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Dog's head hammer

Discussion in 'Hammer & Tongs' started by running bird, Aug 25, 2017.

  1. running bird

    running bird

    280
    Sep 29, 2015
    Can anyone recommend a decent dog's head hammer?

    I've been wanting to get one of these for a while now but I'm having trouble finding one.

    I'm looking for a 2.5lb or around that size. And want to spend around $100 or less is possible.

    Thanks,
    Kevin
     
  2. Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

    Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith ilmarinen - MODERATOR Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 20, 2004
    Sam Salvati used to make a great one, but I don't know if he is doing them now. Kayne & son's has them , as does the farrier sulliers like Centaur.

    You can make one that works pretty good by buying a HF 3# machinist hammer ( 0r any other brand) and cutting one end off flush with the center eye ring. A little grinding and it is ready for blade finish forging.
     
  3. running bird

    running bird

    280
    Sep 29, 2015
    I checked some of those sites but wasn't able to find what I was looking for. And it seems Sam salvati isn't making these hammers anymore.

    I was looking into some and found a maker named Owen Bush. His hammers seem to be what I'm looking for and the look very nice, but I've never heard of him. Have you heard of him? Do you think his hammers are worth a try?
     
    Justin Schmidt likes this.
  4. Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

    Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith ilmarinen - MODERATOR Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 20, 2004
    Yeah, I just checked several sources and they don't seem to carry them any more. Probably not enough demand. There is one on ebay that is rediculous at $189. Dictum has one for about $100USD, and of course there are the Japanese tool companies that must still be upset over WWII if you look at their prices.

    As I said before, it is so easy to make one that it is almost foolish to buy one unless you want a specific hammer ( like a Salvati).

    Simplest method:
    Buy a hammer like the below examles. They can be found at almost any hardware store, hammer supplier, ebay, HF, yard sales, etc. You don't really need a high grade name brand.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-ant...144060?hash=item1a33f993fc:g:IScAAOSw6WVZoWhJ

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-12-...282853?hash=item25de0e82a5:g:kz4AAOSw8thZmeeo

    Cut it across the back of the eye section, removing the cross peen. You can use your metal cutting band saw ... or clamp it in a vise and do it with a hacksaw.
    Grind it with a 60 grit belt and clean up with 120 grit.
    You can do all that with the handle on, or remove the handle and reinstall/replace it if desired.

    More work, but better hammer:
    As above, a trip through ebay with a search for blacksmith hammer head, blacksmith hammer, or forging hammer, will find many cheap old hammer heads that are perfect for re-shaping. Some can merely be cut off and touched up as above, and others can be cut off and the long end re-forged to the shape desired. An old hot cut hammer is often perfect for this. A double sledge will also work well. Cut off what you don't want, then re-forge the working end to the desired shape. Done right, the eye will remain the same. Harden in oil and temper at 450. Make a nice handle that fits your hand and have at those sword an knife bevels.
     
  5. running bird

    running bird

    280
    Sep 29, 2015
    Thank you for helping out Stacy.

    I'll try my hand at making one then, which should be more fun than just buying one. I got some 1" square bar 1080, would that be a good steel to use? I know most hammers are around 1045, but I've had this 1080 sitting around and was wondering if it would be good for a hammer for a while. Considering its 1080 would it be better to temper at 450F, 500F, or 600F?

    As for the handle I have some maple I harvested from a downed tree on my property. It has some splatting in the grain, I know this is popular for knife scales but how would it work for a hammer handle? The splatting doesn't affect the structural integrity does it? do I need to stabilize the maple or just treat it with oil when I finish the handle?

    what shape should the head be? octagonal, square, or is this more of just a preference thing?

    would upsetting the face of the head be a good idea or is a 1" face broad enough? If I were to do this I would upset about 1-1.5" back from the face and only upset it about 1/8" to 1/4" wider than the rest of the head.
     
  6. Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

    Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith ilmarinen - MODERATOR Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 20, 2004
    Sounds good.
     
  7. Justin Schmidt

    Justin Schmidt Schmidt Forge Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Feb 18, 2016
    What's the benefit of a dogs head hammer vs cross peen?

    And Owen is an excellent bladesmith. He's a mod on another forum but he's based out of the UK. Great work and great guy.
     
  8. Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

    Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith ilmarinen - MODERATOR Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 20, 2004
    For fine work, it has better impact control. It takes some learning to use one right. They aren't the be-all and end-all, but having one in your bag will be a good choice.
     
    Justin Schmidt likes this.

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