Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of bearings are in the machine?
The pitman, knuckle, and main bearings are all high quality SKF roller bearings.
 
Do you stock repair parts?
Yes, we keep a complete inventory of spare parts in Tennessee and some at the Pieh Tool facility in Arizona. In the unlikely event of being out of stock on a certain item, it can usually be air shipped in a matter of 3-4 days.
 
What is the warranty?
There is a 1-year parts warranty. In addition, the electrical components have their own warranties against defects for 1 year. These are simple machines with robust design.
 
How does the hammer arrive at my shop?
All of the hammers have their electrical system installed and tested at the Arlington, Tennessee facility. The machines are then crated and shipped via common carrier to your shop. The crates are forklift-able, so that’s usually the best way to get the machine into the shop.

Lift trucks can be rented quite reasonably and make installation painless. We work with several freight lines and a freight broker to get the lowest rate to your destination. All hammers are shipped freight collect FOB Tennessee.
How much do the hammers weigh? The SM50 is 3000 lbs, with base 4000 lbs. 

How do I lift the hammer?
Slide a 1” round x 24” long steel bar through the lifting hole and use straps or chains to lift.
 
How much travel is in the foot treadle?
The foot treadle is user adjustable. Generally, the travel is 5-6”. There is a stop collar in the horizontal shaft leading into the body of the machine, and this provides the ultimate limits. Within practical reason the longer the travel of the foot treadle, the more precise is the control over the hammer blows.
Most owners place a 4” thick block of wood under their heel and press the treadle with the ball of their foot. Some smiths prefer to use their heel to press the treadle, resting the ball of the foot on the edge of the hammer base. The machine is adaptable to the ergonomics desired by the operator.
 
What sort of foundation does the hammer require? 
Nearly two decades of experience with these machines have shown that the best base system is the fabricated steel base with rubber interface pads. This 10” (SM50) high base raises the hammer to the proper working height, adds 600-950 lbs of additional weight, and the 30” wide footprint provides extra stability.
The hammer bolts directly to the steel base. The base then sits on five  4”x 30” neoprene rubber strips that provide an interface between the steel and concrete. It has been found that in most instances the only restraint needed for the machine is a 24” length of 3x3 angle iron bolted to the floor at the front edge of the base. The hammer wants to walk forward, and this angle iron resists that push. By not bolting the machine down hard to the floor it allows the hammer to float, reducing the jarring, loosening vibrations caused by the constant impact of the hammering. An inertia block, or separate deep foundation is not required so long as the shop floor is at least 6” thick 3500 psi concrete. You can buy the base from Pieh Tool or build it yourself from our plans.
 
Can I use a wooden base?
 Wood is not recommended for several reasons. It is relatively lightweight, meaning that the entire unit will have to be bolted to the floor. It is difficult to obtain large dense sections of adequately sized timber.
The anvil casting is attached to the welded body of the hammer in a shallow way via three 1”bolts. The bottom of the anvil and the bottom of the hammer must be kept flush. With a wood base, over time the anvil may beat down into the wood causing misalignment of the dies and possible damage to the piston. If you must use timber for a base, then put a minimum 1/2" thick x 18 x 60” piece of steel plate between the machine and the wood. By the time you rig up all the requirements for the wood base, you will have spent as much time and money as a proper steel base. The higher density of the engineered steel base provides a higher energy return into the work piece. The wood absorbs more of the impact.

What’s the biggest steel stock I can forge under a Sahinler Air Hammer? 
There are many variables that affect this equation: Shape of the dies ( flat vs. different radii), heat of the material ( is it yellow hot, or orange?), composition of the material ( A36, 1050, 1090, stacked billets, non ferrous), initial profile, ultimate desired profile. The nice thing about an air hammer is that the blow is self adjusting to the thickness of the material, backed by an air cushion. So there are no springs or retainer arms being threatened when you stick a piece of 3/4" x 6” in edgewise! I have forged 3x3” A36 with the LDC50 dies successfully, drawing 24” square tapers from 12” of stock in 2 or 3 heats. The hammer doesn’t mind at all, but it’s a workout for the arms!
If you’re forging tool steel that will be heat treated it is recommended to not plan on forging larger than about 1 -3/4” square, as you want to be sure to forge deeply and not just forge the outside of the bar, which can result in a tunneling effect on the grain structure, leading to internal cracking during heat treat.
 
So what’s the smallest stock I can forge on the Sahinler?
The key here is to not work too hot. Planishing blows are much more effective at the end of a heat, down around red.

Does the hammer come with any dies?
Yes, a flat die set is standard and there are dozens of optional dies in our Hammerhead die line at Pieh Tool Company.
 
How long does it take to change the dies?
It usually takes about 15-30 seconds to swap dies. It is important to keep the narrow end of the wedge key dressed so that it doesn’t get stuck when backing it out.
 
What are the primary maintenance issues?
Lubrication is of paramount importance (see 11). The air hammer is a type of compressor, but rather than having a splash type oil sump it uses oil injection into the air flow to lubricate the front and rear pistons. When the oil level meniscus is seen in the sight glass it is time to top up the reservoir with 30 wt. air compressor oil. Remember, the hammer consumes oil, so refilling will be a regular task.
There are two grease fittings: one is on the pitman bearing, accessible through the round “Sahinler” hatch on the left side. The other is on the main fly wheel bearing on the right side. Use a standard wheel bearing grease every 100 hours. Keeping the drive belts snug is important, as slippage causes rapid wear and loss of power. The notched (X) belts provide much better power transmission around the small drive pulleys. Keep the front piston (ram) blocked up when not in use. This keeps the oily smooth surface out of the reach of grinding dust that will be attracted to the oily smooth surface. Along these same lines, keep the machine wiped down weekly to avoid a buildup of oil and scale. Keep the fire scale cleaned up around the sow block at the base. Do not allow the area around your feet to become cluttered with drops and tools. A clean tidy shop is a safe shop. Over time there will be a need to replace the soft rubber offset and 90º air hoses inside the hammer. These hoses are soft in order to be able to assemble the innards of the hammer. Over a period of hundreds of hours of use, the hot, oily air slowly breaks down the rubber. It is a simple 10-minute job to replace these hoses. After perhaps 1000 hours of use, the bronze wear plate that prevents the front piston from rotating will need to be serviced. Once rotation of the piston becomes more than 2-3 degrees the piston and gland should be disassembled, and the wear plate flipped or replaced. In general, it is recommended to check the tightness of the cylinder bolts, base bolts, and bearing bolts every 100 hours.
 
Why does my hammer seem to be losing power?
Check that the drive belts are properly tensioned. There should be about 1/4” deflection in the center of the belt. Changing to notched "x" belts also provides a much better power transmission. All new Sahinler's come standard with notched drive belts.
 
What are the drive belt sizes?
The SM50 uses three BX83 and the SM34 uses two BX70. These are notched belts which provide great power transmission around the small drive sheave. You can order these from Pieh Tool Company directly.
 
How does the oil system work?
The oil reservoir feeds a needle valve assembly connected to the rear cylinder. Within this assembly is a small steel ball, backed with a coil spring. In shutdown mode this spring pushes the ball against the hole, blocking any flow of oil.
In run mode, on the intake stroke, suction is produced which causes the ball to move away from the valve orifice, allowing a drop of oil to be sucked into the air stream in the cylinder. This oil is atomized and then circulated throughout the air system, and to the front cylinder. All of the air constantly has an oil mist in it. This is a simple, if slightly messy, lubrication system. The end of the valve shaft has a 60º point, which meters the amount of oil available.

Sometimes I see smoke coming from around the motor…
Fortunately, it’s not smoke! When the oil control valve gets opened too much, excess oil is introduced into the system. The air intake/exhaust is directly in front of and below the motor. As the excess oil builds up in the system, it gets expelled through the exhaust as a mist, and ends up looking like smoke.  When this happens, turn the oil control knob off for an hour or so (to let the excess oil work out of the machine). Thoroughly ventilate the area during this time, as the oil mist should not be breathed.
Remember to re-open the oil valve. Generally 5-10 degrees is sufficient. During periods of heavy use this valve may vibrate further open, so it should be checked occasionally. It is not necessary to close the valve during shutoff mode, as the ball/spring is normally closed.

Receive a $50 STORE CREDIT and 2 pairs of Billy Tongs FREE, when you buy a Sahinler Air Hammer from Pieh Tool. Call for your coupon code today! 928-554-0700 or 888-743-4866