Big Bertha

Big Bertha
Circa 1940, on the streets of Rochester New York, Bertha does her work.
"I don't make hell for nobody. I'm only the instrument of a laughing providence. Sometimes I don't like it myself, but I couldn't help it if I was born smart."

1st Sgt. Milton Anthony Warden.
"From here to Eternity"

Paul Valery

"You are in love with intelligence, until it frightens you. For your ideas are terrifying and your hearts are faint. Your acts of pity and cruelty are absurd, committed with no calm, as if they were irresistible. Finally, you fear blood more and more. Blood and time."

The Wisdom of the Ages

"When a young man, I read somewhere the following: God the Almighty said, 'All that is too complex is unnecessary, and it is simple that is needed',"

Mikhail Kalashnikov
"Here lies the bravest soldier I've seen since my mirror got grease on it."

Zapp Brannigan

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Barb's Makeover


Alternate title: "Why am I so Damned far Behind?"
Second alternate title: "If You Think my Manners and Knives are Crude - Check out my Equipment!" This second would obviously not fly. Far too open for misinterpretation re the meaning of the word "equipment".
But, the upshot is: I've been in cobbling-together-machinery mode these past few, festive, holiday and beyond, weeks. Hence, if you've got me on the hook to do anything, you'll find me moving in a more tardy fashion than is usual. Modifications have been made to my brass furnace as well - and I cleaned the shop. dug to the bottom of a huge pile of tools, random chunks of metal/wood and various pointy items and found ... wait for it... a workbench. Woo Hoo!
Fear not. It's already buried again.
In any case this is the power hammer's moment in the limelight.
I put Ms. Streisand together three years ago based, loosely on the design of the Appalachian Power Hammer, which, in turn, took it's operating principle from that of the Palmer Spring Hammer (pat 1873). Pictured above.
Alas, probably due to my own efforts, one of the leaves in the spring helve broke. See arrow in the next photo.
Rather than try to make it work as before, I opted to go in a different direction and, in the process, alter some other less-than-optimal bits.
The helve (the lever at the top) is now a solid beam rather than a spring while the springs are set up in a






















bow-spring configuration. It's similar to the set-up used on the "Modern Power Hammer" advertised at top.
It occasioned the use of the old, Montana buggy-springs. Most of it I used full length so they were already tapered and could be bolted together in the middle.
I bent them into this configuation, stacked them together and heated them again and bent them further to even out the creases. Then I heated it and quenched it and drew the temper back. Way back, spring temper is relatively soft. Anyway, I live in fear I'm going to look up one say and see a tiny little crack running through one of them.
At the same time, I replaced the venerable "recycled vise" guide set-up. As ready-made as it was, it never really allowed the ram the amount of travel it needed.
So, the new and improved version uses around 20# of railroad iron running between two lengths of angle iron.


To the left you see it in all its grease-covered glory. Notice that I had to forge the end of the rail "down" so it would meet up with the center of the anvil. Well, doing so left the field open for the arrival of a rather unkind nickname, "The Snout".
As a result, no more will I use this venue to have fun at a certain celebrity's expense. The power hammer isn't named after her anymore. So, now the phone calls can stop, Barbara! Why did I, against all reason, name my power hammer after her?
Actually, in all seriousness, attractive as the name "The Snout" is, I have no exclusive rights to it. So, should Ms. Streisand wish to find some use for it as well, I wouldn't pursue any legal action.
Ultimately, the good new is that Ms. Snout hits far harder than her predecessor. Sorry Appalachian PH guys.

5 comments:

Stephen Renico said...

So how much work does this save a smith? Does it cut your billet drawing time in half? Less?

Oliver Hart-Parr said...

On its maiden voyage, I drew a piece of #7 (7/8") rebar down to a rectangle 1" X 3/8"...roughly. For about ten inches.
So, Yes. It saves tons on the shoulder-killing grunt work.

Oliver Hart-Parr said...

I didn't mention earlier, that was in one heat.

Stephen Renico said...

One heat?? That does save a lot of work! I'm going to have to get my hands on one someday.

Kevin said...

Excellent post, as usual, very interesting look at the nuts & bolts behind your knives, and a great exposé of your ressourfulness! Can you feel the love?

Locations of visitors to this page