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I Forge Iron


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Hey all, I was wondering what kind of steel to use and what thickness to use as well for my hammers.

I am looking at either 1045 steel or 8620 steel, almost same pricing for me and should I use 1 1/2" round stock or 2" round stock???

I will be using 3" sections of each to make my hammers. Ordering them in 12" sections.

Thanks in advance,

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I my self would use 1.5" SQ stock ( it would be easier to work with rather than round because of punching & drifting the eye) Rt did a webcam with me on making hammers. I orderwed 4140 and made a blank , i havent got too work on it yet. I plan on making my first hammer when my shop is done.

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Okay Chris, did you get the 4140 from speedy????

Ill see if I can get a webcam setup with RT sometime soon. I also have access to the 4140, but it'd be about $10 more for a foot of it. doesn't matter that much to me, but I'd rather go with the 8620 as it's a lot like 4340. I'll go with SQ stock, but should I use 1.5 SQ stock 4" long or 2" SQ stock, 3" long???


Well today in-between heats of two of my knives, I made this little hammer out of 1045 3/4" stock, 4" long. This is a little welding hammer I guess. I got my technique done for making hammers other than punching and drifting., this was really easy, but I need some drifts & punches.



Edited by m_brothers
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A pickup truck axle makes dandy hammers and they're usually pretty easy to find at shops or even along the road. I've picked up a couple, usually with a tire and wheel attached from ditches.

I drew mine to dark tan on the faces and purple at the eye. I should've left it one color harder straw but it works nicely as is.


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1045 or W1 I prefer to water quench hammer heads, its easier to harden just the face and the pein that way... Old ball pein hammers are supposed to be W1 according to some junkyard steel lists. Lots of neat tricks to making hammers... For a tool striking hammer, just use normalized mild steel -- Stone carvers are reported to use soft iron hammers for striking hardened steel tools. An interesting way to chech and see if you have your anvil at the correct height for you, and you have good form, is to use an unhardened hammer head for forging hot steel, and look for a "set" to the head, if the heel of the face is forged down a bit your anvil is a bit too high, and/or you aren't hitting level with good form. If you have a bit of a wandering eye, and have stray hammer blows which miss the work completely and dent your anvil face, or bounce back up into your face nearly taking out your teeth, another good reason to use a soft faced hammer;-) Harden the face too much and too thin, and the edges are likely to chip off and spall... The best possible combo most of the time is a nice hard hammer and a nice hard anvil, the hammer will do more work and feel livelier in your hand, but that implies you have spent the time to develop GOOD hammer control and do no damage to your anvil or hammer, other wise a softer hammer is a good idea then you can track your progress in the changing shape of the hammer face, and not in the lack of NEW damage to your (or worse yet, your buddie's) anvil!!!

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