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Japanese style hammer


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#1 loneronin

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 04:21 AM

I decided to modify an hammer in the japanese style forging hammer.

I had an old 1500gr. (3.3 lbs) cross-peen hammer already modified by its former owner. I cut off the peen with the angle grinder and the jacksaw. the ugly cut has been ground flat. the face has been also fattened and beveled with files and all the hammer, head and handle, has been sanded to 120 grit, I also glued up a crack in the handle and paint it with a couple of coats of wood primer. now it weights 1150gr. (2.53lbs) handle included and... I'm definitely pleased of my new forging hammer.

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#2 ThomasPowers

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 08:24 AM

Looks a lot like an english cutler's hammer now.


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#3 DanielC

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 09:59 AM

Looks great! I just recently been able to use my own Japanese styled forging hammer and it honestly feels great. My main heavy use anvil is a tad low to assist with heavier blows and striking, but with my new hammer it feels normal height (gained an inch or two from eye placement in the hammer). Deff. Feels different but enjoyable.

#4 Francis Trez Cole

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 05:10 PM

 First nice hammer I like your efforts.  Only one problem a Japanese style hammer the Eye is on an angle. this effects how the hammer hits the anvil on a Japanese style hammer when your hammer blow is at the lowest point  the face of the hammer should be on an angle. with yours the face of the hammer is parallel to the face of the anvil.    


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#5 wanderer50

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 06:45 PM

Wasn't the Japanese hammer eye angled for making swords and knives?



#6 ThomasPowers

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 08:51 PM

And *everything* else!


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#7 windancer

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 10:13 PM

Looks like a very usable tool, now. Let's see some blades done with the new hammer!

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#8 loneronin

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 02:31 AM

you're right. the eye is not angled... well that's the best I can do by now but I hope the new balance of the hammer will help me to have a better feeling and a little more control on my blow. this is the aim of my modification.

 

thanks everybody for your encouragement!


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#9 eseemann

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Posted 16 August 2014 - 06:44 AM

I had a question about the Japanese forging hammer, is there a physics reason that most of the mass of the hammer is off center of the eye? I would think this would take advantage of leverage or some such. If that is the case I wonder if this type of hammer was used in western blacksmith hammers. I watched a video on YouTube of a hand forged sword that went from Japanese black iron sand to the hand polishing of a master craftsman and when the 2 strikers were forge welding the tamahagane (ie beating it like it owed money and missed the last two payments of the vig) and I figured there must be very few things in this master sword smith's shop that is not the result of hundreds of years worth of refinement. I like the hammer BTW, looks very nice.

 

Ernest 



#10 DanielC

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Posted 16 August 2014 - 08:43 AM

From my experience, with the eye offset as it is, the hammer acts like a pendulum. From left to right the hammer seems to stay straight, and the only thing to really focus on is the forward and backward pitch of the blows.



#11 eseemann

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Posted 16 August 2014 - 08:53 AM

I had not thought of that, good observation. 



#12 ThomasPowers

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Posted 16 August 2014 - 09:27 AM

This style of hammer has been in use in Europe at least since early medieval times.  In the last century of two it's use has tended to be by specialized crafts like saw tuning or cutlery.

 

Here's an example from 1630: 

 

http://upload.wikime...ado,_1630).jpg

 

heres one from circa 1100 Northern Europe:

http://4.bp.blogspot...hing-hammer.jpg

 

Some people love them and others do not---though they are no more "japanese" than cars are.  You may prefer a japanese model of car, (I certainly like the imported pickups...) but cars are made and used all over the world. If you bought a German car you wouldn't say "it's Japanese!"; well I wouldn't...


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#13 Frank Turley

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Posted 16 August 2014 - 10:30 AM

I have two Japanese forging hammers, neither of which is over 15 years old. They have rectangular eyes, but the hafts are shaped oval except where they enter the eyes. I got out my bevel gauge, and measured the head to haft angle, and it was 88 degrees on both. One hammer is 3.5 pounds and the original haft is 12" long. The other hammer is 1.75 pounds and the haft is 12 1/4" long. It looks like both heads were started with square stock, as the polls and eye-cheek areas are squarish, with the polls having chamfered corners. The heads are shaped rounding with circular faces. When you pick up the hammer, there is no mistaking which end is going to hit the hot iron. I have drawn and measured other Japanese hammers, and the proportion of poll end to eye center compared with face to eye center will vary.

 

As to the whys and wherefores, I sometimes think that the hammer styles from a particular country are a matter of happenstance. Perhaps a guy was a super smith doing wonderful work, and others saw his hammer. "Hey, I'm going to make a hammer like that."

 

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#14 ThomasPowers

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Posted 16 August 2014 - 05:42 PM

"Perhaps a guy was a super smith doing wonderful work, and others saw his hammer. "Hey, I'm going to make a hammer like that." 

 

Boy aint that the truth!  I can think of a number of hammer "fads" that start with one very good smith using it at Demos and then everyone wants one!


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#15 jacobd

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Posted 16 August 2014 - 06:37 PM

Does the Japanese style hammer offer anything function wise that a regular cross peon does not? Does the center of mass or linear mass help?

#16 ThomasPowers

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Posted 16 August 2014 - 09:27 PM

Well the english cutlers said it helped align the force of the blow and work down to the edge of the blade.

 

Some folks like them and others don't YMMV


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#17 rockstar.esq

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Posted 19 August 2014 - 01:38 PM

I really don't know the why's and wherefores behind the "Japanese" hammer but I thought I'd mention that several youtube videos' show traditional Japanese blacksmiths  have a profoundly different way of working.

 

Quite a few of them were working in a squatting/kneeling position.  I noticed there weren't horns, hardies, or pritchels on the anvils in knife and sword making shops.

 

Just about everything was done from a low position without much in the way of high angle stock positions relative to the anvil.  It makes me wonder if the hammer's prevalence in those shops had more to do with the relatively flat work they were doing. 

 

Several shops had such a low anvil that any bending must take that into consideration lest the work hit the floor.

 

It did occur to me that that hammer pattern makes some sense for their strikers because it serves to counter the effect of a "too low" anvil.


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