AR. Hillbilly

Hammer handle wedges

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A couple years back we dropped a hickory tree at work. I cut a bunch of sections in to firewood length and it’s been drying in my shop. On occasion I split some and cut it into handle blanks. I have rehandled about 6 hammers so far. Just curious if y’all forge or buy your steel wedges? I’ve been buying the wood/steel wedge kits at the lumber yard but considering forging my own . Or looking for a bulk price.

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I am lazy and cheap so i buy my handles from house handle usually a dozen or so at a time 

they also sell wedges by the pound. 

Enjoy 

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I find wedges at the fleamarket and in old hammers. I used to buy them by the handful at the A-Z store in Alma AR. However for special hammers I forge out the billet trimmings from pattern welding and use "Damascus" wedges.  My wooden wedges I often make from "Brazilian Cherry",  Hymenaea courbaril.,  pieces from parquet flooring pieces I was given.

So per traditional blacksmithing: "Any way that works!"

A-Z used to stock pallet loads of "seconds" handles at a good price. Last few times they haven't had any but sledge hammer handles.  If you visit; complain!  I can judge the grain on a handle and am happy to pay 5 dollars *less* for one with a cosmetic blemish that I will be removing anyway when I shape it for my hands!  (Like buying sledge handles with issues near the holding end---when I'm going to chop them down to use one handed!)

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Next time I’m in Alma (just went through last weekend) I’ll find that place. I also need to check out house handle. They’re just 20 miles up the road. 

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It's on old 71 about at the top of the hill going North out of town; Just beyond it you can cut back over to the new interstate going North. It's a freight Salvage place; used to have great prices.

I need to look up House Handle too as I'm supposed to be going up that way soon as my Mother's driver. We generally have to let handles dry at least a year before using them out here as ambient humidity can often be lower than kiln dried wood! So I like to have a bunch on hand drying so when I pick up  new hammer head I can put it to use ASAP.

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AR,

I bought some 3/4" round hollow (pipe?) stock many years ago.  I grind a 1/4" long  taper on the end, then cut it off at about half an inch long.  It makes "round wedges" like you find on factory built hammers.  I like them better because the round wedges force the wood out in all directions.  As an added bonus, they're easier to remove because you can just drill the wood out of the center, then snag the wedge with a coarse lag bolt.

I use wonderlockem on the wedged end grain of hammer handles.  It's like crazy clue that's marketed for wooden chair repair.  It swells the wood fibers, then hardens which has done a good job of preventing the handles from shrinking.  I've also found that tight fitting handles seem to last a lot longer.  One tip I picked up from Brent Bailey's youtube video, is to mark the offside end of the handle with an arrow to indicate the face side.    While fitting up the handle eye, it's easy to accidentally reverse the "front and back" of the handle which inevitably leads to taking too much stock off.  Since I've been marking them, I've been able to get consistently tight fitting handles.  None of my hammers have perfectly symmetrical eyes.  

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I use wonderlockem on the wedged end grain of hammer handles

X2 on the Wonder Lock 'em...I have used it on new and old handles as well and it makes them "Tighter than Dick's hatband" as the old timers say.  Even used it on chairs, LOL.

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Funny this thread came up today.  Just last night I watched a Youtube video where a guy was making wedges.  1/8" strap, 1" wide.  Hammered a taper on all four sides, took a chisel and cut diagonal slash marks on the sides.  Then he used a Hardie cut-off tool to cut them to length and threw'em in a pile.  No big deal.  Had to chuckle when I saw this thread.

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Tis true they are very easy to make  quickly. I am lazy about wood work as my shop is in my attatched garage at the moment so i don’ have a good place for my woodworking kit as sawdust buildup in my metalshop scares me when it comes to fire risk 

du

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