Re: Cheap hammers as chisels/punches

Chances are the Chinese steel is a medium carbon tool steel which is fine for hammers , hot sets and stout hot punches. if you are going to
try this you should make a "drift" which fits the eye of the hammer. You insert this into the eye as you are doing the reforge heats so the eye does not collapse or distort. Make sure to take a slooow initial heat so you get the hammer heated evenly throughout it's mass. After forging get a nice even cherry heat on the whole tool and put it in a bucket of lime leaving an inch or so of the end you will be pounding on exposed. This will anneal the eye and working end and leave the ass end a tiny bit tougher so it won't mushroom over as quickly in use. Do any cold shaping you need now. I would still recommend heat treating especially if it is a slender hot punch because under a sledge or power hammer the tool you worked so hard on might bend. When you harden just do the working end of the tool up to about the eye. Temper to a blue color and keep the tool cool when you use it. Works for me.
Glen G.
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On Wed, 13 Aug 2003 12:04:05 -0700, Ernie Leimkuhler

But then you have to forge the eye. Not that hard, but it takes time, and the cheap hammers are good for quick tools. I have a few Chinese ball peins which are actually pretty good hammers and have stood up well. They haven't mushroomed, chopped or flattened the ball end. The only downside is the handles on the big sizes are like fence posts and need thinning down unless you have huge hands. Geoff
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If you are just using them as tools to be hammered on, you can simply weld lengths of 1/2" pipe to them for handles.
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