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When maintaining tools, we immediately think of pritchels, forepunches and such. How many of us, though, stop and think about repairing the face of our hammers?
While I was working at Tom Williams’ forge some time ago, my eyes were opened. The Worshipful Company of Farriers diplomate watched me struggle to forge a good shoe. When I stopped, he picked up my rounding hammer and ran his thumb over the surface.
“If you’d refinish your hammer face,” he told me, “you might have better luck at making a flat shoe.”
Williams pointed out that my hammer face had become flat, and ever so slightly dented, where it should have been crowned.
Evaluate your rounding hammer by running your thumb over the surface.
It should have a crown.
If the hammer face is flat or slightly concave, it forces you to make a
As you put more crown on the face, you will increase the chance of leaving divots in your work.
When refinishing your hammer face, grind it in small increments and turn a shoe to ensure you find your preferred crown.
Setting a ruler parallel on the surface of the hammer will make it easier to determine how much crown you prefer for the next refinishing project.
I examined my other rounding hammers when I returned home and found that they were all the same…