Modern Blacksmithing Rational Horse Shoeing and Wagon Making

with rules, tables, recipes, etc., useful to manufactures, blacksmiths, machinists, well-drillers, engineers, liverymen, horse-shoers, farmers, wagon-makers, mechanics, amateurs and all others who have occasion to perform the work for which this book is primarily intended. by J.G. Homstrom 1901

How to make a Hammer

Take a piece of tool steel 1 inches square, neat it red hot. Now remember here it is that the trouble begins in handling tool steel. If, in the process, you ever get it more than red hot, it is spoiled, and no receipt, or handling or hammering will ever make it good again. The best thing in such a case is to cut off the burnt part in spite of all proposed cures. This must be remembered whenever you heat tool or spring steel. If the burnt part cannot be cut off, heat it to a low heat, cool it in lukewarm water half a dozen times, this will improve it some, if you can hammer it some do so. Now punch a hole about two inches from the end with a punch that will make a hole 1 1/8 x 1 3/8 If the punch sticks in the hole, cool it off and put a little coal in the hole that will prevent the punch from sticking.


This is a good thing to do whenever a deep hole is to be punched. Be sure that the hole is made true. Next, have a punch the exact size of the hole wanted when finished, drive it in and hammer the eye out until it has the thickness of about 3/8 of an inch on each side and has a circle form like No.2, Figure 5. In order to do this you may have to heat the eye many times, and upset over it with the punch in the eye. This done put in the bottom fuller and with the top fuller groove it down on each side of the eye, like the cut referred to.

Now dress down the face then the peen-end. When finished harden it in this way: Heat the face-end first to a Jaw red heat, dip in water about an inch and a half and brighten the face and watch for the color. When it begins to turn blue cool off but don't harden the eye. Wind a wet rag around the face end and heat the peen-end, temper the same way. With a piece of iron in the eye, both ends can be hardened at the same time, but this is more difficult, and I would not recommend it. For ordinary blacksmithing a flat peen hammer is the thing, but I have seen good blacksmiths hang on to the machinist's hammer as the only thing. See No. I, Figure 5. This hammer is more ornamental than useful in a blacksmith shop. The hammer should be of different sizes for different work, light for light work, and for drawing out plowshares alone the hammer should be heavy.

For an ordinary smith a hammer of two up to two and one-half pounds is right. Riveting hammers should be only one pound and less. No smith should ever use a hammer like NO.3, in Figure 5. This hammer I have not yet been able to find out what it is good for. Too short, too clumsy, too much friction in the air. I have christened it, and if you want my name for it call it Cain's hammer. It must surely look like the hammer used by him, if he had any.