samwiththej

Salut from Montreal!

Recommended Posts

Hello, everyone!

I am a beginner, but have always wanted to get my hands at blacksmithing. It  is my dream to build actual knives, swords, and armors, as well as plenty of other things from metals. I started with an introductory course with a non-profit organization here called Le Forges de Montreal. The first things I forged are here: https://imgur.com/gallery/wm9xo. (A fire poker, nails, chisel, center cut, coat hanger). I am looking forward to learning and growing as a smith with everyone! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome aboard! Nice work for your first time at the forge. 

Hard to say what the weight of the hammer could be without knowing the dimensions of that anvil.  Over time your hands will strengthen, ugh, I think the tape on the palm is worse then actually wearing a glove. You'll get there, Keep at it. 

There is a Lot of info here so read up and if you have any questions there are many here to help. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, Daswulf said:

Welcome aboard! Nice work for your first time at the forge. 

Hard to say what the weight of the hammer could be without knowing the dimensions of that anvil.  Over time your hands will strengthen, ugh, I think the tape on the palm is worse then actually wearing a glove. You'll get there, Keep at it. 

There is a Lot of info here so read up and if you have any questions there are many here to help. 

Thank you! I was told the hammer was around 2lbs. I have really small hands, so I'm looking to have my hammer customized (hopefully make one for myself in the future). I actually forgot to get gloves, so I just covered all the wounds and blisters with bandage and tape. Hehe. Thank you so much!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Many if not most people prefer not to have a glove on the hammer hand for reasons of grip and control, let alone the feel of how the steel is moving. I don't see a big problem with using them when you first start and would get bad blisters. I will use one when my hands are sore or cut up from my day job. It's rare tho. If starting with gloves to get your hands "conditioned" a bit find some thinner gloves like mechanics gloves so you have a good grip and control of the hammer. 

Control of the hammer and workpiece is important, even a safety issue. Hot steel flying out of the tongs can hurt.( don't ask how I know :) ) 

2lb hammer is a good starting hammer weight.  The handle shape/size is a factor too. There are threads here even on hammer control and handling as in grip and posture etc.. 

Just so you know the search function on the site isn't the best so if you use your search engine and type" iforgeiron " after it it should bring up more and better hits to the question on this site. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, Daswulf said:

Many if not most people prefer not to have a glove on the hammer hand for reasons of grip and control, let alone the feel of how the steel is moving. I don't see a big problem with using them when you first start and would get bad blisters. I will use one when my hands are sore or cut up from my day job. It's rare tho. If starting with gloves to get your hands "conditioned" a bit find some thinner gloves like mechanics gloves so you have a good grip and control of the hammer. 

Control of the hammer and workpiece is important, even a safety issue. Hot steel flying out of the tongs can hurt.( don't ask how I know :) ) 

2lb hammer is a good starting hammer weight.  The handle shape/size is a factor too. There are threads here even on hammer control and handling as in grip and posture etc.. 

Just so you know the search function on the site isn't the best so if you use your search engine and type" iforgeiron " after it it should bring up more and better hits to the question on this site. 

I shall get gloves for next time! I did have serious burns from welding during my first time, so I'd really want to do it safe for next time. Haha.

Thank you so much for your tips!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Salut, et bienvenue!

One of my basic smithing classmates wore fingerless weightlifting gloves, which gave her good palm protection, but still good control. 

If you feel a spot on your hand getting hot and irritated from the hammer handle rubbing, get some tape on it right away, before the blister forms. I occasionally use weightlifter's chalk on my hands (especially if it's humid), which helps as well.

Salut, et bienvenue!

One of my basic smithing classmates wore fingerless weightlifting gloves, which gave her good palm protection, but still good control. 

If you feel a spot on your hand getting hot and irritated from the hammer handle rubbing, get some tape on it right away, before the blister forms. I occasionally use weightlifter's chalk on my hands (especially if it's humid), which helps as well.

(Also, if you haven't already, please READ THIS FIRST.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Vikings used 1-1/2 to 2# hammers, and sledges up to 4#. So 2# is a respectable weight. As ball pein hammers are easy to come buy in 24oz 1-1/2#) and can he reforged to make cross and stait piens out if the ball, they are somthing to look for at the flea market.

most hammers com with two large of handle and will lead to fatigue and blisters, the easiest thing is to lay the hammer on a bench and rasp down the sides and then the fron/back of the handle to form a round edged rectangle that first your hand. 

 

image.jpg

image.jpg

My go to hammer, 2# rounding hammer (I'm a farrier) custom handle from a hand sledge. 

image.jpg

image.jpg

Odd ball little cross pein with a round eye, I haven't thinned the waist yet but it's handled with a hoe handle (4 hammers total carved from that) 

image.jpg

So reshape the handles, your fingers sould almost touch your palm/base of your thumb.with the back of the handle nestled in the middle supported buy the base of the thumb. 

image.jpg

image.jpg

image.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sand or any lacked/varnish (it's a blister maker) and oil the handles (vegtible/soy bean oil is a drying oil as is linseed oil) 

reworking the handles to fit your hand is realy a nessesity, cuts down on fatigue and blisters. Grip the hammer with your pinky (lose your pinky and you lose 60% of your grip strenght) with decreasing grip in each finger to the thumb. No thumb on the back of the hammmer. The grip sould be loose enugh some one can snatch the hammer out of your hand, and if you don't loose it a few times wile learning you pobbably have a death grip on it. The rest is in learning to tilt the head up with your rist so you are not fighting the handles leverage. Lift the hammer up, so the head is beside your shoulder (even well above your head if you need to get it to move a lot) now start your swing with the rist still up and when the hand reached level flick the rist down. Maximum velocity, minimum work and muscle strain. 

Das, 2" by 11" long bit of square shafting. For my "you don't need $2000 to start smithing demo kit. Next to it is a stump for a 10# sledge. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Note,  leather slippers, wool socks and cotton PJs. 

I tend to do a lot of my chores like this. Give me a break from jeans and boots.

image.jpg

I can't say the idea of a hot off cut finding its way into my shoe sounds appealing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, Charles R. Stevens said:

Das, 2" by 11" long bit of square shafting. For my "you don't need $2000 to start smithing demo kit. Next to it is a stump for a 10# sledge. 

Nice! I like it. I'll be watching for the post. 

I have some sledge hammer heads I've been wanting to make stands for. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

JHCC,

JHCC, said  "please tell me that you don't smith in pajamas and slippers! "

Slag Industries  ( L.L. C.) says    "Charles R. Smith does it his way."

Who are we to question/judge that? HUHH?

Mme. Samwiththej, I stated out with a one and half pound ball pein hammer, quickly advanced to a one and three quarter on and then a two pound cross pein hammer.

Sometimes I will use a two & half pound hammer when it is more efficient for the job.

Yes ball pein hammers are used by smiths. You will see them more commonly used in Great Britain. 

I bought the ball pein hammers at a Omer Deseres remainder table, years ago. I bought a batch of them.

Just a side note, all pein and engineer hammers have a hardened head. Claw hammers have soft heads and should not be used for hammering iron/steel, some shards could end up flying in the air.

When you outgrow the lighter hammers and you might have no use for some of them, they can be changed into, very handy top tools (fullers).

The hardware stores carry anti-vibration gloves. They are not thick so they are less likely to encumber you. I got mine at a specialty hardware seller. Many of those gloves come with open finger tips.

As a generality, women are not as brawny as males. But many/most are just as effective at the forge and anvil as their male counterparts. Why? Because they pay more attention to hammer control, hammer grip, hammer placement, & accuracy.

There is a video for sale that is called "Smith Like a Woman", ( iirc,) it explains why that is so. I will be buying it shortly.

There are a number of lady smiths on this site. You might want to check out some of their posts. Two of them Rachelle, & jplipserviicesinc.

Some free books are e.g. COSIRA blacksmithing books. (try Bam.com for them ) The United Nations FAO publications has 3 smith books. The ABANA organization has many part tutorial on basic smithing techniques. All the forgoing are excellent.

Lorelei Sims has an excellent book called "The Backyard Blacksmith". Buy it from the discount book sellers on the net. The discount price hovers around $8-$12.00.

Hope that helps,

Salut,

SLAG.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bonsoir et bienvenue, Mme. samwiththej (well, it is "soir" on Australia's east coast, anyway). I can also recommend Mme. Sims' book. I bought it on a whim and I credit her with inspiring me to take up blacksmithing. In fact, I reckon I'll read it again before I get my smithy (read: place in the back yard away from flammable stuff) set up, hopefully next week.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yep, Laughing Bodger, definitely 'bonsoir' here. We get used to posting here while our US friends are sleeping. And forging upside down of course.

 I agree with you about the book by Lorelie Sims. She has some great ideas there. Inspirational stuff.  I keep a copy at my work forge all the time and bring it to the notice of the girls in school groups who think that blacksmithing is just for boys.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now