cutlers' hammers in Tools and Tool Making Posted August 31, 2007 Does anyone have a good picture or three of a cutler's hammer, a.k.a. a Japanese bladesmith's hammer? I've only found a couple online (one here on Don's site), and they don't show a lot of detail. I have a nice chunk of 1.75" diameter 4140 that can make at least two hammer heads, and I'd like one of them to be a cutler's hammer. But I'd like to to see how the face is dressed, and its relationship to the handle. Also, is important that the diameter of the head taper from larger to smaller from face to eye? The ones I've found pictures of do seem to taper to some degree or another, but I don't know how important it is. (It'd be easier to make without the taper, obviously.) I understand that the eye should travel through the hammer head at something of an angle, so that the end of the handle will be closer to the face than the eye is (like the hammer at top right on this page: tinyurl.com/2jvt2r) Makes sense to me, because otherwise you'd have to use a much shorter swing to compensate for the handle sitting so high off the face of the anvil. But does anyone have any suggestions on how to punch or slit and drift an eye at an angle like that? I have limited tools and work alone, so I suspect slitting might be easier. Would I be best off by drilling a series of holes, running a chisel through the webbing between the holes, cleaning them out with a file, then drifting the resulting opening? I hate to waste good steel by drilling, but it's only a little and that approach seems like it might be easier than slitting through a solid chunk of steel, especially since I don't have a sledge-wielding striker at my disposal. (I don't think I can just drill the eye, because I don't have ready access to a drill press with a large enough chuck.) For that matter, any suggestions about how to hold the head securely while punching or slitting it? I've never tried anything like a hammer head before. Since it's round, getting a good grip on it with a vise will be something of a challenge.