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I Forge Iron

"Comstock Warranted Cast Steel" Hammer question

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I snatched up this hammer up at the local St. Vincent 2nd hand store for $1.50, it is huge, It's a 14 lb. straight pein. It's stamped with "Comstock Warranted Cast Steel"

I am going to teach my wife to swing it, she'll be my striker.

I cant find any data via Google. I usually try to find historical relevance when I pick up older tools ( pre...use safety goggles, Taiwan, Japan, Hecho in China etc...)

I will take a photo later if any one wants a visual.

Kenny O

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I have seen "CAST STEEL" stamped on a few American tools, ATHA for example, but it was a term used more often in England. Comstock is a British family name, and on our side of the pond, it usually refers to the Comstock Lode silver mines in Nevada. "Cast steel," chiefly "crucible steel" in the U.S., was a method of making high carbon steel in crucibles by melting, with the result being poured into ingots by one man. The steel was later forged into usable bar stock. Therefore, I'm guessing that your sledge was made in England.

I hope that your suggestion of having your wife wield a 14 pound hammer was "tong in cheek."

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

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Sam are you thinking of cast *iron*?
Cast *steel* AKA crucible steel was what the UK was famous for and used for the top quality levels of tools.

I am indeed thinking of Cast Iron! It makes hammers that no-one would ever want to steal and are cheap enough to lose regularly.

Rather depressing that, I've just bought some tool steel and it was made in India.
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  • 3 years later...

I have a 14# straight peen like that, nasty brutish thing.  I don't remember if you can see where it was made, but the shoulders on the face are in bit better shape.  Never liked that hammer even when I was younger and stronger, would flat wear you out.  I used to break concrete in the hot sun with it...  I told a guy that I didn't know anyone who could swing it properly, he thought he could, he proved me right, at the expense of the uniformity of a billet of Damascus that we were gang sledging. Heavy hammers slow the cadence when your sledging.  Ideally when your team striking you are all well matched in size, strength, hammer weight, and speed.  It throws the work off if one guy is off cadence...  I know that there are guys who can use the bigger hammers and do a good job, (Bruce Wilcox had some boys who could bang out some work with a real mans sledge, not to mention Tom Clark, Uri Hofi, and Ahmet Levi:-) but I haven't met that many personally...  For Most people you need to work up to the bigger hammers, it just doesn't seem to be something that people can just pick up and be tolerably accurate with, or work that long with, on an occasional basis.  Better a smaller sledge that you can swing fast enough, accurately enough, and long enough to get the work done.  Too many people want to rush to a BIG heavy hammer, thinking it will do more work, and it will... on you, and/or if you can swing it fast enough, accurately enough, and long enough to get the job done...  My wife used to sledge for me, I have a beautiful 8# rounding hammer sledge, but the last time she did that was 12 years ago, now my oldest is 15 and nearly big enough to sledge for me. I will be taking a class with Nathan Robertson on hammer making where we will be sledging for one another, maybe they will change my opinion;-) Hopefully I wont be rushing the strike, or lagging behind... ;-)  Team Striking is a lot of fun, a lot of work, and will wind you, but a huge amount of fun.  I plan on bringing my 6# straight sledge for striking tools, my lovely 8# Rounding sledge for forging, and a 10#? cross peen because, might bring a few more including the brutish 14#er...

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