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I Forge Iron

A blue hammer

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I suppose blue would work for a temper. Personally, I temper my hammer faces to a dark straw which is harder than a blue temper. The blue color is superficial. It is a very thin film of oxide that can be rubbed off or worn off without too much trouble. Therefore, you must ask yourself, "Why am I doing this, if it is ephemeral?" If you insist and you have a highly controlled furnace or oven, try holding the scale free hammer head at 563 degrees F. If it's a countertop oven or a kitchen range oven, you may have two problems. The temperature may not go that high; most stop at about 500F. Furthermore, those appliances cycle above the set temperature range. They go above and below repeatedly to shoot for an average.


Another route to go...bury it in a steel box of sand and place on the forge. Keep taking a peek until blue shows. Also, a muffle situation may work, if you have a pipe you could heat and place the hammer head inside the pipe, watching for color.


I don't harden the eye of the hammer head. Being thin walled, it sometimes cracks.

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  • 4 weeks later...

what about just using gun blueing?


Funny thing about the English Language, verbage.

Gun Blueing is actually Browning. Gun Bluing is actually a semi-controlled rust. An Oxide layer that is then controlled with oil to stop/slow down the rusting process, at a particular pigment

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This is a fun thought for a new comer to the craft, I did similar meaningless things when I started. Not meaningless to the doer but in the practical aspects of the craft these kinds of things don't make a better project and can actually make for poorer quality.


Blue is over drawing the temper, I drew mine to dark straw on the faces and purple around the eye.  Of course it drew farther than I thought it would, (part of the learning process, many things don't go as planned) and the face ended up dark straw bordering on purple and it marks too easily. I'm always dressing the face to remove the dings.


If you really want a blue hammer gun blue is for exactly that or do like they did traditionally and paint it. Yes it was tradition to paint tools after paint was invented that would actually help preserve the metal and really helped identify a craftsman's personal tools or the business's tools, etc.


My shop colors are "Hunter Green and Gold."


Frosty The Lucky.

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I used hot pink. It way reduced the incidence of theft and reduced people borrowing them too. Seems to me it was only the guys that were secure in themselves that would borrow them, and they were the ones that would return them anyways. So it was a good thing to do. A great color to mark ones tools.

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