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  • making hammers + other stuff

    greets all.
    just got through the 'sharing tips' post and i want to take the chance to thank everyone who shared... and to encourage more. even things that may seem trivial are sometimes good enough to jumpstart a brain.

    onto a question: yesterday i made a hammer. it wasnt my first and probably wont be my last. only difference was i wanted this one to be "REALLY NICE" ... for no particular reason.

    all of the few hammers that i've made were from leftover pieces of soft metals like brass or aluminum. just true up the old saw cuts, drill a hole, press a handle.

    i like to pound real hard on alot of really delicate machined components and the least i can do is not marr them

    anyway, short story shorter.. all the wooden handles i buy are tapered oval shaped at the end... how do i cut a tapered oval shape in the mill?

    i realize most hammers are forged. hole is pressed and then the hammer is formed again.. leaving an oval hole. and that most soft metal (softface?) hammers have round holes cast in.. and round handles.

    but i can only readily buy oval handles.. for steel mallets and hand axes, etc.

    yesterday i spent WAY too much time (for a hammer!) forming the tapered oval in the mill.. tilting the head this way and that.

    any ideas?
    i realize it isnt the most exciting of metalworking questions.. but the tapered oval got me curious.
    -tony

  • #2
    What about using a tapered end mill to cut an oval hole which will cut a taper at the same time. Most tapered end mills are expensive but you can usually pick up some cheap on E-bay as I dis a while ago paying less that $20 for 10 new solid carbide tapered end mills(see link for example).

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...e=STRK:MEWN:IT

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...816717513&rd=1

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...sPageName=WDVW

    Mike

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    • #3
      Drill two holes, remove metal from in between with metal blade in jigwaw?
      I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

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      • #4
        Do it in a lathe. Hold the part on a face plate, determine the offset, drill and bore one side of the taper using the compound rest. Then turn the part end for end on the face plate, so it turns on the on the centerline of the next offest, and bore away. There will be a slight scallop where the two cuts meet, this can be removed by centering the part and taking another cut, or by using a Dremel. I hope this description makes sense to you, I've used this method many times with good results.

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        • #5
          If you want to spend the extra money you can buy a replacement Nupla fiberglass handle from MSC. They are great looking and are epoxied in. Imade a nice BFH from some 2" brass hex and a short Nupla slugging hammer handle. I have also made lots of steel hammer handles,put on a nice knurl, a piece of brass in the end, round it off. The brass is pretty and is nice for light taps.
          Never can have too many hammers.

          Jon
          Jon Bohlander
          My PM Blog

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          • #6
            Brass faces, UHMW faces, brass cone hammer (stretching) Leather bags with sand in them.
            My 6 feet of railroad iron, my steel table, my wooden forms..

            A torch bottle cap makes a good beater to rough shape sheet metal with. Just weld a pipe to it.

            I love hammers. It is a good way to relieve frustrations, beat the crap outa it. My English wheel can not fix the mess I make sometimes. I quietly throw them pieces away.

            David

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            • #7
              I made these hammers 3 of 4 years ago. Drilled a hole in the center and then made it oval with an endmill. I purposely left them without any taper thinking that by the time the heads became lose it would be time to re-face them. They have not come lose yet . So much for well made plans .

              To invent, you need a good imagination - and a pile of junk. Thomas A. Edison

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              • #8
                The subject of hammer handles is near and dear to my heart. And my favorite by far are the octagonal hickory handles. They just feel soooo good in the hand! One of the simple, but great joys of life is holding a hammer handle, sweat-burnished by years of use.

                On a similar note, I like to make my own handles for files and such. And I've found that the wood from Crepe Myrtle is superb for that purpose. It's incredibly hard and dense grained. Almost as hard as dogwood. It has a nice, subtle pinkish color. Don't know if that's used as an ornamental shrub in the northern climates, but it's very common here in the south.

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                • #9
                  I wonder what my Mother-in-law would say if she found out I cut down her Crepe Myrtle to make a hammer handle?
                  David from jax
                  A serious accident is one that money can't fix.

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                  • #10
                    Wait for the next storm and blame the storm and then "offer" to clean up the mess and cart away the debris for her!!!

                    Mike

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                    • #11
                      G.A Those hammers look great! i'm curious though how to get the handle to fit nice and tight into the head of the hammer? I'm very interested in making a copper, or brass hammer with a wood handle simliar to yours. I know you said to drill it out then widen with endmill... but how do you get a nice snug fit?

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                      • #12
                        Derek,
                        I bought the handles before drilling and milling the hammer heads. Just measured the handles and made the holes for them smaller so that I had to file the handles to the right size with a rasp.
                        To invent, you need a good imagination - and a pile of junk. Thomas A. Edison

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                        • #13
                          And how do you secure it? Just a snug press fit? Also how do you make the ball end of the ball peen hammer? I'm interested in making one of those as well

                          Also i havn't machined much (well any really) copper... What are the general 'rules' for machining it the best? Is it much like aluminum or more towards steel? Or a different method all together?

                          [This message has been edited by Derek13 (edited 05-25-2004).]

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                          • #14
                            Mount a index table on your lathe for a real simple ball-maker...

                            Works, I can post a pic when I get a chance to take some...

                            David

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                            • #15
                              I use these all the time. Both Rawhide Mallets and Rawhide Hammers as well as the Copper Mallet and Copper Hammers.

                              McMaster-Carr, MSC, and ORS Nasco carry them. J&L sell them online at Amazon as well.

                              http://www.garlandmfg.com/mallets/products.html

                              ------------------
                              ERN
                              ERN

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