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TOP Tool Handle's

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Show me what you make handle wise for you're top tooling under the Ph ? or treadle hammer

what is comfortable to hold on two -- or what's is not ? dose it shock you're hand -- do you need the killer hand grip ?

to control the tooling ?

I need to make top tools for my hammer & handle design has been on my mind for awhile

THANKS ! Steve



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There are several how-to's out there from industrial smiths that ran power hammers all day every day for years. I will see if I can locate a few links for you.

http://www.alaforge.org/Tools.html           Clay Spencer tire hammer tools on the Alabama website

http://blacksmithing.org/resources/howto/       Florida website. Scroll down to power hammers for 8 pages of Clifton Ralph tools


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the tool end isn't what i am looking for its the handle end form - it self 

I want one that's comfortable on the hand to hold wile using that tool under the PH

& also have good control of that tool ! with out Killing my hand !

I have two styles here made by a blacksmith both are uncomfortable to hold

one is very hard on the hand = needing the Killer grip :(  

Now like hammer handle everyone has there Owen Ideas on that subject  :rolleyes:

this should be the same-way      So what style do you use ???    got a pic :wub:

I am going to make quite a few tools soon only got 2 top tool forms

& the need for more is @ the *TOP* of the tool building  list !! now

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Greetings Wolf,

I just made up some anvil bottom and treadle hammer tools from some found tool steel stock. Pictured is a simple handle design that I use.. 5/16 twisted stock with a 2 1/2 diameter ring. They work well because you can move the tool in all directions without a tight grip on just a shaft. Works well with gloves on also. Easy to make give one a try.. Hope this helps. 

Forge on and make beautiful things




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I thought I had a few picts that showed the handles on the power hammer tooling at the college better, but it looks like most were of the working ends of the tools vs the handles. I did find one showing some of the rod and loop handles and one of Warren using the bottom punch in the power hammer as well as two so so picts of a returning loop handle used on fullering or necking dies.The one from the college and the 2nd of ones I made there to do my top tools and tenons for my forge legs. I bent the last one around a bit too far. I should have left a bigger space between the rods and kept them parallel like the one the college has. If you aren't careful you can get pinched a bit in the back near the loop. Nothing that really hurts, but enough to feel it if you forget.









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I have seen wire rope or cable used as handles for top tools: rigid enough to guide the tool, but does not transmit shock. Wooden handles should NOT be tightly wedged in the eye like a hammer.

Spring shoots or water sprouts from fruit trees were the traditional wrapped handles for top tools. They did not last forever, but the price was right, and they were springy.

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  • 2 weeks later...

  Well, I haven't done any serious research on this, but I have read a few old books that go over the subject of tooling for PHs in pretty good detail.  Let's see how good I was paying attention

  If I remember the reason for PH and press tooling being so low slung it is to reduce the likely hood of a missed strike and pressure being released in a possibly lethal vector or vectors, or at the very least the tool twisting and wrenching your wrist something fierce.  This low slung tooling seems like it wouldn't play well with a wooden handle.

  I would have to say my favorite option listed so far is John's, with the wire rope.  I've used wire rope punches to knock pins out of smaller equipment at work and it really does reduce the recoil of the held tool.  I recommend using somewhere in the neighborhood of 3/4" to 1" wire rope so it's a good size for gripping, and some heatshrink or old rubber (not plastic) hose makes the grip even easier, as well as keeping the fraying down to a minimum.  Speaking of wire rope, I need to talk to my boss about dumpster diving for a small sling I saw in the scrap, or the 30 feet we dug out of the ground the other day(no idea where it came from), as it's not good for much else.

  I would probably go with Charles option next.  It is about time someone found a good use for those cheap little things.  I'm a fan of Estwings for chipping hammers (even though they say the end is only for prying), although I often find myself using a centerpunch and hot chisel that I forged out of 3/4" coil spring.

  Edit: yay, it didn't disappear this time.

Edited by Quarry Dog
Didn't disappear.
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  • 2 weeks later...

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