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Alec.S

why use a rounding hammer...

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No, Dave, a die is a thing that you put in or on something else. It is not  hammer or part of a hammer. I'm sorry but that's a simple fact. 

Anyway, my purpose here is not to argue the toss with anyone, but to very simply to point out what looks like yet another magic hammer being touted to the gullible, and to have bit of fun with it. If you are going to make claims of having the best hammer in the world, expect people to make a little fun at your expense. If your skin is very thin, why talk the big talk?

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Dan, it's kinda like saying the front bumper on a car is the car.  As for magical hammers, I remember seeing a hammer made by one of the IFI members a few years ago;  the thing had four faces/sides - kinda like a blacksmith's mace.  one face was a straight pein, one a cross pein, one a left 45-degree diagonal pein and one a right 45-degree diagonal pein.  The whole thing was a "hammer" and a work of beauty, but each face would be what part of the hammer?  As far as Brian trying to use or market some kind of magical hammer, I have never seen him advertise any of his tools for sale.  It is my sheltered understanding that you kinda have to work with him and make your own.

 

In short, if you consider yourself the power hammer, then the tool you use to move the metal is the top die - the anvil the bottom die.

 

Also, I pulled this from google:

die 2 (dimacr.gif)

n. pl. dies or dice (dimacr.gifs)
1. pl. dies A device used for cutting out, forming, or stamping material, especially:
   a. An engraved metal piece used for impressing a design onto a softer metal, as in coining money.
   b. One of several component pieces that are fitted into a diestock to cut threads on screws or bolts. 
   c. A part on a machine that punches shaped holes in, cuts, or forms sheet metal, cardboard, or other stock.  
   d. A metal block containing small conical holes through which plastic, metal, or other ductile material is extruded or drawn.
 
(sorry if this seems rantish.  definitely not meant to be.  it's just the art of communication.  If you grow up thinking that boots are things you put on your feet, when you go visit the "old country" people will thing you're a bit touched when they see you standing in the trunk of the car.   see what I mean?)
Edited by Pault17

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When Brian started using the term die in his video, it took me a bit to understand that he was using the term to describe the DIFFERENT shapes all present on the rounding hammer head and how he was using them.  Took a bit of head scratching but I figured it out, understand the process better and used that understanding to make use of the techniques he's demonstrating.

 

thank you Brian, that leaf video advanced my meager skills and brought a whole new level of hammer control.

 

no issues with the use of the term die.  I've always found it useful to shut up and listen, often stuff mentioned when I started listening doesn't make sense until I'm done listening, sometimes not even then.

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DanP

         I'm pretty sure most of the smiths who started as farriers prefer turning ( rounding ) hammers for their versatility. I've been asked if I used a die for some of my forgings that I made with a hammer and anvil only.....in a sense...... yes....the hammer, the top

....the anvil the bottom. Maybe after 30 or 40 years at the trade you will see things with a broader mind

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Francis, I have shown this very same use of the rounding hammer long before I got around any other blacksmiths. The first blacksmithing conference that I attended and demonstrated at was in 1998 at Vista, California. I demonstrated the same type of leaf in steel. I never had heard of Hofi or Habermann until 2002 while I was with Tom Clark. I made my first rounding hammer for Alfred Habermann in 2006.

Ok Brian where did you come up with the concept of the house for the handle?

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Who cares what you call your hammer. I call one of mine "Jack" and if your talking to me or working in my shop you'll call it Jack to because thats how you communicate with me..

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I generally watch videos whether u tube or otherwise with no sound.

I can learn better without the catch phrases and chatter by just focusing on whats being done instead of whats being said

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To answer your question again, Brian, I would use the weight and type of hammer appropriate to the job at hand. The surface I use is the obvious one, that being the face of the hammer. As it happens, I almost always use a hot set, rather than a hardy. The way I use the hammer remains the same.
Now, will you tell us why you are asking?

No, Dave, a die is a thing that you put in or on something else. It is not  hammer or part of a hammer. I'm sorry but that's a simple fact. 
Anyway, my purpose here is not to argue the toss with anyone, but to very simply to point out what looks like yet another magic hammer being touted to the gullible, and to have bit of fun with it. If you are going to make claims of having the best hammer in the world, expect people to make a little fun at your expense. If your skin is very thin, why talk the big talk?


Dan P, you still have not answered the question that I asked. You may have answered the question that you think I asked. I'll ask another way and I'll just ask one question. What would be the surface profile or outline of hammer face that you would choose to strike the surface of a1/2 inch square bar while cutting that bar hot with a hot cut hardy in your anvil?

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I always called the parts of a hammer that struck the the work as the face of the hammer or collectively the hammer and anvil as "working surfaces".  This is what I was taught this by every book I ever picked up and my professors when I got my art degree in metals.  Dies to me are a tool for forming or cutting metal that travel along a fixed path with some sort of guide and often under power.  Brian is a truly skilled smith I sort of look at him like a top athlete or a graceful dancer.  His choice of words is illustrative of the principals he is working to convey but I do feel it is a bit of a stretch to call hammer faces dies.  What words will you use when you really need a die?, when you ask you helper to "go fetch me that shaped metal block that is held in place with a wedge that goes in the power hammer for drawing out metal"  or just drawing dies.

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 Dies to me are a tool for forming or cutting metal that travel along a fixed path with some sort of guide and often under power. 

 

 

 

did you read that ?  that be the hammer and your arm....

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I did not read that, that is just the best description of a die than I can think of.  Your arm can has joints capable of striking anywhere within its range of motion witch is almost infinite.  Sometimes your arm misses its mark a power hammer or press never does that.  These are important distinctions that help people communicate effectively. 

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Timothy, I've been trying to communicate the choices of surfaces of my hammer and anvil since I have been around other blacksmiths. They did not seem to understand very well when I would just do it. It was too much too fast, so I started slowing down, and I had the anvil in my avatar made to help explain. I started using a striker with top tools to show what I was doing with my hammer and anvil. To me there is not much difference in hand work, working with a striker, or forging with a power hammer, and choosing the appropriate dies and holding your material between them will do what it will do. It is a simple matter, but can be challenging to communicate with others.

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I've been using a rounding hammer from day one. I started as a farrier. I did a lot of forging as a farrier and used mostly the round side for most of my forging especially when distorting and changing the dimension of the material because the surface area contact is so much less than the flat side.
I don't call it my style, but several others have. I forge my hammers with a striker and top tools like they have been done for a long time. Similarly in the way Alfred Habermann was teaching in the Chech Republic where they would forge smaller repouse' hammers. This is an old way of deviding a piece of metal up and forging a hammer.

Also, for those that believe I am trying to claim that I claiming the best hammer and peddling it to the gullible. I never maid any such claims. I don't have any hammers for sale, and I will only make one if someone asks. I'd rather show and help someone make their own. I have only stated that a properly ground rounding hammer has more surfaces available to forge with. It does not have to be mine. Hofi and everyone that learned from Hofi, like Tom Clark and others, make rounding hammers with a very good grind. I get calls quite a bit from people wanting a rounding hammer like mine, and I refer them to Hofi, Brent Bailey, and Nathan Robertson.

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Thank you for the history. I do like the rounded face for moving metal. It is very effective. With some work the round face can be a disavantage. With a well dressed hammer it to has the same number of edges so it is more technique than style of hammer?

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Icould not help but get in on this. Several peoplehave mentioned what they have read or what theycallthe face of the hammer. Whether you like it or not they are dies, and the anvil has dies as well. The definition has been posted. Also, the anvil has multiple dies, hard edges, slightly rounded edges, real rounded edges, and a horn. It also has a hardy hole where it is endless for the amount of dies that can be made. The hammer has multiple dies as well, the rounding hammer has a large round face but if you tilt it it gets smaller and has a smaller radius,the farther it is tilted the smaller the radius. The flat face is a large surface mainly used for planishing, but if you tilt it left or right it becomes a straight peen, the more its tilted the smaller it gets. If you drop down with your hand using the flat die it becomes a cross peen, the more you drop down the smaller the surface. These are all precise dies that are all used to aid in forging metal and the more you use these dies the more efficient you become in forging metal. I have worked with Brian for the last three years and can sincerely say that this is a genuine message he is trying to convey that strictly comes from banging away from the start (over thirty years ago) and discovering on his own that this is the most efficient way to forge Just had to put in my 2 cents.

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Icould not help but get in on this. Several peoplehave mentioned what they have read or what theycallthe face of the hammer. Whether you like it or not they are dies, and the anvil has dies as well. The definition has been posted. Also, the anvil has multiple dies, hard edges, slightly rounded edges, real rounded edges, and a horn. It also has a hardy hole where it is endless for the amount of dies that can be made. The hammer has multiple dies as well, the rounding hammer has a large round face but if you tilt it it gets smaller and has a smaller radius,the farther it is tilted the smaller the radius. The flat face is a large surface mainly used for planishing, but if you tilt it left or right it becomes a straight peen, the more its tilted the smaller it gets. If you drop down with your hand using the flat die it becomes a cross peen, the more you drop down the smaller the surface. These are all precise dies that are all used to aid in forging metal and the more you use these dies the more efficient you become in forging metal. I have worked with Brian for the last three years and can sincerely say that this is a genuine message he is trying to convey that strictly comes from banging away from the start (over thirty years ago) and discovering on his own that this is the most efficient way to forge Just had to put in my 2 cents.


LDW that beeing said if you have a hammer with a square face and you dress the edges you can get the same effect. I like the term dies

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Dies, hammer face, working surface, hardened cross section that impacts the thermally excited work piece resting upon the large mass of tool steel, or Jack. Which ever you like to call it, the question was really never answered. 

 

Dan P, you still have not answered the question that I asked. You may have answered the question that you think I asked. I'll ask another way and I'll just ask one question. What would be the surface profile or outline of hammer face that you would choose to strike the surface of a1/2 inch square bar while cutting that bar hot with a hot cut hardy in your anvil?

 

What would be the best surface to strike with and why?

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In three dimensional design (sculpture) the "dies" or "faces" are called planes. They are defined by abrupt variations in direction. For example, a cylinder would have three definable planes. One Plane would be the top, one plane would be the bottom, and the side plane would be defined as one continuous plane.

 

Planes are usually confused with lines. I have heard them compared as the following, "Think of the curves of a woman, not the lines of a car." The curves of a woman and the lines of a car are describing the planes present on the figure. Planes have a third z or depth axis, while lines simply have a height and width axis. 

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Dan P, you still have not answered the question that I asked. You may have answered the question that you think I asked. I'll ask another way and I'll just ask one question. What would be the surface profile or outline of hammer face that you would choose to strike the surface of a1/2 inch square bar while cutting that bar hot with a hot cut hardy in your anvil?

 

I answered your question, Brian.

Now, will you answer mine and tell me the point of you question?

Let's get to the punchline here, Brian, before I lose the thread of this goose-chase! 

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Dan P, I was merely responding to your first antagonistic post on the first page of this thread by asking you what specific surface of any given hammer you would choose to do a simple forging operation. You saying that you would use a hammer is not an answer to my question. I assume you probably didn't even watch the video.

The point of my question was for you to show me something better. I would like to see something better. I want to make the best choices.

The reason for this thread was in response to others questions on what would be the best hammer out of the different styles of hammers to do general forging. Alec and I did a video to show a few of the reasons for choosing a rounding hammer. I am not trying to sell anyone anything. I am only trying to help.

EWCTool, from my experience the round face would be the best choice because of the surface area contact with the material is much smaller so more pounds per square inch are being delivered and you are less likely to hit on one side or the other of your material.

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 I get calls quite a bit from people wanting a rounding hammer like mine, and I refer them to Hofi, Brent Bailey, and Nathan Robertson.

This is true, I have called Brian 2 weeks ago asking for some details on his course and his hammer and when I asked him to make one, he refered me to a few more people excluding himself... I had to convince him I wanted one of his! And being from a machinist background, his terminology isn't off and easily understood to the open minded.

 

Cheers.

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