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  1. #1
    Senior Member blabbermouth ChrisL's Avatar
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    Default Preferred hammer for forging?

    For forging razors and small knives, is a cross peen the preferred hammer? What weight is generally best for general work? Does anyone use the Hofi hammer or has anyone tried Uri Hofi's technique for hammering (I haven't seen his technique I've only seem teaser segments on Youtube for some DVDs detailing his hammering technique which is apparently different ergonomically that a traditional method of swinging a hammer)?

    Thanks!

    Chris L
    "Blues fallin' down like hail." Robert Johnson
    "Aw, Pretty Boy, can't you show me nuthin but surrender?" Patti Smith

  2. #2
    Senior Member blabbermouth spazola's Avatar
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    I have limited (very) forging experience. I have had the best luck with a generic cross pein hammer. I have better control of the direction of stretch/mush with the crosspien. I especially like the cross pein when making the bevels, I get a lot less of the banana shape then I do when I use a rounded face hammer.

    My two cents

    Charlie

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  4. #3
    Member ZethLent's Avatar
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    I think most blacksmiths would tell you that their main forging tool is a cross-peen. And it would only vary for heavier work that would require a slege hammer or a power slege hammer. When I was forging (not razors) I only used a 5 pound cross peen. And would use a hardy in the anvil or the anvil's edge to get some tighter shaping. But the hammer stroke was always with the cross peen. I don't think that you would need anything more than a hammer forge and an anvil to get the general shape of the razor shaped prior to moving it to the grinder.

    Also, I think Robert Williams is a good one to direct some questions at regarding this ...

    BTW I would love to do some forging but the majority of my tools and equipment is gathering dust in another county. Too expensive to bring my forge, anvils, and leg vises all the way to Japan , let alone find the space and time to set up shop. Maybe someday...
    笑う門に福来たる。

  5. #4
    At this point in time... gssixgun's Avatar
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    Helloooooooooo THIS one of course

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    sparticius (12-15-2009)

  7. #5
    Hones & Honing randydance062449's Avatar
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    So far I have been using a light weight straight peen to stretch out the tang and a Japanese blacksmith/american sawsmith style hammer to forge the bevels.I have tried using the cross peen for the bevels on the blade but it is to easy to hit to hard or at an angle which then results in a deep "divot" which can render the blade useless ( been there, done that). I am still in the process of making mistakes so take my suggestions with more than a grain of salt.
    The major issue with forging is control. I watched Randall Graham forge out a razor blank very quickly with a BIG! hammer and every one of his strokes was very precise and controlled. It went very quickly.

    Just my $.02,
    Randolph Tuttle, a SRP Mentor for residents of Minnesota & western Wisconsin

  8. #6
    Senior Member blabbermouth ChrisL's Avatar
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    I've recently watched a superb Blacksmithing primer DVD and the presenter, Randy McDaniel was forging a meat fork out of a strip of 3/4' x 1/4" hot rolled flat stock. The hanging end was tapered then curled around to form a circle for hanging on a hook. The middle section was kept flat for holding, then below the handle area, he rounded a section prior to splitting the bottom end for a fork. I mention this because after tapering the end and creating a shoulder but before curling the end around in a circle, the piece truly had a razor blank appearance. He used a cross peen. My big question is what weight is best for forging blades?

    Chris L
    "Blues fallin' down like hail." Robert Johnson
    "Aw, Pretty Boy, can't you show me nuthin but surrender?" Patti Smith

  9. #7
    bladesmith
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    My favorite is a Tom Clark hammer. It's about 2 lbs. I was going to paste a link only to go to the web site only to see that Tom Clark passed away in november of 2008. So no more hand forged hammers are available. When you first start out most have a tendenancy to use to heavy a hammer. Everyone is built differently so will require a different weight hammer. With lighter hammers you will find you have more control but move less metal. Heavier hammers move more metal but you have less control. You will just have to try different one's until you find the one that fits you best. Also a heavier hammer will cause you problems in the elbows in later years. I've seen some guys use a 5lb sledge hammer cut off the handle to about 12inches and that is all they use. I can smash a piece of metal with that but have a really hard time forging anything to shape so I don't use that heavy of a hammer. I still have one but rarely did I ever use it. I have about 4 or 5 different hammers from cross pein, to ball pein, a hand made one from Tom Clark, and just some home depot special's and some from a blacksmith's store. They all have a place, but my most used hammer is the Tom Clark one.

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  11. #8
    Hones & Honing randydance062449's Avatar
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    How strong is your arm? How good is your control?

    Lighter is easier to control. I think the straight peen I am using is 2 lbs?
    and the hammer is 3 lbs?
    Randolph Tuttle, a SRP Mentor for residents of Minnesota & western Wisconsin

  12. #9
    Senior Member blabbermouth ChrisL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by randydance062449 View Post
    How strong is your arm? How good is your control?

    Lighter is easier to control. I think the straight peen I am using is 2 lbs?
    and the hammer is 3 lbs?
    My arm is as strong as a wet noodle and my control? I could maybe hit the broadside of a barn. I'm willing to practice practice practice though.

    Chris L
    "Blues fallin' down like hail." Robert Johnson
    "Aw, Pretty Boy, can't you show me nuthin but surrender?" Patti Smith

  13. #10
    "My words are of iron..."
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    Old World Anvils - Blacksmith Hammers

    Likely if you wanted to wait a bit, Nathan would custom fit a particular type for you.

    And,

    http://www.dancingfrogforge.com/
    http://www.brentbaileyforge.com/
    http://www.elmerroush.com/html/hammers.html
    Last edited by Mike Blue; 01-30-2009 at 05:04 PM.
    "Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power." A. Lincoln.

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