As I’m sure many of you know, we are passionate about forging tooling at the Center for Metal Arts. I recently had the opportunity to film the forging of a cross peen hammer with a GoPro camera, and am excited to share process with you.
Here in the shop we try hard to work carefully and intentionally. Being interested in process, we always forge as close to the finished shape as possible. We believe this produces a stronger better functioning, longer lasting tool.
As well as producing the highest quality tooling we can we also like to spend as little time in front of the sander as possible. Personally I find it much more rewarding to be working at an anvil or powerhammer than in front of the belt sander, and the shop here is really well setup for that mentality.
Luckily my time in Carbondale introduced me to metalsmiths and blacksmiths who feel the same way about forging, and I have several of them to thank for teaching me about tool making and forging with intention. I’ve been making hammers and striking tools on a regular basis for quite a few years now, and its always a learning experience with tooling developments and upgrades. The community here at CMA is always willing to lend me an ear, trouble shoot processes, and analyze results. Luckily lots of my personal work, weather it be sculptural, functional, or a combination of the two, depend highly on top tools and striking. This gives us plenty of opportunity to put the tools we make to work, which informs decision making when we develop new striking tools.
above: stefan and dan forgeing planishing hammers
right: frineds, metalsmiths, blacksmiths, 3B
It's always awkward to do what you normally do in front of a camera, It forces you to overanalyze every single move you make, moves you usually make on instinct without thought.
1. Shaping the blank to the right size and breaking the corners.
2. Punching the hole
3. Pressing in a small drift to prep the hole for the larger handled drift
4-6. Larger drift for forging the cheeks with the fuller dies. This opens the hole for the hickory handle. Fullering the cheeks accentuates the hourglass shape hole, which is necessary for proper seating and wedging of the handle. It also increases surface area of the hammer head contacting the handle which helps for a tighter fit and prevents loosening over time.
7. Shaping the face on the rounding dies
8. Forging the peen
9. Packing and shaping the face and peen. The last step we do is shape the face of the hammer and the peen. We use a bottom swage to shape the peen wile using the top die of the hammer to gently pillow the face. This is one of those instances where we do the work through forging rather than sanding. This step is important because it packs the grain structure and greatly reduces time at the sander.
We use a wooden swage block for putting the drift back in for this step so as not to dungus the forgings. (still working on a permanent solution for that setup.)
Thank you for watching and reading. Thank you for your support, please check out the tooling we have available at www.centerformetalarts.com, and as always feel free to contact us with any questions.
Thanks to everyone who helped me put this together!