Power Forging Hammers for Blacksmiths
Machine Shop Quality Air Forging Hammers for Artists, Blacksmiths,
Bladesmiths, Hobbyists, Ornamental Iron Shops, and other Power Hammer Users
Iron Kiss Hammers, LLC produces air powered forging hammers for discerning
power hammer users who insist on quality in the products they make and use.
A Baltimore, Maryland business for over a decade, Iron Kiss has focused upon
direct selling in the mid-Atlantic region along with delivery and installation.
Marketing has been by word of mouth and by hammer demonstrations at
Iron Kiss sells hammers directly without the use of additional dealers.
You can speak and negotiate with the designer-builder directly via the
Hammer head sizes available are 50, 75, 100, 150, and 200 pounds. The
ratio of anvil + base plate weight to hammer head weight is 25:1 for the
Octagon 50; the larger sizes are 20:1. The Octagon 50 uses a 9" stroke;
the larger sizes are 11". Custom stroke lengths can be incorporated.
Types of Power Hammers
Power hammers have been available in several basic styles for well over a
century. Mechanical hammers of this era use a crankshaft, connecting rod,
and springs arrangement to produce the reciprocation of the hammer head.
Air hammers use an air cylinder to power the hammer head and are of two
types depending upon how air pressure is produced to drive the hammer head
cylinder. Self contained air hammers use a crankshaft and connecting rod
arrangement to drive an air cylinder to pump the hammer head cylinder.
Utility hammers use a separate commercially available air compressor to
power the hammer head cylinder. Utility hammers driven by steam were
originated more than 150 years ago to help build the first steam ships.
Iron Kiss hammers are utility hammers.
Utility Hammer Advantages
All blacksmith power hammers are intended for the same work, but go
about it differently. Air hammers tend to have more stroke length
flexibility compared to mechanical hammers. Mechanicals often need
the connecting rod length adjusted with a wrench for a new stock
thickness. Mechanical hammers have a slapping blow that uses the
rebound of the hammer head to assist reciprocation. In dramatic
contrast, Iron Kiss air hammers, like the old steam hammers, have
a squishing blow that accomplishes more blacksmithing work without
loss in speed.
Utility hammers have the virtue of being quiet when they are not forging
and standing ready for immediate use. When the air compressor is located
outside the work area the only thing you hear is the fire in the forge.
By contrast, self contained air hammers have a running motor and pumping
cylinder that are noisy. Users soon develop a habit of manually turning
the machines off and on as they reheat their metal. However automatic
this reflex becomes, it is time consuming and counter productive for the
busy blacksmith. Typically, the air compressor for a utility hammer starts
and stops automatically when the tank is recharged.
Another virtue of the utility style of power air hammer is that it is
less expensive. To include a devoted air pump in a self contained hammer
approximately doubles the cost of production. And the air compressor's
high volume, low pressure characteristics make it useless for powering
the compressed air system of the blacksmith's shop. The air compressor
used for the utility hammer, by contrast, does this double duty and as
far as cost goes, modern air compressors are relatively affordable and
available from many suppliers. Plus, many users find it easy to buy used
air compressors much cheaper than new prices.
Iron Kiss has built self contained hammers, but has focused on creating
the best utility hammer on the planet.
The Octagon Design Series
Iron Kiss power forging hammers in the proven Octagon Series are
available in 50, 75, 100, 150, and 200 pound hammer head weights.
The name of the
series comes from the octagon shape of the hammer head and bottom die
block. This shape provides eight alternative die positions so that, for
example, left-handers can be comfortable using the machine. Old time
machines were set up for right handed users and left-handers had to
adapt. Iron Kiss hammers are user friendly.
The hammer uses a massive solid steel anvil and baseplate, a box beam
frame and hammer head cabinet, and a 1" solid steel top plate. All
critical bolted connections are in tension, not in shear, for maximum
design integrity. The frames of the box beam and hammer head cabinet
and the anvils are of welded construction. The large mass of steel used
provides a power hammer that stays put during operation without being
bolted to a special foundation, a virtue of Iron Kiss hammers.
Iron Kiss provides machine shop quality at affordable prices, producing
small machines for hobbyists and artists and larger machines for industry.
Every part of the machine has been machined in some way. Commitment to
quality is at the heart of the quest to build the best utility hammer
on the planet.
Mechanical movements are kept inside the hammer head cabinet. Mechanical
hammers and some air hammers are known for having exposed works that can
be dangerous to blacksmiths when linkages and springs break. Guards
created for those hammers to contain broken linkages tend to be ugly.
Art Deco Styling
Iron Kiss hammers are unique in their performance and styling.
Inspired by structures such as battle ships, skyscrapers, and
bridges of the 1930s era in the USA, the art deco styling employs
plated grade eight bolts to attach the side plates in a manner
reminiscent of the riveted beams of the 1930s. The aerofoil
shaped lifting eye on top of the hammer is inspired by the
1930s focus on streamlining. Surfaces and edges are kept smooth
and crisp in keeping with the American modern style of art deco.
Iron Kiss Hammer Capabilities
Air cylinders in Iron Kiss hammers are relatively large and provide
substantial additional force to the blow at heavy treadle while providing
exceptionally snappy performance at light treadle. This and other pneumatic
design features surpass the competition.
Stock that can be worked in the 100 pound hammer can be much heavier
than in a 100 pound mechanical hammer. And with the stroke adjustment
lever and stroke tuning control it is possible to adjust the die
separation to suit the dimensions of the work piece and the tooling.
Welding and working 3" thick Damascus billets in the 100 pound hammer
is so easy that few blade makers will see the need for one of the heavier
machines. Stock thicknesses obviously can be greater with the larger
machines. When hammering on a railroad spike at full treadle depression
you can see the spike get hotter as it is forged.
There is 9" maximum die separation on the Octagon 50 and there is 11"
on the larger hammers. Allowing for 3" of reciprocation stroke of the
power hammer head means that material plus tooling can be 6" tall on
the Octagon 50 and 8" tall on the larger hammers. The hammer will
perform with as little as 1" of hammer head stroke for the occasional
thick work piece. In contrast with many other power hammers, Iron Kiss
hammers do not need a large stroke length to perform strongly. And if
wanted, custom stroke lengths can be designed into your machine.
As the treadle is initially lightly depressed the hammer head reciprocates
with an inch or so of stroke, and as the treadle is depressed further the
stroke length grows to four or so inches at full treadle. At this point
the force of the blow exceeds the needs of typical forging projects in
carbon steel. Stainless steel requires more forceful blows and someone
using mostly stainless steel is better served with the 150 or 200.
Power with exceptional control is a hall mark of Iron Kiss hammers.
The heaviest hammer can do the lightest work, such as when tapering
thick stock down to a fine point. Users find it very easy to learn
how to control the hammer to do the delicate work, and they also quickly
learn how to achieve full-force single blows with quick depression of