MangoSmith

Leather handle

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I have an old blacksmithing hammer my great grandfather had used a long time ago.

I'm removing the rust, and i want to add a nice leather handle to it. 

 

Bad thing is, its oddly shaped. Similar to a scythe. Its a straight peen hammer, probably 50 to 60 years old. The hammer is fully steel, and its been used quite a bit (so much that the hammer head has been rounded and the peen too). The handle is by far the strangest. Its connected like how an axe handle is to the head, but its somehow extremely tight on there (idk how they out it on, but it won't come off anytime soon). The handle itself is fully metallic, with this S like shape to it, similar to a scythe's handle.

I'm going to use it as a very nice blacksmithing hammer, for jobs that need a lot of heft. Its gotta be around 20 pounds at least, and its either iron or rusted steel (idk if steel rusts... I'm new at forging lol). 

This being the case, i want a nice and sturdy leather handle, to reduce shock and to just make it look alot nicer. 

 

What kind of leather and adhesive should i use, and how should i wrap it???

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Can you post some pictures of the hammer, that will give a better idea as to how to go about putting a leather grip onto it.

 

Some steels rust more than others depending on the composition, even stainless steels can rust, it just depends on the conditions they are subjected to.

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I've heat shrunk a warhammer head onto a steel shaft and it's demolished quite a bit as we were testing it with no loosening of the shaft.

Out here they often weld steel pipe to hammer heads.  Terrible on the arms and on the hammerhead, but poor folks have poor ways.

We really need pictures your description is not sufficient, for example will this be a threaded disk handle like is used by estwing tools nowadays, or are you talking about leather slabs applied to the side, or a leather strip wound round the handle?

Very few blacksmithing jobs would use that heavy a hammer.  Major industrial work like anchors.

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Knowing where in the world you are located will help along with pictures (not too large). Hence the suggestion to edit your profile to show location in this thread. READ THIS FIRST

The best leather handle for reducing shock is a stacked handle but not seeing your hammer I don't know if it would be practical to make.

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I don't know if I've wished you welcome to the group yet, if not, welcome aboard. If you'll put your general location in the header you might discover how many members live within visiting distance. A lot of the questions you're going to have have a strongly regional component so it's hard to get a meaningful answer. Make sense?

Yeah, we need pictures of your hammer, there are lots of hammers with integral steel handles and leather grips, Estwing for example.  

At 20 lbs. and a straight pein, it's probably a stone mason's hammer, I have a 22 lb. stone mason's hammer that cleaned up makes a one seriously effective blacksmith's sledge. 

Just wait till you build a fire, heat some steel and start hitting it with hammers. You'll be soooo hooked, blacksmithing is more fun than should be legal. :)

Frosty The Lucky.

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12 hours ago, VainEnd84 said:

Can you post some pictures of the hammer,

Its kinda weird lighting, but here you go!

15562461391596322700200480176606.jpg

15562461843628730129742462485306.jpg

Frosty - Now that i actually have it in my hands (i was at school when i posted this), it seems closer to 15 lbs. Strangely light for how massive it seems.

Also, i looked up stone mason's hammers, and it does look similar. I've just never been able to find a single image that resembles this hammer.

My Great Granddad was quite an odd fellow, so i don't know if this was made by him, if its just a normal hammer, or maybe even that its been bent out of shape. He did use it quite a bit in his prime, but never when i was alive sadly. 

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Bummer, that's what I called a good hammer ruined by an idiot. He ruined a hammer AND a large handle like in a leg vise. <sigh> Being solid steel is what caused it to curve that way, pipe doesn't do that. Bad choice either way.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Thomas Powers - Sorry about not having photos, i just uploaded them! Also, i would like to wrap leather strips around the hammer.

Frosty - Its also been sitting in a shed under 150 pounds of old metal for 40 years lol. He was a skilled blacksmith, but not dor small jobs. He made rails for his farm. 

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Looks like a stone hammer set up like they use down here to bust up concrete slabs when they plan to build something else.  It's possible he didn't use it for blacksmithing. I have a lot of tools around my smithy that are not blacksmithing tools.

Clean off the mushrooming and I'd look into contact cement like is used to attach leather to stuff. At 20 pounds it's more a memoriam to your Great Grandfather.  Make a nice holder for it that mounts on the shop wall and when you need it it will be available,

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Thomas Powers - By cleaning off the mushrooming, do you mean just grinding it off or by reforming it back into the shape of the hammer?

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Mr.Powers means grinding it back. .

But there is a much simpler way. Get a hold of a rotary tool.  But Dremel cut off wheels. Get the thinnest cross section that they make

Cut a line as close to the  base of the mushroom.  Cut a line to about half way through the thickness of the mushroom part .Break off that portion.  Then you can grind all the cut ends flush  and reshape the margin of the base.  

Cutting  the portion takes a lot less  time then  grinding the whole mushroomed portions. It also slows down the wearing of the grinding stone.

Forging the end is unnecessary.

SLAG.

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Mushrooming that badly will have internal cracks that are a safety hazard; hence removing it.  What to use depends on what you have and your skill sets.  I would grind with a 36 grit 2x72" belt on my Bader Belt grinder.  Secondly I would get a steel cut off disk for my angle grinder.  Shoot you could see if you can hacksaw it off! (depends on the hardness of the hammer head.)

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23 hours ago, MangoSmith said:

Frosty - Its also been sitting in a shed under 150 pounds of old metal for 40 years lol.

Maybe so but the S curve is indicative of a solid steel bar being swung and striking things on the end. If it were weight piled on it it would be of more a 3D bend because a shaft tends to twist as it deforms. 

I think I'd find a spot in the shop to display it as a family heirloom. The trick would be keeping folks from using it. As Thomas says the probability of breaks running deep is almost assured. 

A new sledge hammer for the daily user is cheap on all scores, especially joint damage and arthritis down the road. 

Frosty The Lucky.

 

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