It's a super-size hammer that helps shape steel. The process is called Drop Hammer Forging and it's something you've got to see to appreciate.
It's the body of old time industry with the heart of a raging bull. "It's an 8 thousand pound hammer," says Metal Forger Chris Cox.
It's waiting for today's target, heavy slabs: "They're pretty close to 300 pounds," Chris says.(The furnace door makes a squealing noise as we watch it open.) of hot metal.
"You load them into our 23–hundred degree furnace and they heat up approximately hour and a half, two hours," he says. Now glowing, too hot and heavy to move by hand. "We have that fork truck device, scoops up underneath them," he says.
They're set in place and then: (Natural sound of: Bang, Bang, Bang) "It's steam operated. I step on the pedal," Chris tells us. The harder he steps on the pedal, the harder the hammer hits. "100,000 foot pounds, that's a lot," he says.
As the metal is pounded into shape, fiery sparks fly. "About 2,000 degrees roughly, 17–18–2000 degrees I suppose." Which is why a metal forger wears such heavy protective gear."I have an apron with a face shield, a helmet, double hearing protection," he says.
(Natural sound of: Bang, Bang, Bang) It's something Chris Cox has been doing for decades."I do like it. It's fun to just stand there and beat on something and you do get rid of a lot of stress and it's dangerous. I think I kind of like the danger. I don't know why, but I think I do," he tells us.
Pounding out parts one piece at a time. (Natural sound of: Bang, Bang, Bang.)
The 8 thousand pound hammer is the big dog, but they also have a couple of 5 thousand pound hammers, and a 2–thousand pounder.
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