Well it was a weird day. Last week I had started a
lead filled, brass hammer. Actually I had started
it long before, last week I merely worked on it a little
and proceeded to break it.
I built it from a pipe nipple, some tubing squashed and
welded on and some large brass tubing fittings I had
threaded to fit the nipple and turned down.
One of the fittings I turned down too far getting it
round though, and it proceeded to break right in half
when I clamped it in a vise to work on the handle.
Well it was a bad day and I hadn't had enough sleep. So
without a word I dropped it right into the trash and
moved on with my day.
Well today, Wiktor called and I picked it up in the shop
and we were yakking, and I spied the plain handle
sticking up out of the trash can. At about the
same time, I spied a female garden hose connector.
I save these for topping chisel handles...
I was tethered to the wall by the phone cord like that
(actually the old cord died in the middle of the
conversation and I had to put on a new one from my big
drawer of wire I keep underneath the metal lathe).
I could just reach my caliper and the hammer and hose
fitting. Unbelievable surprise, it was almost a
spot on fit, or rather, a hard press fit!
I still have the phone crimped onto my shoulder, btw,
and ease over to the vise, assemble the parts in the
vise and press it home. Had to reel on it pretty
It held but wanted a little more depth so I found a
cutoff scarp of water pipe (again, I cut water pipe for
steel handle ferrules too) and use that as a hollow die
to press it on further.
It worked! I set it aside and we finished the
So later, as I was waiting for the glue to dry on the
veneer patch job I am undergoing (ugh, another story), I
got out drawknife and spokeshave and scrapers and carved
up the handle. About 13 or 14" long and fairly slim to
fit the hammer.
Then I heated and filled the head with lead ( I cleaned
it inside as best I could first and slathered it in
solder flux), cleaning it all up last, then taped off,
then shot a little paint. It's about a pound or a
little less. I think it should assemble steel parts
without marking pretty easy, and should hold up, I hope.
I'll let you know.
Don't ask me why I have a sterling silver shield glued
over my fingernail ;-)
May, 2008 in Happy Camp, CA