Blacksmithing tools - Page 13
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  1. #301
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    Oct 2006
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    Illinois
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Facebook has a beginning blacksmith site that has many Masters on it. Interesting site with lots of information . https://www.facebook.com/groups/655819754511434/

    Finin Liam Christie , check out this MASTERS work . He does hammers too and many members there have bought them along with tongs too. I think you'll love his handles.

    https://www.facebook.com/fininc?hc_r...PDdQrGbQ_GEhWs

  2. #302
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    1,652

    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Hammer handles that are too large will cause one to have to grip it too tightly and thereby cause wrist, elbow and possibly shoulder problems! Make it a good, comfortable size.

    Search iforgeiron.com on proper hammer handle fit.

  3. #303
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
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    211

    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Hammer handles are one of those things that change greatly depending on the weight of the head and it's overall length.

    For my smaller hammers, two pounds and less, I've had no problems with the standard handle we're all familiar with. The palm swell on a carpenter's hammer is generally placed in the right spot and is the right size for comfortable day-long use.

    However, when you move up to a heavier hammer, three pounds or more, I find myself choking up on the handle. This puts my hand on the smaller neck rather than the palm swell so often placed at the very end of the handle. A handle that's 14" long is too much, in my estimation, since I'm rarely ever holding the hammer so far back from the head.

    The Habermann handle is a perfect length, but the circumference is tiny. It's smaller than a standard carpenter's hammer handle. This means my fingers are wrapping all the way around and conflicting with my palm.

    When combined with the very round face, it's easy for the hammer to twist on impact. The tweaking this causes to the wrist is unpleasant, to say the least, and I'm still feeling it today.

    I just received a very nice email from the folks at Angele to let me know they went and measured the handles to make sure they were still in spec. They are. The master copy they have, made by Habermann himself, matches perfectly with current production handles. They did say that they've had lots of complaints about the handles, but they've also had lots of very satisfied customers. I have no doubts about this because hands vary in size. If Habermann had short sausage fingers, I'm sure he'd have been quite happy with the handle he came up with.

    For me, I start with a sledgehammer handle and go from there. I've found that the greater circumference allows me far better control over the head of the hammer, and minimizes twisting in the hand/wrist. Often, I don't do anything to the handle, preferring the straight section over something more contoured. This could be me just being lazy and not wanting to carve on the wood any more than necessary, but I do think there's something to be said for a handle that's uniform so you can choke up and down as you like without getting a new grip every time.

    I think one of the main problems with the Habermann design, for me, is that the round face maximized the rotation on impact and this is further complicated by the small cross-section of the handle. Having a wrist already unhappy with me for years of pistol shooting and loading heavy boxes of coin every day.... well, it seems like a perfect storm.

    Others might feel differently. As Angele noted, they have lots of satisfied customers. What I'll likely do is put this hammer up for sale on the I Forge Iron forums. Maybe I'll rejoin that blacksmith-for-beginners page on FB, too. Had to quit that group after awhile, but maybe it's gotten better since then.

  4. #304
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    1,652

    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Vaughn, I think that your reflections on your experiences with your handles is a perfect example of why each person who uses hammers as we do, with varying weights, has to "tune" his handle to fit his hand. One size shoe doesn't fit everyone.

    A while back I thought that I just couldn't live without a Hofi-style hammer. They are supposed to be the "cat's meow". I got a 2# one. I HATE it! For me, the balance and handle fit are bad. So much for the Hofi ergonomics. The only thing I use it for is the cross pein part, and I even redressed that! I won't even go to the trouble of fitting the handle.

    Handle shape is another variable. Round cross sections tend to rotate when hammering, whereas the oval and slab handles are more stable.

  5. #305
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    B.C. Canada
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    546

    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    I picked up these two railroad track profiles today.





    I paid ten bucks for the pair but was okay with that. It wasn’t that many years back that I’d tip as much for a couple glasses of wine.
    ​Terry

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  6. #306
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    Sep 2013
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    211

    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Quote Originally Posted by shortfuse View Post
    the oval and slab handles are more stable.
    That's pretty much the long and short of it. I've only bought two hammers that cost lots of money, and both times was very disappointed. Like this adventure, that other hammer arrived with a bad face grind (dead flat) and a spindly handle. Must be my luck.

    If I ever get to the point that I'm making my hammers for sale, you can rest assured that it will be just the heads being sold and you can supply a handle of your own preference!



    Quote Originally Posted by Lis2323 View Post
    I picked up these two railroad track profiles today. I paid ten bucks for the pair but was okay with that. It wasn’t that many years back that I’d tip as much for a couple glasses of wine.
    I've got a couple pieces like that laying around the shop. They come in amazingly handy when you're trying to hold something in place!

    One of the neat "blacksmith" ideas someone came up with was to forge out a nice handle, something about 24" long, that you could weld to the top. Some rubber sheet on the bottom, and you end up with a very nice way of blocking a door open. Not too heavy and a good way to show off some decorative ironwork in the house.

    Of course, as narrow as yours are, you'd have to bolt on a decorative wooden base to make it more stable.

    I keep saying I'm going to do up one....

  7. #307
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
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    1,802

    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    And here I was looking at that wide piece of top rail and thinking he could make a hammer! You were talking about wanting to choke up on a shorter heavier hammer... have you ever picked up an Estwing 3 lb "club"? I have the Canadian Tire version I picked up on sale for $28 and I like it for beating on broken parts, but I've never tried to forge with it. Actually at 3 lbs, it's a little more than my 60 yr elbows would want to swing all afternoon. Maybe you'll have to convince them to make the "large hand special".


    Hmmm… went looking for a pic of "the club" and found out they actually make them in 2-5 lb sizes. A 2 lb'r would be a lot easier on the elbow, but I'm sure you're going to frown on the vinyl grip beside your forge. The all steel handle will pretty much last forever though...

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Estwing-Eb3...7ZW39BMAVE5G0H

    https://www.amazon.com/Estwing-Drill...1268019&sr=1-7


    I like the look of this one.... https://www.amazon.com/Estwing-BIG-B...BSWC00FHDCAH00
    Last edited by whtbaron; 07-10-2018 at 08:17 PM.
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  8. #308
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    Aug 2012
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    1,652

    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    I have one of the Estwing 3# drill hammers, hickory handle. I reshaped one face to a rounding hammer... absolutely love forging with it!! Great balance. I only use hammers with wood handles. Of course, I had to rasp down the handle a bit to fit my hand.

  9. #309
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    May 2014
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    Manitoba Canada
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    1,802

    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    They have them with fiberglass handles too, but my experience with those (non-Estwings) is that they gradually chip away inside the hammer head.
    F-225 amp Forney AC Stick
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    Les

  10. #310
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
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    211

    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Here's what I was thinking about doing with the short section of track instead of using the magnet. I think the magnet might be workable, but I've had them pull off the work before. If I had a large magnet like in the pic, or one of those heavy-duty Maglock types....

    Of course, a heavy section of track isn't bombproof, but I think it'd be a good excuse to use the track for something other than a door-stop.

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    Good news regarding the Habermann hammer, too. I might have found a buyer for it! I promised him a nice discount if he'd take it off my hands, and he seems curious to try it out if for no other reason than to say he did. He'll always be able to pass it on to someone else for a slight discount, so I call it a "trial fee".

    I'd much rather see it with someone else than try to rebuild it myself. That way the word gets around and folks can have an honest opinion about it if anyone should ask them.

    Plastic or steel handles on a forging hammer? Well, steel is right out since I think it transmits shock so well. Plastic isn't an automatic no-go like some might imagine. My only problem with it is how it looks, honestly. Hammers like that just never develop that patina of age I find so entrancing about old tools.

    The next time I decide to get all fancy and buy a high-dollar hammer, it'll be a Bailey. Brent Bailey makes the best I've seen, and I've never heard someone say they weren't happy with his work.

    Of course, it's going to be awhile. Until then, my trusty ol' cross-peens will come from flea markets, garage sales and internet sites. I can grind the faces and rehandle them without worrying about spending a ton of cash for something that isn't spot on straight from the maker.

  11. #311
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    Aug 2014
    Location
    Cerritos, CA
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    141

    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    My collection of hammers.

    Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk

  12. #312
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    Sep 2013
    Posts
    211

    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Hey, I have one of those plank-handled hammers, too. Small world!

  13. #313
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    Aug 2014
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    Cerritos, CA
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    141

    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Quote Originally Posted by VaughnT View Post
    Hey, I have one of those plank-handled hammers, too. Small world!
    You talking about the Brazeal style? I've heard them call matchsticks haha. I like the hammer heads themselves a lot, but could never get used to the handle completely. Every other hammer in that photo has been more comfortable. I jump back and forth between normal hammers and peen hammers. Lately it's been a strong run on the cross and straight peens. Especially straight peen.

  14. #314
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    Sep 2013
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    211

    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Quote Originally Posted by Mudman View Post
    You talking about the Brazeal style? I've heard them call matchsticks haha. I like the hammer heads themselves a lot, but could never get used to the handle completely.
    Exactly! Had the same problem. Got it in the mail, tried it once, hung it on the rack and swore I'd never buy another. Though, recent events being what they are, maybe I should pull it off the rack, grind the face properly and put a new handle on it? Can't be any worse off, after all, since it's been collecting rust for a few years now.

    The other handles in your collection look very nice. I like that they vary in thickness, but don't have a fixed palm swell area that locks your hand in one sweet spot that might not be very sweet for your personal tastes. I might just have to do something similar.

  15. #315
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    Apr 2015
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    Fredericksburg, VA
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Vaughn,
    I am in a Hobby Lobby store and they had these cool looking but fixed wheels.
    A bit spendy at $60 for a 6" wheel and $30 for a 4" wheel.

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  16. #316
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    Sep 2013
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    211

    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Quote Originally Posted by psacustomcreations View Post
    A bit spendy at $60 for a 6" wheel and $30 for a 4" wheel.
    Dang! They look very close to the wheels you see on a lot of industrial carts.

    Thanks for the heads up, friend. I'll keep an eye on the HL website for when they run their specials. Usually good for at least 15% off.

  17. #317
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    Apr 2015
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    Fredericksburg, VA
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    I am at a junk mans house right niw and saw these on a set of car dollies.

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    Millermatic 252 MIG
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  18. #318
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    Sep 2013
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    211

    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    I'll have to look next time I'm at the store to see what kinds of wheels the car dollies around here are using. Never seen any as nice as those!

  19. #319
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    Apr 2015
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    Fredericksburg, VA
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Quote Originally Posted by VaughnT View Post
    I'll have to look next time I'm at the store to see what kinds of wheels the car dollies around here are using. Never seen any as nice as those!
    Maybe also check Craigslist in the tool section or auto parts section for "dolly". I found a few car dollies in this area but none with wheels like that.
    Millermatic 252 MIG
    Miller Dynasty 200DX TIG
    Miller Spectrum 375 Plasma
    Altas 12x36 Metal Lathe
    Bridgeport Milling Machine
    www.psacustomcreations.com

  20. #320
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    Aug 2012
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    1,652

    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Dave Custer (Fiery Furnace Forge) makes some top quality hammers. His rounding hammers are of the Brian Brazeal style.

  21. #321
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Got this neat little tool a while ago from Brent Bailey. Inspired by Clifton Ralph.

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  22. #322
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Quote Originally Posted by shortfuse View Post
    Dave Custer (Fiery Furnace Forge) makes some top quality hammers. His rounding hammers are of the Brian Brazeal style.
    He sure does, I just never got used to the handle shape. I've got four hammers from him. =)

  23. #323
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    211

    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Quote Originally Posted by Mudman View Post
    Got this neat little tool a while ago from Brent Bailey. Inspired by Clifton Ralph.
    Well, that's certainly neat. I'd be afraid of breaking it at the junction, but I like how it fits a lot of stuff into a very small package.

  24. #324
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Quote Originally Posted by VaughnT View Post
    Well, that's certainly neat. I'd be afraid of breaking it at the junction, but I like how it fits a lot of stuff into a very small package.
    I'm not worried about it, made of spring steel. Intended only for small items. However I've been wrong many times before, but I trust Brent's judgment.

  25. #325
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Those square hammer handles... is there enough real estate there to take them to the belt sander and get them down to a more conventional shape? That Brent Bailey tool looks cool too... maybe another idea for the old deep tiller shank material....
    F-225 amp Forney AC Stick
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    Victor Medalist 350 O/A

    Les

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