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I Forge Iron

tempering $2 sledge

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I think I made a $2 hammer in the end, I don't know how it will feel after handled, so I want to make a handle and temper it and try it out and then maybe grind to get it balanced. I know its got more weight in the peen than the front which is probably a bad idea, plus its a wacky shape to boot! But I learned a lot. #1 is that I will forge the next one, as I picked up some material today that I can use. thanks for all the help. I take any suggestions as constructive criticism! :)

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Not knowing what material it is made out of, and not having hardened and tempered hammers, I would heat it up to non-magnetic, and then oil quench it. Then shine it up so you can see colors run. Then heat up a drift real hot, and hold the hammer head on the drift through the eye. Watch the colors run out from the eye to the ends. When the ends are straw, quench in oil again... Someone who actually has experience making hammers can probably offer better advice or correct mine or what not..

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Remember when you quench and temper to make certain the center of the hammer face is harder than the edges. This is against the physics of the standard qenching and tempering processes.

I know some good hammer makers quench their hammer heads with a full stream garden hose on the center of the face, Making this the most rapidly cooled area of the hammer.

If you quench the hammer in container of fluid the edges will cool most rapidly make the edges the hardest not the center of the hammer face.

This is what you don't want is hard edges as they will chip.

Also a stress releive (heating and very slow cooling) before heat treatment would be good and reduce chance of cracking during heatreat, although not generally absolutely required

Rather one step quench and temper, I would recommend quenching and cooling the hammer to under tempering temperature and then use a toaster oven torch to accurately temper at a known temeperature. After the oven quench reheat the eye hammer to soften the eye area being careful not to overheat and soften the faces. (You don't want the eye area brittle and break) And oh by the way remember the heatreaters rule of 1 hour per inch of thickness... Really hard to do with a forge or torch

As an alternate after the hardening you could heat the eye of the hammer and watch the temper colors run. This will give better control than trying to temper the hammer with the residual heat from the quenching operation.

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