Simple Air Hammer
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Schematic Drawings
Click on the image above to view the schematic drawing


This air hammer is based on the plans by Ron Kinyon with some modifications. The original plans to build a air hammer are available from ABANA.  I wanted to build a smaller air hammer than the one shown in the plans, something that would run well with a smaller air compressor.  Most of the air hammers that I have seen require a 7.5 h.p.  two stage compressor or larger to run.  I wanted a hammer that would run with a 110 volt compressor because I do not have 220 volts in my shop.  The main frame on my hammer is 6 x 6.5 I-beam instead of the 10 x 10 in the plans.  For the ram I used 3"square stock 10" long, the total weight of the ram including the die is around 35 pounds.  Even with the small size of the ram I was still able to have dies that are 2" x 3" x 1.5" when the dies are set at a 45 degree angle and the corners of the dies are rounded up.  For the anvil I used 5" round stock instead of the 6.5" in the plans this is one of the few pieces of steel that I bought new to build this hammer, it set me back $118.00 for the piece cut and delivered.   I used .75" plate for the main base plate and the cylinder mount plate.  The slide on the ram is 1/2" x 4 1/2" x 9" this allows you to use 1 1/2" x 1/2" bar for the bearing caps and 1 1/2" x 1/8" brass for the bearings.  I decided to use a foot treadle like the ones on mechanical hammers instead of the foot control in the plans.   I feel this would be much easier to use than trying to find the foot switch while holding a hot piece of metal.   I am using a mechanically operated 3 way valve mounted on the side of the frame. I feel that the 3 way valve gives the hammer a wider range of control than the ball valve used in the plans.  The total weight of the hammer is a little over 400 pounds.
I encourage you to buy the Simple Air Hammer plans that are available through ABANA, they will give you a better understanding of how the air hammer operates and what all of pneumatic parts do.

Update: 01/12/2018: Carl Perry of St. Helens,Oregon provided me with the following information about using a different 4 way valve.
  Larry, I have found a great replacement for the 4 way valve on your hammer. It is from Automation Direct
 It also has ports ( they do have ones with and 3/8 ports) the part # for the single piloted spring return valve is AVS-5444 @ $29.50ea and the double piloted (if you wanted to run double pilot roller valves) is AVS-5454 $35.50ea. a lot cheaper than the Norngren and are good quality.

Update: 01/02/ 2002: A lot of people have been contacting me asking for more information on the air cylinder.  The air cylinder that I used was made by TRD Manufacturing Inc, sub of Bimba. 7407 Edward Drive Loves Park, IL 61111 phone: (815) 654-7775 fax: 708 235-2014.  You can contact them for information about a local distributor for you.  The part number (s/n) is 98-52361, if you give the TRD distributor this number they can order this cylinder for you.   The drawing below is of the cylinder that I ordered from TRD.

Update: 01/21/05   Robert Bordeaux recently sent me the following e-mail.

Larry if you have not tried UHMW for your guides in your air hammer you may want to try it out as this stuff is great.  I think it allows the hammer to run even faster than the brass and it is less expensive.  I have been using it now for a few years in my small hammers, and would never use brass again.

Update: 09/01/2017: Here lately I have been getting a lot of phone calls and e-mails about my Air Hammer design, so I figured it was about time to update my web page with some more current information about it.  When you start looking for the Pneumatic parts to build your Air Hammer, I recommend that you find a local Parker Store and get all of you Pneumatic fittings and hoses there.  They have 3,700 local retailers worldwide so you should be able to find one close to you.  I used the Push-to-Connect nickel plated instant fittings, Prestolok PLP from Parker for all of my hose connectors and Standard Polyurethane Tubing.  The roller switch that I used is made by Aro and the part number is 203-C and you can get it from Grainger and their part number for this item is 2F895.  Description 1/8 Manual Air Control Valve / 2 Position.  Grainger also sells the Norgern 4 way valve that I used the Norgren part number for the 4 way valve is K71EAOO-K56-KA2 and Grainger part number is 22YV32.  The Mechanically operated 3 way valve that I used Norgren K71EAOO-K56-KA2 is no longer available the new part number to replace it is part number K41DAOOKS6K.  It also looks like Norgren goes by IMI Norgren now.  I looked at the IMI Precision Engineering web site and it looks like there are several distributors in every state that you could get this valve from.

A lot of people have asked me what kind of steel I used for the dies, the steel that I used for the dies were old forklift forks.  I was told that forklift forks are usually made from 4140 or 4340 steel.  I been using them for about 16 years with no problems.

The picture above shows the Mechanically operated 3 way valve.  I had to make the lever arm and bracket shown.

This is a picture of how I hooked up the 3 way mechanically operated 3 way valve linkage to the foot treadle

This is the 2 way roller valve, you can see the sliding bracket that it is mounted to that will allow you to adjust how high the ram will go.  You can also see the taper that I put on the ram were it will hit the roller on the switch.

These pictures show the 3 sets of dies that I have made for my hammer.  I have two sets of flat dies of different sizes and one set of combo dies.  The combination dies are part flat die and part fullering die.

Below are links to some web sites of people that have built air hammers using my modification plans.
Robert Bordeaux

View pdf file of Air Hammer Modifications

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Copyright 1998-2018 Larry Zoeller  / Zoeller Forge

Last Revision 05/11/2018

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