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Un-identified Hammer-shaped Object


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I'm new to all this. I mentioned to the lovely bloke who works in the workshop next door that I was going to start having a go at blacksmithing and he brought round a hammer saying it has been a door stop forever. He thought I might make use of it and if not play about and try to finish it and learn to put a handle on it etc.

With this in mind, and keen to start using my new grinder, I got started cleaning off the mud, rust and mess and found the following markings... anyone got any idea who the maker might be (its covered and I dare not keep leaning on the cup brush)?

I love old things and just wanted to grab what knowledge on it that I can.

 

20200928_200954.jpg

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Try to bring out the manufacturer's name with flour.  Any British tool collectors groups you can ask? I have a 7# Straight peen sledge with the broad arrow and a date of 1943 IIRC, I'll see if it has a good manufacturer's mark on it we can compare. (I also have another with the broad arrow and a date stamp from the 1980's; bought at a fleamarket in Las Cruces NM; a long way from home!)

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I was off a year; my 7# straight peen sledge is a 1944 Birkinshaw.  Checked it on the way out the door this morning as I use it with a wedge to split logs for the woodstove and so it's handy by our back door.

Searching on: Birkinshaw tools    turned up quite a few MOD marked and WWII dated.      I believe it was made by:

W. G. Birkinshaw and Co - Graces Guide

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I hadn't thought of that, Tom. The randomly bold: hammer, ax, pick head guy, name of, "Matt Ocks" is from YOUR side of the pond. He (it?) is probably a neighbor! :o 

I think I might have trouble taking my  after lunch nap worrying about this one!

Frosty The Lucky.

 

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The Meta question is: if over the last 200 years and thousands of manufacturers over the entire world there was 1 way it was done?

In general I like to put the larger opening on top so that the wedges work best to keep the head from coming off.  If both openings are the same it doesn't matter.  (I like to put the weight marking, if one, on th side away from the handle so I can see it when they are on the hammer rack:

1876889840_hammers7(2).jpg.a9db38aa33f0512bd85a373676f0db07.jpg

I can check how my two Birkinshaws were done tonight and report tomorrow; be interesting if they changed any over 40 years. (Assuming they had not been rehandled in the meantime...)

I am a strong believer in soaking the eye in BLO after setting a handle. I have a small tray I can stand the hammer up inand put 1/4" of BLO in and leave it for a week, or until the BLO wicks up above the top of the hammer head.  Seems to really help keep them from humidity changes out here in the big dry. (I had to reset the handles on 100 handled tools when I moved here from damp Ohio.)  I wipe down the head and handle with my oily rag when it's done soaking and then dry the rag in my forge firepot---spontaneous combustion DOES occur with BLO, the firepot is designed to be safe with fire!

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Do you have a fire extinguisher?  In nearly 40 years of smithing I have never used any of mine---but I have found having them conspicuously on display quiets a lot of site owners', landlords' or neighbors' fears, convincing them that you are a safe and sane individual---BWAhahahahahahahahahahaha---the fools!---And you never know; it *may* come in handy someday!

Do you have stock to play around with?

Tool racks?

Quench bucket WITH LID?

I've participated in a number of "Forge Warming parties";  grilled sausages on a bun (flour not rabbit), are a nice touch.   Making the roasting forks to cook them even nicer!  (Shoot I've done it with cub scouts before:  Doubled over and twisted steel wire handles with the end bent out and tapered and bent into the 2 tine campfire cooking fork. Did each kid individually with 100% focus on them working *safe*...)

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Fire Extinguisher - No (Ironic...I'm just undergoing selection for the Fire and Rescue Service!) Tis a good point though and is on my list of "stuff to get". This list is ever growing but today I've found a Blacksmith's Vise and a COLLOSAL Bench Vise and am picking them up! 

Stock - I'm planning on following an online course I purchased and have ordered the course material. I ordered it in triplicate as, frankly, I want to free style at times!

Tool Racks - I'm also learning at the local metal shop how to weld. Tool racks (and a welding table) are high on the agenda as well as a work station for the pillar drill i scored on Facebook Marketplace for £70 (It was still wrapped in the box!!)

Quench Bucket - No lid!! Is this important? Also clueless as to what I should be quenching in though am devouring content on the forum :D

Forge Warming Party - I've a mate who's crazy into restoring classic cars and has loads of talent. He's top of the list to be bashing metal and drinking beer with. He's already donated a fridge to the garage for just this purpose and we've a craft brewery at the end of my road. We'll give it a quiet go and no doubt it'll grow over time, the right way :D 

 

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I'd strongly suggest you get a lot of practice in making bottle openers as it sounds like you have a built in market for nice ones just down the road...

Lid is to keep any high carbon steel *out* of the bucket; I've seen several nice knife blades flip out of tongs and dive into a water tub and self destruct.  Water is quite handy to cool tools and localize heat in ornamental work; but when I'm bladesmithing I try not to have any in the shop!

Huge bench vises were often "chipping vises" used to hold castings while they were gone over with hammer and chisel.  Handy thing as they are not as prone to breaking as light duty vises are.

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Also mosquitos.

I think several of us have had the experience of working with a new smith who thinks that everything needs to be quenched because that's what they saw on TV or in a movie.  Seen several destroy the HC they were forging that way...

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I've had people tell me at demos that I should quench the work piece before I put it back in the fire because then it would heat up faster.  After shaking my head and wondering what universe with different laws of physics they came from I have explained how retained heat works in this universe.  I don't know where this misconception comes from, maybe watching actor smiths quench things in the movies or on TV.  You never see an actor smith do multiple heats.

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand."   

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OK I checked both of my Birkinshaw sledges and one has the head mounted so the stamps are on the handle side and the other with the stamps on the away from the handle side.  Both appear to have been rehandled at some point; not surprising when the newer one is close to 30 years old and the older one 70 years old. (I did once find a stash of  WWII MOD boilermakers hammer with the original handles on them; but that was back in the 1990's.  Over time I bought them all and sold them at Quad-State as fast as I could put them out.)

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Thanks for checking into that Thomas! Mine's getting it's handle today - It's my first attempt at re-handling anything so expecting it to be a learning curve! Going in armed with knowledge that I can't really put it "the wrong" way up is a good start :D

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The reason people who's only exposure to smithing is movies and TV expect to see the steel hit the slack tub regularly because a loud hiss and cloud of steam looks good on camera. 

John: Boiling water freezing faster is a common misunderstanding of the reality. BOILED water freezes faster because the air has been driven out so it conducts heat faster without the insulating properties of dissolved air. (I THINK that's how it works) This is true, I worked a thaw rig for a couple winters and all things being equal, the hot water always froze before the cold. I do NOT know why well water would have any air in it to be driven off by heat but regardless of what I understand hot froze first.

Frosty The Lucky.

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