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I'd off the rounding hammer and replace it with what I call a square cut flat faced forging hammer. This means the hammer shape is square and the face is flat, slightly domed with bevel`d edges. Basically the round face on a roundng hammer will distort your pattern because the center sinks into your Damascus more than the rest of the hammer face.

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That's true.  Even a flat faced hammer can add randomness either by choice or for those who are hammer control challenged.

However, with a rounding hammer, you cannot get randomness free patterns. It's sorta inherent in the design of the tool.

Do you think randomness is a real word? Lol, seems to fit the moment.

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Jealdi- from what I read chili is one of the best forges commercially available. In a few years I might build a vertical ribbon forge but I will see how this works first. I will post pics with my results. 
 

Jason- Thank you! I looked it up and I hope to build something similar once’s figure out how I am going to arrange my shop. His rolling press looks amazing! 
 

Anvile- That makes a lot of sense. I appreciate the advice! Do you have a favorite brand that I could look in to? I might get a rounding hammer for the non Damascus billets. But if any other tools suggestions would be great l. 
 

So far I order the 16+ Ton press from coal iron works I am really excited to get it.  
 

Thomas- good point! 

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My first one came from a flea market years ago. My second came from eBay. My next will be made by me.

I'm not too much into buying expensive tools from others.

I don't recommend a rounding hammer for a daily driver for the same reasons as in my above post. It's not what it can do, but what it can't do sometimes that matters. What it can't do is draw out a straight edge, it can only draw out a rounded shape. Lol, as the name implys.

 

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All my rounding hammers came from fleamarkets; never paid more than $10 as I recall; ones with BNF's on them will sell new for way over what they are actually worth.

I have around 4 of them now in various sizes, but they are not my "daily driver" hammers either.

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I love my rounding hammers for what they were designed to do. One is store bought from the day when you could buy a 32oz Diamond rounding hammer for under $30. I used to have a lighter rounding hammer but it got rehomed with other things of mine. 

A person can limit distortion to pattern welds using a flatter but if a person is going to forge the billet it's going to distort the pattern anyway.

Frosty The Lucky.

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As a farrier my go to hammer was like iron dragons and most likely Frosty" 32 oz diamond rounding hammer. Still got it, still use it, but now it is a specialty hammer, not my daily driver.

I have two others as well. All have different diameters. 

Here's a quick sketch of what a rounding hammer does very well. I suspect way back in the day it was named for this type of forging. To easily forge concave surfaces 

Assume the material is 1)2" thick.

rounder blow.jpg

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I have several rounding hammers that have face shapes that help one keep track of which face I'm using.  The hammers were all forged from round stock, but the flat face has been forged with a square-ish outline, whereas the curved face has a round outline.  One quick glance and one can see which shape face is being used.

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I  think modifying the handle would help as well.  Some of my students don't seem to see the dome even when they hold it up to their face.  Just like learning to drive; when you start out there is too much you have to pay attention to at the same time. With practice you're driving down the interstate at speed and relaxed.  Must be a lot worse for pilots!

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Thanks guys for all the help! I am definitely rethinking the rounding hammer...at least for now. I think when I get the point of needing one I will make my own. 

So one thing I still need help choosing is tongs. There is so many to choose from its crazy. 

I got some bad news today and good news. I ordered the Ridgid 165lbs  Peddinghaus  anvil from zoro. I recieved a email today saying it was backordered and there is no sign on when it was coming back in. I called and to cancel my order and they offered the Peddinghaus 275lbs at a 20% discount with free shipping. All I can say is Zoro is awesome! Now I have a 275lbs anvil on the way! I might have to sleep outside when my wife finds out what I spent  lol. 

So here is what I ordered so far 

2 burner Chili Habanero- What a amazing company! I was on the fence but after talking to Stacy that sealed the deal. They are absolutely a dream to deal with. 

16ton + coal iron works hydraulic press- Another company that is absolutely amazing. When I called they were extremely helpful and patient with all my questions!

275lbs Ridgid #12  Peddinghaus anvil     

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A trick I used to keep track of which face was which at Demos was to flatten the handle slightly on the same side as the flat hammer face. Not so much because I needed the tactile cue but as a prop for the Demo. I treat demonstrating as theater so a little show off flash is acceptable, the flat edge of the handle lets me switch face to pein, etc. by twirling the hammer on the back swing. 

I maintain the patter as I work, describe what the pein does as opposed to the face and why one is desirable to use on the product at the moment. "And now you use the hammer's face to smooth out the course marks left by the pein." As I'm saying that and perhaps showing the product to the audience at tong length I spin the hammer handle in my hand and without missing a beat strike with the face. It wows an audience, I've literally heard WOW more than once. Counter to intuition you feel the flat or curved edge of the handle on your palm, not your fingers. 

Something else that's happened more than once is a youngster, say under 10, points out there is a flat side to the handle and asks if that's how I tell. Youngsters are often a lot more observant than their parents, there perceptions and opinions are unpolluted by knowledge so they often actually SEE rather than look.

1 hour ago, Cs Tactical Knives said:

sleep outside when my wife finds out what I spent

Is there a local news paper or feed in which we should watch for an obituary? :ph34r:

Frosty The Lucky.

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Lol, never had that problem before of knowing which hammer face is where. I'd imagine that after using the wrong end on yer iron the first time would be all it takes to not have it happen again.

I do make it a habit of laying my hammer on the heel of my anvil and making sure the face I'm going to use on the up and coming heat is facing inboard.

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Frosty and Thomas LOL! My biggest fear is when I die my wife will sell my guns for what I told her they cost. lol... Now the same can be said for my forging tools haha. 

Now I am looking into building a Anvil stand. I will most likely keep it simple but when looking on youtube this video popped up. All I can say is wow! The idea on a moveable stand is very impressive. It will take me some time to figure out my shop configuration so this stand is very intriguing. Sorry in advance if posting a link is not allowed but it is a great video 

 

 

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  • 5 months later...

Hello everyone! I wanted to give everyone a update and I wanted to thank everyone who contributed to this post. I received all my equipment and successfully made my first billet on a 100 layer ( 80crv2- 15n20) Rain Drop Damascus. The shape is completely forged.  Here is a picture of the knife let men know what you guys think? 265620810_firstdamascus.thumb.jpg.881a6b7ef49219b496eb99a4fbbcefa4.jpg

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The pattern is beautiful, I love high contrast low layer count and I think the scales are very attractive. Nice job.

I'm not a fan of the blade profile but that's a matter of taste, not a comment on craftsmanship.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Frosty-  Thank you I appreciate it. The profile is not my favorite either but I do sell a lot of The Ronin style blades. It normally features a compound grind ( Hollow ground main Bevel with Flat ground tip) I did this originally but ended up grinding everything flat. It looked a bit weird and took away from the Damascus. 

Irondragon- Thank you!! I am still worried about the decisions I made lol. A lot of my customers love engineered steels (cpm 3v, s35vn etc) So only time will tell if I have chosen the right path. But I will say I forgot how therapeutic forging was/is. I really lost the love I had for making knives when I started down the path of stock removal. So I may loose customers but I will gain my sanity back lol.

Anvil- Thank you !! 

        

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