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Rob Toneguzzo

Dogs Head Hammer with some expert help

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After a YouTube tour of Owen Bush’s forge I became inspired to forge myself a Dogs Head Hammer.


After some serious consultation with my expert ( shop dog Jock), I began work.

 

I opted on a 90 deg head set. Here is the result. As always any feedback appreciated.

 

Head forged from very old crowbar

The handle was made from Australian Ironwood that I cut and seasoned 2 years ago... very dense wood with tight grain.

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More pics

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Looks good!  How do you like it?

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Hi Alan,

I have not had a chance to use it yet but hopefully will on the weekend. I think it might take some getting used too but it does feel good to hold and the forward weight centres itself nicely. I want to refine my bevel forging and hope it will help with cleaner bevels.

 

 

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Nicely done.  What are the measurements and weight?

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I have one of Owen's,  and it does do bevels quite well.  

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Very clean work, Rob, looking good. I was looking for something else and ran across a piece of wrought that i am going to use for a Japanese style hammer....now that i have made an eye punch and a drift, i have no excuse not to make it. Good inspiration and love the shop dog photo!

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One of those is on my list of stuff ta do, great job  !!!.........................B)

love yer consulting engineer ..........:D

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Thanks for the feedback fellas. I will post weight and measurements tonight.  It was just like forging a drifted hole tomahawk head without all the hard work of flattening all that steel for the hawk blade. 
 

Every time I light the forge Jock comes and hangs around but I have to watch I don’t trip over him.

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Good to see that you make Jock wear safety glasses in the shop.

 

Doug:P

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Dimensions- 

total length 6 inch

length from eye to face 4 inch

face diameter 1.2 inch

head weight 2.4 lb

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What a great project. Where's the pig?

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The aesthetics and finish of your hammer are quite lovely.  A couple of points from my experience forging and using this type of hammer:

  1. Often the hammer head, or the punched hole, are offset to keep the face at less than a true right angle to the main axis of the handle.  The theory is that this helps with the primary task that this hammer type is optimized for: setting bevels.  I see that you deliberately chose to go 90 degrees.  What was your logic for that?
  2. The first dog's head hammer I made had a face just as flat as yours.  It is now relegated to final planishing work as the flat face didn't move metal in any significant way without leaving edge divots.  After you use yours some you may consider regrinding the face, if you have a similar problem.  The better ones I've used have more of a dished face.

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Hi Dan,

 

Thanks for the reply and advice.

 

I have long been interested in this hammer and I did some research and found there are many takes on this type of hammer and some people preferred offset handle, head or face while others preferred 90 deg with flat face.

 

I have never used, held or even seen this type of hammer (other than on the web and in books) so I thought I would make a 90 deg to start with and figured I could always make adjustments to the face later if I was making too many marks I did not want. 

 

I have my favourite cross pein that I do most of my main forging with and I think it will take a great hammer to dethrone it but I wanted something specifically for forging bevels and I am looking forward to trying this hammer out. 

 

I will post some results when I use it.

 

Oh Josh the pig was still here ...just sleeping under the rust.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Rob Toneguzzo
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That weight and face size seems pretty perfect to me....I may have to steal those dimensions when I get around to making mine one of these days.

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Well I had a quick test this morning on a blacksmiths knife from a rasp. I found the head was a bit too light for my general forging and drawing out but I absolutely loved it for forging the bevels. I was able to forge right down to a thin edge with almost no hammer marks. I ran the wire brush over it after quench and that’s it. Just a bit of grinding after temper and done so I think with a bit more practice the hammer will be a great addition.  Knife in tempering now so will post some pics when I have ground the blade and finished.

 

 

 

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Edited by Rob Toneguzzo

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Here it is. Just got to final sharpen then done.

Rasp gave a cool reptile scale pattern.

 A day well spent. Really happy with hammer.

Now on to some serious projects 

 

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Edited by Rob Toneguzzo
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That is a beautiful hammer Rob.  I love dogheads for forging bevels; they are quite lovely to use for that.  I have a doghead I love by Jackpine Forge. 

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Thanks Wes. I still love my cross pein but I am really enjoying using this hammer. Would like to make a bigger one at some stage. Is yours offset or 90 deg?

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On 10/19/2019 at 5:13 AM, Rob Toneguzzo said:

Thanks Wes. I still love my cross pein but I am really enjoying using this hammer. Would like to make a bigger one at some stage. Is yours offset or 90 deg?

 

Its 90 deg from the handle.  I have never used an offset one, and not sure how I would like it...

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I have a 2.5lb/1Kg with a long 90 degree handle and a 3.5lb/1.4kg with a short angled handle.  They work quite differently,  oddly enough.   The lighter, longer one is more like using a weight-forward crosspein like a Swedish pattern, and the other one is like nothing else I've used.  It's a little power hammer, really.  Swung from the elbow rather than the shoulder, it just squashes the %%$#*! out of stuff with no effort on my part.  I like and use them both.  The long one with the 90 degree handle does bevels like a dream, the short angled one will point a bar in half the time and 1/4 the effort of my equal weight cross pein.  

 

Of course,  this means you must make another one...:lol:

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I'm slobbering.  I've wanted a dogshead hammer before I even started building my forge. (which is yet to be finished)  The gears that run in my brain all the time tell me that hammer just plain makes sense for bevels.  I would love for that to be my first project when I get up and runniing.................but then there are so many things I want to be the first project it's getting crowded. :D

Edited by Chris Christenberry

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