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I Forge Iron

First hammer


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Almost hesitant to post this, since it is rough. Especially when compared to alot of the tools posted here. But it's my first, and like every parent of an ugly child, I'm blinded by happiness. About 2#, made from 4" of the pin that locks the couplers on rail cars.  One question, I managed to drift the eye a little askew. Any advice as to how to keep it straight next time?





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It's hard to see in those crummy pictures. I marked my center well, but while drifting I must have twisted it resulting in [\] instead of [|](if looking DOWN at the eye of the hammer). I'll try to get a better picture. And thanks for the compliment Frosty, haven't heated her yet. I may still do some forging if I can fix that crooked eye.

Ok, I'm not imagining it, when holding this thing it's obvious, but the pictures barely show what I'm taking about. It's only 1/16 of true.



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Merry (almost) Christmas,

Welcome and congratulations on your Hammer. It is 100% better than the last one you made!!!!!!!!!!

It is not abnormal for the Handle Hole to have a little twist. When you make your Handle (I make Handles from old Pallets),  just file a little twist into it!!!!!! Nobody will see the slight Hic-cup and if someone says anything about it, ask to see their Hammer. Put-up or Shut-up!!!!

The trick I learned from Tom Clark (rest his soul) is to layout the blank with a scribe, center punch and drill 3 - 1/4" holes. One on center of your Hole and one 3/8"-1/2" on either side of center mark. In other words, 3 - 1/4" holes in a straight line. The holes will stop your punch from twisting. If for some reason you still get a minor twist, refer to the above. Look with your eyes, not with your mouth!!

The other way is to punch a round Hole and then Hammer in the Cheeks. This will make the Oval Hole as well. K.I.S.S.



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Nice work, hoss.  If you want to spend a good hour or so trying to file that hole straight, you could do it.  Personally, I'd leave it as-is and put a little twist in the wood handle like other's have noted.  For a first hammer, that's a pretty dang good result and I'd be inclined to leave the little bits and bobs intact so I can look back on them after the fiftieth hammer.

For future hammers, as Swede noted, you can drill three or four holes down the centerline and use them to guide your chisel through the steel.  That's the simplest way to get straight eyes every time unless you want move up to using power hammers or presses and invest in some jigs to keep everything aligned.

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As has been suggested the easy thing at this point and what I would do is rasp the handle into alignment. As far as future tool eyes I tend to try to forge quickly on most things, but I try to really take my time when starting an eye as this is a very easy thing to goof up that is why we all seem to know about rasping handles. As for Tom Clark I watched him make hammers  a couple times when I watched him his were not predrilled, I don't know if he did that as a practice himself or not at some point in time, but I did see a blank that he had discarded after just starting a hole as it was slightly out of allignment. I would have been temped to try salvaging it had I done it, he had made a lot more hammers than I likely ever will so discarding it at least if it is a seller was no doubt the right choice.

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