give many hits that include treadle hammers but I found some sites I had not seen in my previous searches.
Thank you for the advice on the height of the anvil. If someone has built the grasshopper I would love to hear from you so that I can get a good idea on the operation.
I actually have the plans for the original Gade Marx design not the Clay Spensor design. I thought they were from Clay Spensor as that is what I saw most on the web. I was thinking of building the grasshopper as it looked easier to build than Clay Spenor's in line design.
I will not build the full complexity model but one more similar and simpler than the one that Raymond Maiara built as described here http://www.auroraforge.com/blacksmithing/grasshoppers.html
Once again Pete thank you very much.
spaco wrote:

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Me, again. To see what how some folks make the anvil stand up above a solid base, take this link:
http://www.anvilmag.com/smith/gunter.htm
Pete Stanaitis -------------------------
Geoff wrote:

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Hmm.
Someone, I think Ron Reil (retired to horse rearing, I gather), put up pictures of Nahum Hersom's treadle hammer a few years back. I'm danged if I can find them on the web now.
(Google advanced groups search...)
Hmm. Seems to have been Ron, indeed, and he put them up as a zip file on his site, but his site is dead, and his archived site on ABANA does not seem to have the zip file.
I also don't think that he ever posted the plans which he mentioned in the post where he put up the pictures.
Ah, well...
--
Cats, coffee, chocolate...vices to live by

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Bookmark this one -
http://ronreil.abana.org /
Martin H. Eastburn @ home at Lions' Lair with our computer lionslair at consolidated dot net TSRA, Life; NRA LOH & Endowment Member, Golden Eagle, Patriot"s Medal. NRA Second Amendment Task Force Charter Founder IHMSA and NRA Metallic Silhouette maker & member. http://lufkinced.com /
Ecnerwal wrote:

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I wrote:

Unless there's some specific place in that site I missed, it does not have the treadle hammer pictures, or the zip file that they were in on his original site. It is of use, and is the "archived site on ABANA" I referred to - but this small part of what was (incompletely, I think, since I don't recall him ever posting about having the plans scanned in, and I don't see those either on the archived site) on the old one is not there. I don't see them on the dropbox either, but they could be hiding in one of the folders there and I missed them.
--
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http://ronreil.abana.org/Forge1.shtml#An half the way down.
"I just added a wonderful new tool to my collection (April, 00). Actually it has taken me about 4 months to add it, as I had to restore it first, but it is now complete. I was very fortunate to come into possession of a 100 year old Little Giant "Easy" Helve Hammer. This is a very rare and particularly hard hitting model of power hammer. It is rated as a 35 pound hammer, but due to the lever arm of the helve hits with the force of a 50 pound Little Giant! Apparently it was stored on an Indian reservation in northern Nevada for the last 100 years in an unused condition. It was rusted and badly frozen up. At some point someone tried to run it, badly damaging one of the frozen bearings, but I have repaired all that now, and the finished hammer shows the results of my work. In fact the main bearing that is between the two little cheek plates on the helve arm is now a totally new and redesigned bearing of larger diameter. It is now also axially lubricated with grease. I expect it will last far longer than me. I should add that the black foot-rest ring that surrounds the main treadle ring, see the finished hammer image, was made out of a 1" diameter "wrought iron" bar, as were the short 3/4" diameter support bars, to be in keeping with the age of the hammer."
Martin H. Eastburn @ home at Lions' Lair with our computer lionslair at consolidated dot net TSRA, Life; NRA LOH & Endowment Member, Golden Eagle, Patriot"s Medal. NRA Second Amendment Task Force Charter Founder IHMSA and NRA Metallic Silhouette maker & member. http://lufkinced.com /
Ecnerwal wrote:

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Nope, I saw that. It's a power hammer. The hammer I'm referring to is a foot-powered treadle hammer, appealing to my cheap and simple instincts, as well as being appropriate to this thread's topic.
Here's parts of the posts mentioning it, from Nov 2003 (all available via google's advanced Groups search). I have tried the zip file name on the ABANA version of Ron's site, and it's not there.

...
As far as I can tell, this never happened or else I missed it at the time, and google groups also missed it. Ron was talking about documenting as much of Nahum's stuff as possible before he went (I guess he's still ticking, as he's still listed as a school at ABANA's site).
I gather that Ron's own heart attacks, retirement, and moving to a different town, building fences and a barn, outfitting the new shop, etc. derailed that particular plan. Presumably Nahum is no longer just down the road from Ron, and Ron is obviously prioritizing what he does with his own remaining time. He's given us plenty already.
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Not sure if this helps, but there is a picture of a treadle hammer by a German named Otto Schmirler on this page, with a detail showing measurements, just click on the center picture.
http://www.anvilfire.com/bookrev/schmirler/top_review.htm
Bob
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This (Schmirler design)is the hammer that Gade and Marx patterned theirs after. Treadle hammers have been around in this country for a least a century, in various forms. There was at least one company that sold a treadle hammer that fastened to a blacksmith's anvil and drove a large mall with foot power. I once saw a video of a 1922 chain making shop in, I think, England, where they has one right next to the forge. It was purpose built for shaping the links.
If you don't already have "Werk und Werkzeug des Kunstschmieds ", buy it. I really like the style of the book.It is a very useful learning tool. There is plenty of info in the book for making his exact treadle hammer, too. We visited his Vienna shop some years ago and had dinner with his wife. She gave each of us (ABANA tour members) a copy of his last catalog. Really neat resource!
Pete Stanaitis -----------------------
Bob Hensley wrote:

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wrote:

Jeez! you sound like he's a write off! A year or two ago he had just moved from the city in idaho out to a ranch in the hills. He's been busy with the ranch from what I heard but he sure as hell wasn't dead or even on the steps. I exchanged a few emails with him at the time and he's living in a spot where all those projects that he loves to do take on a new order of importance. You can bet he hasn't abandoned his shop work.
GA
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Whether it's 2 minutes or 90 years away, we are all somewhere on the steps - and we never quite know where...

As I said, prioritizing. He's clearly busy and active, and his web site also mentions something like 4 heart attacks, which will sort of tend to focus _what_ one is busy and active with. The new shop with 4x the space speaks to keeping up with metal, going out of "business" speaks to not being a slave to what the customer wants while doing so, and his posts to this newsgroup all but stopped 4 years ago, so he's not spending much time sitting in front of the computer posting news. Probably something I should cut back on without waiting for the heart attacks.
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What is the relationship to treadle hammers, here? I remember corresponding with Ron quite a bit at the time he was restoring his "Easy" as I was doing one too. I tried hard to talk him out of using a variable speed motor. Mine was in a LOT worse shape!!!! See www.spaco.org/easyrep.html
Pete Stanaitis ---------------------------------
Martin H. Eastburn wrote:

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What are you planning to do with the hammer? Will it be used to forge with the aid of spring swages and spring fullers or are you building it to do chiesling and reposee?
I have built 6 differrent treadle hammers over the years The first two were with the original ABANA plans The next two were with the first Spencer plans with the adjustible back 1 with the Spencer plans using the roller skate wheels The last and the one I now use the most is a copy of the one sold at www.persimmonforge.com This hammer has a much lighter head and would be used more fore chiseling and repossee. I also smached 1500# of Aluminum cans in the last year with it. One hit each smashed them enough to get 960# in a ford mini van The pedals dont go round they are just used to pring the hammer head up and down. I am watching an excellent video Persimmon forge produced showing how to use the hammer and how to make the repossee tooling he uses. I saw him at BAM yesterday. Very excellent work
I dont use my hammer to forge with I am lucky enough to go to the power hammer for this. roger in Minnesota.
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781 wrote:

I am planning on doing forging with it more than anything else. Though from your comments I may get far more use from building a bigger power hammer than the one I have currently and building a lighter weight treadle hammer. I was looking for something that I could set a chisel and then punch with. Maybe I need more practice with my power hammer
My current power hammer is only 30 # and is based on the Appalachian Dusty. It works well for what it does but a heavier hammer may be better.
It will be easy to modify the power hammer into a treadle hammer and then I can make a bigger power hammer.
Geoff
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