A discarded sledge hammer head finds new purpose as a specialized bladesmithing hammer for heavy hand forging.
A weight forward hammer, also known as a cutler’s hammer or a dog’s head hammer is a specialized tool for forging thin, flat surfaces such as blades and saws. It has most of the weight forward of or below the handle and is only used on one face. I was in need of a hammer that weighed in between the 8 lb. sledge and the 4 lb. that I use for most of my work and I wanted to learn to use a weight forward hammer for the rough forging stages of knifesmithing.
This tool was made in short order by slicing the top off of a standard 8 lb. sledge hammer and grinding the corners into shape. Because all of the work near or on the face was done cold, the hammer did not need to be retempered. The temporary handle was entirely hand hewn and shaped from a piece of alder driftwood and wedged in with a piece of yellow cedar. A hand-hewn ash handle replaced it later.
The weight is about 6 lbs., head is 4″ long and 2″ across and the overall length is about 16″.
Material: Reclaimed sledge hammer head, alder driftwood, yellow cedar scrap
This tool is currently in my collection, hard at work.