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I Forge Iron

Howdy from East Texas


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Having finally made the time to take advantage of the forge and anvil that have been sitting in the barn for 20 years or more, I'm finding metal work a fascinating hobby. I found and joined a group of hobby blacksmiths and have really appreciated their willingness to help an old newbie. They gave me a good chunk of steel, invited me to one of their activities, and provided the forge, anvil, tools, coal and labor to show me how to make a hammer. Heckuva deal! Unfortunately, when folks ask "Did you make that?", I can only reply, "Yes, I made it, but 4 other guys did all the work."  That's sorta like the old saying, "We killed a bear, but Pa shot it."   I did get to swing the hammer a dozen times in the process of forming my new hammer, but it was all a very informative learning experience.

I'm looking forward to learning more about blacksmithing and actually getting to put my forge and anvil to work!



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Welcome aboard Olfart glad to have you. If you'll put your general location in the header you might be surprised how many of the Iforge gang live within visiting distance. Blacksmiths are like that, especially accomplished hobbyists, seems we're eager to get someone else hooked too. Making a hammer is a pretty advanced project, having 4 experienced guys helping is the ONLY way to go unless you're experienced and have a power hammer and tooling.

What kind of handle did you put on it, or have you yet? There are a couple good threads on hammer handles and why the person likes what s/he uses. I'm a huge fan of a slab handle that widens from the head to the end of the handle. I make mine from clear, straight grained 5/4 hickory I get at a local hardwood supplier. Being a flat slab makes it MUCH easier to tell exactly how the hammer head is aligned with the anvil's face side to side, It's also easier to hold and being tapered you can hold it in a very loose grip without worrying about throwing your hammer across the shop, the instant it starts to slip in your hand you just reflexively stop it. Well, that's my pitch about slab hammer handles, I'll post a couple pics if you'd like.

Then there's the ultimate reward for making your own tools, almost nothing, NOTHING feels as fine as using tools you've made with your own hands. Hammer, punch, chisels, forge, power hammer, anything. It's one of the best parts of the craft.

Frosty The Lucky.

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I'm probably going to put a commercially-made handle on this one if I can find one that will fit the eye without having to butcher the handle. We live on 35 acres of trees, so no shortage of wood to make one, just don't have time to wait for it to dry.

Thanks for the welcome.

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