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#1 EWCTool

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 02:30 PM

Does anyone else look in disgust at how sharp the corners are on store bought hammers? I have noticed it more now than before. I am sure that it is cheaper to produce them that way, but when it comes to moving metal, they don’t help much. What are your thoughts and solutions around them?

#2 Frosty

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 03:01 PM

Which stores do you find smithing hammers of any kind in? I'd be thrilled to find one in any one around here. On the other hand I have a belt grinder for dressing hammers and such.

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#3 Frank Turley

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 03:39 PM

There are many ideas on dressing the face and peen, some of them conflicting. I was told to rocker/dress the face a little like a pocket watch crystal and to radius the edges. I have flattened and crowned the cross peen on my hammer somewhat after looking at Peter Ross's hammer. Therefore, on your workpiece, there is "less cleanup." Disc sanders, belt sanders, and Scotchbrite wheels are what I use.

Nobody at the hammer factory is going to give you what you want. They EXPECT you to do the finish work to your liking.

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#4 edge9001

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 03:54 PM

frosty
I've found several cross peen hammers at the bix box hardware stores. you know home depot and the like. even walmart carries the occasional cross peen hammer.

unfortunatly they all need more work on the face that ussually looks terrible
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#5 pkrankow

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 08:44 PM

I've gone crazy on a couple of cheap hammers. I have even "destroyed" one by overdressing...I got past the hardened metal (somewhere between 1/4 and 3/8 inch from the factory face on that hammer). Good learning experience. I like having a radius on the edge and a near, but not quite, flat face. My opinion may change over time though. I don't forge enough lately.

Phil
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#6 Mark Wargo New2bs

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 09:41 PM

Stanley is marketing 2.5 lb and 4 lb blacksmith hammers with fiberglass handles. They have extremely sharp cross piens. You can pick them up at home depot for sure.

Mark

#7 kcrucible

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Posted 12 September 2010 - 07:14 AM

I ran across a 2.5 lb "new england style" blacksmith hammer at sears yesterday by stanley. It looks like a cross pien based on another picture I saw (not that familiar with the terminology). It had a wood handle.

More or less this one I think, but had a painted black handle.

http://www.acetoolon.../stt-56-412.htm
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#8 pkrankow

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Posted 12 September 2010 - 07:54 AM

I bet there is a spiral ridged pattern in the face from being cleaned up on a lathe. This pattern WILL transfer to your work.
Phil
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#9 Mainely,Bob

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Posted 12 September 2010 - 09:11 AM

How many of us use hammers just as we buy them?Come on now,let`s see a show of hands!
OK,you Hofi users and other custom mades drop your hands,we`re talking hardware store hammers now.

Look around you folks,not many hands in the air.Well,there`s Gomer and his cousin but they ALWAYS raise their hands for everything.
Someone else beat me to the point about the manufacturer providing us with roughly shaped raw material.Want better than that you can put that 20 away and drag out that $100 bill you have stashed where the wife never looks.Gomer keeps his in his shorts. :rolleyes:

The point is you need to modify most tools to get them to fit your hand and techniques.
Modify and polish the faces,either cut back or replace the handle so it stays on your hand and hits exactly where and how you expect every time you swing it.You want it to act like an extension of your hand.
One size fits all is just not gonna cut it for max performance.Drag out the grinders,the rasps,sand paper and the buffer.If you want your work to reach the next level try tuning your tools for a leg up.

Put that money away and drop your hand now Gomer and get your cousin to do likewise. <_<

Who buys hammers anywhere but at the scrap yard, yard sales and flea markets any more?
No,no,put your hands down.I really don`t want to know,the question was rhetorical.
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#10 kcrucible

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Posted 12 September 2010 - 11:00 AM

I ran across a 2.5 lb "new england style" blacksmith hammer at sears yesterday by stanley. It looks like a cross pien based on another picture I saw (not that familiar with the terminology). It had a wood handle.

More or less this one I think, but had a painted black handle.

http://www.acetoolon.../stt-56-412.htm



I was wrong... craftsman brand on the shelf, not stanley. Same specs though. No spiral marks on the face... the only "grain" is vertical. A bit more rounded on the face than seems a good idea if you want to do flat easily and the transition to the edges are a little abrupt. But as Bob says, modifiable.
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#11 Rich Hale

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Posted 12 September 2010 - 01:11 PM

I ave had the opportunity to use a lot of different hammers over the years include some stanly farriers rounding hammers with steel shaft handles and rubber grips, and some hammers with fiberglass handles. I cannot see the time ever come when I would pick another one of each of them up and try to do anything with them. I like wood. And as far as I can tell that alwasy means hickory handles. My arms tells me they absorb some of the impact and allow me to work longer and by comparison relativley pain free.
For almost all of my forging hammers I prefer a well made farriers rounding hammer and there are several brands on the market. I am not talking about cheap discount store hammers that require work that I feel is better apent forging something. A couple I have used in the lower price end of good hammers are Nordic and Diamond. Most farrier supply stores have them as well as on line sources. Those stores will also sell well made cross pien hammers. They will also have higher priced hammers that you may wish to look at. I have a 1 2/3 # Jim Poor hammer that I like a lot. Like was said above. there just may not be a hammer anywhere on the market that suits your needs. and your needs may change. I would advise to stick with a 2# or less weight hammer until you get body mechanics and techniques down until they are just part of your day. Onelast item is handle shapes. I always reshape handles on new hammers or replacement handles. AS bought they are too large in diameter for me and I shave, grind saw, sand etc them until they fit as I like them. A skill we all need is to be able to rehandle tools well. Take a hammer you use now with wood handle, get a new handle or two for it then start reshapping the one it has. If youi make it too small or something does not feel right when you use it take more off a littel at a time and if you go too far replace it. A few bucks is a good risk when you may make youre forging improve. Like with hammer head shapes. change alittle and use it.

#12 Frosty

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Posted 12 September 2010 - 06:35 PM

Okay, cross piens are still pretty common, though usually called engineer's hammers. Of the store boughts I like the best I really like my driller's hammer and because they're designed to drive drill bits and stone chisels the faces are already radiused and chamfered. My other oft used store bought hammer is a rounding hammer around 28-30oz or so, my other one walked off.:angry:

I have a couple store bought single jack sledges I use on top tools and lots of other hammers I've modified to my liking and a few I've made.

The best thing about being a blacksmith is NOT having to settle for a tool as it comes from a store or just making whatever you need. Of all the crafts out there our's is known for making the other's tools. ;)

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#13 kcrucible

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Posted 12 September 2010 - 07:04 PM

Okay, cross piens are still pretty common, though usually called engineer's hammers.


Different beasts from what I can tell. An engineer's hammer is like a cross pein with two large heads and no tapered wedge.

Engineer's hammer
Posted Image


Blacksmith hammer
Posted Image


Cross Pien (same as blacksmith as far as I can tell)
Posted Image


Drilling Hammer (just a small engineer's hammer? looks like maybe a rectangular face also)
Posted Image
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#14 Frosty

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Posted 12 September 2010 - 07:23 PM

I think a lot depends on what the marketing nimrods think will sell the most hammers. I've seen cross piens sold as both engineers and blacksmith's hammers. what you're showing as an engineer's hammer is what I'm calling a single jack sledge. Single jack meaning one handed. I don't pay much attention to those in the stores so I can't say for sure what they call em here.

The driller's hammer is very similar to the single jack but with a much shorter handle, weighing about 2lbs. give or take. The real tell is how the head is curved on the side away from the handle. Ths is to minimize the room needed to swing it in a mine or other close space. The curve only JUST shows on the one pictured and is more acute on the ones I have. Different makers I assume, maybe for different size holes, tunnels, or? And "Drilling hammer" IS the more correct name, I just forget and call them "Driller's hammers".

I like the drilling hammer for it's short handle, relatively heavy weight and smallish face for better control in finish or fine working situations. It's also good for driving a chisel, punch, etc. in a close operation. The curved head makes them real nice for forging next to a shoulder without hitting the shoulder. I love em for close work.

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#15 ThomasPowers

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Posted 13 September 2010 - 11:36 AM

Why folks would expect a factory to *know* just what *they* will be using a hammer for and how they will be gripping it puzzles me.

Wasn't that long ago that a craftsman would naturally be expected to modify their tools to suit themselves!

Factories are trying to get away with doing the minimum amount of work and still get a product that sells. Expecting more from them is usually a waste of time.

Of course nowadays liability plays a part. I recently bought a star drill to do a bunch of drilling holes in a concrete slab, (appx 2000 hammer blows a hole---I got to counting after a while and would stop for a rest every 100 blows...), the top section of the drill was so soft that I had to grind it clean of the mushrooming every couple of holes and only had to sharpen the other end twice the entire project!
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#16 Frosty

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Posted 13 September 2010 - 02:09 PM

Star drills, oh BOY! My drilling hammer's never struck one. I'm just too lazy, I bought a Porter Cable hammer drill and it goes through concrete so fast it's scary. You have to be darned careful drilling steel with it though if it snags in the hole it'll spin YOU without a grunt.:blink: The hammer function switches off of course.

I do have a couple star drills<_< I just never use them.

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#17 pkrankow

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Posted 13 September 2010 - 04:05 PM

Star drills, oh BOY! My drilling hammer's never struck one. I'm just too lazy, I bought a Porter Cable hammer drill and it goes through concrete so fast it's scary. You have to be darned careful drilling steel with it though if it snags in the hole it'll spin YOU without a grunt.:blink: The hammer function switches off of course.

I do have a couple star drills<_< I just never use them.

Frosty the Lucky.


I can't argue too hard about using a hammer drill. I have used star drills and do not relish the though or envy those who use them. They do get the job done...eventually. I have 3 or 4 in good shape even though they may need redressing. The back end is softer than I like in a struck tool and they mushroom quickly.

Phil
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