Saturday, October 2, 2010

Crusot Steam Hammer

I'm feeling rather badass this week, therefore I feel this post is perfectly appropriate for the week. Thank you to my good friend Isaac for sending this my way.

The most badass hammer in history is the Crusot Steam Hammer. A 19th century industrial marvel created to forge extremely large pieces of molten metal. The process of forging makes a piece of metal extremely strong, and the crystals in the crystaline structure are very close together. This is the best process for tools that are going to be hit over and over again (say an anvil for instance) versus casting, which can produce rather brittle results. This hammer was not for making anvils though, this would have been used to make larger pieces for buildings, which need to be extremely strong.

Originally created in 1836 the Crusot Steamer originally weighed an amazing 750 tons and stood over 5 stories high. The steam powered piston could deliver a blow of over 100 tons but also had the capability of performing rather precise tasks as well. Currently disabled and functioning only as a monument in the small french town of Crusot, this hammer had a long productive life until advances in hydraulics in the 1930's rendered it obsolete.

This is by far the best part. A 1904 Library of Congress film of the historic hammer in action. I can't stop watching this.

I love seeing this huge piece of metal get completely slammed by this hammer. There are about 10 men who wrangle the piece with a rather interesting jig, throw flux all over it before it gets forged (sparks and shale flying everywhere!) and they use some type of hammer tools - I'm not sure if it is to forge it into specific shapes or leave some type of surface texture - either way, definitely worth 4 minutes of your life.

Reposted from thereifixedit.

1 comment:

Gabriel said...

So I am pretty sure that the reason they are throwing flux at this is because they are forge welding it! I shit you not. Those huge handle like things they are holding onto are actually screw clamps that hold the pieces together. At about 1:30 you get the best view of the laminate at about a 30ยบ angle. Forge welding. While our 8 person/ piece forge weld was amazing, we ain't got shit on this! Amazing. Thanks for sharing.