Bogdan Popov’s hammer is a result of many years experiments with free hand forging tools. It combines the most appropriate features of the ancient hammers.
The main idea, embodied in the hammer, is a tool, which creates maximum opportunities specifically for free hand forging, that is directly shaping the metal without any additional in between tools.
The ends of the hammer have distinctive pitch downwards, which was inherent to many ancient striking tools( hammers and axes) beginning from Stone Age. This feature improves the efficiency due to bringing the strike point nearer to the centre of gravity of the hammer, which is located a little bit lower that metal head taking into account the weight of the handle as well.
A little bit elongated ends, compared to regular hammers, help to efficiently control the stroke angle, as well as providing more access to less open parts of the workpiece. Meanwhile the surface area of the end is left comparatively large due to the presence of necks – a narrowing between the eye and the ends.
The flat end, in contrast to mainstream hammers, doesn’t have cants on sides and consequently the corners are left intact, which can be used in various techniques. Along with that, one of the flat end edges is canted, which used efficiently for drawing or forming steps.
The peen end, compared to regular hammers, is significantly blunted (has bigger radius). Apart from that the peen end has some radius (similar to the radius of flat end) in the other plane (perpendicular to the handle), which makes moving the metal in needed direction maximally fast and precise.
The ends of the hammer are zone hardened and tempered to the depth approximately 1 cm, which almost eliminates the crack possibilities in the eye or neck zone.
The handle is fixed in the head in a self-wedge way, that is bottom part is passed through the upper part of the eye and then handle is self wedged firmly due to enlargement of its upper end. However the handle can be pulled back from the handle very quickly which is very handy when carrying the hammers somewhere as well as replacing the broken handle. This way of handle fixation is still standard for striking tools in the Carpathian Mountains and it practically eliminates the chances of the head flying off the handle (which is possible with regular fixation of the handle with steel wedge).
The hammer handle has in cross section a shape of a circle trimmed from the sides. This configuration was typical for ancient preindustrial hammers and it is still preserved in Asian forging hammers (Uzbekistan, Tajikistan).
The hammer is completely hand forged without use of power hammer. The ends are slightly ground to get the final shape. The material for the hammer head is carbon steel (about 0.6 percent of carbon). There is also a version where ends made of carbon steel and forge welded to the main body made of soft iron.