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Hammer Handle Location

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  • Hammer Handle Location

    I was given some tapered brass plugs used in refrigeration to plug defective lines .
    I am going to make a hammer for light gunsmithing chores.
    Should the handle be in the center or at the balance point?
    Since the plug is only about 2” long the center and balance point are only about 3/16” from each other and may not be noticeable while using the hammer.

  • #2
    Since you have more than one plug, both types could be made. I don't think I could tell the difference, myself.


    • #3
      If you look around at a number of "sensitive use" hammers like chasing hammers for engraving and from my own use of smaller and lighter ball peen hammers for a lot of peening and screw restoring I'd have to say that it doesn't matter.

      Probably the worst/best example of it not mattering are Japanese blade and general black smithing hammers;

      Click image for larger version

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      Depending on how the hammer is used I'd also say that the angle between hand location and any angle to the face of the head is more important. For example carpenter's framing hammers work best when the face is angled slightly up towards the primary hand position. And wood working mallets are probably a glaringly obvious example. For metal work this doesn't seem to be an issue though. Ball peen hammers seem to have their faces "flat" for angle but with a small doming on the face.

      For a non marring hammer like you're making it's going to be temporary anyway. Over time it'll mushroom the end and need relatively frequent dressing. But better that than dents in the firearms, eh? You'll likely find that flat, domed and/or angled will quickly suggest itself based on how the hammer deflects during the bounce.
      Chilliwack BC, Canada


      • #4
        Have you watched any of Mark Novak's videos on YT? He has a little teensy 2oz ball peen which he has polished the face and ball to a fine shine. He makes frequent use of it for repairing upset screw slots and other things.

        I've got a little 4oz myself which I've similarly polished. And a near future project is to lathe and mill a smaller head out of some 7/8" drill rod. Then make up a slender wood handle for it. The style I'm going to copy is more like an engraver's chasing hammer with a fairly flat face on one end and fairly tight nose radius ball peen on the other end. Such is the need due to duplicate working areas... and the desire to make tools....
        Chilliwack BC, Canada