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heller rounding hammer.......soft

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I just scored a like new heller rounding hammer on ebay the other day. This is the cleanest one I have picked up yet, the only problem is that someone has heated it up to the point that it slagged up around the eye and the cheeks and it is super soft. How should I go about rehardening and tempering this old beauty?
Thanks,
Travis Koons

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Posted · Report post

Hey Travis! It's good to see you on here!

I am not sure what that hammer is made of, but I'd guess 1045 or 1050 which would be hardenable with water. I don't rely on my guesses though, and I wouldn't advise you to either.

My brother Ed is working at Reul's right now with Bernard, a European smith who helped teach smithing in Africa, and they are going to be hardening some hammers soon. You should give them a call at Ruel Darling's, and maybe try and hook up with them. You can give me a call anytime also at 559-679-4106. I'm in Mississippi now.

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Posted · Report post

when in doubt about quenching with water or oil...use oil. Heat and temper like any other hammer head.

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Hi Brian!
Thanks for the awesome wedding gift you sent, we love it! I am sorry we didn't get a thank you card to you, but we didn't have an address.

I tried to harden that hammer with oil but it is still soft. Shayne told me that he and Jay hardened their hammers in a hot brine solution, is that what you mean by water hardening or do you mean just straight water?

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Hi Brian!
Thanks for the awesome wedding gift you sent, we love it! I am sorry we didn't get a thank you card to you, but we didn't have an address.

I tried to harden that hammer with oil but it is still soft. Shayne told me that he and Jay hardened their hammers in a hot brine solution, is that what you mean by water hardening or do you mean just straight water?


You're very welcome, Travis.

I meant straight water. Brine would be more severe, but being hot would tone it down a bit. I'd try the water first. Use at least a full 5 gallon bucket of clean water, no soap or oil in it. I also agitate the hammer very agressively until it is completely cool before I take it out of the water. You should be able to hear it "scream" and the "scale pop" should be pretty evident.

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You're very welcome, Travis.

I meant straight water. Brine would be more severe, but being hot would tone it down a bit. I'd try the water first. Use at least a full 5 gallon bucket of clean water, no soap or oil in it. I also agitate the hammer very agressively until it is completely cool before I take it out of the water. You should be able to hear it "scream" and the "scale pop" should be pretty evident.



lol....yeh, doesnt having some soap in the water annoy the %$#@ out of you,,,hot steel wont break the water skin...and wont cool the steel right.

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