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Hello all. I want to ask anyone if they know what what kind of steel would be common to find in a scrapyard, but grade enough to make a hammer. Ive been doing some minor smithing at a local shop for a few months now, and I think it’s time to make my own hammer. I’ve read articles saying 1045, 4130, 4140, are some of the better steels for hammers. 1045 seems to be a particular favorite amongst smith’s. So here is my question, when I go to the scrap yard, what should I be looking for? What are some applications of some of the metals mentioned above, and does anyone have an specific example about a piece of scrap they turned into a hammer? Any info would really help. Thanks all! 

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Axle shafts, large pins, I've seen dishing hammers made from large bolts.

Pnut

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Forgot about tie rod ends. I understand they make decent hammers. Pretty much anything big enough. The hand made hammers I have are 4140 and they perform great.

Pnut

 

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Also, heavy jackhammer bits:

738BB0B3-DDBB-454E-A7F8-A5354786559C.jpeg

1 hour ago, pnut said:

Forgot about tie rod ends.

Here’s a doghead hammer I made from a tie rod end. It’s a bit too forward-heavy for its size, and I’m thinking of cutting off the eye and repunching closer to the face. 

E462A565-641B-4A2E-84BD-7132BE6D4B55.jpeg

6 hours ago, pnut said:

I’ve seen dishing hammers made from large bolts.

Thus:

85F0EF7A-7526-4D6C-8080-205C33EEF4CA.jpeg

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Larger shafting, axles, hydraulic rams-remove the chrome plating first; I have used a lathe to do it, backhoe bucket pins, breaker bits, prop shafts, farming disc axles, , smaller hammers can be made from suspension linkages-center links, torsion bars, sway bars.

Then again, it depends on where you live>>>>>>

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Hi Zig. I’m not sure where you are, but In the UK I have had success with motor breakers getting hold of van and small truck axles. These are invariably medium carbon steel and make good hammers. No pics for you as I’m currently holidaying with the family. 

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Thanks guys. I’ll work on that right away. I live in San Antonio, Texas. There are many agricultural equipment in these yards. I just needed to know what parts to looks for. I actually went and got a giant bolt and some sort of tool steel round bar. We will see how they turn out. 

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Some of the large sq bars that gang plows are mounted on would be excellent hammer stock. (My land lord has an abandoned gang plow out back with 13' of 4x4" sq stock; unfortunately he doesn't want to "scrap it".)

I just recently picked up a 2" diameter truck axle that should be around 1050 IIRC.

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Cool, thank you bud. I actually picked up a giant tool steel bolt, and what looks like some sort of press or something. Both definitely tool steel. I’ll post pictures when I get to the forge tomorrow. 

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Copy that. I haven’t had much time to play with any of them, but I’ve smoothed out the flat side of the bolt and have been beating cold mild steel with it and it doesn’t leave a mark. So that leaves to question the future heat treatments. This is all new to me so Im not sure what I’m doing. But I’m having fun

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Be careful. A chip flies off a hammer or tool at pretty high velocity. Better to temper too soft than too hard and catch a piece of shrapnel. I've heard horror stories about femoral artery injuries.

Pnut

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