There is a world of old collectible and user hammers
out there floating around just waiting to be resurrected. Hammers are one
type of tools, by there nature,
used to drive nails by caring carpenters on one hand to fools who use them
for beating on iron and concrete on the other. All kinds of hammers
can be found in excellent to badly abused condition.
The one part of the hammer that sometimes
suffers the most is the handle. The caring carpenter takes good care
of his, but even his can develop a stress crack in the handle. The
Fool, well he always uses too small and the wrong type of hammer for the
job. That’s why you always see so many old hammer heads at the flea
markets with broken out handles.
Replacing a Handle
So get out there and pick up a few old hammers with bad
handles and see how easy they are to replace. If you pick up a good quality
hammer, look in old tool catalogs and try to replace the handle with one as
close to original as possible.
Some came with round handles, some octagon.
If you can’t find out, then use a handle you like.
Place the hammer head in
a vise between wooden jaws to protect the head. Use a fine tooth hand saw
to cut off the old handle. Make the cut as close as possible, but above the
Cut a piece of wood stick
for a punch just a little bit smaller than the size of the shank that is
left in the head. A few taps and the shank should come right out.
If you happen to get one
that doesn’t seem to want to move, take a drill with a ¼’ drill bit and
drill down through the shank to right above the point of the metal wedge. I
take a 20d nail, grind the point flat and use as a punch to drive the wedge
out. Then try your wooden stick again and the shank should now come out.
If someone glued the handle in last time you may have to drill several holes
and do a little chisel work.
This is an original
13oz. Belknap Bluegrass hammer head and an original 13oz. Belknap
Bluegrass replacement handle. I have had the handle for quite some
time, but never could find a good hammer head to fit it until now.