View Full Version : cross peen hammers
05-02-09, 02:32 AM
Do any of you use a cross peen hammer that has the ridge running in line with the handle as opposed to the normal perpendicular to the handle? It seems like it would lead toward more natural and relaxed hand positions when drawing out steel. Maybe I just want more hammers. Maybe it is my inexperience showing and I need to learn to hold the tongs and the hammer correctly.
05-02-09, 02:35 AM
That is called a straight peen hammer. For drawing out metal, the left or right handed diagonal peens are some of the most comfortable and ergonomic to use. I have also seen a double diagonal peen, where it had the peen end on both ends, so it was a right hand and left hand diagonal peen hammer. It was made by Jonathan Nedbor, a great smith here in the states.
05-02-09, 05:46 AM
Sam's right about the peens, a angled peen (or pien) gives the most natural striking position in most cases. Ed Caffrey sells angle pien hammers (http://www.caffreyknives.net/Angle%20Pien%20Hammers.html), and I'm sure others do to.
You can get a straight peen hammer (http://www.blacksmithsdepot.com/Templates/cart_templates/cart-detail.php?theLocation=/Resources/Products/Hammers/Straight_Peen_Hammers&PHPSESSID=117d4313c19f9018f2fdb5ea74e11486) from the Blacksmith's Depot, among other places.
I have both straight peen and cross peen hammers, but I find it's usually easier to use the edge of the anvil or the horn (aka bick) to stretch out steel. You just hold the steel against the edge of the anvil at an angle, and strike a blow perpendicular to the steel. Once you get as many indentations in a row as you want, lay the steel flat on the face of the anvil and flatten it out. As it flattens it expands perpendicular to the direction of the indents.
By the way, you can never have too many hammers. :D
05-02-09, 07:46 AM
Be it with only a couple dozen hours of smithing I can confirm that the diagonal peen hammers are a delight:)
Not that I own one, but used it at the course I did. First drawing with a normal hammer. This took a lot of arm twisting, and not knowing where to stand. The diagonal one allowed for a very natural position.
ive got one,i made it out of a small sledge hammer head.it looks awkward but it works real nice.
05-02-09, 11:20 AM
I have a couple of diagional pein hammers .
05-02-09, 01:18 PM
That's the ones I was talking about Owen! Where did you get those?
05-02-09, 05:34 PM
I found them in different places ,one from the bay and one at a local store ,I have never seen any others in the flesh .
I have just taken in a delivery of 45mm round EN8 (roughly 1045) .so I guess its hammer time .
getting back to the strait pein hammers. I used one as my main hammer for quite a few years however i didn't really use the pein too much .I find cross pein hammers more useful.
05-02-09, 08:24 PM
Thanks for the information, links and pictures. The diagonal hammer makes a lot of sense. I think that I will try to convert one of my flea market hammers.
06-02-09, 02:52 AM
Owen, the two diagonal hammers are saw tuning hammers, like the twist face one in the photo below.
07-02-09, 12:16 AM
I built this one a couple years ago and use it alot. It's much easier on your wrist to hold the steel closer to you.
It was machined from 4140 hex bar with a cinnamon wood and maple laminate handle.
07-02-09, 11:27 PM
B Finnigan, your hammer is beautiful; here is something from the other end of the spectrum.
I decided to try and modify a hammer this morning, First I tried drawing out an old 2lb into a cross peen, that was harder to do than I thought it would be. I ended up welding short sections of bar (torsion bar off old car) to either face. I filled the hollows by welding and grinding. I then normalized twice, hardened then tempered. I have never quenched something with that much mass I was surprised by the way my bucket of oil acted. I was apprehensive of the welds cracking during the quench but they did not.
I did one face cross and one face straight. If the hammer holds up I will make one with a diagonal face. I can visualize holding the work and hammer at right angles. I think trying to hold the work at a 45 degree angle might be like walking and chewing gum at the same time at the present time.
08-02-09, 01:13 AM
That turned out pretty cool!
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