Best way to level the anvil of forging hammer
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  1. #1
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    Default Best way to level the anvil of forging hammer

    Hi Everyone,

    I have several pneumatic forging hammers and am purchasing new ones soon that will require installation. Most of them are two piece machines meaning the hammer frame and anvil are separate pieces. Finding a way to mount the anvils totally level is a constant challenge.

    Our hammers are slightly larger than the average hobbyist blacksmith but far smaller than the hammers found in modern industry. There are very few production blacksmiths out there any more that are using and installing hammers of this size, so resources are scarce.

    The average anvil size is at the base about 2' x 3' and weighs about 5,000 lbs. The average hammer head weight is 300 lbs and strikes 200 times per minute. The entire hammer and anvil are mounted on an isolated foundation about 4'deep with a 1' deep square hole for the anvil. Common practice has always been to put a 1" oak floor in the anvil hole and then place the anvil on top and use wood wedges around the edge of the anvil between it and the edge of the hole for alignment. This is the installation method specified in original drawings, but these machines are about 50-70 years old so i imagine technology has changed a little.

    My concerns with this method are:

    1) Compression of the oak over time
    2) uneven weight distribution because the base of the anvil is rough cast and not flat. Once it is aligned, I imagine only a small area is in contact with the floor.

    My thought is to find a pourable product that has very high compressive strength and extreme impact and crack resistance (this is a power hammer after all) that can be poured in the hole first and the anvil can be placed and aligned as the product sets so it cures to provide a perfect fit between uneven concrete and uneven anvil.

    What product do you suggest? Or do you possibly have a different solution?

    Thanks very much!

  2. #2
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    What about UHMW and make shims out of same material?

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    Polyurethane rubber, but honestly i would use oak, a oak stump is kinda the gold std in anvil mounting as far as i have been around, just absorbs the ring and no bounce, oak wears out its only a quickly lifting job to replace. Unevenness will bed its self into the oak over the first few months. Oak should probaly last multiple decades, its doing next to nothing compared to what a oak pad that size is mechanically cable off.

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    why reinvent the wheel?
    the tried and true oak worked for ages

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    I'm with these guys. Endgrain oak. If you feel compelled to pour a leveling compound, a high durometer polyurethane.

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    Well it sounds like my concerns were a little unfounded. I've never had an issue with the oak, I just thought there must have been a better way. Thanks for the insight everyone!

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    What about some pictures of your machines? Add some of your workpieces! The more difficult the better!

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    We used to lots of work in a old forging shop. I don't know how old the hammers were, but they looked like early 1900s vintage. They actually used wood pieces that lifted the hammer, between two big rollers on top. It was quite the sight when the wood would break and shoot it out the top.

    Anyway, the bases (what I assume you are calling the anvil) were a solid piece of cast, weighing 50,000 lbs. The hammers were set by cutting a hole in the concrete in the floor, digging a hole about 4' deep, and filling the hole with oak cross tie blocks. After awhile, they would have to lift the hammer and put more blocks in. The hammer would eventually sink itself into the earth, requiring more blocking and leveling.

    You could be several hundred yards away from the plant, with the hammers running, and you could still feel the earth shaking. Inside the pant, the impact was almost unbearable, even with hearing protection.

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    Quote Originally Posted by m16ty View Post
    We used to lots of work in a old forging shop. I don't know how old the hammers were, but they looked like early 1900s vintage. They actually used wood pieces that lifted the hammer, between two big rollers on top. It was quite the sight when the wood would break and shoot it out the top.
    Called a board drop hammer. I'd love to see one operate.

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  13. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by gbent View Post
    Called a board drop hammer. I'd love to see one operate.
    The place is called "Centerville Forge" in Centerville, TN. Until about a year ago, it belonged to a man named Grayson Campbell, but he retired and sold it out to some Chinese company. If Grayson still had it, he'd be glad to give you the grand tour, he is a real people person and loved to talk forging. His knowledge of the industry would amaze you.

  14. #11
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    img_1257.jpgimg_1257.jpgimg_1257.jpgimg_1259.jpgimg_1258.jpgqy3819_5153-1.jpg

    Here are a few pictures of our current hammers and the new ones coming in are the ones painted green.

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