Archive for the Hammers Category

Blacksmithing, knifemaking, and knife filework

Posted in Blacksmithing, Forging, Gear Making, Hammers, knifemaking, metalwork, Tool Making, Uncategorized on August 30, 2010 by Jim

It was a busy weekend.

I spent a lot of the weekend painting the house but somehow still managed to sneak in forging a new knife. I have made several stock reduction (grind away everything but a knife) knives. I wanted to try making one mostly in the forge.

This is the knife sitting on a piece of the spring that it was made of. In this picture, the knife is shaped but not yet hardened and tempered.

Here is the knife completed. I hardened and tempered it then blued the entire thing with gun blue. I wanted it to keep that blackish look it has right out of the quenching oil.

It’s not a fun project if it doesn’t require making a new tool…

I wanted the knife to look like the steel had been lying on an abandoned barn floor in Montana for 50 years. Unfortunately, the blank my friend roughed out from the spring was smooth and straight. A few minutes with a fifty cent garage sale hammer and a welder came up with this texturing hammer:

Here is a detail of the ‘rustic’ area of the knife…

Here is a closeup of the file work on the spine. I tried to stay pretty simple in accordance with the rustic style of the knife:

Knife Filework on spine

This was a great project and I learned a ton. My blacksmith friend is teaching me more bit by bit. I am trying hard to soak it all in.

I hope you had a great weekend.

Go make something,

Jim

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Be forewarned, I am not a master Japanese blacksmith

Posted in Blacksmithing, Forging, Hammers, metalwork, Raising Copper, Tool Making on July 19, 2010 by Jim

If you have not seen a Japanese hammer (genno or shinzan) made my a master blacksmith, then you are missing out on one of the most beautiful tools ever made. I am particularly taken with a style called a ‘Shinzan’ hammer. Take a look at one here.

I have long wanted one  but cannot afford a hundred dollar hammer, regardless of how beautiful they are. So it was off to the forge for me.

My hammer…

I am obviously still on the hammer making kick and I was able to get two things I wanted at once. I needed a raising hammer for the copper work I am doing and I wanted a hammer head that looked like the Shinzan hammer I had seen.

Hand forged hammer head

This picture has three interesting things in it. There is the piece of rusted metal exactly like the one I dug out of a scrap pile to make my head. There is the drift that I made to punch and shape the handle hole. And lastly, the head itself.  I am really happy with how this all turned out. The silver look of the drift is due to the anti-seize compound I put on the drift before I drove it through. The grease burned off and it plated the drift with this silver metal. I learned this trick from a very kind local blacksmith. It kept the drift from sticking in the head when I drove it through.

The stock that I started the head from had some numbers stamped into it and I thought they were pretty cool. I was able to save them on the bottom of the head.

This is obviously not a Shinzan shaped hammer as it has an arching body, but I like how the one I had seen used hammer blows for a decorative effect. That was part of what I was going for.

I used two different sized wedges to hold the head in. the hammer has a 1/4″ face and a 3/8″ face. I put the smaller wedge on the smaller face side so I could tell which way the hammer was turned while I was raising.

I made the handle longish and straight to make it look even more like a Japanese style hammer.

I was not sure at first if I would like a straight handle and I initially carved the handle in a western style. It just didn’t look right so I grabbed the spoke shave and ended with this. It feels great in my hand. I raised one course on a 6″ copper bowl tonight and this is a fantastic hammer.

None of this would have been possible without the use of my friend Dave’s forge. Thanks Dave!

Happy making,

Jim

Blacksmithing hammer solves copper raising problem

Posted in Blacksmithing, Hammers, metalwork, Raising Copper on July 12, 2010 by Jim

This is a thank you post. I was given the most beautiful hammer as a gift today. (Yep, I said ‘beautiful hammer’, I say stuff like that) Thank you Dave. And thank you Brad for giving the hammer to Dave!

I was explaining how I was raising this copper vessel and couldn’t get the ‘umpfh!’ onto it to turn it back onto itself  and get the egg shape I wanted. I whined about not having just the right raising hammer. My good friend and blacksmithing mentor wanders off for a second and comes back with this Peddinghaus hammer and gives it to me! I could hardly believe it. I have always wanted a Peddinghaus hammer. As far as hammers go, this is some sexy stuff…

I rounded the sharp edges, polished it up, and voila, I got my egg shape!

Blacksmithing Hammer used to raise copper vessel

Raising Hammers and Stake

Posted in Blacksmithing, Forging, Hammers, metalwork, Raising Copper, Tool Making on July 9, 2010 by Jim

If you haven’t seen David Huang’s website and work, then click here.

He has me all inspired and I finished a new tiny steel raising hammer and went to town on another poor circle of copper.

Raising hammers, stake, and hand hammered copper bowl

Happy Thursday night, happy making,

Jim

Leather Faced Cherry Carving Mallets

Posted in Carving, Hammers, Leather working, Tool Making, Woodworking on July 6, 2010 by Jim

Hammerpalooza 2010!

I cannot quit. I just can’t. I am unable to stop making hammers and mallets lately.

A friend salvaged some cherry runners off a pallet where he works and gave me one of the pieces.

Two Leather Faced Cherry Carving Mallets

I felt pretty good about these. In a couple of hours, I was able to make something useful with this wood instead of it going into the trash.

Happy Making,

Jim