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Hammer from Carbon migration question

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This might make it's own great thread. 

Wrought iron hammer making or something like that.. 



On 2/9/2019 at 10:42 AM, Latticino said:

You want some real fun, try to hardface a 2.5# wrought iron hammer billet with 3/8" thickness of  52100.  Must have been poor technique on my part, but I had a bear reaching wrought iron forge welding temperatures without "cottage-cheesing" the 52100.  Probably should have realized that I only needed to get up to the welding temperature for the 52100.  Love to get some direction from a more experienced smith like yourself Jennifer.

Well thanks for asking.. :) 

I can tell you right off, the face thickness at 3/8" is way to thick.. the face of the hammer I'd guessing is about 1.25- 1.5sq inches.. This would need between 1/8" and 3/16 -1/4" thick to be successful not only in the weld but in hardening..       Not sure which kind of forge you use.. But Gas for this kind of thing is nearly impossible if the temperature in the forge is even..   You need to have a graduated heat source...  Or completely remove the excess O2 content from the forge.. ( encased in clay) so you won't burn the HC steel.. 

In the coal forge after you have applied/stuck the face onto the head ((watch the set hammer video: or the steeled wrought iron hammer video ...  

I had wrote this all ready but got deleted when I added the links..  Errrrrr..   

Anyhow..   Once the steel face is held onto the wrought iron you put the wrought iron into the main heart of the fire and put the steel face on the far side of the heart..  You then control the heat going to the face by adjusting where the wrought iron is placed in the heart of the fire..  Ideally the wrought iron and the steel face should come up to full welding temperature as you are placing the unit on the anvil.. 

The wrought iron will transfer the remaining heat need to the steel face as it is moved to the anvil for the weld.. 

I am always in awe or simply amazed when it all comes together as it is an instant process..    That first whack on the anvil sets the tone for what happens next...   It is that one hit that sets the face completely..  Its crazy to see in person.. It's almost like there is a magnet pulling the 2 together..  Beautiful and so simple.. Crazy beautiful.. 

I'm in the process right now of editing making a straight cut hardie  with a steel face..  mild steel and 5160.. and it did not want to weld.. It took 4 heats to get it to finally stick...  

Came out great.. but it was all because a bad batch of coal I had bought to test out....   I had problems several times getting a good forge weld with the stuff..  Plenty of heat when the air was poured to it, but it just seemed to stifle if the air wasn't constantly thrown at the fire.. 

Here is a 4lb hammer billet before figuring out final shape..  Started life as 1" stacked and welded.. Love the face that wrought iron leaves no seams..  You can see the steeled peen and face..  The orange pic is of the face welded on just before the peen is shaped.. 20180830_172018.thumb.jpg.0c67b348cdd0816275e6a2d2fc90d9e6.jpg20180904_132352.thumb.jpg.8da1858fb9ecf592bd7fec0c780f8b89.jpg20180927_152300.thumb.jpg.41d09ad43809078848fa3bf1cb108767.jpg20180927_152311.thumb.jpg.c03345040a7c5cb3bf4fda86cac45663.jpg


One other thing..  It's about the square inches of welded face to thickness of the HC steel...   It has something to do with how much the face will shrink and how it shrinks..  

the face of the hammer when hardened will cool outside first moving to the center.. When this happened it literally will want to form a U shape on the face with bottom of the U sitting in the center..  when the face gets to thick with only a few square inches of weld in place.. The steel simply pulls off.. It can not sustain the pulling or better contraction of the edges around the face center and will pull the edges up.. 

By having a thinner face the sq inches  of weld can resist the contraction forces of the steel and will keep the weld intact.. 

So the larger the sq inches of weld, the thicker the face can be...   The 4lbs face is 3/8" to a little more.. The peen is nearly 1/2" thick but has more surface area of weld than the face.. 

The face on the 2.75" hammer 3/16- to 5/16" with a 1.25X 1.5" face.. 


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