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Is a rounding hammer very usefull/nessary in blacksmithing? Is it something I should definitely have or not?

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Sure, you'll use it. Brian Brazeal can do amazing things with his rounding hammer. The ball face is good for texturing, sinking, and controlling spread on leaves, etc. Most smiths have a whole arsenal of hammers.

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Some people love em others only use them occasionally. I love em. I very seldom use a hammer with a peen of any sort. A rounding hammer can be had at a very reasonable price too. Take a look at a Vaughn or Diamond. I've spend a lot of money on other hammers but I still keep my Diamond around for certain jobs. 

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Sort of depends on what type of blacksmithing YOU do and what methods YOU use and what tools YOU have!  None of which YOU have told us...

I pick them up when I find them at the fleamarket for under US$10 but I don't use them a lot unless I need a domed face for a specific job.  Others use them as their go to hammer.

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I think Frank Turley said it well.

I have yet to purchase a "true" rounding hammer, but this Stanley Antivibe, gleaned from a dumpster, is a lot of fun to use, even though I have yet to dress it proper. All it lacks is a wider face.

My point is, if you feel creative you can dress that form into a flea market hammer to try it out.

Dome faced hammers with smooth corner transitions, to me, are the most accommodating and forgiving of geometries.

When I finally adopt my first "real" rounding hammer, all that I will need is the palm of my hand to test for feel, control, and weight.

But that's just me.

Robert Taylor

 

20170430_113247.jpg

Edited by Anachronist58
forgot picture

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Oh yeah I use my rounding hammers frequently, they're on the hammer rack on my anvil stand. The domed pein moves metal faster than a face. (flat side) Moving metal is basic simple physics in one of it's purest forms. Steel is plastic it moves when subjected to enough pressure. The hotter it is the more plastic it is until it liquefies. Pressure is measured by the subject steel in psi so the more you concentrate the pressure the more the steel moves. 

This is exactly the same thing as keeping a needle sharp, it's easier to push a sharp hypodermic needle into your arm than a pencil. The smaller the contact area the greater the pressure is concentrated.

It's a matter of taste, personal technique, training, etc. I picked up my first two rounding hammers at the Feed and Seed in Anchorage, they used to have a full wall of farrier supplies, forges, anvils, hammers, tongs, shoes, nails, maybe even coal. I just bought a hammer and pair of tongs.

I LIKE em but that's me. I'm lazy, I want the metal to move as much as I can control every blow, plannishing out what denting is left isn't an issue the hammers have a face for that.

Frosty The Lucky.

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I picked up a 4.5 lb rounding hammer and I've been teaching myself the Brian Brazel  method. It does move some metal and you get a lot of distance out of each heat. I was inspired with the one heat tong blank demo.  The efficiency is amazing. I have a smaller ferriers rounding hammer I us to do transitions. The heavy hammers take some getting used to, you have to work with a plan. It's a say to get further along than you want to. Lighter hammers are somewhat more forgiving. The men I learned from were all New Englanders and they work with the steady rapid rhythm similar to Peter Ross or Derick Glasier. Both techniques produce beautiful work they just arrive there differently. Like most of our brethren I have a collection of hammers around the anvil base. I usually tell folks, hammers and anvils, you can never have enough.  Happy forging. 

Peter

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When I generally speaking agree with Jack and buy tools as if they are going out of fashion, as far as rounding hammers, Thomas hit the nail on the head. What do you forge, determines the hammer you use. Usually I plan the tools required after I decide on a project not before. To make a large rustic hinge for a front door, that is the hammer you use to texture the surface. If you want to make a fishtail scroll, you use a cross peen hammer. 

Or you can buy every shape hammer there is and you can't go wrong. But will only use the one you need for your next project. 

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I started out with *1* hammer and tried to do everything with it; however over the years my hammer collection has grown quite a bit---always bought on the cheap---and now I'm likely to grab the hammer that I *know* will be best for a certain project with an ever finer granularity of "best".  Until I go teach and then just use the student's hammer to fix any problems they are having to show them it's the skills not the hammer.  One of my recent buys was the smallest rounding hammers I have seen---I'd go measure it; but it's at my other location.  I'm *NOT* supposed to pick up a hammer or smith for a month or more after my surgery next week so I though leaving the tools at my northern shop would help prevent temptation...

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Thanks, I expect to be really grumpy for a while; but hopefully things will be much better in a couple of months.

After I can travel my wife plans to take me north to where I don't have internet access but do have my shop---that I'm not supposed to do anything in.

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Good luck with your surgery, Thomas, and we're all wishing for a healthy and speedy recovery!! 

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28 minutes ago, ThomasPowers said:

Thanks, I expect to be really grumpy for a while

 

That's nothing new.:lol:

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I love my rounding hammers! they are my go to hammers. You can do everything you can with a rounding hammer that you can with a cross pein or engineers hammer, and more. I strongly recommend them. you basically get several hammers in one hammer. did I mention that I REALLY like them!

                                                                                                       Littleblacksmith

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Thomas,

Good luck on your upcoming surgery

We are all pulling for you.

SLAG.

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11 hours ago, Boedie said:

Is a rounding hammer very usefull/nessary in blacksmithing? Is it something I should definitely have or not?

This is some general advice for all hammers and is especially pertinent for newer smiths. Every smith misses what their aiming at and directly hits their anvil. Some more than others and newer smiths more than masters but it happens. If possible, do your best to get a hammer that is softer than your anvil. If given the option, you'd rather ding up the edge of your +/-$100 hammer than the face of your anvil that probably costs hundreds if not thousands of dollars. 

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Very good advice!  I have a soft french pattern crosspeen I "suggest" to students that have hammer control issues; it came from a bombed out WWII factory and is quite soft---though when it's time to use the hardy I ask them to swap with a hammer that will ding the hardy rather than the face of the hammer!

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All the best to you for your surgery Thomas. Heal up quickly.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Yep. May it all go smothly and heal up quickly, Thomas. Don't worry, we can take a little extra grump.;)

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I have opened a topic elsewhere on my surgery so we can go back to getting hammered here!

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15 hours ago, Jackdawg said:

what sort of a question is that?

He who dies with the most tools wins!

Good point 

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20 hours ago, Jackdawg said:

what sort of a question is that?

He who dies with the most tools wins!

I was on a road trip with my father this weekend and had this kind of discussion.  He said that my great grandad used to be a furniture craftsman before joining the railroad but that when he died nobody wanted all his tools and they got thrown out!  Can you imagine?  There oughta be a law!  Or a retirement home for tools or something until the next set of hands comes along.  Man.

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When my grandfather passed away, I wound up with all his tools and used them all the time even though they were "old". Then one day some miscreant broke into my van and stole all of them except for his 2lb cross peen hammer, which I still have and use. Another 60 years of use and the handle gave up last month. I re-handled it but it just doesn't feel the same. Every time I used that hammer, I felt connected to my grandfather and his wisdom and knowledge.

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4 hours ago, AdamG said:

I was on a road trip with my father this weekend and had this kind of discussion.  He said that my great grandad used to be a furniture craftsman before joining the railroad but that when he died nobody wanted all his tools and they got thrown out!  Can you imagine?  There oughta be a law!  Or a retirement home for tools or something until the next set of hands comes along.  Man.

That makes me mad just thinking about that stop talking about it

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