mjenki

Two Handled Sledge Hammer

Recommended Posts

I was recently asked to forge some chain, and I posted a pic of my progress... to which my sister, who lives in Rugby England, responded with some pictures of the Black Country Museum and one of the blacksmith shops there.  In the photo there is a double handled sledge.

 I have heard of these...  but I have never seen one in use...  does anyone have a video or know more about them?   I suspect that it is mostly lifted and dropped....or was it used with a master and apprentice one providing power and the other aiming...  I don't know anything about it... figure someone here might...  care to shed some light on the subject?

Thanks

Matt

double handle.jpg

double handle too.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for sharing the pictures, I've never seen or heard of a two hander. By the looks of it, I'd guess that is easily a 30 to 40 pound sledge and would take two people to swing it. Talk about the original power hammer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The head of that sledge look to be about the size of my 30 lb, but mine only has one handle.  It is definitely a lift and drop hammer.  I will measure it and post a pic later.  I want to know more about the Oliver hammer setup with the chainmakers anvil in the back by the forge.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If I remember there was a discution about sledges with multiple handles a year or two back but cannot remember which section it was in.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have seen but do not have pictures of black country crews using double and tripple handled sledges . I have a couple of chain makers anvils including one that is the same as the one in the picture with the oliver attached to it. The black country museum is on my list as I want to remake an oliver for my anvil.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Basher

If you get to that museum before I do, please take lots of photos and measurements of the Oliver and jigs associated with the chainmaker's anvil.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well the earliest power hammer I've seen documentation on was pre 1000 A.D.  so perhaps a later special case tool...I have not seen another one and have visited a number of museums in the US and Europe.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I find the low steel bench Iof interest, as I have a 1" plate with holes at the corners. It was originally fabricated as a pole base and would duplicate it easily. Any ideas what it is fore?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have seen pictures of other double-handled sledges, I did not save any of them though.  Cool stuff.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have no info on the double sledge but I am fairly certain that I have watched a video of a smith making chain at THAT forge and anvil.  It was on the web somewhere but I have no idea where.

 

RWD

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So the picture posted by BlackFrog implies one of the smiths has to swing off-handed / switch hitter?  That's pretty cool. 

 

Edited by mjenki

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've noticed that my offhand is a lot better trained after just hobby smithing; I'd bet if you did it as a career you might just become a switch hitter!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

John M   Comparing your picture, using a brick for a length guide, it appears to be about the same size head as the one posted above.  I wonder if 30 lb was a stopping point for this use?  I know there was a 50 lb sledge sold on ExxY a few years ago, but I cannot even think of who could use that.  It was a one handle version.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've talked to some old guys who did CCC work putting roads through the mountains and they told me that they used a 32# sledge for a 12 hour day breaking rocks.  Slackers were dropped from the program.  Separate people and discussions so a bit of a check on memory growth issues.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually, looking at the wear pattern on the handles and the chain end rings on the swage block, I'm pretty sure it is the same hammer. I know that I have seen other double and triple handled hammers, I just can't find any of the photos now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have made a 2 handled sledge, not bad to use but you need to have someone else on the other side who is going to pull their weight, if you have a bludger on the other handle you soon know about it.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have made a 2 handled sledge, not bad to use but you need to have someone else on the other side who is going to pull their weight, if you have a bludger on the other handle you soon know about it.

 

 

Working in unison must be vital. I have a blacksmith colleague who is awful to try and carry anything heavy with. It is because he does not sense the centre of gravity of the weight between you, and is constantly trying to take more than his share which means the weight is always thrown to one side unnecessarily…the opposite to your bludger or someone "swinging the lead" but equally uncomfortable! 

Interesting that the two men in the photo have slightly different stances, They presumably are compensating for differences in body size/stature or whichever is leading, Their lower arms have quite a  different angle at the elbow...

 

Alan

Ah! found one.

903=285-Two%20man%20sledge.png

Edited by Alan Evans

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So the picture posted by BlackFrog implies one of the smiths has to swing off-handed / switch hitter?  That's pretty cool. 

 

​There are a few of us, who are naturally "Wrong-Handed".  :)

 

 

.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I find the low steel bench Iof interest, as I have a 1" plate with holes at the corners. It was originally fabricated as a pole base and would duplicate it easily. Any ideas what it is fore?

​That top plate looks like it may have started out, as the top half of a Die Set, ... in which case, the holes would have been essential to it's original purpose, ... but not necessarily to it's present use.

Just guessing .....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As for video I saw one, just today, can't post, it was on netflix.   There is a series called Peaky Blinders.   Season one Episode one at about 21 minutes there are two guys swinging a two handed hammer.   It's kinda lame.  Looks like they are hammering the dirt.   Just after that there is another guy swinging a big sledge, not very elegantly, also hammering dirt.   I guess they were so poor they just forged the dirt.   Not a very good example but that's all I got. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.