Chris C

Hammer head material

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DHarris and Bill, I look forward to meeting you both.  Not often do I actually get to meet people I talk with on forums. 

Last Thursday there were only 3 of us who were at the equipment.  Think there were 5 or 6 "old-timers", but they were mostly sittin'-n-chewin' the fat.  Tex, the oldest in the group (I think) was busy makin' horseshoe hearts.  The week before he was makin' dinner bells. Interesting old fellow.............hardly ever smiles.  (but you can always see a smile in his eyes)  First night I attended, there were 6 or 7 people at the equipment.  The traffic from the forges to anvils and several power hammers, presses and 2x72 belt grinders was like watching  a busy bee hive.  Boggled a newcomer's mind, to say the least.

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I have only been there a few times, but I have hung around for a few minutes after Korney loaded up my barrels. I’ve only seen a couple of people forging while I have been there. Maybe all the forging happens later in the evening. 

Korney asked me once if I wanted to give one of the power hammers a go, but I said not without a lot of watching and training first, because they look like they could kill you PDQ if you don’t know what you are doing. 

I worked at Rush Springs MFG each day after school and all day during the Summer when I was a kid. I developed a healthy respect for the machinery there. Helped along a little by the piece of metal some joker had framed and put in the owner’s office. It was engraved “The last thing my thumb ever touched.”  I don’t think he was ever able to go a single week without hurting himself when he would go out into the shop. I imagine that is why he would usually stay up front loading trailers or installing truck beds. 

I should know Bill. I was at at least one meeting he attended. It was in Fletcher. But I am not good with names at all. 

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D Harris, which part did you work in the big ox/bumper side or the travel trailer buildings? I never worked there but knew people who did. When they finally sold off all the old junk, I bought a power hammer and an old anvil. 

Bill D.

 

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58 minutes ago, DHarris said:

I have only been there a few times, but I have hung around for a few minutes after Korney loaded up my barrels. I’ve only seen a couple of people forging while I have been there. Maybe all the forging happens later in the evening. 

It's a strange group.  Got there at 7 one evening and the place looked like everyone was worn out from being there so long.  Got there at 6 the next week and the place was hoppin'.  Got there at 5 last week and not a forge was burnin' nor anvil bein' rung................and there were only 3 of us working hot metal.  Just never know.  Korney says sometimes folks start gettin' there at 4 and sometimes they don't quit pounding steel to late at night.  Ya jus never know!

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It wasn’t Cline’s or the Twilight Bungalow place. It was the place in the middle. Blue and white building. It was started by Marvin Jessen and Al Lawrence. Al was my dad’s FFA teacher. 

When they started the company they made steel camper shells. Then when the oil embargo hit they switched over to making auxiliary gas tanks. At the time my father-in-law bought it that was their primary product, that and headache racks and pickup truck rails. They didn’t make bumpers. Clines had that market locked down in the area. 

At the time I started there fuel tanks had begun to peter out and they began making utility trailers and oil field truck beds. 

They make nothing now. My father-in-law essentially retired over a decade ago. He couldn’t sell it because of taxes, so he put one of his sons in charge and kept a few of the hands who had done him right over the years and just basically let it run on auto-pilot until it was costing him more than he received as a tax break. Now that the company is busted, he will sell the real estate and equipment. No one really wants to buy a shop in Rush Springs. Competent employees are hard to find plus freight for steel is stupid high. 

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I can attest that Chris is actually a real person and just as nice as he appears to be on the Forum. He forged a handle he plans to weld onto a rather interesting and non-typical monkey wrench to use as a twisting tool. 

I made this, or more specifically swung the hammer while Korney held the punch and drift, from a railroad fishplate bolt. Once I carve a handle for it, it will be a dishing hammer of sorts. I got the idea from one of Jennifer’s videos.  I wish I could find the specific video again to see how different mine is. Hers looked more like a hammer. Mine just looks an awful lot like a bolt with a hole punched in it. 

Chris, I have several pieces of scrap you could probably use to make a hammer. 3 or 4 car axles, two four foot sections of some sort of 2” carbon “mystery steel” round stock, and a very largish piece of mystery steel from the front suspension of a Ford truck. I will post a picture tomorrow. You are welcome to any of it. I even have at least 10-12 jackhammer bits of various thicknesses. Some small enough to hand forge into drifts. Others a bit larger than anyone would find enjoyable to hand forge into anything. 

And you burning yourself last week is nothing. Try putting a dent in the edge of Korney’s anvil when you miss the drift completely. I felt like a turd. He was pretty cool about it though. Your memories of picking up hot steel will fade. Mine will not. I will see the bloody dent every time I walk into his shop. :unsure:

D79A881C-BE45-43BE-9687-F649BBEEBCBB.jpeg

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I made one a while back, and have used it to good effect, both for making bowls; 

678F8CB3-A9EB-434A-B5BC-E40FF8A82415.jpeg

And for grinding remelted borax for flux:

6A6B604D-91CC-4066-AA73-176290384519.jpeg

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It may have been your hammer that I saw.  Sometimes I get the two of you mixed up in my mind. 

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10 hours ago, DHarris said:

Chris, I have several pieces of scrap you could probably use to make a hammer. 3 or 4 car axles, two four foot sections of some sort of 2” carbon “mystery steel” round stock, and a very largish piece of mystery steel from the front suspension of a Ford truck. I will post a picture tomorrow. You are welcome to any of it. I even have at least 10-12 jackhammer bits of various thicknesses. Some small enough to hand forge into drifts. Others a bit larger than anyone would find enjoyable to hand forge into anything. 

And you burning yourself last week is nothing. Try putting a dent in the edge of Korney’s anvil when you miss the drift completely. I felt like a turd. He was pretty cool about it though. Your memories of picking up hot steel will fade. Mine will not. I will see the bloody dent every time I walk into his shop. :unsure:

 

That hammer head turned out looking pretty darned good.  Needed to get on home, or I'd have personally felt your pain for hitting Korney's anvil with that sledge hammer.  For the life of me, I can't hit the head of a chisel (or anything else for that matter) with a sledge hammer.  Heck, I can't even hit flys with a flyswatter!  I've broken more handles than I can remember while splitting wood over the years.  Finally had to purchase a gas powered log splitter.  Since I will be working alone at home when I start making hammer heads, I'll have to use a press.  I'm sure not going to try and sink drifts and eye hole hammers by myself.  I'd end up in the horse-pital for sure!!!!!  I've plenty of material for punches, and other small hand tools, but would be interested in  a length of that larger "mystery steel" you mentioned.  Next time you feel like gettin' off the couch and coming to Korney's, I'd appreciate it if you'd try and remember to bring it. 

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I believe I've mentioned making that style of hammer about a decade or more years ago here.  Dishing hammer.

Sept 7 2010 was one post; Sept 10 2008, Nov 24 2008 etc.

 

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That’s where I got the idea.

5 hours ago, DHarris said:

Sometimes I get the two of you mixed up in my mind. 

She’s a better smith; I have better punctuation. 

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