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Sam Salvati

Hand hammer for once

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awhile ago I asked Jesus Hernandez about getting some detailed measurements of his offset hammer which is the "real deal", and he most courteously did in great detail. I was doing alot of thinking on them and how they were made or how I thought they were made, and it gave me a great starting point. This was the hammer I made based on what I learned from the specs Jesus sent me, and tried to put into practice. The main trick to these is slitting and drifting the hole at an angle, and how to play with that angle, and how I guess they did it (due to the beautiful simplicity of the technique) was that the angle of taper from the face to the butt was fairly close to the angle of the handle, because when you forge them, you taper the whole block of steel then slit and drift the eye hole, the hammer blank being tapered sits flat on the anvil at the right angle. The handle is not yet fully mounted hence the wedge stickin' out. Hammer Head is 1045, handle is hickory as is the wedge. I think when I get the chance to put the handle in for good, I will use a small chunk of tamahagane that Rick Barrett made for the wedge, for Mojo :D. I left the handle long because I can always cut it shorter if I prefer.


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Sam

Nice looking hammer. Is this a speciality hammer?.... or will you do general forging with it?

Nathan Robertson makes a line of hammers like that, but I think his are intended to be used by knife makers.

Lots of interest in your experience with it..... and your learning curve to use it.

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Very nice work, Sam!

Do give us a report on how this hammer performs....

I've never used a hammer of that design, so I'd like to know more.

James

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thanks guys!

Hollis, I only have dry handled it yet, not hit hot steel. I need to fix it to the handle permanent then i'll give it a try. I was thinking of doing it the way the Sheffield cutler's did it, and leave it soft until it dressed up from wear then harden it but I think I have it where I like it.

Dave, this style hammer is a specialty hammer most used by Japanese swordsmiths, but also used by cutler's and bladesmiths in Europe as well, same exact style of hammer used by both, they are very popular with bladesmiths. I have seen it in picture of blacksmith's shops also. I'll do general forging as well as blade forging with it, but it is a bit heavy for everyday use around 4.5 pounds.

James, will do! They are different from aregular hammer in that they sort of "pull" into the work, hard to explain but you understand once you try it.

Jerry, send it where? Oh you mean send it to the scrapyard :D?

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Beautiful work, Sam. I may have mentioned this to you, but that style is very similar to hammers used by saw blade sharpeners back in the day when they set the tension in the blades. Those guys also used hornless, square block anvils like Kerry Stagmar has. Stuff you probably already knew. The hammer is nicely forged, Sam, and all those pictures show your pride in workmanship. I really like that Swedish style hammer you gave me this spring. Thanks again.

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Thanks John. I know you admired this one at the hammer in and I regret not being able to give it to you but am glad you like the hammer me and Mike made for you instead. There is a discussion on some other forums about the authenticity of the mass forward hammer like this actually being used for bladesmithing, instead of just saw tuning, as most bladesmithing hammers of this style are opposite, being mass-backward (:)) with the eye punched in the fat end. I have seen 2 American bladesmiths that use the mass forward design which is why i call it a cutler's or bladesmith's hammer.

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A little while ago a got a similar hammer in a lot of handled tools. I haven't used it yet, but it's a neat hammer none-the-less. It is stamped with a '4' - I'm assuming that means it weighs 4 pounds (I haven't weighed it).
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I have a similarly shaped hammer I picked up in Cameroon in West Africa. I'll try and get a picture of it. It was being used to dress the edges of knives and similar tools. It is thicker at the face and has a huge eye, but I think it's shape is as much a function of the found object it was made from as an attachment to a traditional shape.

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how's this hammer perform? what are the techniques used when using it? how is it made? could you make it in a wrap around style like a hawk? i am very curious about this hammer :D

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Very nice! It looks like you forged the octagon with a hand hammer without even using a flatter. Which is impressive since it came out so nice and regular. That kind of steel would rather make folds and fishmouths with a hand hammer.

Like everyone else I am curious about the advantages of that hammer design and why its only used on blades?

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The "saw doctors" call that style a dog head hammer.

The currently used Japanese cutler's hammers are not nearly so head heavy and poll light, although they are head heavy. However, some of the Japanese sledge hammers have quite long heads with the haft quite close to the poll, probably because the anvils are buried in the ground and are set not so high as ours.

http://www.turleyforge.com Granddaddy of Blacksmith Schools

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I'm sorry I forgot about this thread! it was moved by mods too it seems without notification of the OP :rolleyes: .

FC, I'd love to see pictures of that hammer.

Junker, I forged it from 2" round under the powerhammer, then cleaned it up by hand hammer, then slit and drifted the eye. You could probably make it in a wrap around technique, but you'd need alot of material.

Performance is interesting, it's great for HEaVY work, I have trouble using it for anything else though but I have not had a whole lot of time to use it. I MUCH prefer the little brother to this one, for pretty much EVERYTHING. i'll be making a 2.5 pounder which should be perfect, heaier then the light one lighter then the heavy one.

Maddog, I rough forged it on the powerhammer, upset it then forged it to the octagon, then planished it and removed the die marks with a hand hammer, NO flatter.

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It's not only used for blades; but bladesmiths are always looking for something *special* to make their blades and the current link to that style of hammer from the japanese makes it *special* to them so they are the biggest users of that type in the west. In the east it's used for all types of smithing.

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