JMR

Rounding Hammers

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As a beginner I am still building up my collection of hammers. I have a few cross/ball pein hammers but I keep seeing a rounding hammer as the choice for a lot of blacksmiths. Can anyone provide more detail on the advantage of the rounding hammer and its uses? What hammer would you recommend?

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Asking several blacksmiths any opinion will get you the exact oposite answer it is like the ford chevy dodge or politics.

I like a square faced hammer with a slight dome and use the edges tilted as the pien instead of a cross or strait pien hammer so a sounding hammer would work for me but I dont use one just dont use the pien.

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So you basically can get the same or similar results when using a standard blacksmiths hammer depending on how you use it.

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You can draw out steel faster with a round faced hammer than a flat faced hammer.  You can also draw out just as fast with a flat faced hammer by forging with a rounded surface under the steel by using the horn.  The rounding hammer has a round face for drawing and a flat face for smoothing.  Peens draw out steel at 90 degrees to the peen.  I have several types of hammers I switch as needed.  There is no one size fits all hammer.

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Wot you like now may change as you develop motor skills and body mechanics. A key point is that the shape of the hammer and anvil are working surfaces that move steel. Wot part of the hammer or anvil surface you choose will make a difference in how that steel moves. if you use and edge of the hammer or edge of the anvil or the horn or hardy tools..those shapes make different changes to the steel.

Take a few similiar steels about the same size and forge them using different edges on you tools and then compare and see wot works for you.

That said there are a really large number of smiths using rounding hammers that will not change,,,,and I add that maybe some of them would with more thoughts on the matter. For me I use one as a primary hammer and rely on other shapes for differnt tasks.

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Check out this video!

Sorry for it being so shaky! I had a lot less videography experience at the time!

I use a 5lb rounding hammer for everything...I rarely ever have to pick up a different hammer because i find this hammer so versatile!

:)

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a rounding hammer has its advantages as well as disadvantages. The key is hammer technique more so than the hammer. If you have a square hammer and use the edges you will get aggressive movement of the metal. I use a rounding hammer for mass movement but the fine detail I like a small radius edge. An example of this that I saw demonstrated this last year was hammering the center blade of a compass the rounding hammer did not give me the results I needed to complete the project. I went back to my old cross peen with a very little radius was able to get the compass done in just one try.  

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I've got one too, I use it a lot these days but I think that is simply because its a nice weight. I have larger and smaller hammers, most of which get used for one thing or another but the rounding hammer is one of the three I use most often.

It isn't a magic bullet, and doesn't do everything. But it works pretty well.


As for a hammer I would recommend, that hard to answer as it can be a bery personal thing and I think a lot comes into play: weight, handle length, handle thickness etc etc.

I like relatively long fat handles with a medium weight head.

You're best off finding several hammers and doing a lot of smithing with all of them. You will soon find there is one particular hammer you always reach for first.

Andy

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Check out this video!

Sorry for it being so shaky! I had a lot less videography experience at the time!

I use a 5lb rounding hammer for everything...I rarely ever have to pick up a different hammer because i find this hammer so versatile!

:)

 

 

I've got one too, I use it a lot these days but I think that is simply because its a nice weight. I have larger and smaller hammers, most of which get used for one thing or another but the rounding hammer is one of the three I use most often.

It isn't a magic bullet, and doesn't do everything. But it works pretty well.


As for a hammer I would recommend, that hard to answer as it can be a bery personal thing and I think a lot comes into play: weight, handle length, handle thickness etc etc.

I like relatively long fat handles with a medium weight head.

You're best off finding several hammers and doing a lot of smithing with all of them. You will soon find there is one particular hammer you always reach for first.

Andy

 

 Thanks Alec for the video. I have seen the video before and this is what sparked my curiosity in the rounding hammer. All of Brian's video are great and the close ups really help understand the different techniques. Watching has really inspired by creativity and just shows how much you can do with blacksmithing.

 

Andy, I am going to take your advice and try a bunch of different hammers to see which ones are the best fit. I got lucky and purchased 12 hammers on ebay for 30 bucks!! believe it or not there are a few hand forged hammers and punches...non of which to be anything special but will definitely work. I still do not have a rounding hammer but eventually I might buy one.

 

I was thinking of trying to modify one of the hammers that I bought into a rounding hammer. Any tips on how I might go about this? Just try rounding out the face of one of the forged hammers?

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There are a number of really good threads about rounding  hammers on IFI, For example here is one -http://www.iforgeiron.com/topic/28701-trying-to-understand-hammer-expense/

You can easily remake some inexpensive hammers into excellent tools. Using an angle grinder with a flap disk is the easiest and fastest way to get the initial shape. but having a belt sander

will finish your hammer. Go slowly tho!!!!!!!  I have made quite a few hammers and bought a few from noted hammer makers. Brent Bailey and Elmer Roush are outstanding makers  and provide excellent tools. I have over the years gone more to a more rounded hammer face on even my square hammers. I just slowly modify them on the belt sander to the shape I want. As stated above, take your time and learn your technique, the hammer will develop with you.

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Just keep buying the cheap ones you don't have yet and take turns with all of them. Before you know it you will find what you prefer and why.

I can't recommend one because you don't know what you like yet :)

Dave

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I think what you are doing will determine what hammer you need,I do a lot of drawing out and a straight pein suits me fine for that.Imo a rounding hammer is a nice multipurpose hammer.

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