retiring my coal forge and hammer

LR Adkins

Well-Known Member
I am 68 years old and after 2heart attacks and other health issues I decided I cant swing a heavy hammer, and i don't want to breath coal smoke anymore.

I am buying into the gas forge and power hammer equipment. I started building my gas forge and burner last week. Man it's just too cold here to get any time in the shop. I'm low on fuel oil and can't afford to buy more right now, Christmas and all. After I finish my forge I want to build a power hammer.

When I finish my power hammer I want to try my hand at Damascus. I probably will be asking lots of questions driving everyone crazy. Well everybody take care and bang them blades out.

Bruce Bump

Forum Owner-Moderator
Hi Larry,
I dont blame ya. I've hammered out several and decided to buy a power hammer many years ago. I'm just not made for hammering anymore. I've went to propane back then and finally replaced the power hammer with a hydraulic forging press. The press works great for damascus patterns. My power hammer was getting worn out and needed costly repairs so I sold it for the same amount the press cost to build. Now I'd like to add an air hammer but wouldn't ever part with my press.


Well-Known Member
Larry & Bruce,
at 56 if I ever do get a place where I could forge I'm thinking Hydraulic all the way.

I've got Teneitus/ringing in my ears and every time I've been at a makers shop I have echoes of the Bang, Bang, Bang, from the power hammer all they way till morning of the next day.

After being a Rock & Roll musician, a pistolero in shooting steel and IPPC matches. I've lost more than half of my hearing so its time to cool off and leave the Anvil and hammer to the young makers that still have plenty of hearing to lose.

So my wife says I don't listen, I think that's what she said anyways?

Karl B. Andersen

Well-Known Member
I got rid of my coal forge in '03 - 11 years ago at the ripe old age of 49.
Didn't have anything to do with age! I realized I wanted to MAKE KNIVES!! Not baby-sit hot coal.
I have a power hammer and a press. I use both of them - 1 in each hand!!
Seriously, I forge out a knife from a big round bar or a large piece of square stock or something like that.
I forge the entire knife - from distal tapered blade, ricasso and drawn out hidden tang and rarely swing a hammer. I go back and forth from power hammer to press.
Pull down my cutting edge, main bevels, set the ricasso, etc. and draw out the tang.
My hammers are collecting dust.

LR Adkins

Well-Known Member
I can't make up my mind. Power hammer or press or both. I would like to have both, they both have there place in knife making especially if you want to make Damascus. Money is a big issue here. Being disabled doesn't make much money. I'm able to make enough knives to pay for my obsession but adding big tool to the shop is a bit tuff.