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Novelty Iron Works BOSS Power Hammer/first power hammer advice?

Discussion in 'Shop Talk - BladeSmith Questions and Answers' started by JG Custom Metal Works, Oct 28, 2019.

  1. I’m getting a Novelty Iron Works BOSS power hammer from a friend soon and am trying to get some information beforehand. General power hammer ownership info or specific info about the BOSS model in particular. Both would be greatly appreciated. They’re an American made power hammer and I believe the one I’m getting is the 50lb model. I don’t have any pictures of it at the moment unfortunately, but I have some pics I found on google, which I’ll post below.

    As far as I know, they were originally made to be powered by a line shaft. Which rotated above the machine. A belt was looped around it and then to the hammer. The foot peddle would pull the drive wheel down against the inside of the turning belt, creating tension, and causing the wheel to turn(powering the hammer). The more the foot lever was pressed down, the more tension there was, the faster the drive wheel would spin, and faster the hammer would hit. Pretty cool. My friend converted it to use an electric motor of course.

    Other than that, I’ve read that they were made to be somewhat modular/portable. This was so they could be moved down into underground mines or similar areas and used. I’m hoping this helps me in moving it, because I’ll be accomplishing that by myself. Fortunately my friend has lined up a Bobcat, with a front loader to load it into my trailer. But it will be up to me to get it off my trailer and into my shop/garage. It is in two pieces though, which should help. The anvil is by itself and separate from the frame.

    That’s the extent of my knowledge on the hammer. I’ve been told new babbits were recently poured and it’s ready to run. This will be my first power hammer. In fact, it will be the first power hammer I’ve ever seen in person. Any information you guys could give me about BOSS power hammers would be greatly appreciated. Also, any general info you could give me regarding power hammers in general would be helpful. It will be sitting on a concrete floor in my two car garage, which already has a large crack running down the middle of it. My friend said he built a wooden base around it out of 4x4s, in an effort to protect the floor underneath it. I’m thinking about maybe putting a large piece of dense horse stall mat underneath it too. Would that help, or have any negative effects?

    Again any info or advice would be appreciated. If anyone had a line or link to an instruction manual it would be awesome.




    Mecha likes this.
  2. A.McPherson

    A.McPherson KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jan 27, 2012
    Man that's awesome!!

    If it were me, I'd plan out where I wanted to put the hammer permanently, then pour a new, deeper reinforced slab. Like 18 - 24" deep. Of course I've never had a hammer, but that's what I would do...
    And ask advice on here too, of course, but you've already go that bit down!!!
  3. Bigfattyt

    Bigfattyt Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 23, 2007
    1000 lbs!! Might need some additional muscle for that!!
  4. Tom Lewis

    Tom Lewis

    Feb 24, 2000
    JT, I don't know that this helps much, but that power hammer reminds me of one Bill Moran had in his shop. It had leaf springs like yours.

  5. I thought about doing that, but I might be moving next summer. That’s the plan at least. So I’m not sure I want to go to all the trouble. Also, if I was to do a slab like that, I’d have to remove the existing concrete floor where I want to put it. In terms of resale value, it wouldn’t exactly improve the resale value at all. As I doubt the buyer will be moving a power hammer in.

    Does anyone know of a way to protect concrete flooring underneath a power hammer?
  6. Tom Lewis

    Tom Lewis

    Feb 24, 2000
    I knew a blacksmith that built a platform out of RR ties and bolted his 100 lb little giant on the platform. Seemed to work OK.
    I think you would want it bolted down and not sitting loose on the floor.
  7. DevinT


    Jan 29, 2010
    4x4’s should be fine. The wood base needs to be bigger than the foot print of the hammer.
    Do not use any rubber or rubbery material, it will pull your anchors out when you bolt it down from the bouncing. You do need to bolt it down.

    It’s not a very big hammer, shouldn’t be a problem.

    Your biggest problem will be trying to sleep because of all the excitement.

  8. Exactly the answer I was looking for. When you say bolt it down, do you mean through the 4x4s?

    Thanks everyone for taking the time to help me with this. I’ve never even seen a power hammer in person. I’ve wanted one for years and am super excited to get it going.
  9. DevinT


    Jan 29, 2010
    Bolt the 4x4’s together from side to side with long bolts or all thread. The hammer should have anchor holes around the anvil base and frame. Bolt down through the wooden base into the concrete.

    Then make your family crazy by spending all of your time forging and talking about things they won’t understand.

  10. John mc c

    John mc c Basic Member Basic Member

    Aug 23, 2018
    If your floor is cracked already like you say it might be a very thin floor
    If you wanted more concrete under it you could cut out the size base you want in the floor with a con saw,dig down a bit and pour in concrete to level of existing floor
    JG Custom Metal Works likes this.
  11. Randy3000


    Jun 3, 2017
    I can keep the hammer for you for a year until you get moved. Problem solved!
  12. Lieblad


    Jul 24, 2015
    I am sure it can work for small or specialist pieces.
    But its a wankers dream of hammer design. I cant see it could last in a real production oriented Smithy. No wonder I never heard of that brand before
    Right off the hop. I see poor access thru its dies for long pieces and appears no bushings at ends of its non adjustable toggles. Its adjustable throw of crankpin is novel, But I hesitate to trust its "T"slot/dovetail fixment for staying put.
    As I mention. I am sure it can be useful to some degree. If anything, a fun fixup and oil the crap out of it project.
  13. 12345678910


    Jul 13, 2009
    the frame is different, but the mechanism looks like the Jap style that "seventh generation jap bladesmith american that went to japan dude" uses.
    JG Custom Metal Works likes this.
  14. Awesome, thanks a bunch for the advice Devin, I appreciate it. Very constructive.

    Oh it will increase my forging time considerably. I have back and shoulder issues, so this thing will be a big help. No worries about people getting crazy. One of the good things about not having family. Lol I can do whatever I want, whenever I want.
    Kali4nia likes this.
  15. Just picked up the hammer yesterday. Boy am I sore. I managed to get the anvil and all the smaller items for it unloaded and into the shop. The hammer itself is still in the trailer though. I need to figure out how I’m going to get it off the trailer. It’s heavy, but not super heavy. My metal lathe was a lot heavier and I was able to move it out of the trailer just fine, by myself(with a come along). The problem with this hammer is that it’s so damn top heavy. If it was to tip too much in any direction, there would be no stopping it from falling, and crushing anything in its path. Also, with there being a lot of cast iron parts on it, it would be super difficult to fix. So if anyone has any ideas about how to get it off of the trailer, I’d greatly appreciate it. I’d prefer not having to take it apart, but that’s the last resort.

    I think an engine hoist would probably work, but I don’t have one. I do have a hydraulic lift table that I’m thinking about using. It has a broke down delta surface grinder on it at the moment, but I could probably muscle that off of there. With the hydraulic lift table I was thinking I could remove the rear gate/ramp from the trailer, scoot it to the edge, and onto the lift table. Then lower it, wheel it into position, and then scoot it onto the 4x4” base I have for it. I can scoot it by myself fairly easy.

    As far as the poster talking about how it’s a subpar hammer, the price was right. I was VERY fortunate and got it for free from a good friend and retired bladesmith. I wouldn’t have been able to afford a power hammer otherwise.

    One cool thing is, he found a second hammer head for it. There’s a 50lb head, which is on it now, and a smaller head, which I think is around 25lbs. I’ll post some more pics in a sec
  16. [​IMG]




  17. I got the hammer moved off the trailer and into the shop. I couldn’t get a cherry picker/engine hoist, and I couldn’t get anyone else to help me. So I moved it similarly to how I moved the metal lathe. I just took it apart, tethered it to the front of the trailer, with a tow strap, and a come along(hand winch). Then I pushed/lowered it down the ramp slowly, with the come along. I squirted dawn dish soap all in front of it on the ramp, so it would slide. Then once it was on flat ground, I easily pushed it around by rolling it on a piece of one inch round bar.

    It’s in position now, and I’m about to turn the sucker on for the first time. I just wanted to ask, what lube or grease should I use on dovetails/grooves where the hammer slides up and down? There was some grease on there, but it was old and I cleaned it off. It looked like white lithium grease. I thought I might try some way oil, as they are pretty much the same geometry. Of course it will be moving a lot faster. I would think way oil should be okay for a test run for now though. I’ve read that grease can gum up things on some hammers and slow them down. But that was more on Little Giants, where the mechanism was surely different. I couldn’t find anything about how or where to lube things on these hammers.

    The area I’m talking about is right in front where the rectangular hammer block is. That slides up and down on a dovetailed groove. I cleaned that out pretty well, but feel like it should probably have some kind of lubricant in there.

    You can see the hammer in front on the top pic, and it removed on the bottom one. I’ll take a pic of everything reassembled here in a bit.


    Last edited: Nov 16, 2019
    Natlek likes this.
  18. Here’s pics of the move. Again, I only did it this way because I was limited on tools/equipment, and I had to move it by myself.





  19. Tom Lewis

    Tom Lewis

    Feb 24, 2000
    Thanks for the pictures. Very interesting. I hope you will let us know how you are progressing with your project.
    JG Custom Metal Works likes this.
  20. I finally got it put together and running. It REALLY needs to be anchored down. I’m not exactly sure what the best way to go about that would be. My friend, who owns a large concrete company, thinks it would be best to anchor it directly to the concrete, forgoing the wooden buffer in between the hammer and concrete floor. His reasoning was that, the more play/movement there was, the more the bolts/anchors would loosen.

    I do not own a hammer drill at the moment. So I’d either need to rent one, or figured out a way to drill the wholes with a regular drill. As far as which anchors to use, I’ve read of multiple methods. I’d like not to have to spend a bunch of money on the process, but I’m not trying to cheap out if it will result in more expensive problems in the future. I’ve read some folks use allthread and epoxy. Others use lag bolts and some use wedge anchors. What do you guys think would be an economical and effective method to use?

    Here she is:



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