The photo above shows, the materials I start with to create the finished hammer.
A lot of people wonder what the difference is between a cast, machined, and forged hammer. It is all about grain structure. When metal is cast, it has a very large grain structure. Large grain structure only has so many bonds holding the piece together, and is not as strong, nor does it have as much rebound as a piece of metal with a tight refined grain structure created by forging.
When metal is made, it is poured into an ingot, then when solid enough, it is forged into a dimensional shape that we buy from a metal supply house. This rough forging helps refine the grain to a nice solid piece of useable steel. Machined hammers have this grain stucture that is much stonger than when it is cast originally, but lacks the further refinement of a forged hammer.
Forging a longneck hammer
When I receive the metal, I then get cut it down into small pieces that will then be drawn out up to 3 times it's original length, which compresses the grain much further makin for superior strength, hardness and rebound.
If you have any questions, comments, or things you'd like me to talk about in the future, please let me know