fangedknight

The great tool hunt! (Pic heavy)

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So now that I've started on my blacksmithing journey I want to try and collect together as many tools as I can from what I have at my house. My dad did a lot of different trades before I came along so I have a ton of his old tools lying all over the place. A lot of those are stone hammers, heavy hammers, etc. I highly doubt I'm gonna find any kind of tongs but I might get lucky. Literally my dad did everything from stone masonry, to welding, to working with muzzle loaders as a hobby. So I literally have a whole garage to sort through! 

I'm gonna need some help figuring out what hammers/tools will work well, won't work well, or what'll be fine once I clean it up. There'll be lots of pictures to help with that process though.

Okay here come the pictures of the stuff I found so far (the garage is a hot mess and is doubling as a small animal barn right now because I don't have a barn. Thankfully it's just rabbits, however stuff has gotten moved around and it's a mess). 

First hammer I found is a flat headed monster, thankfully not too heavy so I should still be able to work with it, just not sure what I'd do with it. 

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Next hammer I found is a bit smaller so a little more manageable, it's a round headed hammer like the one I was working with yesterday so I'm definitely more comfortable with this. Just need to figure out how to clean these guys up. 

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Here's a pair of vice grips (always handy), a ball peen hammer, and some assorted files. There's files literally everywhere of every shape and size I'm just not sure about the one with the handle but I'm sure I can use it for something. 

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Here comes the fun part. Technically you could probably call these things chisels, I'm just not sure what the correct terminology is for blacksmithing uses. I've heard Alec Steele call things similar to these as fullers before, but again, not sure if I'd be using the term properly. Unintentional scale with butter dish and water bottle cap. As you can see I have some huge ones and some small ones. 

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This one looks like it could be used as a punch, I just might have to tinker with it a bit. 

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This one has some interesting shape to it but I'm sure it's just another small cut chisel/fuller/something

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And of course I managed to hunt down my father's favorite metal working "chisel" he actually made this one in a shop class of some sort when he was younger (now given my father was known to exaggerate quite a bit so I'm not so sure if this is completely correct or not) and he said they were learning how to temper things and that he had tempered this "chisel" 7 times. He also showed me that it rings like a crisp bell when dropped onto the head of a hammer (not too hard of course). I'm sure he was showing off since I was younger at the time but it's still a nice tool that I want to make sure I use for something. 

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As usual any advice on cleaning up some of this stuff or ideas for uses or what it could be would be great! I think I know where I want to put my forge once I start building it, alas it's not going to be a permanent fixture since my S.O. and I are planning on moving out to our own place in the next year or so if we can do it. However! I can always start small with what I got and that's fine with me. In fact I might have a lead on a railroad tie for a first anvil! I haven't tried sniffing one out though, that'll be later. 

Also once I find more potentially useful tools I'll pull them out and take pictures and hopefully we'll be able to figure out what I can do with these things!  

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The first hammer, the stone worker's hammer, could be used as a hardy or hot cut with some grinding.

I didn't see any huge chisels we get 6' to 8' long chisels from the old mining stuff out here...and yes that's feet!

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I’m far from a hammer expert but the first one looks like a stone hammer.  I can’t see the very end of the second hammer, but, if it has a radiused end, it can be repurposed into a cross peen hammer.  You will have to learn how to dress your hammers...google “dress hammer iforgeiron” and you should find info on that.

 

The chisels are always useful.  Those are cold chisels as they sit.  To use them for hot work you will have to grind/reshape the edges to have a steeper bevel.  Once again, use the Google to learn what a hot work chisel should look like.  Use the largest chisels for the hot work.  Keep the smaller ones to make drifts and specialty tools later.  The chisel with the long flat end should never be used on hot work.  It is for engraving (a whole other can of worms).  

Fullers are rounded on the end and can be shaped any number of ways to make different impressions in hot steel.  

 

That punch is is almost ready to go.  Just clean up the edges so they are sharper.

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Do some research on the stone hammer.  I found one at a garage sale a couple of years ago along with some related items.  $20 US for the box.  I took it to one of my customers, his grandfather started the brickyard about 90 years ago, he offered a $100 bill without blinking.  I can't tell anything from the picture but it might be worth more to a stone mason.  Save a stone hammer and put some bucks in your pocket, maybe.  Mine hangs over a small bench along with the other yester-year stuff I have collected.

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2 hours ago, ThomasPowers said:

I didn't see any huge chisels we get 6' to 8' long chisels from the old mining stuff out here...and yes that's feet!

:blink: How big?! What! I don't even think I could lift something that big yet. How do you even use something that huge? 

And yes, Lou! The smaller hammer does have a radius on it, I was planning on using that one for my go too hammer. (I had completely forgotten the term cross-peen whoops!) I'll definitely go looking for that information so I can get them ready to work. 

I'm assuming the engraving chisel is the "small cuts" one? 

And yes, I figured the punch was almost good. I'm guessing the tiny lip around the top just needs to be ground off and of course clean it up to sharpen it a bit. 

Papy, I might set it aside, I'm not sure yet. The smaller hammer is going to be my main hammer so I guess if I need to sell the bigger one at some point I might.  

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Don't be too quick to jetison the mason's hammer.  I found a beauty at my favorite junk shop.  I put a good and rounded radius to the striking surface and then ground the straight peen down to an excellent radius for fullering stock.  It's becoming my go to hammer for square stock and fullering.  You have to get rid of all the square edges and the sharp peen.  The square face draws out stock differently, but it agrees with me/my swing and is a good weight for those tasks.

I'd keep all the chisels and punches.  I buy all of them I can find a garage sales.  You can always make them into what you need because, well......you are a blacksmith ;)  

I'd keep all of it until you get further down the road where you know you won't use it.  I bought a pair of tongs that I though I'd use - haven't used them once yet so I'll probably sell them on ebay to get some cash to buy something I do need.  

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Re Large rock chisels: They used steam drills.  Still have the remains of the steam engines around a few of the mines.

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it seems to me that old mining towns and areas are great for finding improvised tools. I found a good log splitter that does the same job with a bit of facing. and old jackhammer bits are perfect for hardy tools.

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 forgedinfire 123 - Good to know there's someone not too far from me! 

Just a quick update for everyone, I haven't had much luck trying to get everything fixed up. My angle grinder ran off on me, but I think I understand the concept of dressing hammers now. And I do understand how to fix up the punch (I just need to make sure it's the right size for the hooks I need to make, if not I'll be making another one). Still gotta find tongs though, I've been having no luck with that at all. 

For the tools I know I'll need to make it'll be a punch plate, any new punches I need, and a twisting wrench. I've got another event at the Homestead on Saturday the 27th so I'll be there with another "new" blacksmith (He knows what he's doing, he's just new to some of us at the Homestead). Hopefully everything goes well, worst case scenario I'll be there attempting to know what I'm talking about and throwing candy at the small children from behind my fence. 

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