Jump to content
I Forge Iron

1045 hammer heat treating question


Recommended Posts


I’m brand new to blacksmithing. Here’s my first attempt at a hammer. Prior to making this hammer I only had about 3 hours at the anvil to be honest, this was a very challenging, albeit great learning experience.

I’m really happy with how the peen came out, but the face bows outward a little on the right side and I’m not happy it’s not more square. I’m wanting to take a second whack (pun intented) at it but had a quick question first.

I can only get 3 hours at a time in the gorge and with hand punching this I don’t believe I can finish in a single session. Would I be okay to normalize and quench during one week and then grind/heat treat a week or two later?

Just want to make sure that 1045 can be heat treated that far after quenching, I’ve read some steels only allow for a short window between these.

I did a google search with “iforgeiron” in it but haven’t found an answer, sorry if I’ve missed the thread.






Link to comment
Share on other sites

Very nice first hammer.

Keep existing face cool by periodic water quench and you can regrind it on your belt grinder. Shouldn't take more than 15 minutes to dress the face where you need it if you have the right belts.

No you should not wait to temper after you quench, hammer face can crack from the quench induced stress even with as forgiving steel as 1045. Tempering can also be a very fast process with either auto tempering, a torch, a heated drift...  Even oven tempering need only take an hour, and you can keep forging meanwhile.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks. I really appreciate it! I’m pretty happy with how it turned out, but there’s a lot of room for improvement. I’m really excited to try again now that I have a better understanding of the process.


I was worried about that happening.

Do you think I’d be safe to normalize and save the quench and heat treat for another day?




Link to comment
Share on other sites

Justin your last sentence reads to me as: "Do you think I'd be safe to heat treat and save the heat treat and heat treat for another day?" Annealing, Normalizing, Hardening and Tempering are all heat treat processes.

Anyway, Yes after annealing or normalizing the steel will be stable for a long long time with no issues.  Quenching is the heat treat process that sets up a lot of stress in the workpiece and so should immediately go to tempering which will help relieve those stresses.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mr. Powers,

You’re absolutely right. Thanks for sharing your experience with me. I know the heat treat is a critical multi step process and I was very wary about starting it and not finishing it in a single go.

Thanks for letting me know where I can pause the process. I appreciate it.

Thanks again!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...