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I Forge Iron

Customized $8 hammer project

Eddie Mullins

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I'm new to smithing and building my tool collection. Not quite at the point yet of spending top $ on a high quality hammer, as I just don't quite know what I want. I purchased a $8 3 lb cross pein hammer from Harbor Freight and didn't really like the weight and feel so made some tweaks to it.


Here's what I started with.




After cutting off about 3/4 " on both ends




After regrinding, HT and temper




Here it is in my main line up, Vaugn 2 lb cross pein on left, the moded HF cross pein center, and on the right another hammer I customized, and perhaps my favorite, a 2 lb HF engineering hammer that I reground one face to make it round.




My 2 HF mods function much better now, with little expense and just a little effort.

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A  similiar approach,,,i did not change hear treat and it works fine!http://www.iforgeiron.com/topic/29218-store-bought-hammer-mods/


Very nice mod. I haven't used a diagonal pein yet, but at $6-8 for HF hammers, I plan to mod a few more hammers and I may add a daigonal.


I thought it was  neat that your mod was for a knife build, I actually made a "knife" today out of 1/2" mild round stock today with the HF's hammers I have now. The more I use the mod cross pein the more I like it.


I don't think this "knife" is too bad for my 1st solo attempt, and it was even better to me doing with hammers I modded to suite me.





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what weight did you end up with on the modded HF crosspein?  i have exactly the same hammer and i too find it to be a bit too heavy to comfortably make my primary hammer.  i only softened up the crosspein though, i left the flat face pretty much stock except to reprofile it to remove an annoying hump across the middle.  and i couldnt agree more about the handle!!  the stock handle is such an anemic(sp?) little thing!


i was bored at home a few weeks ago and decided it needed some personality too, so i ground off some of the paint :)


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The hammer face is holdig up well. It was noticably harder after the HT. When first cut and ground, the was no bounce, after HT, a nice rebound and seems quite durable thus far.


I don't have accurate scales to give you the weight, I would guess it to be between 2.5 and 2.75 lbs.


I think the removal of the length helped with the balance to me.


As far as the handle is concerned, I may have to disagree. I don't have large hands, but I find I like smaller handles becuase I like to have a light grip on the handle.


As mentioned above, the more I use it, the more I like it. It moves metal well. I wasn't sure about the the larger pein profile for some tasks, but I actually found it to be functional for leafing as well as drawing.


Oh, I have also just reground the face of another hammer, a HF 2.5lb hammer, I think sold as a rock hammer. I rounded one of the faces, similar to what I did to the 2 lb engineering hammer. It does quite well now also. Haven't made up my mind on the stuby handle though. I'll try to post a pic later on.

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Eddie: The most important thing to know about making the right kind of handle is make it right for YOU. It's gotta fit your hand and be comfortable or it'll hurt you, sooner or later you'll feel the pain.


You've done very well, modifying this hammer to suit you, correct defects and turn it into a useful tool is the heart and soul of blacksmithing.


Frosty The Lucky.

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