Kevin House Posted August 7, 2016 Share Posted August 7, 2016 A response to power hammers in another thread made me put my two bits in for hammers, technique and human form. This is my opinion, which has led me a very long way along the path of success and efficiency. This post can hopefully help people all around with a success statement coming from Forging Physiotherapy. First of all, forget the power hammer, get a bigger anvil, and spend some time on you. Technique and posture are essential to having a good work day, and life. I am a kung fu practitioner and apply stances and form to working the forge. You don't need a martial arts background, but keep a straight back, pull your shoulder blades together and bend in the knees. think of your spine as a pillar that must stand on end. Keep the head pulled back and look down upon what you are doing. This also helps a bit with eye protection by keeping your face further away from your metal. No safety glasses are 100% effective, so take that extra foot to keep your eyes safe. Also, GO AMBIDEXTEROUS! Be adamant about it, brush your teeth with both hands even, it took me 6 months of daily practice to get good. switch hands for forging blade bevels, and every forge reheat etc. You will learn FAR more about your body, technique and muscle isolation doing jobs with both hands. I used to forge right handed only with a 4 lb hammer. I developed a overlarge right arm, and mild scoliosis in my back (crooked back). I am surprised I don't hear more smiths concerned about this. Switching up to two handed / ambi techniques, I fixed my back, moved to a 10hr work day from 2, and now throwing twin 10lb sledge hammers (for drawing damascus). I still don't think twin hammers are as good as a power hammer, but part of playing the blacksmith role in my opinion is looking like one This all ties in really well for me as an athlete in rock climbing, martial arts and cycling. They all end up complimenting one another. Find the compliments in your life and reap the benefits . And if you are a coach or instructor like myself, it really benefits what you can show others. What left learns is from right, what right learns is what's left. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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