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Brazeal Style Hammer - Round Stock Questions


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I'm new to blacksmithing and I have been doing as much research by reading books, this forum, watching youtube, and gleaning any other information I can for the past four or five months.

 

I've recently built my forge and I'm currently working on a pair of tongs. I've been watching Brian Brazeal's videos on YouTube and I've been reading up posts here on his rounding hammer. Right now I've got a blacksmith hammer with a flat face and a cross pien on the other side. I would love to try his style of rounding hammer out.

 

Obviously making a hammer is a big step for someone new to blacksmithing to undertake. And I'm not planning on attempting the hammer for at lease few months, but I'm trying to get the materials sorted so I can budget for them.

 

With that out of the way, I've found some 3" round stock on McMaster Carr for what seems like a decent price. I've read that Brian uses 1045 or 4140 alloy steel. My question is, how long of stock would I need to make a Brazeal Style rounding hammer? They have 3" and 6" lengths and larger increments by 6":

 

 

1045 - 3" diameter round stock

3" diameter 3" length is $20.86

3" diameter 6" length is $48.48

 

4140 - 3" diameter round stock

3" length is $28.67

6" length is $48.48

 

What length of round stock would I need? From some of the pictures I've seen of the process of making those hammers it looks like 4"-5"

 

If I needed to go with at least a 6" piece of stock is it practical to use a hot cut on a piece that large? I guess if the blanks are 4"-5" in size I could always buy a 12" or larger piece of stock and use it for multiple hammers.

 

In lurking around here I know some of the answers are going to be to take a class from Brian, which I would love to do and tried to work out over the holidays but my scheduling and situation didn't work out. So until I can get that squared away I'll have to try and do it on my own. I still intend on taking a class from him in the future as he is highly regarded.

 

Thanks for taking the time to look at this, I apologize if this has already been answered but I did not come across it in my searches.

 

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Well........

It all depends on the size of hammer you want...

Unless you want to be making an eight pound 'sledge' hammer, and have the means to do this (this large a stock requires the appropriate dies in the appropriate sized power hammer and generally a very industrious set-up.

Brian has not yet attempted anything this large.

I know i would never want to with only a striker!

for a four lbs hammer (inc handle) use --> 2" round 1045/4140 x 4.5"

for a five pound hammer (not suggested to make one this large as a first one) --> 2 1/4 " 1045/4140 x 4.5" long

for a one and a half pound hammer use --> 1.5" round x 3.25" long

these are the proportions.. it is easy to work out the other stock sizes's lengths from this....

GOOD LUCK!

:)

Alec

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4" of 2" round 1045 is about 4 1/4 pounds.  I would get mine at Online Speedy Metals for $20.92 for a full 1 foot long section.  Which is about $7 for 4".  Onlinemetal.com has 4140 for  One Ft. (12") Length - $29.29.  Either would be excellent for a hammer.  which is about $10 for 4".

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One and a half inch diameter by four inches long will produce a 2 and a half pound hammer or so.

But you would also need all the tools to make the hammer and a striker (if your doing it by hand).

It would be very worth your while to consider taking a class from Brian, you could learn how to make and maintain your own tools and learn so much more about forging in general.

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I just got my order of steel in yesterday from Ryerson. I ordered 2" and 1 3/4" round 1045. I had them cut the 2 inch stock 4 1/2 inches long. The cost for that 20 foot piece cut into 4 1/2 inch pieces was $245.35, that makes each piece cost less than $5.00. A 4 1/2 inch piece of 2 inch round weighs 3.996 pounds. The hammer we made from it in a class yesterday weighed 3.612 pounds when it was finished.

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   it is not that you cannot make your own hammer, but a matter of owning the skills required to carry out the project. When you go to school with Brian your will learn many of those required items, and make a hammer too. Remember that there is no magic in a hammer. The real magic is what comes from using that hammer well.

 

   For the amount of time and money you spend at Brian's, well, you will come home with more tools worth more than the cost of the  of the school, while getting top rate instruction. There may also be someone near you that can help you make a hammer, as they learned from Brian and Lyle

 

Carry on

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Hi there!

 

Making a Brian Brazeal rounding hammer for forging would be a wise choice! However, there are a number of tools you need to do so.

 

Hammer eye punch for punching out the hole

Two drifts for drifting the eye

Top and bottom fuller sized appropriately

cupping tool

 

There are a number of tools required to make those tools. Taking a class from Brian or spending some time with one of his students is definately the way to go. Post your location....you could be 15 minutes down the road from one of Brian's apprentices, who has the tools and is able/willing to help.

Having said that, there is nothing like getting it "from the horses mouth," and eventually I would HIGHLY reccomend taking a class directly from Brian, but one of his students might be able to help you get started.

 

For a four pound hammer you need about 5-inches of 2-inch 4140. 

 

Here is an online metals calculator. http://www.onlinemetals.com/calculator.cfm

 

If you need a piece of stock, hit me up in the PM box. I just bought a 41-inch piece of 4140, and can sell pieces. I have easy access to the material at a good price in sizes from 1-inch to 2-inch round. I'll be happy to cut you a couple exact size pieces so that way you aren't paying for extra.

 

A good source of steel for the tools you need, is junk yard car axles. I buy axles from my junk yard for $5.00 each and they yield a half dozen tools each. Sometime you have to bug the hound out of your junk-yard guy, but once you get them to start setting the stuff asside it will always be available when you need it.  

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I just got my order of steel in yesterday from Ryerson. I ordered 2" and 1 3/4" round 1045. I had them cut the 2 inch stock 4 1/2 inches long. The cost for that 20 foot piece cut into 4 1/2 inch pieces was $245.35, that makes each piece cost less than $5.00. A 4 1/2 inch piece of 2 inch round weighs 3.996 pounds. The hammer we made from it in a class yesterday weighed 3.612 pounds when it was finished.

 

Brian,

 

Thank you for listing your dimensions! I do hope that I can fit taking a class from you into my schedule sometime in the next year. I really appreciate all your videos on YouTube and the posts you make here.

 

 

   it is not that you cannot make your own hammer, but a matter of owning the skills required to carry out the project. When you go to school with Brian your will learn many of those required items, and make a hammer too. Remember that there is no magic in a hammer. The real magic is what comes from using that hammer well.

 

   For the amount of time and money you spend at Brian's, well, you will come home with more tools worth more than the cost of the  of the school, while getting top rate instruction. There may also be someone near you that can help you make a hammer, as they learned from Brian and Lyle

 

Carry on

 

David,

 

I couldn't agree more. After lurking here for a few months I know how highly regarded Brian is and my glimpse into his teaching style through his YouTube videos makes me excited to take a class from him. Which I do intend to do. I was actually trying to schedule something over the holiday season because my in-laws live about 3 1/2 hours from his place. Unfortunately my plans fell apart and I will have to wait until the next time we are down there to schedule something. That may not be until late summer and fall, so until then I will have to try and glean as much information and advice from these forums and YouTube.

 

 

Hi there!

 

Making a Brian Brazeal rounding hammer for forging would be a wise choice! However, there are a number of tools you need to do so.

 

Hammer eye punch for punching out the hole

Two drifts for drifting the eye

Top and bottom fuller sized appropriately

cupping tool

 

There are a number of tools required to make those tools. Taking a class from Brian or spending some time with one of his students is definately the way to go. Post your location....you could be 15 minutes down the road from one of Brian's apprentices, who has the tools and is able/willing to help.

Having said that, there is nothing like getting it "from the horses mouth," and eventually I would HIGHLY reccomend taking a class directly from Brian, but one of his students might be able to help you get started.

 

For a four pound hammer you need about 5-inches of 2-inch 4140. 

 

Here is an online metals calculator. http://www.onlinemetals.com/calculator.cfm

 

If you need a piece of stock, hit me up in the PM box. I just bought a 41-inch piece of 4140, and can sell pieces. I have easy access to the material at a good price in sizes from 1-inch to 2-inch round. I'll be happy to cut you a couple exact size pieces so that way you aren't paying for extra.

 

A good source of steel for the tools you need, is junk yard car axles. I buy axles from my junk yard for $5.00 each and they yield a half dozen tools each. Sometime you have to bug the hound out of your junk-yard guy, but once you get them to start setting the stuff asside it will always be available when you need it.  

 

FireyFurnace,

 

I live in Boise, Idaho. I just finally got my account accepted for the NorthWest Blacksmith Association forums so I will hopefully be able to link up with some people around here. As I mentioned earlier in this reply, my wife is from the south and I look forward to our next trip down there to visit her family, hopefully I will be able to schedule a class then. Unfortunately that may be more than six months away.

 

I've been trying to build a mental inventory of the tools that I will need to make before I can attempt to make a hammer so thank you for including specific names for some of those tools. I know I will gain valuable experience in creating these tools for this process so I look forward to that.

 

I will take a closer look at car axles. I had written them off when a friend of mine may have falsely suggested that they were not solid but had a grease channel, though he may have been referring to tractor axles.

 

This online metal calculator is fantastic! Thanks for linking this, I probably could have avoided posting this question had I known about this because I would have found that a 3" diameter 5" length hammer would be almost 10 lbs!

 

 

3" diameter stock is WAY too big for a new smith to make hammers out of!  You will want something very close to finished diameter as starting stock.  At about .891 pounds per inch 3" to 4" of 2" round would be much easier to forge into shape!  

 

bigfootnampa

 

I was making a bad assumption of the size of stock Brian and others used based off the pictures. Unfortunately there was no scale on them so I made my best guess. I appreciate you correcting me as it's going to save me a lot of hardship trying to forge a piece of stock that big.

 

4" of 2" round 1045 is about 4 1/4 pounds.  I would get mine at Online Speedy Metals for $20.92 for a full 1 foot long section.  Which is about $7 for 4".  Onlinemetal.com has 4140 for  One Ft. (12") Length - $29.29.  Either would be excellent for a hammer.  which is about $10 for 4".

 

Everyone else, 

 

I really appreciate your input, especially for my first post. While I know that making a hammer is something I am not capable of right now. I am setting that as my goal. I look forward to learning and exploring through creating all of the different tools I will need to forge a hammer. And until I can take a class from Brian I will have to "Learn by doing" for now.

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Well your certainly on the right track.  One of my blacksmithing regrets was when Brian was here in Alaska I was unable to go to his workshop and make tools and hammers with him.  At that time I just couldn't swing the trip to Anchorage.  If he ever comes back.  I'll be there for sure. 

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From experience, I was making my first hammer by myself. Lessons learned: YOU NEED A STRIKER. If you do not have a striker then do something else! Yes you can make something like a hammer but without the skillset and proper tools ther exist a receipe for unhappiness.

 

But,

    Scrounge all the flea markets and purchase all the economical hammers like shop hammers, engineers' hammers, small sledges, various ball pien hammers, cross pien hammers....You get the drift. Unless they were in a fire they may be very serviceable. And look up some of the other articles about re-shaping a hammer's face. In this world of smithing lies a lot of magic waiting to be unleashed.

 

 

Good luck

 

 

Carry on

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This online metal calculator is fantastic! Thanks for linking this, I probably could have avoided posting this question had I known about this because I would have found that a 3" diameter 5" length hammer would be almost 10 lbs!

 

 

 

 

 

Ohhh let's make one! :D Now THAT would take some striking!~

 

I have not run across any hollow car axles at the JY.

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Here is a chart for hammer weight to length and size it is on page 7 http://www.blacksmithing.org/CB-Archive/2001/2001-02-cb.pdf.

 

Before you order from Mc Master Carr  find your local metal supplier and see if they have Drops. I got a bunch of 2 1/4" 4130 for a very good price I use Alro metals. with the big suppliers its better to set up an account you will get better pricing. Once you have the tools made you will just have to take the leap and make the hammer. If you can punch a hole in 1" there is not much difference its just time and heat.

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I just got my order of steel in yesterday from Ryerson. I ordered 2" and 1 3/4" round 1045. I had them cut the 2 inch stock 4 1/2 inches long. The cost for that 20 foot piece cut into 4 1/2 inch pieces was $245.35, that makes each piece cost less than $5.00. A 4 1/2 inch piece of 2 inch round weighs 3.996 pounds. The hammer we made from it in a class yesterday weighed 3.612 pounds when it was finished.

 

Brian,

 

I just checked out their website and it looks like they've got some great product offerings and great prices. Now that I've looked a second time it looks like Ryerson has a location in Boise and I'll be giving them a call or making a trip over there.

 

From experience, I was making my first hammer by myself. Lessons learned: YOU NEED A STRIKER. If you do not have a striker then do something else! Yes you can make something like a hammer but without the skillset and proper tools ther exist a receipe for unhappiness.

 

But,

    Scrounge all the flea markets and purchase all the economical hammers like shop hammers, engineers' hammers, small sledges, various ball pien hammers, cross pien hammers....You get the drift. Unless they were in a fire they may be very serviceable. And look up some of the other articles about re-shaping a hammer's face. In this world of smithing lies a lot of magic waiting to be unleashed.

 

 

Good luck

 

 

Carry on

 

David,

 

Thanks for the advice. I imagine as I work my way up to this goal of creating a hammer from scratch it would make a lot of sense to try using some of the tooling I will have to build on an existing hammer head like a small 4 lbs sledge or something.

 

I am very excited to learn. I am a software developer by trade and I really enjoy making things. I've been itching to make physical things instead of only digital items and I think blacksmithing will provide me that outlet. Ultimately my goal is to be proficient enough that I can make tools if I need them.

 

Ohhh let's make one! :D Now THAT would take some striking!~

 

I have not run across any hollow car axles at the JY.

 

FireyFurnace,

 

I'm glad you pointed out there are no hollow car axles. I will definitely see if I can get my hands on one. One of my old neighbors works at a junkyard / scrap yard and I will be giving him a call. I also need to get a hold of some coil springs so I can work on making chisels, splitters and drifters.

 

Here is a chart for hammer weight to length and size it is on page 7 http://www.blacksmithing.org/CB-Archive/2001/2001-02-cb.pdf.

 

Before you order from Mc Master Carr  find your local metal supplier and see if they have Drops. I got a bunch of 2 1/4" 4130 for a very good price I use Alro metals. with the big suppliers its better to set up an account you will get better pricing. Once you have the tools made you will just have to take the leap and make the hammer. If you can punch a hole in 1" there is not much difference its just time and heat.

 

 

Francis,
 
Thanks for linking this! The chart about weights is great and I really appreciate the part in the article about heat treating the hammer.
 
 
 
Quick question, is my formatting of answering multiple replies in one post confusing? Should I break it up into one post per answer or does this work okay?
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  Josiah: Even though Brian is one of my heroes and I have learned SO much from his YouTube tutorials,I would like to mention what is obvious to me. If you are not familiar with using a rounding hammer spend a few bucks and get a nice farriers rounding hammer from any of the suppliers for WAY under a  hundred bucks. Maybe not as nice as one of Brian's (I'd love to have one of his for the size)but I made a zillion handmade horseshoes with the one I bought new in 1964.Still using it to make the things I learned from Brian's site. They are a rounding hammer and do all the things that Brian talks about in his tutorials. I bet Brian would give you the same advice.

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I'm pretty sure Brian started a a farrier, with a store bought rounding hammer before he became a master tool maker. usually when you start out shoeing, shoes are your first forging projects, and there are many kinds of shoes to learn, oh sorry, don't get me started on blacksmiths and horse shoes....backing away from the key board now....slowly......slowly....easy now....good boy

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