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There is a right way and a wrong way to use any hammer. I learned that many years ago when I was working construction. Building a church with the high open arch type roof. 4" X 6" X 12 - 16' peckie red cedar double tongue and grove for the interior ceiling and exterior base for asphalt shingles. Two steel splines were drove in ever end joint. Special 10" ring shank spikes were drove one into the preceding 4X6 every 2' in pre-drilled holes and then two to anchor it down into the arch. 22 oz hammers and if you didn't use your wrist with a light grip on the handle your arm would be done by coffee time. We had to rotate the newer guys on the roof with the ground crew. Will never forget that as we were about 1/3 of the way up on the South side when we got the word President Kennedy had been shot. Use the wrist, not the arm.
 
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I have never used a trip hammer but have seen them used. 30 years ago when I was getting into blacksmithing(never got past acquiring a bunch of tools, books, and watching my friend at it. My wrists went out so smithing is out also. He's been smithing for over 60 years and did not own a trip hammer(nor had the power for it in his shop). He said that it would have been easier on his arms but he didn't have the room for it.

You can get by without one but you will be happier with one. The people in smithing will probably value it much higher than if you can pull one out of an old barn. I've seen 3 at barn sales over the past 35 years and one at a swap meet. Keep your eyes open and one will show up for you. In the mean time study up on them. Good Luck, Rick
 

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There is a ton of info on the net and on blacksmithing forums. Like Lauber said there has to be a blacksmith guild in your area and most are not only wiling but eager to mentor a young man willing to learn. There is a group locally that opens one of the last working blacksmith shopsin this area, in Haverhill Iowa. 1 Saturday a month and do demonstrations and visitors are welcome.
Anvil Fire is a good forum. I have a book The Art of Blacksmithing by Alex W Bealer that is very good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
We have started rounding stuff up.
An old line shaft here, corn picker frame tube there, 30# (1 3/4") bolt, some leaf springs from an old pickup, a 3/4 hp motor, a good old tire, etc.
Still need to figure the base better, make some hammer plates, & build a 3/4" id, 3" od flat pulley to drive.

In the end, it will be a derivation of this.
Only with more "******* Inventivness" Schematic Parallel Font Engineering Technical drawing
 

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This should be interesting!
 
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What you are forging has s lot to do with the press you will need. I have in mind setting up a non powered shop. . So what interests me is a Fly Press (sometimes called a Screw Press. They are not as commonly used in the US as they were in Europe. But I understand a lot were used in Conneticut in the JEWELRY INDUSTRY. I toured the Black Hills Gold jewelry factory at Rapid City SD several years ago and they had a small trip press used to stamp out gold and copper leaves that would have fit easily in a home shop. The investment casting process used there was very interesting too.
 

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Hey I got to wondering how big a hammer Ryan is using? Unless he is built like Dan Blocker or Merlin Olsen (former NFL players,turned actors often as blacksmiths. He should rarely use a hammer over 3 lbs.
A lighter hammer will give accurate strikes and not cause more damage than good.
The old adage strike while the iron is hot, means the iron will move at cherry heat.
If it is cold one is wasting energy.
 
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