Forging Hammer for 2019 mallet swap

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Project by GrantA posted 11-16-2019 01:36 PM 990 views 1 time favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I drew duckmilk as a recipient for this swap, and knowing he has a forge and anvil I wanted to make a forging hammer. After seeing his collection (with some crafty help from fellow swappers and friends) I decided on a dogshead hammer, aka cutlers hammer or sawyers hammer. It’s a weight forward design best suited to thin precise work such as knife bevels or saw blades.
It started as a 1-1/4×2” stick of 4140 steel bar. I milled the eye (which was an experience of its own as I work hardened it multiple times until I got the right speed & feed sorted out- I’m still learning the machinist ropes!)

Next I decided to taper the bottom which made it resemble an axe head.
Here it is getting the sides cleaned up before sanding the whole thing to 120grit

2.69lbs- it’s got a good feel to it!

I decided to use some pecan from my yard that has been drying in the shop for a couple years to make a handle.
I hope duck gets some great use out of it!

17 comments so far

View sras's profile


6697 posts in 4583 days

#1 posted 11-16-2019 01:40 PM

Good job! Nice choice for duckmilk.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View Bill Berklich's profile

Bill Berklich

1344 posts in 1843 days

#2 posted 11-16-2019 01:41 PM

Well, awesome hammer! The taper is a nice feature and adds grace to the project. And your project make me want to explore the metal side. Though the heat treating it out for me

-- Bill - Rochester MI

View GrantA's profile


3167 posts in 2862 days

#3 posted 11-16-2019 01:45 PM

Thanks guys! This one is not heat treated, it’s pretty tough steel as-is and since it’ll be used for thin work I feel like it’d be very easy to hit the anvil face so I wanted the hammer to be softer than the anvil. I told duck if he decides it’s too soft I’ll gladly harden it though! If anyone else needs heat treat done I’ve got an oven now!

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

10259 posts in 2036 days

#4 posted 11-16-2019 01:50 PM

Nice, Grant! Duck’s a lucky guy!

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View EarlS's profile


5509 posts in 3802 days

#5 posted 11-16-2019 02:02 PM

You metal working guys put the rest of us to shame. Just looking at the picture, I could tell it had to be a hammer used around a forge. No frills, all business, or as Kenny would say – that’s a sexy beast.

I also need to find some pecan. Seems like everyone was using it this swap.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View jeffswildwood's profile


5132 posts in 3431 days

#6 posted 11-16-2019 02:02 PM

Very nice buddy, and very original. Duck should get a lot of use from it.

-- We all make mistakes, the trick is to fix it in a way that says "I meant to do that".

View hairy's profile


3366 posts in 4986 days

#7 posted 11-16-2019 02:02 PM

You do good work. Really good work.

-- there's someone in my head but it's not me...

View KelleyCrafts's profile


5311 posts in 2193 days

#8 posted 11-16-2019 04:20 PM

Awesome job Grant!!! I would use that sucker at the anvil any day!

-- Dave - - pen blanks - knife scales - turning tools

View duckmilk's profile


5161 posts in 2779 days

#9 posted 11-16-2019 07:34 PM

I think it is awesome Grant! I don’t foresee it needing to be any harder than it already is. I would rather re-dress any dings in the hammer than damage something I didn’t intend to. The folks at work who got to see it were really impressed. And, I was proud to show it off :-)

-- "Duck and Bob would be out doin some farming with funny hats on." chrisstef

View James E McIntyre's profile

James E McIntyre

1885 posts in 2746 days

#10 posted 11-16-2019 08:22 PM

That’s a well made hammer. The home grown Hickory was the icing on the tool.
The handle looks properly indexed.
How’s the balance?

-- James E McIntyre

View anthm27's profile


1853 posts in 2564 days

#11 posted 11-17-2019 01:30 AM

Superb build,
Very very nice that, and the home grown Pecan handle a real treat.
Nice one

-- There is no hope for any of us if we keep apologizing for telling the truth.

View James E McIntyre's profile

James E McIntyre

1885 posts in 2746 days

#12 posted 11-18-2019 12:45 AM

Oops meant the Pecan-Hickory.

-- James E McIntyre

View James E McIntyre's profile

James E McIntyre

1885 posts in 2746 days

#13 posted 11-18-2019 12:47 AM

Superb build,
Very very nice that, and the home grown Pecan handle a real treat.
Nice one

- anthm27

Oops meant the Pecan-Hickory.
Anthm27 are you in any danger living in Hong Kong?

-- James E McIntyre

View GR8HUNTER's profile


9610 posts in 2167 days

#14 posted 11-18-2019 01:40 AM

pecan wood really sets this mallet off GREAT JOB :<)) GRATZ TOP 3

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN :<))

View JohnMcClure's profile


1498 posts in 2095 days

#15 posted 11-18-2019 08:24 PM

Great job Grant! I’m sure it will serve Duck very well!

-- I'd rather be a hammer than a nail

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