What is your opinion about treadle hammers in the blacksmith shop?
Thanks for the praise about the youtube videos. They are only 10 minute long videos but actually take me about two days to produce. I put them up so they can help people like you. There is more information on each topic on my website in the members area so check out the newsletters when you get a chance. Videos have their place and combined with the written word can be quite powerful education tool.
Are they a useful tool?
Yes sort of. Since I build air hammers and have good control with them I can use it effectively as a treddle hammer. My opinion is that if a person can afford to build an air hammer that this is a better option.... but a good half way point would be an air assisted treddle hammer.
The big bonus with a treadle hammer is the control and cost can be quite low. They are not fast but you have a great deal of control with them for punching and texturing. They are unpleasant for drawing out, which I use my air hammer for all the time.
In short it depends on the type of work you do.
I hope this helps.