NorrinRadd
Steve Meyer's post about rounding hammers brought up some good points about converting an existing hammer vs buying one.

I've done both,sort of, I bought a factory rounding hammer ie Farrier Hammer (not quite a custom hammer) and I've converted one so I thought I would share my experience.

I did buy a HF drilling hammer I used it as it for a while for punches etc . Then I decided to convert it I removed the handle. It was too short and I feel that its easier to work on it with out it.
IMG_20160707_201516.jpg 

It was actually harder to remove than I thought it would be.
When selecting a hammer from HF you will need to look at a few that are on the rack because they are not precision instruments and all vary a little. Pick the one that looks the closest to what you want just to have less material to move.

This is not a new concept so I remembered a video that I had seen a long time ago(sorry cant remember the original channel) about how to best profile a hammer so I used this method. Basically drawing arrows on the face to help keep tabs on what you have done.
It actually helps a lot and I recommend it. This is a short video I posted to instagram.




Then I bought some polishing discs also from HF, for my angle grinder and finished up the hammer with them.
Round end.                            Flat end
IMG_20160715_211858966.jpg IMG_20160715_211907221.jpg


I was pretty happy with the result. Hung it on a store bought handle, added some nifty charring and voila... po boy rounding hammer.
IMG_20160727_194008.jpg 
I have less than 20 bucks invested in this hammer and probably a few hours. I don't count the polishing discs because I've used them for countless other things as well.

Disclaimer: I'm just a hobbyist that likes to sell the occasional bottle opener or small knife just to pay for my propane and propane accessories [wink] so I'm not forging all day everyday. This hammer works well for what I do.
I like the weight for heavy forging, 4 lbs

I did buy a rounding hammer before I converted that one. It was a 2 lb Nordic Forge, from Centaur Forge. Probably the cheapest way to get into a rounding hammer without converting. less than 40 bucks + shipping.
 [285HT] 


This is actually my favorite hammer. I have more control over it and I can swing it all day. The heavier one I converted actually gave me pretty serious tendonitis because I'm old. But I still like it a lot better than the cross peen that had been using.

IMHO As far as buying a sho nuff rounding hammer hand made by some of the great smiths out there, if you have the money go for it. You will get a quality heirloom tool and help the craftsman make a living.

But IMHO it is not a necessity for a beginner. Don't forget there is always the option to forge your own as well. [wink]

Maybe that'll help someone. Good luck with it.

Just make something!

OrionsAnvil on YouTube

@OrionsAnvil on Instagram

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NorrinRadd
Forgot that I also picked up a Stanley Fatmax Bullet Nose Sledge from Lowes, also relatively inexpensive.

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Pros: It does have a rounded end.

Cons: Handle is terrible for forging. The round end started pitting after several uses.

Needless to say I wasn't very impressed and haven't used it much. The converted HF hammer seems to be a harder steel. The handle would have to be replaced and you have to make sure your steel doesn't get too cool.
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Steve Meyer
Nice post thank you.
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theengel
Look how nice and shiny it is.

I need to start paying more attention to finishing touches like that.  If I'm going to start making knives, I need a better eye for details, even when I'm not working on an actual knife.  I'm one of those guys who redoes the entire bathroom, but never finishes painting it.
Or, if not smithies per se, were you otherwise trained in the metallurgic arts before straitened circumstances forced you into a life of aimless wanderin'?
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Skarzs the Cave Troll
Lol, sounds like my dad.

For my rounding hammer, a friend of mine gave me a 4 lbs. mini sledge with a fiberglass handle. I was already using one with a wood handle, but it was in pretty good shape, and wanted to experiment.
So I cut off the fiberglass handle and burned out the epoxy/plastic in the eye (nasty and stinky process, but it worked.) From there I used my coal forge to heat up one face, and proceeded to use the cut-off bottom of an oxygen cylinder as a rounding die to forge the face into a mostly-round shape. The coal forge was very helpful with that because it left the other end relatively cool and it didn't deform as much.
After grinding it to the curve I wanted, and removed the marks on the flat face, I re-hardened it (in oil, incredibly) and it has been my go-to hammer ever since.


At least, up until my dad SOMEHOW managed to get the wedge to come out of the eye. Fantastic.
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NorrinRadd
Steve Meyer wrote:
Nice post thank you.


No problem[thumb]


theengel wrote:
Look how nice and shiny it is.

I need to start paying more attention to finishing touches like that.  If I'm going to start making knives, I need a better eye for details, even when I'm not working on an actual knife.  I'm one of those guys who redoes the entire bathroom, but never finishes painting it.


I kinda got mesmerized by how well those polishing discs worked in the angle grinder so I kept going until I could see myself. [biggrin]
I'm pretty bad about not totally finishing my personal projects as well. I find that if I'm making something for someone else, even if its just to show them something, I'll pay more attention to detail.


Skarzs the Cave Troll wrote:
Lol, sounds like my dad.

For my rounding hammer, a friend of mine gave me a 4 lbs. mini sledge with a fiberglass handle. I was already using one with a wood handle, but it was in pretty good shape, and wanted to experiment.
So I cut off the fiberglass handle and burned out the epoxy/plastic in the eye (nasty and stinky process, but it worked.) From there I used my coal forge to heat up one face.....


Hey no picking on the old dudes![tongue]  heheh.

I tried burning the epoxy out of the eye of this hammer with a torch as well. It was pretty nasty so I didn't get it all off. I did get most of it though, some with the dremel. The way you did yours is probably the more proper way, more like actual forging with less material loss.


Thanks for reading and commenting peeps[thumb]

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