Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Forging a Tudor Hammer

Once again I find myself apologising for a long rest between postings and a promise of more regular updates from here-on….


Months ago, a customer and friend asked me to make him a carpenter’s claw- hammer head with a form strongly based on several historic examples from the Tudor era.

Whilst not having the opportunity to study any of the originals myself, I was provided with a range of photographs that clearly showed the dimensions of the object. 

Not being able to view the original also means not being able to determine exactly how they were made, but it can be a safe bet that they were not made from a single piece of steel, more likely an iron body with forge welded steel face and claws.

It just so happens that, at the time, I had some antique “shear steel” that was a close approximation of the steel that might have been used on the original hammers we were trying to emulate. 

The first job was to fold and weld the shear onto itself to produce a piece of stock large enough to form the face and the claws.  


also made up a piece of wrought by the same process of “stacking” and welding.


Both the face and the claws were welded on by forming them into a “staple” shape wrapping around the wrought- they were hammered tight and then forge welded together.

After both ends of the hammer had its steel parts attached, a hole was punched and worked until it was the desired shape.



The whole hammer was the filed and details added as seen on the original examples.

Most of these great pictures were taken by Robert Nicholson who also happens to be a very skilled Greenwood worker. Here’s his Fb page.


Thanks Rob!


  1. Hi Josh,

    That's a great project and it came out real fine as well. Nice job.


  2. Even if I am addicted to your posts, because they make me a better smith, it´s more important to me to hear from you from time to time than you stressing yourself out. I know bloggers always apologize for not posting often enough (I am no different in that);-).

    I love this post, and will try my best to apply it to my own forging, and it will be a long time until I have it wired. Up until then, you can think up the next post;-).

    Simply keep up the great work!