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I Forge Iron

Store bought hammer mods


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I made a flatter a while back from a section of car axle upset and flattened in the portable hole. Came out horribly misshapen and asymmetrical, but the one time I've used it, it worked very well.

In retrospect, I wish I'd put the time and effort into making a proper cold-cut hardy. I would have gotten a whole lot more use out of it.

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I hadn't seen this post before, but have just finished doing the same thing as you folks.  I picked up a 3# Harbor Freight hammer, and with a couple of cutoff discs and a flap wheel, got myself a pretty reasonable double peen hammer for a little less than ten bucks.  It's not a Bailey hammer, but for the time being, it's quite good enough for me.  I found thinning the handle also made a difference in the grip, and the accuracy of my hammering; something about indexing in the hand, I suppose.

I am thinking of doing this again, but with a 2# hammer, to get something a little lighter.  This is a bit over 2.5# now, I believe.

 

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Edited by hikerjohnson
Added thoughts.
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Nice job. 

I thought about making mine into a double diagonal peen (as I'd like one of those), but realized for the grinding effort I might as well forge one out of better quality steel instead.  Of course I have to get off my butt and do that now...:unsure:

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Latticino; the most interesting hammer mod I've seen in person was taking an old hand sledge with an octagonal cross section (not a regular octagon of course) and heating it in a propane forge and then using a hydraulic press to make it a double 45 deg cross peen with reversed peen directions.  Took about 2 bites each side with the press which left a nice curved peen face as well. Minimal clean up needed and the octagonal cross section made it easy to index the press dies to get a 45 deg peen orientation.

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32 minutes ago, ThomasPowers said:

hydraulic press

Thomas,

Yes that is definitely the way to do it.  A hydraulic press is on my wish list.  Almost picked one up a couple of weeks ago (15 ton forging press, a steal for around $2,000 and even relatively local), but was a bit doubtful about the guides after finding out that it was a modified unit that was originally for flattening cans or the like.  If I hadn't had a massive headache that morning I would have driven the 4 hrs round trip to inspect it anyway.  Needless to say it went to the next interested party for even more than I had negotiated for.  So it goes...

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The reason I saw it was it was after an ABANA affiliate meeting and the person modifying his hammer asked the smith if he could use his forge/press.  (You don't necessarily need the tools if you have *friends* with them!)

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22 hours ago, Steve Sells said:

why are the pien ends so square, thats asking for troubles

Steve, they're that sharp only because I haven't learned my lesson and eased them off with a flap wheel.  I'm sure that in the near future I will do just that.  So far, on smaller stock, it's working OK.  I can see how working something wider than the hammer face would look terrible in very short oder.

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Size is so subjective: here's my littlest unmodified commercially made hammer---the one my wife uses to crack nuts at the kitchen table. That's a US penny coveing up the Champion stamp, (I have a champion forge and triphammers too...)

smallhammer.jpg.7159167c348510db0d7ce15138353b89.jpg

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That assumes that there's a differential heat treatment. As I understand it, many -- if not most -- commercial hammers are heat-treated in ovens that harden and temper all the way through. In other words, the interior steel should have the same hardness at the exterior.

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Lineman’s Hammer to Rounding Hammer

I purchased a new Estwing 40 oz lineman’s from an eBay seller for $41.89.  A little work with an angle grinder turned it into a good rounding hammer.

 

Estwing E3-40L 40 oz Linrmans Hammer $41-89.jpg

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Nice work on the profiling, but you may find the steel handle to be rough on the elbow. 

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My two cents, for what it's worth on the hammer....Estwings are top quality hammers, but the all steel handle adds a lot of weight where you don't need it; on the handle.  Every time the raise the hammer to strike, you are lifting dead weight in the handle. You probably have half the weight of the hammer tied up in the handle.  And you will probably soon tire of the rubber grip as well.  Wooden handles are much lighter and easier on the hands, wrists and elbows.

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I've had the same Estwing hatchet for going on 45 years and find it's plastic handle to be the least offensive of all artificial handles. Bear in mind I don't use it like I do a forging hammer I split kindling or limb branches with it. I've never noticed the steel handle other than it has a better balance than wooden handled hatchets.

This is NOT a statement regarding Estwing hammers, I've never used one for any length of time. I will be watching for your review of your new rounding hammer. Give it some time before you decide if you like it but if it causes you pain especially joint pain, please PLEASE do NOT keep using it because you made the thing. Stubborn can be a bad thing.

I also carry Dad's Estwing rock hammer, (geologist's pick) it must be 70+ years old and still has the same blue plastic handle. Again, you don't use a rock hammer like a hammer at the anvil.

Frosty The Lucky.

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