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J. Helmes

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Posts posted by J. Helmes

  1. I se a 4 lb sledge hammer for most of my forging. i've never had any joint problems as of yet. i do agree with don though it's of vital importance not to grip the tar out of it especially at the point of impact.. i find that i can generate incredible amounts of power and still have a relaxed forging technique. providing. i'm standing up straight, well balanced, the hammer is hitting flat on.

    most importantly i'm relaxed. if you pay attention you can feel your body absorbing a great deal of shock if your tensed. that shock is damaging you as opposed to moving steel. Also never put your thumb on the back of the handle. Doing this acts like a spring and may seem like a good idea if it werent for the fact that your thumb is a peice of flesh and bone not 5160. one smith seemed proud of the fact that what he was doing was crippling him..


    As far as the hoffi hammer is concerned. i've used them and i just dont like them. while i do advocate a hammer that is ballanced front and back i find the heads too squat for my personal liking.. his hammer tricks seem sound but i dont draw anything out with the edge of my hammer anyhow. i can just use a cross pein on the edge of the anvil just as effectively if not more so on acount of aim. personal choice i imagine


    starting out your going to be sore regardless, but if your careful and pay attention to what your doing you can avoid a great deal of injury.

  2. wow, thats a beautiful sword! A step by step castind demo would be great...some time this week i'm going up to see another local smith in the area here to watch him cast some brass, but i have no idea what method he is using. cheers and keep up the good work jeff

  3. I have learned that my forge doesn't run very clean. It looks like I am in the market for a new forge. Any suggestions?

    i think don has instructions for a nice propane forge here on his page someplace

  4. ...you can have a hot bit go into your boot while forging and manage to get the boot off without missing a beat.


    ...while laying out a centerpunch you crush your finger under the hammer scream sillently in you head for a bit then just go back to work like nothing ever happened despite the fact that you are sure its broken, just because tyou gotta get the piece done.


    .. pick up a wicked burn while forging and not go for ice till the heats finished.


    ..have someone go bonkers about that same burn a week later and the whole time your thinking. gee I thought that looked a hell of a lot better than it did last week.

  5. well, from my experience i've found that anvils with a step or even no horn at all are the best for forging blades. they give you a nice edge to work from and still allow you to easily hold your piece without having the horn in the way. i have a nice big flat double horned anvil but I find it hard to make a good bevil on so i generally use a steped or hornless anvil for bevils. and keep the big lad for other smithing. i'd say having a good work surface is probably the most important feature. i've seen pics of african smiths who only work on a scavanged peice of rail track imbeded in a log and make some truely amazing work.you may want to see what you can scavange or get cheap before you invest in a new one. for starters you will get a taste for what you are looking for and secondly you may find that you just don't like forging.(blasphamy sorry all) but if you are serous the bigger is generally better. hope this is usefull to you cheers jeff

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