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I Forge Iron

Anyone use a diagonal peen as their main hammer?


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I've only been forging for a month or two and unfortunately very sparingly during that time frame... the two hammers I've been using the most are both cross peens, a 2-1/2 pounder and a 4 pounder. Every time I'm using the peen, I find myself wishing it was diagonal. I feel like I have to get my arms in awkward positions to get the cross to hit where I want it to. So do any of you folks use a diagonal regularly? If so, is it because the other more common direction peens felt "unnatural" to you?

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my go to hammers for peening are straight peens I did see a fellow forge a single jack into a diagonal peen at a SWABA meeting once.  Heated up the "donor" hammer head and using the shops hydraulic press put the head in at the proper angle and gave it a good bite---which not only gave the base shape it also pushed out the flat face into a nicely rounded one doing most of the work to dress it!

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18 hours ago, Glenn said:

Move the metal to match the direction of the peen being used.

I've been trying to find a comfortable way of doing that Glenn, but I just seem to get in my own way. I'm sure it's at least mostly due to lack of experience, but while it's happening, I can picture that peen being twisted 45 degrees and putting me in a much more comfortable and efficient position.


18 hours ago, Crazy Ivan said:

After I made my 45* diagonal cross pein (3.5 lbs) it is all I use for general forging. They are awesome. 


Ivan that hammer looks perfect, I like it... Tell my favorite city that I said hello and I'm sorry I haven't visited for a few years.

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Notice how over the years smithing your "offhand" becomes much more useful and trained?  New Students often have trouble working the stock with their offhand while hammering with their primary hand  particularly if they are using tongs.   (Why I start them with a longer piece of stock so they can see that they can forge before we cut it to size, flip it and have to use tongs...)

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  • 3 years later...

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