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Restoring Miscellaneous Tools and Shop Appliances

  How to Repair and Re-handle that ‘Old Hammer’ by Bob Sturgeon   1 of 6  

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 hammer head.

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.

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