Thursday, 19 May 2016

Have Hammer, Will forge

I broke the last handle I had on a decent hammer, so now that it's cooling down it is not as crazy to have a fire going and there is no point having a fire without red hot meal is there? I just bought a new handle from the hardware store. I'm quite happy with it. It wasn't varnished which is the biggest problem I've found with most new handles you can buy.

Hmmm, good starting point, but difficult to work metal like this.

Still some shaping to go. Lets get to it then.

I started off trying to be sensible and gave the plane a go. Unfortunately it wasn't really that useful. Because of the relatively radical shape of the handle it didn't really cut on the end of the handle. A Spokeshave or Drawknife would've been better tools.

Seeing as the plane didn't work I figured I'd give the rough old hatchet that we've had lying around for ages a go. Unfortunately it is the epitome of not sharpness and would be vastly improved with an hour or so of work. But this did remove material fairly well and though it was a bit rough in the end it worked.

I thought I should probably take a little care of what's left of the edge on this and put a piece of an old pallet on the anvil I was working on. Eventually I will get around to sharpening it properly. But until then I don't need to worry too much about the edge.

This is what the handle ended up needing to fit the head of the hammer. I didn't realise the eye was so small. If I end up making a hammer then this is something I will have to be careful of to ensure that the eye is a reasonable size so that an off the shelf handle will work.

Nearly there. Can you spot what still needs doing?

Wedges!! though perhaps not with sweet chili sauce or sour cream. But still one of the many useful things that make this much easier.

And here it is all finished.

Of course I had to test it. However there wasn't much to see past this point. Particularly after I started to try some charcoal Briquettes. They looked like they were getting hot, but there was no heat in the body of the fire and it died as painful death. Perhaps something to do with this?



Anyway, it could also be that I'm using a dodgy forge design and it's blocked up with ash and dirt. A very distinct possibility.

Now that I have a working hammer however, all that I will need to do is light a fire, get a draft and I can get to it. So look out for more forging posts over the next few months.

Cheers,
Rex