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I Forge Iron

Minimum head weight?

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Considering that the size of the anvil needed for efficiency on a hammer is proportional to the head weight, is there really a minimum weight necessary for the head on a rusty style (or any style for that matter) power hammer? I'm thinking like 15-20 lbs.

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A down side to lighter heads for power hammers is the mass of steel that can be worked. If your hammer head is very light even with a great number of blows there will not be the force to move material in the middle of the bar. Imagine forging 2 inch round bar and hammering on it as fast as you can with a 1/4 pound hammer. The surface material might start moving but you would only end up mushrooming the bar. Now think about working 2 inch round and hammering with a 20 pound hammer, you would hammer slower but in the same amount of time you would move more material. So the heavier hammer would move material all the way though the stock, and the 1/4 pound hammer only the outside of the material.


If the largest marital you work is around 1 inch sq then a hammer with a 20 or 30 pound head should be ok.


If you want to forge something as big as 1 1/2 inch sq then a hammer head as bag as 60 100 pounds is probably better. 


Hammer head weight compared to size of material that can be worked is not a perfect comparison. A modern self contained air hammer like a sahinler with a 110 lb head hits much harder than a older mechanical hammer with the same size head


good luck

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