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Resurrecting the Meteor

Discussion in 'Mad Science Forge' started by Mecha, Mar 13, 2018.

  1. Mecha

    Mecha Madscienceforge.com Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 27, 2013
    A few years ago I found a large old ball peen hammer head buried in the dirt near an old barn. It looked as if it had been pushed below the mud on a rainy day by the wheels of a heavy machine, long ago.

    I have a few nice forging hammers, but mounted on a short haft this ball peen quickly proved to be special. Pitted like the moon and found buried in the earth's crust, the hammer was dubbed the Meteor.

    [​IMG]

    The two-and-a-half pound hammer rebounded easily, and did twice the work with half the effort of another ball peen of mine that weighs the same and looks almost identical. It came down on hot titanium bar stock from above like...well, a meteor strike. It's even canted a bit, almost like a real sword-smithing hammer.

    It delivered a smooth, controlled, dead blow, probably because it's rather soft. Which brings us to the problem: the hammer face bent and cracked apart while forging a big double-edged blade!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The Meteor was put into retirement except for punching maker's marks, but I always wanted it back. No other hammer I've used works so nicely!

    Time to bring it back into action. The key ingredient: a big hard-facing welding rod. These electrodes are used to resurface worn steel tools such as backhoe buckets, and produce a tough steel skin.

    [​IMG]

    Welding a thick layer of hard-face onto the Meteor:

    [​IMG]

    Grinding and shaping the new hammer face:

    [​IMG]

    Success! There was some minor porosity left on the face, but I thought it appropriate for a this particular hammer. It's used for bulk forging titanium, after all, and shouldn't hurt anything. Plus I have another hard-facing electrode, just in case disaster strikes again.

    [​IMG]

    All rounded and dressed for titanium hand-forging work, with a big fat titanium wedge securing it to the old wood handle.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Vive le Meteor!
     
    Park Swan, danbot, evltcat and 4 others like this.
  2. Lapedog

    Lapedog Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 7, 2016
    And here I thought for sure upon clicking the thread title link you had forged a meteor into something.

    Was I ever surprised to see that reviving this old hammer was even cooler! I know how it is losing a favourite tool. It’s almost like losing a limb!

    Hope it sees many years of service.
     
    Mecha likes this.
  3. Mecha

    Mecha Madscienceforge.com Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 27, 2013
    Thanks Lapedog! :D I thought it funny that the title might be a little bit misleading.
     
  4. Mecha

    Mecha Madscienceforge.com Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 27, 2013
    The hammer really is special. It has some sort of golden ratio / rule of thirds thing going for it.
     
    Lapedog likes this.
  5. BladeMan

    BladeMan

    506
    Feb 12, 1999
    All i read is big double-edged blade o_O
     
  6. Mecha

    Mecha Madscienceforge.com Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 27, 2013
    It was the Bombus Gladius. :D
     
  7. Lapedog

    Lapedog Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 7, 2016
    This might well be a case of “they just don’t make ‘em like they used to”

    You think it is the softer steel that lets it transmit the force more directly? As though harder steel hammers might “bounce off” more?
     
  8. Mecha

    Mecha Madscienceforge.com Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 27, 2013
    I'm not sure exactly why, but it works especially well on titanium alloys and I suspect it's the softness as well as some other subtleties like you describe. I think it's "spreading out" the hammer force upon the moment of impact which is good when forging the taffy-like ti. The only other hammer I have that's as good is much harder, but it also has rounded face that is just glorious to behold, like a slice of a sphere, and which seems to do something similar just due to having the perfect curvature for shaping a ti blade. I also have another hammer that's good, a small dog's head, that makes accurate bevel adjustments and spot-corrects springy warps.
     
  9. Daniel Fairly Knives

    Daniel Fairly Knives Full Time Knifemaker Moderator

    Jan 9, 2011
    Good stuff!
     
  10. Mecha

    Mecha Madscienceforge.com Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 27, 2013
    Thankee, DFK.
     
    Daniel Fairly Knives likes this.

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