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Testing hammer accuracy


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i use mostly small hammers ..  5 0z to 20 oz.. i have small  hands and work with thin metal..  most small hammers have very small handles.. then tend to rotate of if do not grip. 

 

 

should i replace the whole handle or can i add wood where i need it??  any disadvantages to adding wood..  ?? i could put it right where i need it 

 

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I like a slab handle with a slight taper widening from hammer head to end. I put a slight bulb end on the first one in case I relaxed too much but the taper made it unnecessary but it's grandfathered in and I put one on all of them.

Frosty The Lucky.

Hammer2Wh.thumb.jpg.6567db79c1cb193a53f7fc3215e78a43.jpg

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I'm curious how you might go about adding wood without making a new handle?

I use hockey tape on my handles, but only on hammers that are 2# or more.

I will also admit I am a bit strange in that respect.

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14 minutes ago, Frazer said:

I am a bit strange in that respect.

And we respect your strange. :lol:

I add wood by removing the old handle and making a new one from a 5/4" plank of clear straight grain hickory I bought for the purpose. 

My chasing hammer all have small handles that are totally inappropriate for forging or frame carpentry. I have a couple finish carpentry hammers as well. 

It's not easy to tell someone how a hammer handle should fit them, it's a personal thing. We can say what's bad but what's good is very individual.

In general your hammer should NOT require a death grip to hold onto. It should NOT turn in your grip. It should NOT conduct shock to your hand and up your arm. And so on. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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i like a tapered handle but not slab sided.  the bulb would be fun to make,,, 

 

i tried tapes and leather , i do not like the feel   i work in wood a lot  more than metal...   i  can add wood with inlays and dowels,,   making it "pretty" as well as  more comfortable   i live in an area with all kinds of wood available right out my door..

i have dozens of oak burl off a 200 yr old white oak right now..   might see what that does, lol!!

i can't see any disadvantage in adding wood , since my hammers are so light ..  

replacing the handles is always a good choice.. lol!! i just seem to always take the detours when given a choice..  hehehe.

 

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Depends on the handle, but as mine are mostly re worked hand sledge handles as a posed to machinist or blacksmith handles I have to reshape them and find slab sided to be the easiest way to go. 
reducing it enlarging th handle till your finger tire just about meet your palm seems to be about right. 

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Adding wood is a lot simpler than adding metal:  You remove any old finish, flatten the area you want to add wood to and using a good wood glue add more on. Let "dry" and rasp to shape and smooth.  (No flux needed!)

Making your own is great too---you can use woods like Osage Orange as well as the traditional, (in the USA), Hickory.  (Bow woods generally make good handles as they are not brittle.) Crab apple and some other fruit tree woods were used in places---I picked up a used hammer in Germany that used a tree branch with minimal working but a lot of wear!

Avoid brittle woods, why air dried is better than kiln dried.  Also look up soaking the eye end in linseed oil to stop humidity expansion and contraction. (Wooden furniture from King Tut's tomb still show expansion and contraction with humidity changes!)

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wood is easy.. i work in all kinds.. the saddles are usually european beech, poplar or oak..   depending on country and time period  .. the beech is hard to work with but it is what the old english trees are made from..  i love hand working local white oak.. my brother cuts me quarter sawn lumber ,, so nice!!  i use it on the american saddle trees,,  

my hay rake has a crape myrtle  handle..    my chisel mallet is sycamore,,  lol!!   my saddle racks are cedar ..  i have some pecan air drying now,,,   i might go get a piece of osage orange.. i have one on the edge of the slope the south pasture,  i have not worked with it much,, 

 

my brother rex,  makes long bows for bear hunting.. he has some air drying but has  a wood kiln too..   he just kiln dried enough white oak to floor his new house in it.. all the wood cut from his farm...  he used uses osage orange in his bows..  layers it with other woods 

charles,   that bit of info stating finger tip just about meeting the  palm is great.. thanks!!!

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Blacksmiths use ball pein hammers, and the pein end, to form rivets.  They do not seem to have any problems with hitting the end of the rivet material many times and in many different directions to end up with a rounded end and a secure rivet.

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15 hours ago, sidesaddle queen said:

i use mostly small hammers ..  5 0z to 20 oz.. i have small  hands and work with thin metal..  most small hammers have very small handles.. then tend to rotate of if do not grip. 

There's an excellent description of how to dress a hammer handle and the reasons behind it in Mark Aspery's The Skills of a Blacksmith vol. 1. If you look at the shape your hand makes if it was gripping a hammer you'll see it's basically a rectangle with two diagonal corners relieved. I'd post the pictures from the book but alas they're copyrighted material so it's a no go. 

Pnut

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is the book still available ??  i would love to read it!!

i use ball peens for rivets and tiny cut tack on my old saddles   i do not have any issues hitting either rivets are tacks but the do then to rotate so i have been thinking about a fix for a while and talking to y'all made me decide to try something while i have time between saddles,,

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I'll believe in the pretty hatchet handle when I see pics. Till then it's just a nice story.  

We have traditions we live by here you know.;)

Frosty The Lucky.

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I bought it a few months ago and it's the best instructional text on Blacksmithing I've ran across so far. I'm ordering volume two soon.  He has a bunch of YouTube videos too. Be forewarned, if you watch his videos you'll hear his accent in your head whenever you read the books:P.

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