Foundation and Motor Questions for 50# Little Giant Hammer

Last Revised: October 9, 2017


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The Questions:

I am new to power hammers and have just purchased a 50lb little giant. Do I need to jackhammer my shop floor (4"to 6" thick) and pour a foundation?
Also I am going to replace the motor. Should I go larger than 2hp?

Thanks; John, Indiana


Footings and Mountings:
Although the Little Giant Company suggests footings that are about 2 feet deep for your hammer, many people don't go to such lengths and lead successful lives anyway.
  You can go to http://www.littlegianthammer.com and find the plans for the proper footing if you want to.
Some people have simply mounted their hammers to railroad ties that are just sitting on the existing floor.
Others have bolted them down to the existing concrete. Using a resilient pad would be a good thing.
If the concrete does crack some day, then you'll have less jack hammering to do.
I have seen some hammers bolted to railroad ties that have been sunk into a dirt floor.

There's a very strong reinforced concrete floor under my 50 pound hammer. I simply cut out some 1/2" thick conveyor belting to fit under the hammer and then glued the belting to the floor and to the hammer bottom with silicon sealer.
I did this in about 1988 and it hasn't gone anywhere yet.

Recently, Bob asked about my method---
He says: I saw where you had mentioned that you used a mat that was siliconed to the base of your 50 lb hammer and them siliconed
the mat to your concrete floor and it has held up really well. Do you have a particular brand of silicone sealant you prefer
to use? I finally have my hammer running but need to fasten it to the floor as it moves all around without being fastened.
There are so many silicone products on the market I thought I would check with you to find out what you used since it has worked
so well for you.
I Wasn't sure if I need a bath and tub silicon, a door and window silicon or something else.
I Thought I would try this method before drilling holes in the floor. Thanks Pete. Bob.

Heres' my answer:
Hello Bob.
Gulp! Boy, that was a long time ago.
I realize that we are into real heavy technical terms like "bath and tub" vs "door and window", but that really is about the right level
for me as I think back.
If my life depended on it, I'd have to go with the "door and window" RTV, and, for what it's worth, I do remember that it was clear in color.
It appears that the "shear strength" (which, I'm guessing) of "silicone/RTV" compounds might be the most important characteristic,
but it varies widely, as seen here:
http://www.matweb.com/search/DataSheet.aspx?MatGUID=73db98f898554b99bb9393acb523a0c4&ckck=1

Maybe a good place to start would be to visit your favorite hardware-type store, see what they have on the shelf, then go looking on the
'net for the shear strength numbers for each of them.

Now that I think of it, a friend and I have had some luck by asking questions like this of the Fastenal people, by going to the store
and asking, face to face.
But they might not be much help in this nonconventional application.

If I had to do it again, I might use something like this:
https://www.amazon.com/Silicone-RTV-4500-Strength-Industrial-Construction/dp/B01F9HCFEC
---just because it sounds right.


To move the hammer around, I placed it onto three pieces of 1 1/2" water pipe (which act as rollers) and levered it into place with a pry bar. While on those rollers, I tapped the four mounting holes to 7/8"-9 threads. Once the hammer was moved to its final resting place, I screwed 4 long bolts down through those tapped holes and screwed those bolts down enough to lift the hammer enough to get the pipes out. Then it was easy to fit and glue the belting into place. Unscrewing the bolts carefully allowed me to let the hammer down onto the freshly-glued, still-tacky belting.

A good 2 hp motor should be sufficient.
-Just make sure that motor speed and pulley size is correct to get you about 325 strokes per minute.
-Mount the motor as low on the hammer as you can.
-If you are going to use Vee belts from the drive motor to run onto the flat clutch pulley, a double vee belt drive would be best.
-If you will be running it in an unheated shop. you will certainly need a capacitor start motor.
-A 220 volt motor would be best.

Please be careful moving such a heavy piece of equipment around. This hammer weighs about 1600 pounds without the motor and it gets top heavy pretty quickly if it starts to tip.