I would guess that the reserve on the ebay hammer is "optimistic". If
you have no experience with rebuilding one of these, be aware that you
can spend several grand getting it to a useful state. Then you get to
build or buy tooling to use. On the plus side, the Little Giant hammers
are still well supported. You can get any parts you cannot build
yourself. Prepare for a shock when checking prices here too. One real
important feature to add is a "grenade" screen between the operator and
the springs on the hammer arms. Watch for really worn pins and pin holes
in the arm pivots.
I would suggest a Google search for "junkyard hammer" and variations of
the phrase "homebrew power hammer" or "homeade power hammer". There are
also quite a few designs for air hammers out there. These are avenues to
follow up on if you have time and ambition, rather than money.
Best bet on finding a decent, operating, hammer is to use the jungle
drums network. Join the local chapter of the Western Canada Blacksmiths
Guild. Ask around at the meetings and pay attention to the newsletter
classifieds, maybe even place a "wanted" ad yourself. Someone will
likely know of one that is not in use or surplus to someones needs.
Local area stuff is nice if you have to pay for transporting it. There
may also be an ABANA chapter there too. Most of the WCBG guys are
members of that organization as well. www.abana.org
I was at an auction a couple years back where a LG 50lb. went for $350.
A friend of mine is still rebuilding his LG 25lb. that cost him under a
hundred cdn. He has another in his yard that cost him about the same.
No I'm not telling!:-)
On the other side of things, at Caniron 3 last year, there was a
"rebuilt" (paint job and harware store bolts) LG 25 with a $1800 US
price tag on it. It did not sell, but the owner was sure he would get
his price. I hope for the sake of the sellers health, that it went to
someone that was not vindictive about being ripped off)
I know of another 25 pound that is currently a lawn ornament. It will
be until the old fart dies, then it's going to be a race to see who gets
to it first. Same goes for the big Case eagle casting on another lawn.
They are still out there. If this is a income earner for your friend,
there are new air and power hammers out there, as well as a couple guys
around that will sell you a decent rebuilt and tested machine. Same
contacts as above. Does he need a 50, or just want one. There are LOTS
more 25's out there, amd they will move lots of metal, fast.
If you do get a worn out one, the Western Development Museum in
Saskatchewan has run hammer rebuilding clinics at the Curatorial Center
in Saskatoon. WDM has contact info on their website, and can probably
sell you a video of the last one, and tell you if there are more to
come. A google search for the Wesstern Development Museum will find
www.anvilfire.com has some stuff on homemade hammers. Look for "dusty"
and "rusty" on one of the abana chapter sites - a nice homemade helve
Does he have a (big) air compressor? If so, consider making a Kinyon
air hammer. Air hammers are nice for using tooling, as the head can
automatically return to the top, and can easily be set up for a single
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