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The following is purely to vent.  It's needed.

 

Working at the forge a couple weeks ago, had a bunch of folks come through for a day of training and fun.  Figured what better way to spend that than working on forging a new hammer that I've been eyeing for a while now -- a Japanese-style forging hammer.  This would normally be done with a power hammer and/or press (which I don't have as it's a historic site that I forge at) to work a 3" diameter piece of 4140 round stock down to a 1.25" octagonal face, this was a great project for a group of strikers -- the guys that swing the big 10lb sledge while the lead smith (me) holds the steel and either directs with my own hammer or holds a struck tool (like a flatter or eye drift) in place.

 

Went great.  Majority of the rough forging was done...leaving me to finish drifting the eye for the hammer (swinging the 10lb sledge one-handed...which was stupid but necessary) and do all of the final shaping on the hammer.  Got that done, did the rough grinding to get it into final form, and then waited for a new touchmark to arrive (from a very nice gentleman in Russia that makes such things well and for less than they should cost).

 

Touchmark arrived today.  Headed into the forge to finish the hammer off.  Got the touchmark set and then quenched it (oil quench, only on the forging face...the back face is left normalized and used for striking cold tools).  This left the hammer hardened but relatively brittle until the tempering could occur.  The following is a pic of the touchmark after hitting it with a quick polish:

IMG_1129.jpeg

 

Going great so far.  Turned it in the vise and started working on the other faces...at which point it popped out of the vise and landed *perfectly* onto said 10lb sledge that was lying beneath it....resulting in the following slightly catastrophic flaw:

 

8375FBC8-1885-4DB2-98AD-57B16D6EF722.jpeg

 

So yeah...back to the original 3.5lb slug of 4140 as we begin again.

 

So that's been my afternoon.

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3 minutes ago, Starlord said:

Unfortunately, as your hammer suffered a catastrophic flaw before testing...i'm gonna have to ask you to leave the forge.

 

;)

 

My mind SO went there

 

But Forged in Fire Fanboying aside (Guilty)

 

Sympathy for the trouble, Simon. 

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