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Hello everyone, I'm relatively new here but there seems to be a lot of chatter about hammers here so here's my .02 cents. Most new blacksmiths use hammers that are much to heavy. When I was a new smith (37+ years ago) I was guilty of this too. After meeting several fourth and generation smiths, I saw the folly of my ways. Even using the same hammer as one of my mentors, it didn't work the same way as it did for them. One smith used a one pound Machinist hammer like a magic wand, I couldn't believe my eyes. The other used a 3 pounder
like a surgeon. (I "cut my teeth" on a two pound turning hammer in horseshoeing school.)
Since meeting these two very different men I have four favorite hammers all of which I have made myself, and I whole heartedly recommend all smiths do the same. After all when an apprentice leaves his master he has his set of hand made tools, right? One more thing, When your are to do a heavy hammering job,(like the 3 pounder) warm up with a lighter hammer on some hooks or something, this will warm your muscles, just like weight lifting, which is what you are doing. also remember to hammer with your wrist, if you have to lift your shoulder the hammer is to heavy and will hurt you. take your time to develop your body as you develop your skills, and the heavy hammer will come

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Thanks SM1 - I am going to fire up my rivet forge for the first time today and I will use the 2# (Cheap Chinese hammer) rather than the 2.5# (American made, which I prefer) - I will watch for the shoulder thing and make sure the wrist is involved. I have noticed that on many videos I see there is a lot of 'chocking up' on the handles. I will try this too.

The adventure begins!


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