Basic Blacksmithing Hammer Blows

Shout out to http://stormthecastle.com/ for a great tutorial video on basic blacksmithing hammer blows. While these were the first things we ever learned, they weren’t quite systematized or talked about in just this way. We find it helpful to have names for them and a short list to choose from. And it’s a great reminder that the anvil works as the “second hammer”.

Eight Basic Blacksmithing Hammer Blows

  • Parallel: hammer and metal are over the face of the anvil and the hammer and anvil are parallel when striking. Useful for flattening or thinning out metal, among other things.
  • Angle: hammer and metal are over the face of the anvil and the hammer and possibly the metal are angled when striking. Useful for creating tapers and points, among other things.
  • Half Face – Near: metal hangs off the edge of the anvil on the side closest to you and the hammer is half on/half off the edge of the anvil when striking. Useful for creating shoulders, among other things.
  • Half Face – Far: metal hangs off the edge of the anvil on the side farthest from you and the hammer is half on/half off the edge of the anvil when striking. Useful for not wrecking work on the part that is hanging off the edge, among other things.
  • Edge – Near: metal hangs off the edge of the anvil on the side closest to you and the hammer is over the face of the anvil. Useful for not wrecking work on the part that is hanging off the edge, among other things.
  • Edge – Far: metal hangs off the edge of the anvil on the side furthers from you and the hammer is over the face of the anvil but doesn’t need to be. Useful for not wrecking work on the part that is hanging off the edge, among other things.
  • Backface: metal hangs off the edge of the anvil on the side furthest from you and the hammer strike is towards you, upsetting the metal. Useful for curling the ends and squishing drift holes, among other things, among other things.
  • Shearing: metal hangs off the edge of the anvil and the hammer strike is off the edge until the metal is sheared off. Useful for tearing off excess lengths of metal, among other things.