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I want to turn a hunk of steel into a hammer...


Caden_Vekk
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It really shouldnt be as difficult as its proving to be to get a 2x2x5in square faced sledge hammer. I want the hammer to use but must also look the look. Im looking for something very similar to the Peddinghaus double face sledge at 2000g (which, of course, is the one that they're out of and wont have in for a long while) http://www.piehtoolco.com/contents/en-us/p6698.html

 

My other option is to just make my own (unless you guys know of a substitute). I've found a supplier for 2" squarestock of 4140 and 1045 and Im thinking of ordering a 5" section and getting a buddy to mill out the eye hole (trying to keep the square sides with no flare around the eye).

 

Does anyone have any pointers on hammer eyes? Will a straight walled eye work for a 4.5lbs hammer? Or does anyone have a link to a similar hammer thats in stock?

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Personally I think you will do a better job with 2# or less. Even that is tiring after a while! The idea is to be comfortable when forging!

C Craft Customs ~~~ With every custom knife I build I try to accomplish three things. I want that knife to look so good you just have to pick it up, feel so good in your hand you can't wait to try it, and once you use it, you never want to put it down ! If I capture those three factors in each knife I build, I am assured the knife will become a piece that is used and treasured by its owner! ~~~ C Craft

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Also, I can understand if you want to make one just to make it for the fun of it. But keep in mind, that much material will be tough to work with. You either need a power hammer, a hydraulic press or another person to help you punch out the eye. Then you have to heat treat it properly. It's just way easier to buy one commercially made.

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im using a ball pein handle on a 4lb sledge it started as a fiberglass handle and well just don't the eye was a bit small but not for a ball handle it has been going strong for over 8 years come to think of it i haven't lost a hand hammer handle on a forging hammer that i can recall even on the china cheepies

 

on making your own eye i would pick out the handle you want to use then make the eye as close as possible if hes any good with the mill he should be able to do an ok job give it an hour glass/wasp waist shape and you wont have to chase the head around the shop

Brandon Sawisch bladesmith

 

eagles may soar but weasels don't get sucked in to jet engines

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Caden-

I made a hammer this way one time, and since the steel was in an annealed condition, it was a simple matter to file an hourglass in the eye with a round file. I also made the eye with a drill press- laid out the oval, drilled a hole at one end of the oval, plugged it with a section of round bar, and moved over to drill the other side of the oval, filed out the little bit of remainder.

A 2k hand hammer is a useful thing, though I find I use one closer to 1750g more. Just choke up on the handle a little, and make you keep a loose grip, or you'll hurt your elbow.

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4140 and 1045 will not harden well as they are not high carbon steels. It may work for a hammer, but it will probably dent easier than high carbon that is properly heat treated.

 

What Lee Sauder mentioned about the eye shape is very important. The inside of the eye needs to be hourglass shaped. This keeps the hammer head from sliding off the handle because the wedge expands the wood forming a kind of flush rivet. The image below is a little exaggerated but gives the general idea. This shape can be filed in after milling, or will naturally occur if the eye is punched with a tapered punch from both sides. (I should note, most mass manufactured hammers do not have this feature.)

 

Hammer eye shape.JPG

 

Hope this helps.

 

 

"It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter." Proverbs 25:2 (KJV)

bezalelblades.blogspot.com

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I understand the weight issue. 4.5# is hefty for a hammer. What I guess I failed to mention is that will be for looks as well as light use. The look Im going for is the large square faced hunk of steel as a hammer. Think of it as a hunting knife with hamon and mammoth ivory handle material. Sure looks cool, you -could- use it, but whats the point of the hamon and mammoth? Its the look you were going for.

 

What Ive gathered from this post is yes milling would work with annealed (of course) 4140 or 1045 and some hand filling will be necessary to get that hammer hourglass shaped profile I was asking about.

 

Thanks a lot.

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Making hammers by hand isn't that difficult. It's certainly easier if you have a power-hammer or striker, but you can do it all by your lonesome if you've got the gumption.

 

My advise, start small. While a 4.5lb hammer is your end goal, cut your teeth on a 1lb hammer. A set hammer, for example, comes in very handy for dozens of applications and requires the same techniques as a larger hammer.

 

First step, make a hammer-eye punch. This is a handled-top tool that you hammer down through the stock to create the hole that will be shaped into an eye. It doesn't have to have a punched eye and could even be just a hand-held chisel.

 

Next, make a drift that you can use to shape the eye to the proper hourglass cross section.

 

1045 forges easier, in my opinion, than 4140, so I would use that for all my tools. Buy a two-foot section of 1.25" rod, and you'll have more than enough material to forge a drift, punch and hammer head. Once you have the technique down it's just a matter of moving up in size.

When reason fails...

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My best advice is to get a copy of Mark Aspery's Mastering the Fundamentals of Blacksmithing. Very detailed hammer making is in volume two. Mark is an incredibility skilled smith and his books reflect this.

http://www.markaspery.com/School_of_Blacksmithing/Home.html

Edited by Gerald Boggs
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