Author Topic: Anyone used a treadle hammer? Opinions?  (Read 4950 times)

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Offline Twilight Fenrir

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Anyone used a treadle hammer? Opinions?
« on: October 16, 2014, 04:40:32 PM »
Hello,

I've been smithing for 6-8 months now, and sort of keeping an eye out for a power hammer should I stumble across one. I've used a 50, and 25 lb Little Giant, and have been pretty happy with the 50 pounder, (there is something just not quite right with the 25 lb I used)

Anyway, today I was talking to a guy who has a treadle hammer he's looking to sell for $200. Stopped by and took a look at it today,, and it seems to be a pretty typical example of what I find on the internet.. Welded out of thick angle iron, with a large pipe capped with solid steel block for an anvil and a head, the head being filled with slips of lead for weight. And with a replaceable lower die...

I guess, the question I have is, how much work can actually be done with such a machine? It seems like it would be tough to keep your balance while working with it, but I could remedy that with a brace that comes out at waist height to lean into a bit. I'm considering picking it up to use, until I find a power hammer, at which point I would pass it on to another needy smith for the same price. Speaking of, $200 sounds like a reasonable price to me... but, is it? o.o What would something like this generally go for?

I couldn't get a picture of the actual unit... but it's almost identical to this one:


Offline Twilight Fenrir

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Re: Anyone used a treadle hammer? Opinions?
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2014, 04:47:06 PM »
With those big, perfectly flat plates in there... I bet it would be hell of convenient for making Damascus billets...

I imagine, that what dies I make for it would really determine how useful it could be... those big flat dies wouldn't be good for much, I suspect... something with a smaller surface area would move a lot more metal.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2014, 05:22:14 PM by Twilight Fenrir »

Offline john k

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Re: Anyone used a treadle hammer? Opinions?
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2014, 05:47:25 PM »
I'd be doing a little research over on Anvilfire, there are plans for these.   If the angle is a bit wrong they can't do the work it seems they should.   Have used one that belonged to someone else, was satisfied, not joyous but satisfied.   Have a 25lb. Little Giant, when set up well they do okay.   For $200 can you go wrong?
Member of PHARTS - Perfect Handle Admiration, Restoration and Torturing Society

Offline Twilight Fenrir

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Re: Anyone used a treadle hammer? Opinions?
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2014, 05:57:48 PM »
I'd be doing a little research over on Anvilfire, there are plans for these.   If the angle is a bit wrong they can't do the work it seems they should.   Have used one that belonged to someone else, was satisfied, not joyous but satisfied.   Have a 25lb. Little Giant, when set up well they do okay.   For $200 can you go wrong?

Yeah, I've been trying to do a bit of research since I got home. Just finished reading over some insightful information. I wish I had known more about them going in, because I'm not sure if the height of the head was adjustable, I didn't know to look :x

I'd love to find a Little Giant, well, actually, I'd REALLY like  Champion Blower & Forge power hammer, since half my shop was made by them already, and I like the design of them :P But, I'll grab whatever power hammer I find that I can afford first! :P

Well, if it's no good to me, $200 is a lot to me right now XPI have no idea what these babies are worth, so it's tough for me to say. I'm leaning towards buying it pretty heavily right now. I was just reading someone else who asked a similar question on some other forum, only the one he was looking at was $500, and people said it was a great buy XD

Thanks for the input :)

Offline keykeeper

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Re: Anyone used a treadle hammer? Opinions?
« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2014, 07:30:36 PM »
If it is made out of box tubing like the one pictured, it is well worth the $200. You can't source the steel to build one for that.

Treadle hammers are great for operations where accurate, well placed blows are needed, such as splitting, punching, fullering, etc. Just about anything using tools like struck tools are used for. Most people make a set of short shanked, handled tools for use with them.

It would be great to weld up Damascus billets. Drawing out, not so much.

If it was close to me, I'd be all over it. Great tool to have in the shop. I love using our associations treadle hammer when I'm at the shop.
-Aaron C.

My vintage tool Want list:
Wards Master Quality 1/2" drive sockets (Need size 5/8), long extension, & speeder handle.
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Offline Nolatoolguy

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Re: Anyone used a treadle hammer? Opinions?
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2014, 03:29:52 PM »
I don't know if they work but You probably couldn't buy the steel for two hundred if you had plans to make one.
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where at least I know I'm free.
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who gave that right to me.
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Offline Twilight Fenrir

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Re: Anyone used a treadle hammer? Opinions?
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2014, 08:58:23 AM »
Well, I went ahead and picked it up. It's made out of 1/2" angle iron, rather than square tubing, and the hammer portion doesn't have an adjustable height... I'm sure I can modify it if it becomes necessary. I'm now looking for a chunk of railroad rail to make a few easy dies from so it will be more usable to me right now. I can improve its design next year...