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Thread: Brass Hammer Repair

  1. #1
    Silver Hawk Member
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    Brass Hammer Repair

    I've been in the market for an old brass hammer for several years and finally ran across one today at a yard sale down the street.

    My question - What is the best way to remove the mushrooming from each end? Belt sander, beat it back into shape, hire R2D2 to phaser it off or just leave it be.



    Thx, Bob
    , ,

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    Golden Hawk Member rockne10's Avatar
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    I would leave it be, as it imparts a great deal of character and shows it has been driven hard, much like yourself.

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    President Member Jerry Forrester's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockne10 View Post
    I would leave it be, as it imparts a great deal of character and shows it has been driven hard, much like yourself.
    My thoughts exactly.
    Jerry Forrester
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    President Member 63 R2 Hawk's Avatar
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    My brass hammer also came from a yard sale. Looks to be hand crafted by someone who was a master machinist, it is heavy, well made and pinned together. I use a coarse farrier's mill file to dress it occasionally. If it gets too mushroomed from use, the egdes can start splitting and crack. Mine gets a lot of use, it seems like all my mechanically inclined neighbors know I have it. It has come in handy on many Studebaker projects and even helped remove the landing gear on a B-17 we're restoring.

  5. #5
    Golden Hawk Member DEEPNHOCK's Avatar
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    My vintage (father and grandfather) brass hammers are legend.
    I cried when the metal handle broke on one.....
    (It has been saved for some future generation to bring it back to life... Like Walt Disney's head).

    Here's one method of restoration...


    HTIH (Hope The Info Helps)

    Jeff




    Note: SDC# 070190 (and earlier...)

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    Quote Originally Posted by DEEPNHOCK View Post
    My vintage (father and grandfather) brass hammers are legend.
    I cried when the metal handle broke on one.....
    (It has been saved for some future generation to bring it back to life... Like Walt Disney's head).

    Here's one method of restoration...
    Thanks, I had thought about doing something like that but this proves it's a viable concept. While the hammer looks classic, I'll see about the functionality when I've used it a few times and then decide.

    Bob
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockne10 View Post
    I would leave it be, as it imparts a great deal of character and shows it has been driven hard, much like yourself.
    A lot of truth there. Bob
    , ,

  8. #8
    Golden Hawk Member DEEPNHOCK's Avatar
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    (joke)

    It's like the 'SweetOldBob Hammer Torture'........

    (That's where you hit yourself in the head with a (brass) hammer....because it feels so good when you stop)...


    HTIH (Hope The Info Helps)

    Jeff




    Note: SDC# 070190 (and earlier...)

  9. #9
    Golden Hawk Member jclary's Avatar
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    Great conversation although the subject might seem quite trivial to many. My thoughts... like many artifacts used by humans, the condition in which we acquire a tool represents a portion of someone's life journey. Not only did it contribute some value to their life, due to that, it deserves some respect. So, (only my opinion), I think I would answer your question by saying what you do with the hammer (or any tool), depends on what your purpose is and how you intend to use it.

    Every blow causing the current condition of the hammer face was delivered with purposeful intent. Regardless of the capabilities of the user, I think it is respectful to assume the intent was to either build, correct, or complete a task worth doing. If you merely want to have the tool as a "keepsake," then I believe keeping the tool unaltered is a very respectful thing to do. However, if your purpose is to keep it as a functioning tool, and its current condition would not meet your needs, then I believe the former owner(s) would be proud and honored that you restore it to a useful tool and make it as functional to your life's journey as it was for theirs. That would allow it to build a legacy of contribution...the more souls the better!
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    Golden Hawk Member DEEPNHOCK's Avatar
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    Good point(s), John...
    Tools are a personal thing. They can also be as addictive as Studebakers.
    Hi, My name is Jeff.. I am a tool addict...
    Ok, ok, back to the hammer subject dejour...

    Here are my current three brass hammers.
    The small one on the right was my grandfathers.
    That is the one the tugged at my heartstrings when I was delivering numerous blows with purposeful intent.
    It just broke. Still won't dispose of it. Never will.
    The middle one was my fathers. I don't know where he got it, or if he made it. He very well might have made it himself.
    Still use it occasionaly. It, too will never leave. Passed down to my daughters, maybe..
    The one on the left is mine. Don't remember where I got it.
    Probably from the pile of loose tools under my grandfathers workbench.
    But... I do remember breaking the old, dried out, handle.
    That was during a spirited blow that had purposeful intent, but totally inaccurate arcpath.
    Just tossed the broken handle hammer back in the toolbox.
    Recently a young helper was in the shop and the need to use the brass hammer arose.
    That brass hammer with the split handle was used as a learning class to teach the young'un the method needed to change a hammer handle
    (I keep a few new handles and wedge kits in one of the hammer drawers...just in case). He learned something that day.
    Good thread... Hit the nail on the head... Oh.. a pun


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    Quote Originally Posted by jclary View Post
    <snip>
    Every blow causing the current condition of the hammer face was delivered with purposeful intent. Regardless of the capabilities of the user, I think it is respectful to assume the intent was to either build, correct, or complete a task worth doing. If you merely want to have the tool as a "keepsake," then I believe keeping the tool unaltered is a very respectful thing to do. However, if your purpose is to keep it as a functioning tool, and its current condition would not meet your needs, then I believe the former owner(s) would be proud and honored that you restore it to a useful tool and make it as functional to your life's journey as it was for theirs. That would allow it to build a legacy of contribution...the more souls the better!
    HTIH (Hope The Info Helps)

    Jeff




    Note: SDC# 070190 (and earlier...)

  11. #11
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    Jeff

    I understand your attachment to the tools of your forefathers. I have a fair number of hand tools from both my Dad (twice the guy I'll ever be) and both grandfathers. Every time I use the tools it brings back fond memories of them.

    There was one at my dad's place like the middle one in your group but made of lead and really beat to crap. I think my brother has it. They just never had a brass one I could find and my guess was they couldn't cast brass so lead it was.

    Good things, Bob
    , ,

  12. #12
    President Member RadioRoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DEEPNHOCK View Post
    [/COLOR]

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    Can grandfather's one be welded, once the plastic or wood is removed from the handle?
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  13. #13
    Golden Hawk Member DEEPNHOCK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RadioRoy View Post
    Can grandfather's one be welded, once the plastic or wood is removed from the handle?
    Probably. Am saving it for a rainy day retirement project when the shop slows down.
    HTIH (Hope The Info Helps)

    Jeff




    Note: SDC# 070190 (and earlier...)

  14. #14
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    Am sure you probably already know this, but it sure looks like you Granddad's handle & shaft began life as a screwdriver.
    I have several of them; steel frame with riveted wooden inserts.
    If so, your fix might be to repurpose another old screwdriver to serve as a new handle & shaft?
    Not trying to be sacrilegious but you know that old joke "Its my favorite axe, I've replaced the head twice and the handle 5 times."

  15. #15
    Golden Hawk Member jclary's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skyway View Post
    Am sure you probably already know this, but it sure looks like you Granddad's handle & shaft began life as a screwdriver.
    I have several of them; steel frame with riveted wooden inserts.
    If so, your fix might be to repurpose another old screwdriver to serve as a new handle & shaft?
    Not trying to be sacrilegious but you know that old joke "Its my favorite axe, I've replaced the head twice and the handle 5 times."
    I would say it's possible...but...in addition to having a screwdriver (or two) lying around with a similar handle, I believe I even have an old monkey wrench with a handle made like that. I believe back in the late nineteenth & early twentieth century, such artistic tool work was common. I also believe it is just as likely that that hammer handle could have been a repurposed screwdriver. Removing the remaining portion from the hammerhead could reveal if so. Also, if it really wasn't made for a hammer, it could explain why the handle failed under side loading impacts of hammer blows. Of course, most of my brass, plastic, and lead hammers were never intended to be used for huge impacts, but somewhat delicate work to lessen the chance of damaging the object being worked on.

    Like I said earlier...a fun conversation.
    John Clary
    Greer, SC
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  16. #16
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    Yep they made a lot of things with that handle, even hammers, it's called Perfect Pattern.

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    I would just smooth out and square the surfaces of the faces and use the hammer.

    Most of the tools that I got from my father are commercial tools. I do have one item that he made in the factory that he was working at in 1917, when he was 15. I believe that he worked 12 hours per day for six days per week there.
    Gary L.
    Wappinger, NY

    SDC member since 1968
    Studebaker enthusiast much longer

  18. #18
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    "Yep they made a lot of things with that handle, even hammers, it's called Perfect Pattern."

    Live and Learn; thanks!

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