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Blacksmithing and Metallurgy Hand-wrought manufacture of metal objects, extracting metals from their ores, or purifying metals and casting useful items from the metals.

Blacksmithing and Metallurgy

Foot Powered Hammer


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  #1  
Old 07-12-2018, 09:02:29 PM
Edgar Edgar is offline
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Default Foot Powered Hammer

I posted this under antique tools and equipment...but a blacksmith tool no doubt so being posted at 2 different places may catch more interest ..by searching google i come up with treadle hammer or foot powered hammer...drug it home today...happy to add it to my collection of other blacksmith tools....as you can see cast at and built for or at ellis machine works memphis tn...i live innorth west tn so...glad i found a neat piece in my so called area.....im thinking maybe predates trip hammer powered by belt or lineshaft?? Late 1890s early 1900s??? Anybody eles in the blacksmith world have one.??? Thanks for all replies in advance..!!! Edgar in west tn
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  #2  
Old 07-12-2018, 09:14:30 PM
Heins Heins is offline
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Default Re: Foot powered hammer

If stepping on the foot petal bring the hammer down, what makes it go up? Is there a spring in the cylinder?
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Old 07-12-2018, 09:18:09 PM
Edgar Edgar is offline
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Default Re: Foot powered hammer

Yes its a coil spring after oiling it up its almost feels balanced and when you step on pedal it really smacks or strikes pretty hard...of course i didnt and want get rough with it....just playing with thanks for your interest
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Old 07-13-2018, 03:22:53 PM
woodyarmourer woodyarmourer is offline
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Default Re: Foot Powered Hammer

Treadle hammers have been made by various companies for many years, great for one man shops without power. Many such shops existed for a very long time, but style wise i would say it would be turn of the century. Far inferior to powered hammers, and more can be done with a sledge hammer and a skilled striker, but needs will out, as the saying goes.
Nice machine.
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Old 07-14-2018, 03:51:03 PM
Pete Spaco Pete Spaco is offline
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Default Re: Foot Powered Hammer

I think they have been around a lot longer than the early 1900's.
See:
https://spaco.org/trdlhamr.htm

And, of course, these days there are at least a dozen differing designs out there.

For those who aren't familiar with what can be done with them, here's one guys opinion:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wz2DcSwARiw

You mentioned that a striker with a sledge hammer can do more work. Maybe so, but my leg muscles are stronger than my arm muscles, and I can switch legs when one gets tired.
Some treadle hammers only swing a simple sledge hammer of, maybe, 7 to 12 pounds or so. I don't think you do get much work out of them in "power" mode. The ones I'm familiar with usually have 65 to 67 pound rams.

Pete Stanaitis
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Old 07-16-2018, 04:42:33 AM
woodyarmourer woodyarmourer is offline
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Default Re: Foot Powered Hammer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Spaco View Post
I think they have been around a lot longer
---------------
No one said they hadn't been used before the 1900s.
A treadle hammer may indeed be easier to use in a straight up and down motion, (or with the hammer in question an arc, which would send any tools flying if someone attempted to use top tools under it.
A striker can do angled blows, adjust height for top and bottom tools and work over the horn or edge of the anvil.
A treadle hammer of this type can do none of these things.
Indeed. Perhaps in a one man unpowered shop the need for the use of one leg or the other comes to the fore.

Last edited by woodyarmourer; 07-16-2018 at 05:29:21 AM.
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Old 07-16-2018, 11:24:27 AM
Pete Spaco Pete Spaco is offline
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Default Re: Foot Powered Hammer

woodyarmourer, I am not trying to compete with you, since I am only a hobbyist at blacksmithing, but I do have considerable experience with the swing arm treadle hammer.

The "arc" isn't an issue with top tools. Have you actually tried a swing arm treadle hammer?

I might agree if you were driving the tool downward by an inch or so with each blow, but that's hardly ever the case.
Some pretty famous American smiths have used them for years without issue. George Dixon, Clay Spencer and Mindy Gardener come to mind.

Pete Stanaitis
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Old 07-16-2018, 05:37:10 PM
woodyarmourer woodyarmourer is offline
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Default Re: Foot Powered Hammer

Pete.
There is no competition. I am not competitive in the slightest.
My initial post was to state what I suppose the age of this particular hammer is, and that they are not as versatile nor as efficient as a good striker or a power hammer, which is of course my opinion but based on first hand experience and observation.
I am a trade qualified industrial blacksmith, and i have used treadle hammers of many kinds, as well as many sizes of steam, mechanical and pneumatic hammers,
and as i have previously stated, they have their uses. In a single man or un powered shop.
The arc of the helve by its very nature causes the top and bottom dies to only be parallel at rest. Which means that the further apart the dies are, the further out of parallel they are.
This type of swing arm treadle hammer was quickly superseded by "guided ram" helve and "inline"hammers (parallelogram) which were designed so the dies are constantly parallel. In the same way that helve power hammers were superseded by guided ram hammers.
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Old 07-16-2018, 06:22:30 PM
Pete Spaco Pete Spaco is offline
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Default Re: Foot Powered Hammer

The hammer and anvil are always parallel on the Gade marx style of swing arm treadle hammer. If you are thinking of a type where the system simply drives a sledge from one end, then you are correct.

Watch the video I mentioned earlier.

Pete Stanaitis
---------------
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Old 07-16-2018, 07:40:10 PM
woodyarmourer woodyarmourer is offline
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Default Re: Foot Powered Hammer

I think the confusion on your part lies in the fact that you are talking about a VERY different machine to the one in the original post.
The one you refer and link to is a parallelogram or inline hammer, not a helve or "swingarm" style.
The one in the video looks to be very clumsy and there is a lot of slop in it.
If it works for him and others, more power to them, but I stand by my original statement. That they were invented to fill a space where no striker or power hammers were available.
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