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Why use a mallet when I all ready have the hammer in my hand..

Use the tool needed for the job at hand, no more no less..

Time is money..  no time lost ..

Since you asked, clarification might be needed...

Using the handle to tweak light stock either cold or hot. Using the butt or top/bottom orientation to give it an adjustment..

 

If one can get the adjustment one is looking for without ruining the handle and saves a step or 2 in the process will make the action more efficient and will increase production..

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I've seen Billy Merritt weld a pattern welded billet using a hammer handle---to demonstrate you don't need to smash it to get it to weld if you are doing it right. (In fact hitting too hard is a common mistake when billet welding.)

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But Thomas, I distinctly remember you saying that Billy Merritt was of such skill that gates would accidentally weld shut when he walked by and coins in his pocket would create mokume gane at random.  He isn’t a fair example!

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Caution! read at yer own risk,,, this is a mere ole broke down hippy blacksmith attempt at humor!!  take it anyother way at yer own risk...   ;)

Ok, Jen, you have set some parameters and made some assumptions, so let's do it your way. ;)

let's throw out the "book larnin" and blow off those pesky furamluars,,   or whatever ya call those danged f = ma thangs where f= "fer cryin'out loud, m= "my gaud", and a= aaarg!!!. 

" As newer smith progress and you see " smarty pants" come along they sometimes will use their brain power to show how " Smart they are" (some can forge well, others can't but they are happy to spew information all day long)  when in most situations with forging " unless you want to show your mental prowess"  it's all moot.."

As for Mr "smarty pants", let's just stick him in the corner for a little quiet time,, facing the wall,,,and if he listens guud, maybe he will larn summat.

" most don't need to know anything more than to  " HIT it when it's hot".

Now there it is in a nut shell. The secrete of our craft,, revealed to you before yer very eyes! Yup, just hit it when she's hot. 

" Today I for the most part keep things much simpler and try to find ways to help others understand with simple examples like holding the rock in the hand and hittinng it.."

and the other part of the puzzle. and we are good, there are plenty of rocks in the desert.

"And as for quality of work..   Quality work is quality work,   Or it isn't...     It doesn't matter the size of the anvil."

A big sigh of relief here,,, I just can't afford a bigger anvil!!!

" Sadly, everybody will come back with brain power and list formulas again as a way to protect the ego..     But yet, when they look at their own work they if they can look honestly will say also that on some project it would have been better to have a slightly larger anvil or a smaller anvil or a better mounting system for their smaller anvils ( it moved around to much)....".

I must have missed something, because that's never happened to me. seems anvils just sorta came my way and out of the goodness of me heart, I put them to work. I'll pay more attention to "size" need in the future and correct this.

" Basically as a simple term the concussive wave.. It (hot metal )will for an instant not transfer energy to the anvil when hit with a hammer..   Again, there is a millionth of a second where the energy of the hammer is put into the metal before the anvil can take on this energy"

Pretty technical, and tending tward that bugger "book larnin'" be careful, or you will lose me.

Well,in the spirit of this Jen, let's not be stingy here,,, a millionth of a second isn't much time to do  much anything. Will 5 minutes work better?  Prolly depends on the size of the hammer.


I'm not listing the YouTube video you listed, Jen, but I'm sure they "ring" true because they are about bullets and are found on the internet,, two plusses in the "no book" approach to quality blacksmithing. 
 
And, no brain power, good forbid, and none of those danged ole formulas, so let's get to the reel deel.

So within the parameters you have set here,,, the answer and proof are obvious and fit your beliefs as well.

"WHY DOES SIZE MATTER?"

Well, size matters because a larger size anvil means we can use a bigger hammer,,, correct, Jen?

And everybody knows that the best way for a blacksmith to solve any problem is,,, wait for it,,, !

GET A BIGGER HAMMER!!  

Enjoy.

 


 


 

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LOL..   :)        

Anvil,  I've seen some pretty serious metal movement by some guys who's favorite hammer is 2-2.5lbs and they swing it like they own it..  

 

Personally, there is an anvil size I prefer but it doesn't mean much other than to myself....         Most will have to discover for themselves which size or type of anvils they like best.. 

After all it's about the journey right.. 

 

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To a one man band it matters none but to inflate the ego.

To an industrial workshop using a team of smiths an one or more strikers, it matters. Swinging sledges at speed in a gang is not something to be done on a 1cwt anvil. The modern hobbyist or professional one man banders obsession with size is all about anvil envy and ego. If it can the job then it is big enough. If it cannot, and a bigger hammer is required than the anvil can handle, then a larger anvil is required.

Dismissing theory is the luxury of the artist and the hobbyist. In industrial smithing where small tolerances must be met and thousands of items must be turned out identically, theory saves more than just minutes! Or the seconds it takes to switch to a mallet :) .

thyme is money!

But the theory of anvil size is rather an amusing way to pass the time away from the forge.

Hooroo, I'm  off to demo at the Cairns show!

 

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I prefer an anvil with a face large enough to eat dinner off of with room for: salad plate, bread plate, entree plate, dessert plate, water glass, wine glasses (white, red, dessert) otherwise your shop is just suitable for barbarians!

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Ha ha, I like your post Mr Ole Hippy Anvil. 

A few inaccuracies just for the record. This "new smarty pants smith" has just turned 69 and started working in a commercial smithy at age 15.

The examples to 'explain' things are good when they are accurate. When they contain errors, they are no good and need correcting. To correct a concept you need the facts presented in a different way, most of the time it is best to use Mr Newton and some other formularium that may not be very appetising but is required, or you end up with rocks that absorb or reject energy and hammers that are measured in millionth of seconds and resemble bullets, or stands that add mass to the anvil, and many more very amusing but wrong assumptions all there because ... well ... forcryingoutloud intolerance, or similar ailments. 

And last but not least, a bigger anvil has a bigger face. You are right Mr Thomas, stating the obvious is sometimes important. 

So practice is more important than theory? Depends what for. If you are good at forge welding, knowing how this happens will not help you much. However if you tell me it is the spirit of Vulcan that talks to you at nights and directs your hammer, I will politely disagree and perhaps come up with a formula or two ... or may be not ... being called names that fit someone 1/3 my age is demoralising :)

PS

I did not learn formulating formulations in a smith but in a university. Yes inside, mostly the library where making noise was frown upon. :P  

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Well I thought of saying that all your mates should be able to set their beer on it---but few indeed are the anvils like *that*!

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My 480 pounder fits easy 10 beers or 12. But my shop does not fit 10 visitors :(

Funny that hard-face and big-face if translated literary are both insults in Spanish . :)

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Lets not go there; I work in a factory in Mexico  and could probably dig up insults in Toltec, Aztec and Mayan if I wasn't careful...

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1 hour ago, iron woodrow said:

thyme is money!

Sage advice. 

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12 hours ago, Marc1 said:

My 480 pounder fits easy 10 beers or 12. But my shop does not fit 10 visitors :(

What is the problem? That is just enough beers for me!

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Lol, it looks like we both are competing for the "Mr smarty pants award!!"  It's a close race,,, we are separated by a mere anvils ring!!

 

Marc1, we are close, I started when I was 17 as a farrier, off and on full and part time til getting out of the service. Made more money part time in the service than as an E-5. And a full time farrier for about 15 years, give or take. and am now 71 and setting  up a new, and best yet shop. A long and great journey that still continues. A journey that has always included a hammer and an anvil. 

my physics learning  started in high school and finished my sophomore year in college when I decided that I was a far better "original engineer(blacksmith) than one from college. Never looked back! I learned, or better said, learned a real use for much of that as a smith. Knowing the "formulas" for such things as forging to dimension(1/64") or forging a  right angle to dimension, and knowing the "formula" for forging a slit chisel to get a known finished diameter  is a rush, and critical for many things, as is basic trig for drawing  both on paper and in chalk on my table. Not to mention the time saved! These learning  came both from experience and from a handful of really great people I worked with/for and many that I watched over the years. For me, it's not the rote memory of these formulas that's important. Keep them in a notebook, or know where the danged book is when you need it. It's the application of this "book larnin'" combined with the tools of our craft that makes an unstoppable combination in the real world.

Glad you liked my "humor". I hope you got as big a chuckle from it as I got from yours!

In all seriousness, it's pretty hard to discuss the mechanics between hammer and anvil without some background in basic physics, which is what you are saying, I believe. Without it, some really strange concepts emerge. My "knowledge" here is from far in the past and I found I really don't like it. It's sorta like the proverbial dog poo on yer boot! It's hard to wipe off and always stinks at just the wrong time!

And without a doubt, the best way to judge the real quality of an anvil is how many beers can you put on the face and still pull off a perfect forge weld.  ;)

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One of my favorite sayings is... Not all knowledge comes from college.

I posed the question to my wife about "Why does size matter" and she just rolled her eyes and walked away. I think she said something like depends if you are talking about man inches or ruler inches, seems we always over estimate size.

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Yep Mr Anvil ... agreed. 

My journey included many adventures and enterprises, some I try hard to forget, others seem to bring a smile when I remember them. 

 I had the opportunity to apply those pesky formulas and unappreciated theoretical concepts a large number of times with great satisfaction. One that comes to mind is when I took up an opportunity to start a manufacturing plant from scratch. With limited capital and one business partner that was broke but had great practical knowledge of the process involved in making PVC, I took the challenge to make all the machinery from parts I could buy, mainly from discarded food industry stuff. 

I had to adapt, modify and build from scratch a string of machines, reactors, pumps mixers and boilers and this involved a lot of calculations. From working out the volume of a tank, and the surface of the fire tubes needed to heat up the water inside, the speed of the gases inside them and how to slow them down, the ideal temperature to produce the right chemical reaction, pump position and capacity, speed of reaction, electrical installation, not to mention finances, everything worked out only because of what I was able to apply from my studies. My partner knew how to make the stuff, but had no idea how to build what was required to do it.  I had the most satisfaction from proving the suppliers rep wrong. Many had great knowledge of their product but sketchy concepts of how they were supposed to work. However in good salesman fashion they trumpeted the little they knew as gospel and irrefutable set-in-concrete fact. 

Changing parameters, a bit of calculation and experimentation, lots of failures and some success provided results outside the square the were unknown to our competitors and gave us an edge for a decade. From Trigonometry to Chemistry, from Physics to maths, to understand how things work is a lot of fun. 

We are a bit off course in relation to the mechanics of collisions, but I blame it on you that got me talking about myself. :P 

IFC ... the source of a particular knowledge is irrelevant, it is what you do with it that counts. :)

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