balancing a hammer??

Charly the Bastard wrote:


I've got so many of those tuit things hanging around :-(
Regards Charles
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Rusty_iron wrote:

Well, I know this isn't so useful, but I'd have to say that a lot of it depends...
First, on me-- am I "in shape" for forging? If I haven't really used a hammer for a few months my hands and wrists get weak and I just can't swing a really heavy hammer all day. If I've been getting in a lot of forging in then I can swing a four or five pound sledge for hours on end. So I need to fit the hammer to myself, first.
It also depends on the job... When I'm driving a drift through a fairly thick piece of metal I like a short-handled sledge, and I give it a good pounding... When I'm working on more delicate stuff, like small knives or s-hooks, I like a light hammer, maybe 500--750 grams.
I think the forging hammers I user the most are: General-purpose "go-to" hammer: 1,000 gram Peddinghouse Swiss-pattern hammer. For Heavy work: 1,500--2,000 gram French-pattern Peddinghouse Rounding hammer (the ones I have are pretty standard -- not sure of the weight)
I don't think I have any hammers that feel bad to use... maybe just too heavy. Just so you know, I have about 15 hammers, some cheap ones from Harbor Freight, and some hand-made ones for sheet metal work.On all of them I sand the handles to gently undulate so they fit my hand better. I don't like straight-handled hammers, but prefer them to have a bit of a swell where I hold them. I try to put one "swell" where I usually hold it, and another farther down the handle so I can get a good swing going. I tend to like long handles, at least for medium (1,000 grams) to light weight hammers.
I have a Uri Hofi-style hammer, with a shortish/squarish head and handle, and I've been trying to get used to it. The one I have is a smaller one, and I think I need a heaver version to really do it justice. I've seen demos with people using that style of hammer, and they really kick ass at moving metal, but I haven't been able to get the good hammer mojo going... So far I prefer the 1,000g Swiss-style Peddinghouse.
Now that I think of it, the only hammers I've had that feel bad to use have needed their faces dressed properly. Once the face was ground and sanded a bit they have all worked fine.
Well, I hope this was useful!
Jeff P.
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