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Hammer Restoration Project

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I have made a little video about how i restored an old sledgehammer and made it a new costume hammer with a personal touch.


If there is any advise on better design for a sledgehammer, then i am open suggestions. I will be able to use it in the future. :)

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Why yes there are a bunch of things including why you posted how to make a tool into a costume piece on a blacksmithing site and not a cosplay site?

1: Please edit out the graphic at the start showing you doing heavy work on the heel of the anvil. There are enough anvils with damaged heels out there already. Heavy work should be done over the sweet spot of the anvil.

2: There is a reason that mushrooming is generally ground out and that is that it is commonly full of cracks in the metal and so removal is needed not forging back into it, though that might have been what the cutting off the end was about later---so doing double work.  Much easier to grind to clean metal and then reforge to shape.

3: You show the hammer on top of the fire and also with a lot of scale on it.  Keep it buried in the reducing/neutral zone and keep the blower turned down---charcoal needs a DEEP fire to work properly!

3: Where was the heat treating?

4: What wood was the handle made from it looked like pine?  (also a farriers rasp would have done the end work a lot faster and easier than the utility knife and a draw knife would handle the length section)

5: The testing on a chunk of wood had no validity of it for use as a sledgehammer on hard items.

6: Where was the disclaimer that this would NOT be a using tool but only for "costume" use and using it as a tool may result in injury?

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First off, i apologise for the misspelling, english is not my main language. What i meant to say was that, it was a customized repair job and not a cosplay hammer.

Secondly, i figured out the mushroom stuff later in the project. Mainly because i have just started with blacksmithing two weeks ago.

Thirdly, my camera died while i was recording the heat treat. That's why it isn't there.

Fourthly, handle is made of a type of pine or rather a type of spruce that’s common in the scandinavian area where i live and is named Picea abies or norway spruce.

Lastly, i have made plans to make a draw knife in order to make the handle making process easier, maybe with a changeable blade. The reason i use wood in the end of the video is because i ran out of charcoal, else i would have demonstrated it with a red hot steel rod.

Besides that i appreciate the constructive criticism. It’s a good way to learn what i should do different in the future :)

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Where are you mate? Please edit your profile I may be living in the neifgborhood. And welcome to IFI. You will find very good advice but always search  first. Google "Iforgeiron myproblem" and you will get it. Some of the currmudgeons do not like getting the same question every week.  Because of the dutch elm disease there is any amount of elm available for handles around. I have more than a platoon of handle makers could use up in a week.

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Couple of things:

1. If you've only been smithing for two weeks, be careful about taking on custom jobs, especially anything that involves heat treatment or heavy use. You do not want to be held liable if a piece cracks off the head and goes flying or if the handle breaks and someone gets hurt. 

1a. Please keep in mind that other people will take your video as evidence of what they should do. It's one thing to record your early efforts, but remember that less-discerning newbies might take your missteps as a paragon of How Things Should Be Done.

2. Pine is a lousy wood for sledgehammer handles. 

3. When making a hammer handle, whenever possible, have the growth rings parallel to the long axis of the hammer. Stronger, and less likely to twist under the force of the blow.

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René; thank you for taking this as constructive criticism! Some of my questions might be good to include in the description of the video---like "The Heat treating of this hammer is not covered as the camera died however this is what was done...."; "Grinding of the mushrooming down to clean metal should be done *before* forging; as forging first can cover up cracks and/or make them propagate deeper" Or even as a "Things I learned Doing It This Way" addendum.

The general problem is that once a video has been posted on a public site it is there forever and so if it includes stuff that is not the best method many people new to the craft will still see it and accept it as proper method---this annoys me greatly. (If you read deep into this site you will find a lot of discussion of people making forges lined with sand and plaster a paris---a TERRIBLE forge liner; but one shown on a youtube video and so they think it's a good way to go instead of a TERRIBLE way to go.) It's been several years now but there was one person that did a video in which they said "I've never done this before; but this is the way to do it!" and of course it was NOT the way to do it at all.  How To's by experienced people is what helps new people.

I would like to say that the finish of that piece is very nice and I liked the logo done on the side, though you might look into etching it like is done for knives. It looks very nicely done---but without heat treating detail hard to *know*.

As mentioned you may want to edit your profile to put in a general location as it can be surprising how close other smiths might be to you---we have people participating from over 100 countries after all.

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Thanks for all the hints and pointers.

In the future i will be making my video more suggestive instead of conclusive, until i get more experienced and familiar with the craft. I will also focus on describing the missing parts of the video better. :)

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