Went for a trip to Brisbane earlier this year. Went via FNQ (Far North Queensland) and had a couple of goes at catching up with Iron Woody, just to have a chat and perhaps a couple of ales, but he’s an elusive bugger and hard to pin down. Ah well, another time...(hope you found that steam engine you were chasing Woody)
Got in touch with Matt (Ratel10mm) about blacksmith groups, as I’d be in Brisbane for a few weeks and he put me onto Mike (Double_Edge2) who has a set-up in his back yard where Fellas get together a couple of times a month to belt hot metal and have a good time. Went around to meet Mike, have a coffee and yak about ‘smithing. Then went out and drooled over all the stuff he’s got in the back yard. As I’d mentioned to him that I’d like to have a go at making a Hammer, Mike gave me a blank to take.
I rolled back up on a Saturday and met some of the Blokes who’d shown up for the day. Matt came up from across the border as well and it was good to put a face to the name. Mike told me to get that blank out and we’d knock it into a hammer shaped object, which we did, with Mike doing the technical stuff and me swingin’ the sledge. Mike had previously made himself a slightly smaller hammer head and when mine was done, he whipped both of them off to start grinding the faces and said to come back another day when he was done.
As I’d only ever worked alone, it was great to be able to talk to and bounce ideas off others in a group. I had a great time and met some good people. When I went back to pick up the head, Mike had not only finished the grinding, but had heat treated it as well. I bought a handle from him and left with a smile on my dial.
When I eventually got back home, I soaked the handle end in some linseed and turps and then fitted it, trimmed and wedged it and took it to the anvil for a test run. From the first blow it became my favourite hammer. Everything about it feels just right and Man, does it move hot metal. I love it! I hold about half way along the handle and was considering docking it, but the extra length hasn’t been a problem to date and when I need more force I just take a longer grip.
The hammer weighs in at a tad under 4Lb. Thanks Mike, I really appreciate all your help and hope we can catch up again some day.