Cam powered hammer build question


Building a cam powered beam hammer. Have a 16# sledge head I plan to put on it.
Do I want to leave the head domed or make it flat?
Not sure it it makes a difference but figured it would not hurt to ask. Read that a domed head will spread your metal and a flat face will not.


Joel Sanderson

New member
A domed head, as you put it, would be harder to use than a flat head with tooling--spring swages or hand held tools like cutters, drifts or whatever--so with most hammers, I recommend flat dies. But if you're making a helve hammer where the head is going to hit at different angles depending on the stock thickness, it might be better to leave it somewhat curved, especially if most of your hammering is going to be directly between the dies. You can always change it later.

Does your sledge have two faces? Could you somehow engineer it to be turned over and have one side flat and the other domed? That way you could switch depending on what you're doing. That'd be fun.


Joel thanks for the reply.
Yes the sledge is 2 sided. The plan is to drill the handle hole out and replace it with steel rod (1.5"?). Then I will cross drill the head for a bolt so I can flip the head. Never thought of having one side flat and the other domed.
Already have plans for multiple height bottom dies for different materials.
On the lookout for a large vbelt pulley to drive the cam but no luck so far. Where are all the junk squirrel cage fans when i need one.

Pete Spaco

New member
If the hammer only uses gravity to drop it onto the work, I think you will be disappointed with its 16 pound weight.

Pete Stanaitis