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Justin Topp

Justin’s Smithing progression. [PIC heavy]

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I personally like hammers with a swelled bulb on the end, lets me let them side through my hand during use but not exit my grip!  I find that straight handles I tend to grip tighter which is harder on my hand and arm.

Good way to roll with the punches---when life gives you lemons---make high powered lemon shooting cannons! Supposed to be in the mid 70's degF here this weekend; time to switch to short sleeves and shade!

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Not fair, Thomas.  It's 33 degrees here right now and the high is supposed to make it all the way up to 37 today......................and I'm not all that far away from you!  Crazy "roller-coaster" weather these past couple of weeks.

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9 minutes ago, ThomasPowers said:

personally like hammers with a swelled bulb on the end, lets me let them side through my hand during use but not exit my grip

Me too. It lets me relax my hand almost completely and I know that I'll be able to stop it from turning into a projectile. Unfortunately most of my hammers don't have them so I've started using tape at the very end. When they need rehandled I'll make them terminate in a bulb but I can't bring myself to get rid of a perfectly functional handle before it's wore out.

Pnut

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I don’t have anything better to do hah. I normally would like a bit more swell but I don’t like a huge amount. The hickory I used was a little thin if I was gonna add a swell to the end. I’ll try them out and if I really don’t like them I’ll use them for top tools and make better handles. Top tools are half my reason for making these too. Right now I usually end up sticking a branch or broken rake handle in. I might try the tape trick you mentioned Pnut. Also final measurement of snow was 9” at my house. No snow and 60 degrees to 20 degrees and 9 inches over a few hours. Fun times. I guess spring was an April fools day prank

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61 degF, nice and sunny out right now and I'm locked in a 9'x9.5'x15' box with a 6'x9' window to taunt me.

Oh well I expect to get to the scrap yard tomorrow...

 

 

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I have small hands so with a store bought handle I have to do quite a bit of shaping and removing for it to be comfortable for me. I leave it a bit flared on the end also. It's 39 here and raining. I'm sick to death of the rain

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What thickness should I use to make flowers? I’m going to forge tulips for my mother so I’m trying to figure out what thickness/gauge  of sheet metal To use

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Between 24 gauge and 1/2" plate depending on information you didn't provide...What metal are you wanting to use?  Indoor or outdoor?  What size will you be making them? (I'll just assume they will be 3D and not foil glued to the window.)

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What you making them from? 

I copied and tweaked Uri Hoffi's slab hammer handle for mine. I use 5/4 clear straight grain hickory from the cabinet lumber store. I taper them from the eye to the butt by about 1/2" - 3/4" I'd have to go out and find the template to be sure. I put a larger disk on the end of the first handle thinking it'd prevent me from relaxing too  much and throwing the hammer. Not that it's going to hurt the hammer or much of anything in the plane of rotation where I have my anvil but what the hey eh? Turned out the taper was plenty of safety factor, I can use a really light grip, if the handle slips at all reflexes tighten enough to stop it. The round disk end is sort of a legacy and they all get one. Maybe a trademark? 

Anyway, I love slab handles they are very easy to hold securely without much grip force and being flat slabs makes them easy to index so you know exactly which way and how much your tilting the hammer out of parallel with the anvil face. Say for texturing with the hammer face's edge. I round the edge towards the hammer pein, l leaving the face edge flat with comfortably rounded corners. It wows the audience at demos if I change from face to pein by twirling the hammer while it's out of site over my head. A bit of showmanship for the demo theater. 

Below is the first handle on the turning hammer that started life as a Ford Pickup truck axle.

Frosty The Lucky.

Hammer3Wh.thumb.jpg.269718bd73223a42f8a520aaf16f6af0.jpg

 

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I like that handle, Frosty.  During this forced sequestration I've been thinking about things I want to do but can't do..............and one of them has been to locate some straight-grained Hickory and re-handle all my hammers.  I've not been able to forge much, but right off I was acutely aware of how uncomfortable all my handles are.  And looking at them, I don't think I could just shave them down to be flatter on the sides because then they'd be too thin/narrow.   What is the length of that handle?  What is the thickness?  I'd like to scale it out and draw a pattern.

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Sorry for lack of info. I’m looking to make life sized tulips. The stem I’ve got stock for. I’m going to use steel. They will be 3D and will go wherever my mother decides. Likely outdoors. Clear coated to prevent rust. 
 

they will get tapered more as I use them and the thinner ones will be for top tools. These are all slab style handles. Flat sides rounded edges 

4D8A190A-1E12-4524-B92C-A76F1865CB74.jpeg

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Herr Frosty,

Referring to his distinctively designed hammer shape. and its and protecting stating,

"Maybe a trademark?".

It would not be a trade mark, it would be registratable as an industrial design.

SLAG.

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Now use your wood burner to put the distinctive "Frosty" on it (tree optional)...

I tell my neighbors to throw any broken pickaxe or sledge hammer handles my way to use as stock for handles for weird hammers I pick up; or firewood---some can't pick out a good grain handle if their wallet depended on it!

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It's made from 5/4" board, 1 1/4" thick from the store.  It's leaning on a 6" x 6" timber about 5 1/2" on a side. I'd tell you  the handle's length but don't remember and I'd have to shovel to get to the shop door.

My wood burning skills tend to center in the wood stove or fire pit. I'll have to give a little more thought.

About the "snowman under a tree" logo, Deb vetoed the idea LOUDLY. I liked it though. Oh well.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Prone snowman with a tree across it's head. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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6 hours ago, GuardedDig2 said:

I might try the tape trick you mentioned Pnut

It's just making do really. I can't bring myself to rehandle a hammer with a perfectly good handle. It looks a bit janky but it works, I guess. I've never had to test it IRL. 

Pnut

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Another quick question. For those of you who have touch marks what is a good approximate size(s) for them? I’m looking to stamp tools primarily. I was thinking maybe 1/2” for larger tools and 3/8 for smaller things 

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That's the size I was thinking. Are you planning on making your own or sending it out? I've been looking into it for a while and have found a couple places. It's not cheap though. I'm going to give making one a go before I even consider spending time money. Actually if I have to spend the money it probably won't happen for quite a while. 

Pnut

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I use about 3/8" X 5/8" and then have one that is nearly 1" long and maybe 5/8" high. 

I think for many 3 sizes hit the mark depending..  

I started using mine back in the 80's after noticing someone used a rectangular one.   So made mine in the shape of an anvil.  With all my initials in it but you can only really see the JP. 

I have been most impressed with makers marks that mimic the people..     

In other words the makers mark mimics their flow or artistic perspective based on who they are..  I find these to flow or keep in context what the person is about.. 

On facebook  "Axe and Anvil" has a great one..   "Nick Rossi" has a very good one..   Blackbear forge has a good one..   

I picked the anvil originally because I have a sarcastic streak and thought I was being cute..  (IE  it was original as I had seen no others using an anvil with initials in it as a displacement stamp)..   and it was fairly easy to make.. 

Today on the other hand there are a number using an anvil. 

Knowing what I know now. I think using ones name or even a  First name and surname  or just surname with first name initial is important and in some nice writing. 

I've seen some really old blacksmith tools that were well made and each piece was stamped with the guys name.. they look like they were blacksmith school items or the guy served an apprenticeship where the master did not want him to leave.. 

The items were all well forged, filed and heat treated and with a black oxide finish.. Beautiful work. 

 

20200127_131333.jpg

The largest problem with the stamp is is has to be applied while the item is hot.. 

If working on knives or something like that it is hard to apply in an appropriate way that will work without distorting the item and loosing width or thickness. 

20180820_145121.jpg

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Thanks everyone. I had planned on attempting to make it myself before sending it off. If I can’t make it nice I’m willing to pay someone to make a nice one for me. I’m thinking buckeye engraving. Can be fairly pricy but they are very High quality and I know several people who vouch for their services. I’m going to use the letter T because of my last name for my stamp and I want something simple. I will likely later change it. If I end up buying I may get a few. My first initial than last name or something 

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That was almost the first thing I started researching when I got into blacksmithing and bladesmithing, GD2.  Good ones a pricey, to say the least.  I don't feel like I could make the design I want (and do it flawlessly) and the quotes I was getting to have professionals make one put me off, so I'm still without.  Good luck with yours.

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It’s looking to be about 150$-200$ Which is high but if I can’t make one myself I’d be willing to pay it. I saw another for 75$ that seemed promising 

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I have links to a few different companies that make custom touchmarks. Let me know and I'll PM them to you. Buckeye engraving is one of them. You can buy off the shelf letter stamps for pretty cheap that will last a little while. 

Pnut

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I know.  Pretty much what I found................but way out of my league just to mark shop tools and such, though it would be fun.  On my blades, I electro-etch.

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