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Resurrecting the Meteor

Discussion in 'Hammer & Tongs' 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!
     
  2. jake pogg

    jake pogg

    962
    Dec 20, 2015
    Mecha,good mad science there.
    How you like the hardness of that hard-facing,how does it feel in action?
    Did you have to pre-,or post-HT it an any manner?
    Also,was it tough grinding it,with any normal abrasives?
    It's a great idea,other than there're some potential issues with some of the hard-facing rod type,but you don't seem to be complaining!:)
    One last question since i'm bugging you-do you mind sharing the number of that particular rod?
    Thanks in advance,
    Jake
     
  3. Mecha

    Mecha Madscienceforge.com Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 27, 2013
    Thank you sir. The hard-facing electrode was number 1105. It was pretty easy to grind, feels tough and not too hard. No heat treatment was done afterward, as it's designed to be used straight after welding and grinding. So far it's been working great!
     
    jake pogg likes this.
  4. Mecha

    Mecha Madscienceforge.com Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 27, 2013
    Edit to add: preheating the hammer head would have been ideal - the area with porosity was where the welding began when the steel was still cold. As soon as the hammer face got hot the rest of the weld was more smooth.
     
    jake pogg likes this.
  5. jake pogg

    jake pogg

    962
    Dec 20, 2015
    Mecha thank you,that sounds right and sensible.
    Great way to bring back a neat old hammer,and very possibly-many other useful tools as well.
     
    Mecha likes this.
  6. Mecha

    Mecha Madscienceforge.com Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 27, 2013
    Heck yeah. If you end up hard-facing an old tool, you should post it up here! It would be fun to see.
     
    jake pogg likes this.
  7. jake pogg

    jake pogg

    962
    Dec 20, 2015
    I sure will.(Though unfortunately the spring is here and i must crawl out of the forge and onto summer chores...till falltime...:(

    What makes your experience and this thread so valuable is that most of us have a tendency to either Over-,or Under-estimate the difficulty/complexity of re-facing an older tool.

    Anvils is probably the best example of this:In spite of all that's been written and talked about,i spent many years banging away on an anvil-face that's been crudely filled in with just any old mig-wire(whatever the composition of that may be).
    No HT,nuffin' at all done to it,and it's still perfectly matched to the consistency,hardness,et c.,of the face around it(a bright line around the perimeter of weldments....decarb?).

    It's a Huge,inestimably so,economy to restore just the face,and by electric welding at that,the body of the tool and the eye is just So much more complex to forge.

    So,thanks again,good,simple,practical approach.I'll certainly share if/when there'd be anything of value,good or bad.
     
    Mecha likes this.
  8. HWooldridge

    HWooldridge

    52
    Jan 1, 2017
    It was not uncommon prior to mass production for the body of the hammer to be made from wrought iron with a high carbon face welded on the striking surface. You might have something like that here. Another possibility is that someone tried to heat treat it and left the face too hard, which caused the original cracks. At any rate, good job fixing it. Ready for another 100 years of service...
     

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