Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Hammer Time

So I wanted to use my new diy forge to make something recently. The only problem there is I didn't have a hammer to use as my housemate has been using his elsewhere for a while. My brother had a few old hammer heads that he has found around the place so I figured that with some of the old wood that has been in the shed for a while we could make a new handle for a hammer.
This is what we started with.
For a brief look at what is possible to do for free follow on after the break.

I decided to start with the piece that had less protrusions and junk although it had a bit of a bend to it. I started by trying to clean the bark, that still had a lot of sap in it, off with a combination of a spokeshave and some small planes.
The beginning of something wonderful?
After realizing how long it would take to get the handle down to the size needed with the hand tools I had, I decided to use some power. So I chucked the handle in the 4 jaw in the lathe, with a live center holding it in some kind of line. I turned down the length of the handle to something that in hindsight was probably still a little big but would at least be a good starting point.Then, because the head had a sensibly sized hole I turned down a flat at the end of the handle for it.

I got a rasp and started to make the narrow end a little more oval shaped, to help to work out where some material needed to be removed I jammed on the head, then removed it, rasped a little and repeated. This was working quite well until disaster struck.
Disaster, or a blessing in disguise?
At this point the handle would have been too short if I were to start again. Thankfully my brother had been working on the other piece of wood that I had brought. He cleaned it up quite roughly with a hatchet to begin with. Then using a belt sander clamped to the bench and a bandsaw he sanded and trimmed it down to the right size until the head went on without much fuss at all.
A much better idea I think.
All that was needed after that was some wedges put in and it was ready to go hit stuff.

Looking back, to make it easier, using a draw knife or something like that to remove the bark would have given be a good place to start with the planes and spokeshave and would have probably eliminated most of the problems I had. Maybe I can make one?

I will be doing a writeup soon on how I built my forge and also there will probably be some posts coming on things I have made with it.

Cheers,
Rex