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I Forge Iron

remaking hammers


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I have decided that I need some new hammers with features not found on standard hammers. I have been making some heavy-duty trowels and I want to spread the metal for the blades and the sockets more efficiently. I reshaped this ball peen today and also redrifted it's eye to square and stretched it a little to get a stronger handle on it. Along the way I had to make myself a square and an oval hammer-eye drifts and a pair of hammer-eye tongs. I found these hammers are some kinda hard stuff to pound into new shapes! The three-pounder that I worked on will take a few more forging sessions to take shape. I am trying to get a sort of fuller shape with a larger radius than my cross peens have.

I heated and quenched the hammer when I had the shape pretty well defined. Then ground the scale off and baked it in the forge again till I got about a medium blue color and requenched. I will handle it tomorrow and see how it works (I hope).




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After feeling the balance on the ball pein I remade I was thinking about reshaping the face on one to see how it worked. I've found the balance was easy to get used to so I'll probably do the same next time.

However, wanting a larger radius I think you've taken the right course. I'll be very interested in how well it works. I have a 3lb garage sale driller's hammer head I think I'll use for my next remake. I wanted an angle pein the first time but forged it backwards and didn't want to try twisting it a full 90 so stopped when it was straight.

Looking good.


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Clay Spencer
When he was touring with his treadle hammer (before the now famous tire hammer) showed boxes of tooling that was remade from ball pien hammers
Punches, fullers, butchers, chisels everything you needed as a top tool he made from garage sale pall pien hammers.

Most of the work is already done by having the eye already made.

Not to hijack this thread but Robb Gunter shows cutting the claw off a claw hammer and forging the head into an adze blade. It has a square eye and woodworkers love them for big $$$. He recomended you to give them a high polish. Said wood workers are just like a crow they cant leave a pretty adze lay on your trade table.

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"Most of the work is already done by having the eye already made."

UUUMMmm... I have to differ with THAT statement... there is some time and work saved... BUT PLENTY is left to exercise your hammer hand! It is REAL WORK reshaping a decent hammer head into anything at all. Good exercise and skills practice though. Want a chance to practice hammering technique... here you go... this'll do the job. It'll test your anvil, your tongs, your arm, your forge, your patience... temper, language skills (haha). A good way to use up that excess coal in your stash too.

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All of my hammers are reshaped drilling hammers or small sledge hammers. Just anneal first and the metal bandsaw and angle grinders are your best friend. ;-) Makes easy work for diagonal peens.

Yes, the hardest thing to making a hammer is punching/drifting the eye. Not to mention the finding of the right material at the right size.

Starting with the right material (hammer head steel) and right size/weigh with an eye already correctly punched will save you hours of forging/punching before you even get to the shaping.

In the time you would make one hammer from scratch by hand, I will have completed three to five. Don't even get me started on making the punch and drift for the eye let alone tongs that are big enough to hold the hammer head ;-)

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I think its part of blacksmithing to take an unused tool and re-work it into a new tool. that being said I don't pass up the chance to pick up someones junk for a little of nothing knowing that someday I make something out of it.
sometimes its kinda fun to look a a hunk of rusty steel and see its new shape!

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Okay, Frosty;

I didn't get to forge yesterday but I handled that hammer and he went to work today! I felt that he did just what I had intended and seemed VERY useful and seemed to save me a lot of time (not to mention producing more refined work). Here's the proof (not in the pudding but definitely HARD evidence). I forged this garden trowel from a piece of one inch by one inch angle 1/8 inch thick. I now have a buncha hammers in various stages of rework... nothing is ready to show yet though. My hammer-eye tongs are a huge help... I still need some more hammer tongs though. BTW I must have done a good job redrifting the eye because the handle was dead solid despite a very energetic workout. So, success! Happy I am!



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