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I Forge Iron

A good cross peen hammer


plane_crazzy

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I have been using a cross peen that weighs about 32oz. I feel like it is a little heavy and would like to find one to use for everyday forging. I have looked at several online in the 600-800gram range. most of these however have a flat square face. From what I have read these types of faces are to be avoided as the sharp corners cause nasty imprints on the metal. anyone have any experience with these or know of another good alternative? Thanks for any help.

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plane-crazy
I only have about 2 hammers I haven't modified to do what I want them to do-mostly by grinding or filing to get the neccessary contour rounding,flattening or what have you. Use your imagination and make the hammer work for you.

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Hey Plane_crazy,

My cross peen hammers are 3 and 4 pounders. Everyone has different needs. I want to get a 2 pounder. Sharp edges have their purpose but can also mar your work causing unnecessary work of scrapping the project. It's your tool, file or grind it to meet your needs.

Talk to Richard. I don't think he'll mind me giving you his email since it is on his website, www.dancingfrogforge.com

richardthibeau@dancingfrogforge.com

Richard knows hammers and can point you in the right direction.

Mark<><

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In europe hammers often used to be sold unfinished because you were expected to finish it to suit yourself.

You can spring big bucks for a custom hammer for blacksmiths making very nice ones indeed!

Or you can pick up one from fleamarkets and junkstores or pawnshops and modify it to suit yourself.

Many of the *old* ones may already be dressed nicely. I've noticed that the very boxy angular hammers tend to be chinese imports.

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There is a nice looking one on ebay, I am not sure who made it I did contact the seller to ask and I am waiting for a response, looks nice, http://cgi.ebay.com/...=item3f089de264
Update: the seller does not know who made the hammer, it has no markings, I would ask for another picture before bidding in the 3rd picture it looks like maybe the handle is curved or maybe the eye is not perfectly straight, if its the handle its not a problem, but if the eye is off who knows what you will be getting

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I have never found any reason to avoid a square face hammer and have been using one full time for 43 years. However, you will need to grind/sand all the corners of the face to a smooth radius. I aim for approx 3/32 inch radius. You'll probably also need to adjust the overall crown of the face to suit your work. This is necessary with almost any hammer you buy, so it's not a bad idea to get the hang of it. You can do all of this with a small side grinder with grinding and sanding discs. No need for big equipment. I check my progress with a simple straight edge.
I have looked at almost all the hammers on the market and have rarely seen one carefully ground. They are almost all uneven, and shaped for low liability and speed in manufacture. Better to have the skills to make what you want then wait for that jewel to come along.

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I have or may be I should say now, have had a lot of different hammers over the years and a 2# hammer is not all that big. Howeverif if you want to go to a smaller hammer I might offer up a 1-1/2# Jim Keith rounding hammer http://www.internetcommerce.com/isapi/EVisions.isa?SF_ProdDescription('JKRHAM')&EvApp=sf.2504 . It is a nice well made hammer and only a $175 or you could buy something less expensive like this one http://www.anvilbrand.com/p-198-mustad-1-lb-12-oz-forge-hammer.aspx or just go to some yard sales and pick up a nice sized ball peen that feels comfortable in your hand and dress the face on it and work with that. You know that we can all suggest our favorite hammer to you and that you can spend a ton of money buying this hammer and that but it will eventually come down to some quirky old hammer that you spend fifty cents on that will be the right one for you. That's the way it was for me. I bought this "Made in Japan" 2.5# hammer head for 99 cents at a yard sale, put a handle on it and used it for thirty+ years, best investment I ever made. You just never know which hammer is going to be the one. I have used every thing from 6 pounders down to 2 pounders and it is my Japper that I always like the best, it just feels right. Like the old saying, you got to kiss a lot of toads to find a princess, it's also true about hammers, you got to forge a lot of steel to find the right hammer. Get it hot and hit it! <_<

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I have about 4 hammers that I do 80% of my work with and 100 others that cover that last 20%.

I've noticed that in blacksmithing; just like most things in life, fads come and go and several times have bought very nice hammers on the cheap when their original owners decided that while they were "the best thing since sliced bread"---they just didn't work for them. Conferences with liberal tailgating policies work best for those...

One of the reason I have so many hammers is that I teach and don't expect *one* hammer to suit all my students and so let them choose from a large selection. (and will often shift hammers on them after I see their hammering---some lighter, some heavier, some with a more rounded face, etc.)

I even got smaller versions of my "favorite" as some of the students seem to think that it's the hammer that makes the difference rather than the skill and practice of the person on the other end of the handle.

Hammers are fun; I hope I find another one at the fleamarket tomorrow!

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There is a multi family yardsale this sat at our electric co-op. I'm hoping to find some blacksmith, farrier, ballpeen, etc and hopefully stumble across one of those, "WOW!" finds. Lots of possibilities. Whatever I find, if needed I will tailor it to my needs.

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John at Gearhart Ironwerks started making hammers, I got one at the last hammer-in and went right to work with it. I feel they are under-priced at the moment. He posts here sometimes, or google gearhart ironwerks for the website. I'm not getting any kickbacks for the plug, I just feel he's got a handle on a good hammer.

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John at Gearhart Ironwerks started making hammers, I got one at the last hammer-in and went right to work with it. I feel they are under-priced at the moment. He posts here sometimes, or google gearhart ironwerks for the website. I'm not getting any kickbacks for the plug, I just feel he's got a handle on a good hammer.


Mike, was that supposed to be a pun?? LOL :D
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