Smart as a
Bag of Hammers
© Frank Ford, 2006; Photos by FF
I use hammers every day in repairing stringed instruments. Not exactly "single jacks," my hammers are really quite tiny and they deliver little tippity-tappity blows. This week, I decided to make some additions to my collection, a couple of brass ones and two steel hammers.
Chucking some stock, I turned the heads - first to diameter:
Next, I added two rounded grooves for appearance:
And, I parted off the heads:
Over on the mill, each head got a slotted recess for its handle:
Here's the quartet so far, each one slotted for the handle and drilled for a retaining screw:
Little hammers like these need little lightweight handles to maintain good balance. Commercial ones often have hardwood handles that break really easily, so I looked around for a good alternative handle material. I really can't remember where or when I acquired a one-inch diameter cloth laminate phenolic rod, but as soon as I thought about it, my choice was made.
My next task was to spin that rod down to around .650" for handle stock, so I chucked it up and made four handle blanks from the 37" piece at hand:
Holding each blank between the drive chuck and a tailstock chuck, I turned the handles using my lathe tool rest:
Sorry about the above picture, but I didn't notice that the pile of chips and my left hand were obscuring the view. The right end of the work is held in a rotating tail stock chuck.
Removing each handle from the two chucks, I reversed it and stuck it back into the drive chuck, turned and sanded the end:
I figured that hand filing would be the easiest, so I contoured the ends of the handle to fit the slots in the heads:
The last operations were tapping and countersinking for the retaining screws:
Here's my batch of teeny hammers:
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