Steam hammers are industrial grade power hammers and would have been found in
commercial manufacturing. According to Douglas Freund (Pounding Out the Profits
, p 4.), Steam hammers had
begun to assume a prominent place in English and French forges during the
Below is some steam hammer information
from Marvels of Science and
from the International Exhibition (Centennial Exhibition) 1876 Philadelphia.
Book by Joseph M. Wilson, 1880, printed New York, pp. 129-134. Be sure to click the links in the text to see
illustrations of the English steam hammers.
MESSRS. B. & S. MASSEY, of MANCHESTER, ENGLAND, make a fine exhibit of
STEAM HAMMERS, which present some peculiarities of design different from the
usual steam hammer, and appear to operate with great efficiency. They are
double-acting and work without jar or shock, giving blows dead or elastic, and
of any degree of intensity, rapidity of action or length of stroke desired, the
larger hammers being controlled generally by hand, and the smaller ones
arranged so as to work both self-acting and by hand. The action is therefore
completely under control, and can be varied according to the kind of work to
be done. - Generally with self-acting hammers there is great difficulty in
obtaining the heavy dead blow so often required; but in these, by means
of a hand-lever connected directly with the valve, the hammer may be changed
instantly from self-acting to hand-working, and perfectly dead blows delivered
at any time without the least delay. Their small hammers are particularly
intended for smiths work, being applicable to the lightest kinds of forgings,
such as usually done by hand, and their use is rapidly replacing that of handwork,
resulting in great economy of labor, fuel and material even in the smallest smith-shops.
The hammer shown by Fig. 1
is of a class
comprising several sizes, and exceedingly convenient and easy to operate
with, allowing ready access on three sides, and, owing to the double
standards on the fourth side, with opening between them,
permitting long bars to be worked on the anvil in either direction. The
arrangement for working the valves in these hammers, as already stated, is a
combination of self-acting and hand-worked gearing, and it is different from
that ordinarily employed, being without the usual cams or sliding-wedge. As the
hammer rises and falls when in action, a hardened roller on the back of the head
slides on the face of a curved lever, which rotates about a pin near its upper end,
and is held by a spiral spring always in position against the roller. At every
movement of the hammer this lever operates a valve-spindle and regulating-valve,
the length traveled by the hammer being controlled by another lever attached to
the fulcrum-pin of the curved lever, and by which this pin may be raised or
lowered by hand, and the points at which the steam is admitted or allowed to
escape varied at pleasure. A guardplate and catch permit this governing lever
to be fixed at any point desired. The regulating-valve is hollow through the
centre, being really a double piston open at both ends, with a number of ports
for the steam to enter and escape, arranged all around on the sides, and holding
it in perfect equilibrium. The ports open and close very quickly, and allow great
rapidity and force of action to the hammer, as many as two hundred and fifty blows
per minute being struck with a pressure of from forty to sixty pounds, with the
length of stroke entirely under command from a few inches to nearly two feet, and
variable without checking the machine.
Ramsbottoms Steel-packing Rings are used on the hammer-piston, which is forged
in one solid piece with the rod, and the head is of hammered scrap-iron. The
anvil-block is a heavy casting made separate from the base and turned to fit a
bored hole in the base plate so as to assure its being kept to its true position.
represents a light hammer,
only a half hundredweight, intended for forging files, bolts, cutlery, etc.,
and operating with a foot-treadle, so that the workman may have both hands
free for the proper manipulation of his work.
The foot-treadle is omitted in some cases. This hammer has been worked up
to a speed of four hundred blows per minute.
illustrates one of the
large size hammers running up to a ton or more in weight.
a steam stamp intended especially for die-forging, and regulated either by the
foot or by hand. When steam is turned on, the hammer rises to the top of stroke
and keeps that position until directed downwards by the action of the operator.
It then descends with a single dead blow, performing its work, and rises again
into its original position, which it retains until the workman is ready for an
other stroke. It is wonderful how many articles formerly so expensive are now made
by die-forging, being stamped out from the red-hot iron nearly ready for use,
requiring in most cases very little work to fit them up, and resulting in great
saving of labor. Bolts, rivets, nuts, screwkeys, wrenches, and other tools,
and even such articles as sewing-machine shuttles, are made in this way with the
greatest accuracy, economy and despatch.