Forging Hammer for 2019 mallet swap

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Project by GrantA posted 11-16-2019 01:36 PM 428 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


5257 posts in 3691 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

966 posts in 950 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 (online now)


1981 posts in 1969 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

4306 posts in 1144 days

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

Nice, Grant! Duck’s a lucky guy!

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View EarlS's profile


3309 posts in 2910 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


4186 posts in 2539 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


3004 posts in 4094 days

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

You do good work. Really good work.

-- Genghis Khan and his brother Don, couldn't keep on keeping on...

View KelleyCrafts's profile


4055 posts in 1301 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


3894 posts in 1886 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

503 posts in 1854 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


1545 posts in 1672 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

-- Hand Skills provide freedom.

View James E McIntyre's profile

James E McIntyre

503 posts in 1854 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

503 posts in 1854 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


6693 posts in 1274 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


815 posts in 1202 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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