The tool holders.
mutinousmind asked: Hi! I love your work! What sort of finishing process do you use for your hammer heads and tools? I noticed on some of your earlier hammers that the heads were quite darkly coloured even on the sections which had been ground and the same with some of your punches and drifts of late. Ive not done any forging myself, so i dont really know how blacksmiths tend to finish their steel or how they care for them afterwords. Do you just oil them regularly or does forging require special upkeep?
Well the difference in color on my tools has a lot to do with the type of steel I use. When I use an oil hardening steel after quenching in oil to harden the tool it blackens things. For hammers these days I use 1045 which is water hardening and so the dark color doesn’t appear the same. The only good upkeep to prevent forging tools from rusting is using them regularly.
quixoticalfire asked: All the little hammers you have been making look awesome! How do you do your handles? Off-center turning on a lathe, or are they just carved free hand?
Thank you very much!
The handles I use 5/4 hickory and I trace out the eye on the end grain and rip close. Then I trace out the profile of the handle on the side and cut on the bandsaw. After this I trace the other side and cut just the same. The I go over to the belt sander using 35 grit and size the eye to a tight fit first and check as I go. I size the eye so tight it needs driven in and driven out while checking. The inside of the hammer eye will leave black marks where you need to reduce material and keep reducing until you can bottom the hammer head out but maintaining an perfect fit. Then I finish the shape of the handle by going from a rectangular shape to an octagonal shape. Sometime I cut on the band saw, but usually I just buzz through it in the belt sander. Then from octagonal to oval and I go for 100 grit on a palm sander and then mount. When mounting I use Devcon 5 minute 2 part epoxy on the eye section of the handle. This seals the wood on the eye, works as a lube and the hammerhead wont EVER come off or loose. I use that same stuff for the wood wedge and the steel wedge. (Note if you ever do that, you will need to heat up the eye of the hammer to free the epoxy upon replacement )
After that I scorch in the forge, rub smooth a scotchbrite pad and then pine tar for a finish.
Micro Viking hammer for jewelry work. 8 ounces from 1045 and a handle from brown ebony.