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rounding hammers

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Brian and Lyle were up here last summer teaching and I finely got around to making some rounding hammers. They put on a really good clinic, I highly recommend them. Markpost-2097-0-62433800-1334300193_thumb.jp

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Posted · Report post

Nice looking hammers. We made one at one of our meetings a few minths ago and I WONT post a pic of that one. It was all done by hand with two strikers (myslelf and another) and one smith who didn't know how I wanted to do it. We had never worked on a hammer together to get our story straight. We have both made hammers over the years just not together. We slit the eye crooked but actually managed to straighten it by turning the hammer and forging mostly from one side. It is a reallly short 2+ lb rounding hammer.

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Those look great, you must have paid close attention to what they taught. Did you make your own tooling? The last hammer on the right looks huge; how big is that one?
We have our spring conference coming up in a couple of weeks I will see if I can find someone to strike for me over there and see how much of that info I have retained.

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Posted · Report post

Nice Mark! Will you bring some too the next meeting?

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The largest one is just over 4 1/2#. I did make my tooling. I use a power hammer most of the time and I don't have a striker, so some things needed a little modification from their tools, but not much I should have made a new punch like Brians, but I used one that I already had, but it has a flat end. I could bring some to the meeting.

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Really nice job, Mark! It's alot nicer with the power hammer; isn't it? We've worked with a few guys now and made dies for their power hammers to make hammers. One of these days I hope to settle in and set up shop and work more civilized.
I'd like to get a larger hammer, like 6 or 8 pounds, made like that. Do you think you could do it with your hammers? I'd also like to buy one like that largest one,4 1/2#, if you'll put your mark on it. I can grind, heat treat and handle it myself.

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Hi Brian, I'd be glad to try making one that size, I think I should be able to do it. I will look into getting the right size steel. If I send you something I could get some real feed back as you will be able to see it much better. Mark

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Thanks, Mark! Let me know how much you want for it. They look great. I have a 17 year old here today taking a class for a few days, and he really likes my 4 pound 9 ounce hammer. He has just started smithing, but he could use a big one like in the picture. How much would you charge for a finished hammer? You could send me a personal message if you don't want to quote that on IFI. I know some people get a little funny on here about selling what we make as blacksmiths.

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Mark, I sure like the one I got from you. Seems like I go for it most often. It really notice the difference when trying to move coil spring, it's so much better than my old cross pein.

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I am glad that it is working out for you.:) Farriers and former farriers seem to use rounding hammers for everything, but there is a reason that they make cross pein and other style hammers.

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I love rounding hammers for things like hearts,strikers and horse heads but like some of the other hammers better for working on hawks and axe blades..They all have their place..Good job by the way..

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there is a reason that they make cross pein and other style hammers.

i know, I mean the large face on the cross pein. I am not using it nearly as much.

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I make a lot of brass hammers for folks here from lil tappers that weigh in at less than 2 oz or les to 20 lb beaters that are a combnation of brass/ bronze However I have not done many steel ones .

Sam

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As a former horseshoer,yes,I do use a rounding hammer a lot but my preferred rounding hammer is the kind with one square face like the type Brian and Ken Mermelstein(sold by Kayne) make. Many shoers use mainly a crosspeen because it is so nice to use the peen for starting toe clips.If you are accurate enough(I'm not and never will be) to concave the inside foot surface of a shoe with a flat face,there is no need for the round face. No one style fits all. Just look at the average blacksmith's hammer rack.

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Hi Tristan I did not mean to imply that you did not know the purpose of different hammer faces. Maybe I was speeking more to myself in that I will often be using my favored hammer and neglect that one specific to a function.
Eric I to have used square flat side rounding hammer faces more than any others over the years. Mine differed from Brians in that the sides of mine were forged square and the edges had a smaller radious. I have done most of the clip evolution, starting with a round clip horn, then bob punch, then cross pein, then straight pein, then ball pein, thne a specific cliping hammer like a ball pein only the flat face had a straight radious on the heel to control the clip. For me I think I like the bob punch best and am doing that mostly now as it gives me the most control, I think the hammer clips are popular because they are a little quicker, but I can do 2 clips with a bob punch in one heat so that seems to be plenty to me. I have this year started to use this grind on my flat face. I really like it. I like the round tight radious for freeing pritchels and punches and the square edges for controled drawing.
post-2097-0-01726100-1339175384_thumb.jp

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Funny-many of us,including me, have gone through the whole gamut of finding the best way to draw clips!!Even though I spent a long time learning my trade under a great teacher,my clips were never anything to brag on. Like everything else I do,they were functional but not pretty. Wish i had more artist in me.Got real close to an artist once but nothing rubbed off.
I don't really understand the deal of how the edges of different parts of the square face are ground with different radii? Could somebody post a clear picture showing the different edges and how they work? thanks. Eric S.

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I also prefer a square faced hammer to a round..I use the edges to fuller with..Eric i wish I had a pic to show you though Im not sure I mean the same thing everyone else does..I use the edge of a square faced hammer almost like you use the peen on a cross peen..

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Posted · Report post

good to see some one else uses them too lol

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Kyboy-thanks. What I was wondering is that folks talk about different edges of the square face having a different radius. Mine is the same on all facets... Hope I'm being clear with my question.. Not sure how to word it...

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Hi Eric normally all the edges have the same radious but some hammers have larger radiouses than others. I just took the pictures so will try posting them. I agree that the main advantage of the square face is in drawing, as a cross pein or straight pein by tilting the hammer. This first one will be a round face ground square with large radiouses thus reduced hammer marks.
post-2097-0-69739600-1339309418_thumb.jp post-2097-0-50319300-1339309459_thumb.jp
this one is a forged square face with small radiouses the trapazoid is from the camra angle not the hammer.
post-2097-0-86088600-1339309606_thumb.jp post-2097-0-08762500-1339309622_thumb.jp
This one is a square forged hammer with the corners eased and a large radious.
post-2097-0-33827400-1339309745_thumb.jp post-2097-0-63680700-1339309766_thumb.jp
Hopefully that explains what I was trying to say.

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Posted · Report post

I believe this is what Brian Brazeal is talking about when he talks about how the hammer face can have different dies on it.

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Hi Brian, I agree partly but also I think that one of his main points is that by changing the angle of the hammer you change the way it forges also by using half faced blows that is a different type of die. If you think about a power hammer and how it works say with flat dies, you have 2 dies matching (I hope) that come together meeting in one plane. Now if you want a smooth taper you change dies to get that or use hand held tooling (different dies) if you want half face blows you use different dies or move one of the dies to acheve this, if you want to hit at an angle you change dies or use a set tool to make an angle (different dies). much of this is done without really thinking about it with a hand hammer, but it is like using different dies and then when we change hammers or use the other hammer face or pein we increase our assortment of dies. The majority of shops that I have been in with a power hammer have a sever shortage of dies. The nice thing about hand hammering is that you have much more freedom in forging, with angles and a normal anvil provides many bottom dies as well, but it takes some understanding.

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If you think about a power hammer and how it works say with flat dies, you have 2 dies matching (I hope) that come together meeting in one plane. Now if you want a smooth taper you change dies to get that or use hand held tooling (different dies) if you want half face blows you use different dies or move one of the dies to acheve this, if you want to hit at an angle you change dies or use a set tool to make an angle (different dies). much of this is done without really thinking about it with a hand hammer, but it is like using different dies and then when we change hammers or use the other hammer face or pein we increase our assortment of dies. The majority of shops that I have been in with a power hammer have a sever shortage of dies. The nice thing about hand hammering is that you have much more freedom in forging, with angles and a normal anvil provides many bottom dies as well, but it takes some understanding.


And that is the reason why it is so important people learn to use and understand hand techniques, it then leads to better understanding of what you need when making dies for or using PH's

Far too many go to a PH before they can use a hammer properly/usefully.

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I TOTALY agree John, I built a hammer only a few years ago, after 35 years of hand forging because I had to do a hundred feet of hand forged fence, with balls and flames... and seven gates. The owner didn't want any welding, mortise and tenon for all the pickets, rivets and bands for the gates. The power hammer was an arm saver for an old geezer like me. BUT I already knew how to do it by hand, new comers don't know we used to hammer 2 1/2" round into cross peen hammers with a sledge, and don't want to know ! They think I'm crazy making them hammer by hand with a perfectly good power hammer collecting dust 3 ft away

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I had a very accomplisghed industrial smith with 30+ years of exp tell me once that it takes about 10 years to "really" learn how to use a power hammer..He had an entire wall full of top/bottom tools for his hammers..I mean dozens and dozens..
While many struggle with hand forging a simple pair of tongs he could make a 5' long pair of industrial tongs under his hammer that looked like they came out of a mold..I was impressed to say the least..

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