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lawman

My first power hammer tool

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Well.....I made my first Power Hammer Tool today using my new hammer. Starting to get the hang of it a little I guess.

I decided to start with a cutter. It started out as a brand new lawnmower blade. My neighbor works at a lawnmower repair shop and they were throwing away all of the new blades if they could not identify what they belonged to, so he brought me about 50# of em.

I haven't tried it out yet because I haven't heat treated it yet. I am going to assume that it is a oil quench steel and see if it will harden that way, then i'll temper it to Blue. Probably fully soften the handle with a torch heat after that.

Hope it works OK.

What do you guys think? I didn't think it was to bad of a start.

 

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Looks great.  I'd be proud to have made that.  I hadn't thought of lawnmower blades as stock before.  Makes sense they'd be hard enough to stay sharp and tough enough to hit rocks without shattering.

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Nice looking "hack" you made there Lawman. I look forward to hearing how it works.

Frosty The Lucky.

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I like it but I would be very hesitant to ht an unknown steel that is going to be hit with a power hammer. lets just pretend that it is an air hardening steel that has a bunch of stress cracks that you cant see after quench. What part would you be comfortable with flying at your body at about the power hammer anvil's level? 

Edited by pike3e

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A hack that tall would be better suited to hand hammering in my opinion.  In the power hammer there is a lot of twisting moment if you don't have the hack exactly vertical when using it.  I try to keep mine much shorter to eliminate this.  

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try to keep your tooling short, under 1 1/4" if possible and thin handles are your friend when you miss fire

 

I always prefer a big handle from round (or square with soft corners) to give me good control and a thin shaft between handle and tool to take out any shock from a miss or even a good hit.

I would call that a hot set / splitting chisel and have a few just like it. I quite agree that power hammer tooling should be as short as possible so that the hammer can generate as much oomph as possible…But...There is not much point having a chisel less than 1 1/4" if the depth of cut you want is 1 1/2".

Nice tool Lawman. But I would definitely not harden any tool to be used under the hammer for the reasons Pike3 mentioned. Leave it in the annealed state, you are only going to cut hot soft metal with it which will draw the temper on the edge the first time you use it. 

Because it is an unknown steel, check it with a file to make sure it is not glass hard / air hardening before you use it.

Alan

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Thanks for all the input guys.......its appreciated.

To be honest this is the first thing that I made and I wasn't going for a particular dimension. I haven't measured it yet but the blade is probably pretty close to 1 1/4" tall. I can grind it shorter if I need to but I bought some pretty thick 4140 drop offs to make tools with and thought much shorter would be too small to get the job done.

Sounds like the consensus is that my handle is too thick..........that seems easy enough to rectify.

As for the steel I did check it with a file and the file cuts it pretty readily. It is definitely not hard right now. I let it air cool out of the forge and have not attempted to heat treat it yet. I can leave it like it is and give it a try. If I screw it up.......I'm a blacksmith....I'll build another.

 

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Started on some more tooling today.

Bought some 4140 round stock and chopped it up on the bandsaw. This is obviously not finished but I have a top and bottom full length fuller started. Have to do a little welding to make it where i can bolt it to the flat dies but I think its gonna work out.

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Also started on a side set. Gonna make some handles out of 1/4" round stock and weld it on. Then I will use this tool to make a swage where I can forge a replacement later when I screw this one up

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Have a round back flatter started as well but I dont have a picture yet

 

Edited by lawman

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Just to clarify my points regarding the handles and the heights.

Arbitrarily telling you that less than 1 1/4" is better is ignoring the function you designed the tool for. it is a good idea however to relate the height of the cutting tool with the depth of the cut you require. If you are only cutting half way through a 40mm (1 1/2") bar you do not need a 50mm (2") cutter. Most important is to relate it to thickness of the bar if you are cutting from one side only. So you don't slice through the bar and bruise the bottom tool with the edge of the cutter. I tend to always use a cutting plate for the final couple of blows, but sometimes it catches you out by going through quicker.

You will find that a small radius is more effective on the cutting edge of the chisel than a sharp edge. It is not a cold chisel it is a hot set. The thin sharp edge cannot dissipate the heat and will likely deform, more than likely roll one way which in turn will make the cutter veer off to one side. A very fine fuller is the most resilient and effective form to aim for.

The handle should not be a length of wire. A narrow surface area will bruise your hand badly if you have a miss hit. A larger softer handle reduces the damage by spreading the pressure across a wider surface area of flesh. The shaft of the tool can be light and that will reduce the transmission of shock to the handle.

Different tools have different dynamics. Some of my round shafted tools have a few inches of flat forged into them to act as a flexible "hinge" while still giving rigidity and control in one plane.

Get hold of a copy of Lillico if you do not already have one. An invaluable guide to power hammer tooling and processes. PDF Downloadable for free.

Alan

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Google search "Lillico power hammer pdf" and click on the first hit.  It looks like a good read from what I saw when I was skimming through earlier today.  Thanks for the new reading material guys.

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The Hereford College Site has them:-

http://www.hlcollege.ac.uk/Downloads/craftpublications.html

The Blacksmiths Manual Illustrated by J. W. Lillico is the power hammer tooling one.

The others listed are also very sound. The Blacksmiths Craft, Wrought Ironwork- A manual of Instruction for Craftsmen and Decorative Ironwork being my "bibles" in the early years.

Alan

Tried to edit but would not post...

complete/one piece version here

http://www.muchhadhamforge.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/BLACKSMITHS-MANUAL-ILLUSTRATED.pdf

Get hold of paper copies if you can the images are much better. Much nicer t thumb through

Alan

Edited by Alan Evans

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  I'll readily admit that paper copies always feel and look better, especially hardbound, but digital media has a few things going for it too.  You can find a lot of good digital for free, a lovely price when you get so much more than what you pay for, legally off of google books I might add.  If it is available, you can find exactly what you're looking for and be reading it before you'd even be in the door of the library, even if you live next door, and you don't have to wait a week for it to come in. Also, if you have a big monitor, or you're hooked up to a big screen TV like my home rig, you don't have to bust out a magnifying glass to read some of that small type lettering.  The screen protector on my tablet and phone are also decidedly easier to clean, and I don't need good light to read either.

  All of that said, I still like adding to my small personal library when I see a good title, and nothing beats the feel of paper.

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  I'll readily admit that paper copies always feel and look better, especially hardbound, but digital media has a few things going for it too.  You can find a lot of good digital for free, a lovely price when you get so much more than what you pay for, legally off of google books I might add.  If it is available, you can find exactly what you're looking for and be reading it before you'd even be in the door of the library, even if you live next door, and you don't have to wait a week for it to come in. Also, if you have a big monitor, or you're hooked up to a big screen TV like my home rig, you don't have to bust out a magnifying glass to read some of that small type lettering.  The screen protector on my tablet and phone are also decidedly easier to clean, and I don't need good light to read either.

  All of that said, I still like adding to my small personal library when I see a good title, and nothing beats the feel of paper.

Trouble is you are reliant on the original scan quality for clarity however much you can enlarge it digitally. The Lillico and other Cosira books were digitised in the early days and are a bit crude.

I have not checked to see whether Google books has redone them, any knowledge?

Alan

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  I'm looking pretty closely at the digital copy I found, and there is definitely a very little bit of fidelity loss.  It seems about the same as the other COSIRA books I've read.  It's just barely noticeable, but in landscape on my tablet there is the occasional pixel that sticks out in the fine crosshatching, and my tablet is a 7" and runs at 1080p.  Not enough to detract from the technical/instructional value, but enough where you can see it when you zoom in.

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