another rookie question here, that has probably been asked, but I have found very little on 'parallelogram, rhombus' etc. keywords, and that haven't really solved my problem. Please read it to the end to see what I have already tried. I strongly believe that hammering technique is of utmost importance to learn early, and only a good practice makes it perfect, not just any practice.
I am a 'youtube-learning' blacksmith (I don't think that nowadays anyone is really 'self-tought'), and have no one nearby to ask.
My problem is with a cross section turning into a parallelogram, instead of rectangular, when flattening a square bar, when working in classic standard position - piece of work is closer to parallel to the body (90 degrees to the sight direction).
At first I thought the problem is easy, and I have only to tilt the hammer, put the anvil higher, etc. But all that did not help. The parralelogramish shape is more or less there, no matter what I do.
If I tilt the hammer so the heel is closer to the anvil when landing the hammer (or 'anvil higher' position), I get what is on pictures (it's a cold-splashed square bar but it is the same with hot). If I try to land it as much parallel on the surface as I can, it's just a parralelogram, and when the tip of the hammer face is closer to the anvil ('low anvil' position), the parallelogram is even worse. The piece is flat on the face of the anvil, so there is no angle that could cause the problem.
I think there is an inevitable lateral move of the hammer towards myself, due to the arc nature of the swing. And this move causes top layer of metal to move, creating such a shape. I tried to compensate it by moving the hammer from myself in the end of the move, with little or no effect, not to mention it looks weird.
And the question is - how do you prevent such a situation? What technique do you use to land the hammer ideal flat on the stock? Any compensattion moves? I know how to fix the parallelogram and that's what I am doing now, but I believe there must be a technique to prevent it in the first place.
I get more or less even metal spread only in 2 cases:
- when I put a piece 90 degrees to the body, i.e. alongside the sight direction, and hammer it so the hammer handle is parallel to the stock.This is quite awkward position;
- when I land something ridiculously heavy on the stock, like 12-lb sledge, without swinging it i.e. there is no 'arc' part of move; this was just for experiment, of course.
Any help or suggestion is highly appreciated, I am already desperate to find the answer myself. Thanks!