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Hello everyone!

I've been a member here for a couple years, but I believe this is my first post.

I have a question for you guys regarding hammer steel. I was at my local surplus shop today, and they had a 1 3/4" round piece of steel about 30" long. The owner wasn't sure what it was, but said it was most likely mild structural of some sort, with 1018 or 1045 likely. Here's a picture:

RoundStock.jpg

Anyhow, my question is...would 1018 (worst case) be worthwhile at all to use for a hammer? I know some prefer hardened hammers, and some normalized. I don't have enough experience to know for myself to be honest. I'm something of a beginner bladesmith. My anvil is a 4' long or so 4"x7" faced post, approximately 250lbs, and unhardened (cut off forklift tine). I've noticed with use, it has work hardened...and assume that even a mild steel hammer would do the same.

Your opinions would be greatly appreciated. Probably going to pick the chunk of steel up tomorrow...just want to know if it's going to be a waste of my time in advance lol.

Cris

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Hi Cris

I'm not really experienced(only about 12 days blacksmithing!)but a lot of guys like to weld a tool steel face onto a mild steel body. This method is only a tiny bit less durable than a solid steel hammer. I don't think the hammer it will work-harden if it is made of mild or low carbon steel as your anvil is made from steel with a higher carbon content than mild steel.

Hope this helped!

Jordan

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Yes there are ways of making do but if you are just getting started you will be a lot happier not trying tricky advanced processes to make do with something that is easily done with a more appropriate alloy.

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AFAIK, 1045 has a good reputation as a steel for hammers.


That's good to know. I can get 24" of 1 3/4" round from Speedymetals for less than $20. That's 16.3lbs as shipped. Less forging losses maybe 15lbs. That's enough for a good 5lb, 3lb, and 2lb hammer...and then some. Guess we'll see how I do slotting the eye lol.

http://www.speedymetals.com/ps-3886-100-1-34-rd-hot-rolled-1045.aspx

=D

Cris
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Speaking as someone who's only made one hammer, and had some trouble with the eye: don't forget to rotate the chisel/punch frequently.

I saw you asking Brent F. about 1045 vs. something like 4140 on the other forum. Either one can certainly work just fine for your purposes, but you may find 1045 easier to HT properly.

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Speaking as someone who's only made one hammer, and had some trouble with the eye: don't forget to rotate the chisel/punch frequently.

I saw you asking Brent F. about 1045 vs. something like 4140 on the other forum. Either one can certainly work just fine for your purposes, but you may find 1045 easier to HT properly.


Thanks Matt,

I figured I'd probably drill/cut out the beginnings of the slot, then drift the remainder. I'll keep the rotating thing in mind...as well as lube. I also figure 1045 will be the ticket, as my heat treat setup is pretty primitive lol.

Cris
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Thanks Matt,

I figured I'd probably drill/cut out the beginnings of the slot, then drift the remainder. I'll keep the rotating thing in mind...as well as lube. I also figure 1045 will be the ticket, as my heat treat setup is pretty primitive lol.

Cris


Cris,

You will find topics on here by brianbrazealblacksmith on hammer making. Here is one on slitters and use with hammer making. Hopefully, it will be useful for you. I took a class with him on hammer making and he definitely knows what he is doing when it comes to hammer making.

Brian
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Cris,

You will find topics on here by brianbrazealblacksmith on hammer making. Here is one on slitters and use with hammer making. Hopefully, it will be useful for you. I took a class with him on hammer making and he definitely knows what he is doing when it comes to hammer making.

Brian



Wow, thanks Brian...great thread. I have a feeling I may ruin one or two before I get the whole 'drift/punch' thing down. Might be worth buying that steel just to practice drifting 1 3/4" steel lol.

Thank you also for giving me another avenue of research =D.

Cris
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