James R. Johnson ** USAforging@gmail.com ** 940 6274529 ** 2955 CR 1370 Alvord, TX 76225
Johnson Metalsmithing LLC Follow me on Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/james_johnson_anyang_usa_
Anyang USA Power Hammer and Hydraulic Press Since 1956
The most frequent question I get is "What size hammer should I purchase?"
So many customers focus on ram weight... I am looking for a 50 or 100 lb. hammer. Forging power is measured in Joules and is calculated by the ram weight times velocity squared. With a self-contained hammer, the ram velocity is increased by the air pressure forcing it onto the work piece. In other hammer designs, the ram uses gravity to "drop" the ram onto the work piece. It is the velocity squared that gives the self-contained power hammer it's exceptional forging power. Below is a video of an 88 forging 4.5" H13 steel bar into an axe drift. The customer commented that it took him twice as long to do the same forging with a 155 lb. utility hammer. My advice to anybody purchasing a power hammer is to try to find a way to actually forge behind it before you buy it. If that is not possible, ask the owner to do a video of the hammer forging larger size stock. That is why I have done so many "capability" video's where I am trying to show potential customers the real capability of each size hammer. Ram weight is important. Velocity squared is equally or more important.
Here are the factors that I think are important in choosing the right size hammer:
1. What is the maximum size of the stock you are planning on forging? We have capability video's showing each hammer size forging different size stock. They will give you a good idea of the capability of each hammer size. More aggressive dies will allow you to work larger stock but realize there is a limit to each hammer.
2. Is productivity important? If you are a production shop and are working 1 to 2" stock, a 33 will do the job... however a 55 or 88 or larger hammer will do it faster. If you are a hobby shop and your work will not exceed 1 to 2", then a 33 will do the job. If you ever think that you will work larger stock or get into higher volume work, then I lean towards the larger hammers. Larger hammers will also save you fuel. Propane and coal can get expensive. Larger hammers will allow you to do more forging with fewer heats. If you ask most Anyang owners for their advice, the common answer they give is "go larger, you will grow into a larger hammer" or "If you buy a 33 lb. hammer, you will have a 33 lb. hammer. If you purchase an 88, you will have the capabilities of an 88, a 55, and a 33 hammer".
3. How important is your budget? You do get more forging power per dollar as you increase the hammer size. For example, going from a 33 lb. to an 55 lb. hammer you get about 60% more forging power for about 30% increase in cost. Going from a 55 lb. to an 88 lb. you get another 60 % increase in power for a 25% increase in cost. If you are a for profit business, do a return on investment calculation. Consider the purchase price, depreciation, added productivity savings as well as new business that a new hammer might give you and make it a financial decision. In most production shops, the income from one job will more than pay for the next larger size hammer.
4. The other factor to consider is that Anyang power hammers hold their value very well. It is rare to find a used Anyang hammer and when they do come available, they tend to sell very fast and many times, for close to new retail. Due to their robust design and extremely long life, they hold their value very well.