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Gordon Barr Treadle hammer kit

Posted: Fri Apr 25, 2014 1:39 pm
by Jeff Van de Walker
I just picked up the Gordon Barr treadle hammer kit from discount steel. So far I'm really impressed with how helpful discount steel has been about this kit. When I first called and inquired about this kit they bent over backwards trying to help answer my questions. Definitely friends and fans of the Guild of Metalsmiths. Quite a bit different from the days when the yard employees would run the other way when a customer would show up and Nate was in the corner telling dirty jokes (I actually kind of liked it back then too!) Needless to say I'm pretty excited to get after it this weekend. I plan to post photos of the progress if anyone is interested.
-Jeff

Re: Gordon Barr Treadle hammer kit

Posted: Mon Apr 28, 2014 9:10 am
by Jeff Van de Walker
I was able to put a dent in the treadle hammer project this weekend. I have to say this kit has been a joy to work with. When thinking about building a treadle hammer I first thought I would just buy supplies, draw up plans and and cut the pieces myself. With the kit their isn't much cutting or planning to do so you can get to the fun part and start building right away. There is a lot of drilling to do but because most of the pieces are laser cut they burned in drilling guides right on the steel...very nice. Below are the results from this weekend, lots of chamfer work, drilling and tapping (broke two taps!...argggg) but overall a pretty enjoyable experience.
-Jeff

Re: Gordon Barr Treadle hammer kit

Posted: Mon May 05, 2014 10:02 am
by Jeff Van de Walker
A few more progress shots of the new hammer. All the bits and pieces are aligned and in place. I'm currently slowly welding all the parts being careful not to put too much heat into it and cause any shifting.
-Jeff

Re: Gordon Barr Treadle hammer kit

Posted: Tue May 06, 2014 2:08 pm
by Darryl Ponder
That looks very nice Jeff! Well done!

Darryl

Re: Gordon Barr Treadle hammer kit

Posted: Mon May 19, 2014 1:05 pm
by Jeff Van de Walker
Some final shots of the Treadle Hammer mounted and installed. Overall its working well but I still need to make some adjustments here and there. Other than the cable to hold the keys in place It's pretty much complete. The next project is to make dies and get some experience with the tool.

If anyone with treadle hammer experience has any advice or adjustment thoughts I'd love to hear them.

Thanks,
-Jeff

Re: Gordon Barr Treadle hammer kit

Posted: Fri May 30, 2014 2:27 pm
by Jeff Van de Walker
One last post I promise! I wanted to share some shots of my first piece from the treadle hammer. The piece is 5.5" x 7" hot rolled steel. I made a few different punches for drawing the lines and adding texture to the bark, I worked those sections cold. For the leaves I had to heat the steel up and then punch in the leaves. I'm starting to get a feel for the tool and making adjustments as I go. I'm liking the control over the hammer blows, gentle taps to large thuds feel natural. Overall I'm fairly happy with the hammer and the first test piece.

Any tips or tricks folks have for a new treadle hammer user?

-Jeff

Re: Gordon Barr Treadle hammer kit

Posted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 12:07 pm
by Martin Pansch
Nice hammer build Jeff. I especially like the built in sling point for lifting it.

No real tips or tricks for treadle hammer use from me. I just recently got mine tuned up enough that it is actually a tool and not just a shop ornament. I have only really used it so far as a set hammer when I need precisely matching shoulders on both sides and for smacking a spring swage. Most of my current struck tools are too tall to fit under it and still get a solid blow.

Several years ago we had a treadle hammer themed demo at one of our bi-monthly meetings. A few folks brought their hammers and demoed there tricks. I think Bob Walsh showed how to make hot collars with a jig he made. Dave Gavin showed some tricks including how to deal with the off-center strike of the swing-head treadle hammer. Maybe it is time to do something like that again.

Re: Gordon Barr Treadle hammer kit

Posted: Thu Mar 30, 2017 10:51 am
by Jim Dunning
Can anyone tell me where to get a kit and an approximate cost? I know shipping will be a bear since I live in Arizona.

Jim Dunning
mooseforge@gmail.com

Re: Gordon Barr Treadle hammer kit

Posted: Sun Apr 02, 2017 1:29 pm
by Martin Pansch
Hi Jim.

After the Guild's build some of the extra kits were cut out and being sold by the Discount Steel in Minneapolis. However, they didn't sell very well and so Discount discounted them a few years ago and sold them out. I am pretty sure Gordon has the plans still. You might be able to get a steel yard near you to fill the cut list for you.

Take care.

Martin