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I like the shape of the hammer head. you might want to try a more traditional approach on your next one. You could punch or drill a hole through the side and band it to wood. This would lighten your piece, or you could make a mortise and tenon to fit the head to an iron bar, that way you wouldnt have to rely on your welds, I've added a pic of one I did some time ago to show you the rivets and wood approach. That much shock on a weld will create alot of stress, so you might want to grind away some of the excess and reweld it. Another concern with welding it is the loss of temper to your hammer head, You'll have to get the hammer head section red hot again and quench it in oil and then bring it to the temper you want (dark yellow-slightly brown). good luck!


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I'm going to take a different tack on this and give a critique: (I researched european medieval and renaissance war hammers once for a project I made)

There are two basic types of european war hammers (not including the Lucerne hammer): the Horsman's hammer and the Footman's hammer.

The horseman's hammer is very light and quick and is designed to be used one handed from horseback.

The footman's hammer is a canopener and can get heavier and with a longer handle.

I'm not sure what you were planning this one to be?

I would have advised you to punch/drill a round hole in the head and then drift it square and just a bit undersized than the handle stock and then heat shrink it onto the handle stock leaving a bit extra to rivit/upset the top as well. No ugly modern welds (and that's worked for mine for over 20 years now!)

Of course you need to do the heat treat as part of the handle setting then. The handle should definitely be mild or medium C at the most and be "soft" far better to hammer out bends with a wooden hammer than to break in use!

(I used sucker rod drawn back).

I like the positive grip aspects of the handle but it looks a bit small for a typical hand, you want something about the size of a hammer handle to grip yet you don't want to add excessive weight by maxing up the stock size. Some period examples used a hollow tubular grip, others a built up grip with wood, other a wooden shaft. (I did a built up---used ebony and then wire wrapped it with twisted wire.)

Finally there should be a swell at the base of the grip to prevent it from sliding out of the hand when things get messy, (brains are *very* greasy). The loop at the end for a lanyard is a great touch; but I would suggest a swell as well.

There are some nice examples of hammers in "The Wallace Collection Catalog" put out by the Wallace museum in London. (as well as 100+ rapiers with length, width, weight, bladeshape, etc, broadswords, armour, etc) See if the local library can ILL it for you!


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I guess I should give some specs on it, it is in no way small. I know the welds look crappy, but they are very good, GREAT penetration and lots of fill, they are very solid despite rough looks. Thom, I would say it would be along the lines of the horseman's hammer, it is light and quick(very light and quick) and well balanced due to the solid metal handle(which was 3/4 inch square). In no way was ai going for historic accuracy baseing it on any other peice other than a couple hammers I saw in the shop of the first blackmith I ever met, I barely remember them. I wanted to do an ALL steel very solid war hammer, and accomplished it pretty well I think. I might wrap the handle with leather too, but the twist design(it is more than it looks, you will see with the BP) gives a great grip. It widens out in the middle of your hand, in the cup of the palm. I will try out the square mortis and tenon joint with the next one, but like I said I was going for DEFINATE sturdiness on this one, a REAL beater. LOVE the hammer John, I will DEFINATELY try that style soon as well(I am gonna need more crowbar:D), but am iffy on wood, maybe that strapped style with a metal tubing or solid handle! I of course added my taste and feel to it, artistic touches here and there, if it is not rock solid AND pretty, it's not my bag hehe. And my forge welding still sucks, i have not had a chance to practice. it fits in the hand pretty good, as opposed to the sword I just restored(big fat leather wrapped wood grip), this one is nice and ALMOST petite in the hande, like I said it IS 3/4 inch square bar(or was). I really appreciate the comments, and critique. It is a real basher, hands down, it feels very good in the hand, I will mail it to anyone who thinks not:D, or perhaps come and see you in person with it:mad: hehe. I couldn't figure out a way to do a just wood handle(and metal shaft) withouth weakening it. Oh and I heated just the face and upset to cherry red and quenched that, so it differentially heat treated the face only AFTER all the welding(so as not to pop or stress them), and only quenched the upset and face. I wasn't sure of the steel, so I left the claw as is.

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