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Doug Adams

dressing hammer faces

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Does anyone know where I can find some tutorials or info on dressing hammer faces for bladesmithing?

Thanks, 

Doug

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Are they male or female hammers, 'cause what ya dress them with is different and female hammers like nice bright colors... :P

  • Haha 2

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Good set of links, Neil.

It depends on the shape of the hammer, too.  A square or rectangular face can be dressed to be a sort of combination flat/fuller depending on how much side-to-side rocker you put in.  On round faced hammers I like flat in the middle with a gentle radius like a pocketwatch crystal.  A truly flat face makes it hard to get a truly flat surface, because any lack of accuracy in your blow will leave a facet.  In general, the better your hammer control the flatter a face you can use to good effect.  

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Posted (edited)

I think, but don't hold me to it, that I read through an article of what might have been "hammers blow" that stated a good crowning to have on your hammer is 30 degrees.  And of course eased and nicely rounded over.  Another article also hammers blow or maybe the same one written by someone here I believe stated that if you could, it is better to forge the hammer's face and re heat treat it to keep mass.  That's a little easier if your making your own hammer from scratch. 

Alans right about the face of the die of the hammer.  A square faced hammer, you may want the left and right crowned a little more than the upper and lower.  Working with a square faced hammer can give you a pein if you use the heel of the hammer face (the lower part) but still gives you excellent drawing out abilities when working from the left or right of the hammer face.  I like square faced hammers, to me, it gives a little more direction than a typical round faced hammer. 

Also if you don't ease away the corners of any hammer, you'll find out real fast you smack your anvil quite a bit. Another down fall of flat faced hammers for the beginner, they let you know when you miss, or are even just a bit off.  Gets to be a pain if you are working on small things. 

 

I've read over the years a lot about anvil faces need to be nice and nearly 220grit polished, but I believe it is more important for the face of your hammer to have the desired finish on it.  My last few hammers I got, I usually make sure they are crowned to what I want.  It depends on if I'm working with a rounding/turning/farriers type hammer or the general work hammer.  I do this with a 36 grit grinding wheel on the angle grinder.  Then I work with a few sand paper grits - up to 220, then I simply use a green scotch bright pad to buff it up. 

Type of finish you want on your hammer depends on what you want your finished work to look like.  For me, I want a lot of texture in my work, so I don't have a polished anvil, nor hammer faces. 

Edited by Daniel W

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