Making a Small Brass Hammer
by P. Michael Henderson
Some tasks in
a shop call for a small brass hammer - such as adjusting a wooden plane, tapping
on a chisel, or just for making adjustments to joinery.
While these hammers can be purchased, I decided to make my own.
head, I purchased some 7/8" brass round stock from Online Metals.
A foot of the round stock is about $21 and you can make a number of
hammers from that one foot. You
won't need that many hammers yourself so see if some of your friends will take
some of the brass stock, or make some extra hammers as gifts for your
size for a small hammer head is about 2.5".
If the head is all brass, it will weigh about 7.25 oz.
I also made a hammer with 2" of brass and 1/2" of wood on one end.
That head would weigh a bit over 6 oz., depending upon the wood used.
If you would like a heavier or lighter hammer, you can purchase larger or
smaller brass stock. For example, for a heavier hammer, you could use 1"
or 1 1/8" round stock. For a lighter hammer, choose 3/4" round stock.
cut the bar stock with your miter saw.
Just cut slowly and clamp the rod well when making the cut.
A carbide blade cuts brass very well and it doesn't damage the saw blade.
picture below shows a hammer I made earlier, with one face of wood and the other
of brass. Also shown in the picture
are the components of the hammer I'm going to make in this tutorial.
I'm using a 2.5" piece of brass stock and I'm going to dome one end while
leaving the other end flat.
begin by creating the dome on the brass stock.
To do that, I mount the brass rod in my lathe using a chuck.
using a double cut file, and with the lathe running, I begin to work the brass
into a dome.
Eventually, I get the end of the rod to the shape I want.
I used sandpaper, working to finer grits, and then polished the end with brass
the rod end-for-end in the chuck and took the sharp edge off the flat side.
just for decoration, I cut a couple of grooves on each end of the hammer head.
I cut these with my V-shaped parting tool, held sideways.
what it comes out looking like:
need to make a jig to drill a hole for the handle.
Since the hammer head is 2.5" long, I took some scrap 8/4 stock and cut
it to 2.5" wide.
marked a line across and down one side, using a combination square.
side, I made a mark half way along the line.
I will drill a 7/8" hole and insert the hammer head into it to hold it
while I drill downward to make the hole for the handle.
Since one side of my hammer head is domed, I don't want to drill exactly
half way Ð I want the hole closer to the flat face of the head.
If I put the handle exactly in the center, it will look like the flat
face side is longer because of the dome on the other side.
So my mark on the top of the wood is not in the middle, but just a bit to
the next pictures, I'm drilling the 7/8" hole with a Forstner bit, using my
use a 3/8" bit and drill downward to create the locating hole for the handle
hole. You could use a 1/2" hole but
the 3/8" seems to work well and leaves more of the brass in the head for weight.
put the hammer head into the jig and drill the hole for the handle.
I wasn't paying attention here and I put the head in backwards Ð so I
drilled the hole closer to the domed side.
I plugged the hole with a 3/8" dowel and re-drilled the correct way.
These things always seem to happen when you're taking pictures.
On the next page, we will proceed with making the handle.
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