Ready, Set, Hammer!

Kainon and I made a set hammer at the Pioneer Farm Museum Spring Break event in Fredericksburg.

Kainon and I made a set hammer at the Pioneer Farm Museum Spring Break event in Fredericksburg.

Here is a little set hammer Kainon and I cranked out at the Pioneer Farm Museum on Wednesday. We started the day with the obligatory nail making workout. It was fun trying to get a nail done in one heat. Kainon had three irons in the fire at one point and was trying to top his personal best time and nail formation. I mostly made tacks. I was having a serious issue with the height of the anvil, even though Kainon planned ahead and brought a cut down pallet to stand on while working.

We entertained quite a few folks with our smithing skills, the kids were all keen on getting a still warm nail fresh from the forge. We also managed to reset the blower with some large hooks driven into the floor to keep it from tipping every time it was cranked. The weather was just amazing and the forge was working great. Since we were there for the day, I had a strong feeling Kainon might decide we needed to do something a bit more fun and I was right.

He had brought a small knife sample he worked up with him and began telling me how much a set hammer would help with making the plunge in front of the ricasso. He then pointed out that he had all the tools we needed to make one and a suitable piece of stock just happened to be in the shop. So, we went on and made the hammer. It was actually very easy, Kainon was able to forge most of it alone and only needed me to assist with some holding of the flatter and such. I think it turned out very well and we both felt we accomplished a “forged to finish” tool as Brian Brazeal is fond of saying. Kainon is going to grind the striking end a bit and put a handle to it so we can give it try at the Zilker Botanical Forge in the near future.

The other side of the set hammer has the plus sign I use for marking tools.

The other side of the set hammer has the plus sign I use for marking tools.

I hope to be able to post some knives soon that bear the marks of our new little hammer. As always, thanks for dropping by and keep on forging!!

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JOAN MANEL ZAMORA

Art Photo www.joanmanelzamora.com

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