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Tire Hammer Plans by Clay Spencer

Discussion in 'Shop Talk - BladeSmith Questions and Answers' started by 12345678910, May 25, 2010.

  1. 12345678910


    Jul 13, 2009

    Ray Clontz Tire Hammer Plans by Clay Spencer

    These plans are for a 50 lb. power hammer that uses the rear axle and hub from a front drive car and emergency spare tire and weighs about 700 lbs.

    It is powered by a 1 hp, 1750 rpm electric motor, 120 or 240 volts, runs about 250 blows per minute and uses a spring toggle mechanism similar to Little Giant hammers.

    The anvil is 6" solid round (minimum size) by 36" high and the frame is 5" square tubing.

    The plans are 40 pages, printed front and back on 20 sheets that include parts list, detail and assembly drawings, sources, notes, installation, adjustments and maintenance.

    Over 200 hammers have been built using these plans.

    Price is $30US including postage to US and Canada, $32US to other countries.
    Send check or money order to Clay Spencer, 73 Penniston Private Drive, Somerville, AL 35670. Tel: (256) 498-1498 or E-mail [email protected] for info.
    Also, Clay leads workshops for chapters or groups to build 15 to 20 hammers and has Tire Hammers for sale.

    Does anyone have experience with these hammers & specifically these plans?



    Recommendations good or bad?
    Last edited: May 25, 2010
  2. blindhogg


    Feb 21, 2001
    I have one of Clay Spencers tire hammers, It is a pretty good hammer for a mechanical hammer. I would recommend one to someone who has the ability to make one himself. I have not seen the plans though, I do have photos of mine being built on my website.
  3. 12345678910


    Jul 13, 2009
    Thanks for the pics on your website.

    I have been collecting photos, but didn't find the ones on your site with my searches until you mentioned it.

    ...at 700 pounds and about 2$ per pound for steel, it's looking like about $1,500.
    It's going to test my scrounging skills to see what I can find to keep the costs down.
    Last edited: May 25, 2010
  4. Airbalancer


    Mar 6, 2010
  5. 12345678910


    Jul 13, 2009


    I have downloaded that one already.
    It's the best video I have seen on one so far.

    It's one of the reasons I'm interested in that design.
    You are able to show remarkably good control with it, including single hits.
  6. SteelSlaver


    Feb 17, 2007
    I don't think structural is $2 a lb. The tube might be, but, you could use 2 pieces of angle stitched together to form those pieces. The hammer part might be a bit of a problem to come up with on the cheap, but I would see what I could come up with then built the piece that guides it to fit.

    I like this hammer.
  7. David Wesner

    David Wesner

    Jan 5, 2005
    I'm glad you started this thread digit ;)

    This particular hammer has really peaked my interest. I've been saving my pennies for a press, but I would really love to have a press and a hammer :D The cost seems very reasonable and the build appears to be pretty darn simple.

    Chris, Mike,.......... I know they say a pic is worth a thousand words, and a video?? :confused: who knows how many words that's worth. ;)

    What are your thoughts after having worked these hammers for a while now ?

    Have you guys moved much metal with your new hammers ?

    How do they perform ?

  8. 12345678910


    Jul 13, 2009
    You're right.
    I was using memory, not facts

    more like 0.95 to 1$ per pound here for simple shapes.

    the costliest portion I can think of is the anvil, one solid piece.

    I was considering some sort of built up option with concrete fill, but it's nowhere near as dense as steel is.
  9. Phil Dwyer

    Phil Dwyer KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Feb 28, 2006
    You're right about the chunk of steel for the anvil. I've had my eye out for a piece for a couple of years now, but haven't been able to find one yet here in Hawaii. I'll have a new connection in the Navy yards later this summer, so hope springs eternal.

    BTW, Clay writes in one of the first pages of the plan, to not use a filled tube for the anvil. I was thinking of a schedule 110 tube filled with lead at one point, but decided against it.
  10. Will52100

    Will52100 KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 4, 2001
    I've got one, I was gathering some stuff up to build one and came across a maker that was upgrading to an air hammer.

    I love mine, very good control, easy to use and maintain, and works very well.

    The only real improvements I've made were to weld a piece of flat bar to the motor house and motor mount to brace it as the spot welds like to peal off from the side ways pressure of the motor engaging the tire. Motor isn't realy designed for that kind of action. But I had the same problem with a "rusty" style hammer I build, same fix.

    The other thing is that they use 1/2" plate for the base and it's realy not thick enough. I had a 4' square section of 1" plate and welded the hammer's 1/2" base to it and bolted the whole thing down to a thick concrete slab and it hits hard and fast and doesn't wobble at all. Of course if they built them with 1" thick bases it'd be even more difficult and heavy to haul and set up.

    In short I'm very glad I got mine, I worked for a long time without one, would not want to be without this one now. I've also got a press and they complement each other very well.
  11. blindhogg


    Feb 21, 2001
    I love mine also, they are really designed for thin to 1" stock. THey do a wonderfull job in that range IMO. When I need to work from1"-2" I usually just remove the bottom die so that I can stay in the sweet spot of the hammer. It hits very hard for a 50LB hammer and a friend who has a 50lb Little Giant told me my hammer hits far harder than his.
    Of course when the lower die is off you can not work on smaller than 1" stock.
    Overall I love my hammer and this it is a good design.
    PS I have forged many 2" hammer heads with mine and it performed flawlessly.
  12. Rick Marchand

    Rick Marchand Donkey on the Edge Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jan 6, 2005
    I wonder how efficient a treadle version of this would be? Most of the treadles I see don't have the cam/piston set up this one has.... plus I think the weight of the tire would assist the treadle.

    Just throwing it out there.

  13. 12345678910


    Jul 13, 2009
    I don't know.

    As long as I have electricity, or combustion engine, or water wheel, or whatever source of power, I have no intention of using treadle power.

    Every comment I have ever read from a person with a treadle machine wore out their knees with one before they upgraded.

    My knees are bad enough that I can let them learn that lesson for me without having to relearn it all over again myself...

    I figure that it would be the same work and cost to build a motorized vs manual so I'm going to skip the treadle.

    For me it's a tossup between this and pneumatic. Pneumatics have better control, but this is smaller, simpler, cheaper and better for me to start with.
  14. M.Griffin


    Nov 8, 2007
    I was thinking about building a "rusty" hammer. Having used both, which would you recommend? I think I could build a really nice rusty style hammer for very little as I have access to a huge scrap pile for no money. There is someone pretty local to me that built a really nice rusty style hammer and loves it. He is going to let me come over and check it out.

  15. David Wesner

    David Wesner

    Jan 5, 2005
    Will & Chris, Thanks for the detailed feedback :thumbup: :thumbup:

    Thats exactly what I was interested in hearing about.

    :cool: :cool:
  16. birdog4


    Jan 21, 2000
    The local blacksmith group has one of Clays hammers and the only drawback I see(hear 0is the hollow tubes elsewhere create an annoying racket
  17. 12345678910


    Jul 13, 2009
    That's a good point.

    a fellow on KnifeDogs works with sound attenuation and suggested that the tubes in a NWG No weld grinder be filled with spray foam insulation.

    Someone did it and it worked well for him.

    It's good to keep that kind of thing in mind for the main upright tube.
  18. birdog4


    Jan 21, 2000
    That's a good idea. I would use lead shot or something similar. In a convwersation with another smith we both agreed the hollow ram was eminating most of the noise.
  19. Phil Dwyer

    Phil Dwyer KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Feb 28, 2006
    I thought you filled/weighted the ram tube to get the hammer head up to 50 pounds. If you top the whole thing off with shot might that throw the system out of spec, balance, or some such? Seems like it might be better to top it off with foam (if that does indeed dampen the sound)?

    I believe the thought about a thicker base plate is probably a good one. I've had trouble with that issue even just with posts vises attached to posts welded to too thin a base plate.

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