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Cordless hammer

Does anyone have experience using a cordless hammer to forge small
silver ingots in preparation to roll? Make model would
be especially appreciated. My ingots are usually 5mm thick. I need
to get down to 2mm thick to fit into my rolling mill. Thanks. Rob

Rob Meixner

Why not just get, or make, thinner ingot molds? Anyway, if you want
to forge before rolling, per the discussion of several months back, a
three or four pound blacksmith’s hammer and a sturdy anvil are your
best bet.

I would think that a 2 mm thick rolling mill would be a problem. If
you have the funds I would invest into a larger mill. If not then I
would make a ingot mod that is 2 mm thick and pour my ingots to fit
my mill. You will be limited to the size of your ingots due to the
thinness of the ingot but wouldbe better then investing in another
machine that can wear out like a cordless hammer. Just my thoughts,

I wouldn’t waste my time depending on a power tool that doesn’t have
enough weight consistently as your arm tires. Why not just get a
charcoal block and carve it into a mould the size you want. I’m
surprised 5mm anything won’t go through a rolling mill. Nonetheless,
you can always anneal and forge it on a nicely polished anvil with a
2-3 lb hammer (harbour freight has em from 2- at least 5 lbs.-5lbs
being overkill !).Just use well annealed metal and as it work hardens
reflux/firecoat and anneal again down to 2.2mm or so, and use the
mill for the rest of the reduction and smoothing. If using scrap make
sure to refine with a refining flux first (in the melt) and quench in
pickle after the pour and cool to a dull orange- or the colour
appropriate for the metal you are working with. Another option is an
adjustable ingot mould- they are available from every vendor and run
in the 25-30 bucks range. fancier moulds also have wire and ingot
shapes in the same mould for about 15 -20 bucks more. although the
wire/rod ingots are a fixed size the plate being the adjustable
feature. A well equipped metal work shop in your locale can fabricate
one for you too- often cheaper than you can buy it from most vendors

  • you would just supply the “c” clamp. Check around. …rer.

Thanks for the thoughtful reply. My rolling mill is an inexpensive
mill from India that doesn’t have much of an opening before the drive
gears disengage. I bought it after thirty years of wishing I had one
and have appreciated it, especially with the current cost of silver.
I may buy a bigger, better, more expensive one, but until then, I
will limit my original thickness to 2-3 mm. Since my original post, I
have learned to cast thinner ingots using Delft clay and have
experimented with shapes, that at less than 3 mm will roll into
whatever size I need. I have tried casting using a solid metal
wire/ingot mold, but I have yet to make it reliably cast for me. The
ingots I cast are usually for bezels or bezel backs. I still need to
forge larger ingots and have been designing a small manual drop forge
to help with this need. I am in my mid sixties and get tired quickly
swinging my hammer. I will look into a larger hammer too. I thought
of the cordless hammer because I saw one at Lowes on my last trip
there. The more likely tool solution would be a small pneumatic
hammer, however, I doubt that it would be very controllable. In the
end I realize that the best way is the old tried and true way using
an anvil, hammer and my now tired arm. Thanks again for your reply.

Rob Meixner

I’m surprised you haven’t been able to find a rolling mill with
larger grooves. The 2 mills I use have very large grooves. My
no-name Indian made mill can handle 3/8" ingots and roll that down
all the way to 21g. The other rolling mill is a double roller by
Durston, and again, can take a 3/8" bar and roll it down to 17g. I
would love a power hammer, butplenty of annealing and rolling, plus
elbow grease will get thick bars down to a manageable gauge. I’ve
really built up my shoulders by rolling and drawing wire.

Not all rolling mills are the same. I find the really wide rollers
likethe 130mm and longer tends to have more grooves in larger sizes,
so youcan roll almost 1/2" thick bars. If I have to reduce 1/2" to
1" bars, then I hot-forge them. Heat the bar till it is red hot, use
vise grips to hold bar and run over to anvil and start forging with
a heavy forging hammer. You’ll be amazed at how much copper and
silver will spread while hot. I even used a power hammer at MassArt
on a 1/2" silver bar. Set up anvil next to torch, with hammer in
easy reach. Once metal is red hot, immediately put bar on anvil and
start forging. You can reduce 1/2" copper barstock in less than 10
mins down to 8g.

Good luck!

Thanks for the suggestions. I may be babying my mills by limiting my
first pass to no more than 3mm, but I don’t want to have to replace a
gear. I will try hot forging ASAP.

thanks. Rob
Rob Meixner