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I have just recently started making my own Damascus, and due to some back problems, I'm struggling to forge by hand.

I'm considering either building or buying a power hammer, but I'm not sure what the neighbours will say about the noise. My other option is buying a hydraulic press to make my Damascus.

My concern is that a press will limit what I can do, as far as pattern development is concerned.

Does any of you have experience with both power hammers and presses, and are able to give me some educated advice.

Thanks

Stefan

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Replies to This Discussion

Stefan , both will do basically the same things, depeding upon what dies you have. One big difference is , with a press , you can better control the preciseness of your patterns.
Stefan,

I also have made my own Damascus using one inch cable and band saw blades. I have forge welded both with hammer and anvil; I use a propane forge which I built. Like you my body is not getting younger, I am finding my elbows are quitting on me. I have recently had the same thoughts as you, hydraulic press or power hammer. I tend to build my own tools because I can not afford to buy them and it gives me a better understanding of the tools. I recently purchased a book titled “Build your own hydraulic forging press" by Jim Batson it can be found here for 30 bucks:
http://www.americanbladesmith.com/store/s-pages/ABS_Store_Forging%2...

My plan is to build one, this book is great! explains everything you need to know especially the dangers of hot metal being around flammable hydraulic oil!! It explains pump sizes versus electric motor sizes for a good match.

In addition, I highly recommend you rent this DVD "Basic Damascus with Ed Caffrey" you can rent it here: http://smartflix.com/store/video/772/Basic-Damascus

These folks have lots of great knife making DVD's in this one Ed uses both Hydraulic and Power hammer to make laminated steel patterns, he goes into detail about different patterns and types of steel to use. Great DVD!!

Hope this helps,

Dan
Daniel,

Thanks for the advice. I will try to get hold of the book, sounds like a good investment. As for renting the DVD, unfortunately we do not have that privileged in South-Africa.

I'm currently building a treadle hammer, not quite the same thing, but I think it's a step in the right directing.

Best wishes

Stefan
Stefan,

South Africa, Yes, I don't think the rental of DVD will work, however the author of the DVD Ed Caffrey, is a member of this group. Perhaps if you reach out to him he can support you with a copy. It is worth the effort to get your hands on it, there is lots of valuable information there. Let me know how it works out.
Best
Dan
Thanks Dan, I will send him a message.
I own 2 dvd's by Ed Caffrey and a set of plans for a propane forge. Ed is a GREAT guy and will bend over backwards to help anyone! Both the dvd's I have are OUTSTANDING to say the least. Another bladesmith u mite try and contact is Ed Fowler and Wayne Goddard..I've got one of Wayne's dvd's and a couple of Ed Fowler's too. Ed Fowler's site is
busterbones.com. Good luck...

Gene
busterbones.com doesn't seem to be working, try: http://www.edfowler.com/
Thanks Eugene
Stefan..gave u the wrong website..try busterbones@mac.com...sorry 'bout that my friend!

Gene

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