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How to Properly Use an Anvil
Discussion: Types of Hammer Blows

Full Face Hammer Strikes
Hammer straight down or at an angle (Figure 1). Usually used for changing the cross section or spreading steel out with the cross pein.



Half Face Strikes
This means the hammer face center is aligned half on and half off the edge of the anvil This works great for forging shoulders. Using the near edge vs the far edge of the anvil will give you completely different effects. Try it, if this is new information for you.

Figure 2 demonstrates drawing out on the far edge of the anvil. Figure 3 demonstrates drawing out on near edge of anvil.



Edge Hammer Strikes
This will also produce a shoulder. An edge hammer strike means that the near or far edge of your hammer's edge is aligned with the near or far edge of the anvil. Figure 4 demonstrates an edge hammer strike. While Figure 5 shows the stock at the opposite side of the anvil at far edge.



Tapering or Pointing the End of a Bar of Hot Steel
When tapering or pointing the end of a piece of hot steel it is best to let the point you are drawing out rest on the far edge of the anvil. Figure 6 below, demonstrates this technique. This allows you to avoid hitting your anvil face with the edge of your hammer. Just place the hot steel on the far edge and tilt the hammer and the steel at the same angle as you want the hot steel to be and continue to feed the steel over the edge as you change its' cross section. Don't forget to flip it 90 degrees every 2-3 hits, so you steel is worked evenly on two sides. This works for making a round, square or octagonal point.


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