bajajoaquin

Are Drilling Hammers Soft?

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Just got my new touchmark and it’s fully hardened. I’d like to regularly use a softer face hammer on it. Are drilling hammers typically soft so they can be used to strike drills? 

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I like to use a brass hammer, as there is little chance of it ever hardening more than even a unhardened HC steel tool, though I do plan on forging a simple chasing hammer out of mild steel in the near future like the ones Elmer Roush makes.  The 2# brass hammer I use was from Harbor Freight, but you can sometimes find them at flea markets.

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 I prefer to use a soft steel or bras hammer with some weight  when striking  a stamping tool  . This seems to give a clearer impression, probably  because it's more of a solid dead blow without any bounce or vibration.

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On 2/22/2018 at 11:32 AM, ThomasPowers said:

*check*  If you can't test the hardness of a hammer face should you learning how to do that first?

I know how. That’s not the question I asked. 

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okay, I'll bite, how do you test the hardness of a hammer?  I watch some Brian Brazeal videos where he's using his 3# rounding hammer to smite his tools (eye punch) and it makes me cringe.  

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I have two soft hammers: an Andy hammer (an all-metal hammer with a replaceable wooden face, great for straightening twisted sections) and a 5-ish pound hand sledge with a wrought iron head (picked up from a junk shop in Maine). The latter is great when I have to hammer on anything hardened.

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I check with a file. I know some smiths that will draw the temper back on a hammer to have a softer one for tooling. (And mark it as the soft one!)

As mentioned; for a touchmark you could use a brass hammer.

I have one dead soft hammer in my bucket that I move students to if they are having trouble hitting the workpiece and not the anvil.

I have a screwpress for indenting stuff.

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Just came into possession of a hammer-size chunk of mild steel. Now I'm getting ideas....

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People don't always appreciate your going after their hammers with a file. Not that I won't do it, just that I try not to lead with it. I come across drilling hammers at the swap meet pretty regularly, so I'm just trying to have a place to start.

I keep threatening to make a new coil for my forge that has three loops in it (since induction forges drop efficiency rapidly as the material gets farther away from the coil). I think the largest loop I'm considering would heat a hammer head. No reason I couldn't just normalize a swap meet hammer if I need to.

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Could just pull the handle, heat it to red,  let cool slowly,  then rehang the handle. Then you would know you have a nice soft hammer for what you are wanting to do.

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