Kobold Press

Real Steel: VIDEO! Moon Hammer

Real Steel: Moon HammerOkay, okay, I promised the Danish axe next. Sorry it didn’t work out — we will do the axe real soon.

I think you’re gonna like this one! Sam and I had fun making both the moon hammer and the video.

So, How Do You Make a Moon Hammer?

It’s really simple. I took a 3” long piece of 1.125” inside diameter mild steel structural pipe with 0.1875” thick walls and MIG welded a 3.25” forged mild steel ball to it. I then drove a 24” length of 1.125” diameter white oak dowel into the pipe (it’s a really tight fit), drilled two holes, and peened in two copper pins for insurance. The whole thing weighs in at 6 lbs.

I will be putting some kind of handle treatment on it but haven’t decided yet whether to go with leather wrap or some kind of studs — or both.

I didn’t swing the moon hammer that hard and was kind of surprised at the results…

This covers the mace request, and we’ll do the Danish axe soon. I do plan a war hammer and war ’hawk soon also. Any other requests?

Yeah, I heard ya on the assorted fruit targets — we’re saving that for the edged weapons.

19 Replies to "Real Steel: VIDEO! Moon Hammer"


November 9, 2011 at 10:42am

I would hate to be on the receiving end of it when you would swing it for (full) effect.

If you can bust a brick with it you can bust a melon with it -> skulls are a mix – hard on the outside, soft on the inside :-)


November 9, 2011 at 10:46am

Todd, your MIG welding reference does trigger me to ask: how would one do a weld in medieval times? I’ve read something about using silver to weld stuff together, but for a mace that would make it somewhat expensive in my mind. Also, could a silver weld deal with the impact?

Todd the Bladesmith

November 9, 2011 at 11:03am

@Darkjoy – the silver method is actually soldering – using another type of metal like a glue. Welding actually makes two pieces into one. In the days before modern welding tools and techniques there was forge welding.

Check it out here:


It’s about forge folded steel but it covers the forge welding aspect pretty well.


November 9, 2011 at 3:41pm

Todd, ok, got it.

How would a traditional forge weld deal with the shock of an impact? Or would you forge it differently => one piece instead of mixing two pieces?

Todd the Bladesmith

November 9, 2011 at 3:50pm

@Darkjoy – If it’s done right pieces that are forge welded become one piece and can handle stresses as if they were forged as a single piece. The old time blacksmiths were/are very skilled at this – much better than I. The moon hammer is my design and not traditional in any way. It could be forge welded but I designed it knowing I would MIG weld it.

Forging a ball with a tube on the end would be a real challenge!

Kobold Quarterly

November 9, 2011 at 5:47pm

Nice video. I was hoping for a bigger pile of bricks, but it was quite definitive.

How heavy does 6 pounds seem when it is so heavily weighted at the end? Can you imagine swinging it around for more than a minute?

Todd the Bladesmith

November 9, 2011 at 6:20pm

@Kobold Quarterly – I was shocked at how easily it broke the brick – and the block was a surprise bonus also. I’ll do a video of a bigger pile of bricks and maybe we can post it as a bonus?

It’s very front heavy – to be practicle it should weigh 2-3 pounds less. I think a couple of minutes swinging it would be exhausting. It’s easier to control than the tetsu no bo, but still not easy.


November 9, 2011 at 7:00pm

How about a seax with the pattern welded blade? (I blame National Geographic and the really cool image of them pressing the two pieces together.)

It named a whole people, so it can’t be all bad, eh? :D

Todd the Bladesmith

November 9, 2011 at 7:17pm

@Ben – I’ve been wanting to do a seax for myself for a while. No promises of when or if it will be pattern welded, but I will do one. Most likely not a langseax, but one never knows.


It’s a simple and elegant form – I really like them.

James Thomas

November 9, 2011 at 8:22pm

I’d like to see how that weapon would word on a bucket or helmet. Try that next time. :)

Todd the Bladesmith

November 9, 2011 at 8:41pm

@James Thomas – I’ll try and find a good target for take two – kobolds allowing…



November 10, 2011 at 5:27am

Suggestion for the future…. a glaive. Or a flail, esp the complex flail, three chains and three balls on the end.

Been enjoying the series though. Thanks for doing them!


November 10, 2011 at 7:38am

I imagine a weapon like that would have a counterweight at the other end of the haft to account for the balance and improve handling.


Todd the Bladesmith

November 10, 2011 at 1:36pm

@catdragon – I’m with you on the glaive – I have a design worked up – just need the time to forge it. I would love to do a flail, but I hesitate because I know people will want to buy them and they are SOOO dangerous. I’m still thinking about it.

Thanks, I’m glad you’re enjoying the series, so am I.

@Ben – I agree, and I built two last night with a smaller ball at the other end as well as an all steel haft. It makes a difference.


November 10, 2011 at 5:10pm

Thanks, everyone, for the discussion here and the suggestions!


November 11, 2011 at 10:49am

If you have a scrapyard anywhere near you I’d suggest getting an old car door to bash on. Some tennis gloves might cut down on vibration into your hands also.

Todd the Bladesmith

November 11, 2011 at 12:05pm

@Miranda – ;)

@Doomedpaladin – Would a car door have enough visual interest? The wood handles dampen the shock – it’s the metal ones on an unmoving target that hurt…

Donald O'Bloggin'

November 13, 2011 at 9:04am

That looks a lot like the throwing hammers used for Scottish heavy athletics, though they usually use a rattan handle.

They’re also throwing a 16 or 22 pound hammer.

Todd the Bladesmith

November 13, 2011 at 9:39am

@Donald O’Bloggin’ – if I’m not mistaken those throwing hammers are descendants of the ball and chain, an ancient Scottish weapon.