Repousse Hammer

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Project by bobasaurus posted 12-29-2015 06:46 PM 1848 views 1 time favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I made this repousse/chasing hammer for my dad’s christmas gift. He does a lot of hobby jewelry making and collects/uses these hammers. I fabricated the head myself by milling and grinding down some O1 tool steel drill rod, then my dad heat treated it in his digital kiln before I made the handle. The handle is osage orange, and was rather messy to turn (as shown in the fourth picture). We tried it out yesterday and it works well, though is maybe a bit hard compared to his existing hammers… maybe would have been better to leave it annealed, or temper to an even softer spring (we did 700 deg F for a hard spring).

I’ve made handles for three other repousse hammers with restored antique heads, but this is the first where I’ve made the head. Here is one of my older handles:

Edit: we have since annealed the head and it performs much better, very similar to his existing hammers. Each blow sticks into the tool slightly instead of just glancing off, giving better control.

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

9 comments so far

View racerglen's profile


3112 posts in 2979 days

#1 posted 12-29-2015 07:24 PM

Very well done, looking at redoing a couple of old handles that are on similar type heads, couple just have dowels, too short and ill ballanced.

-- Glen, B.C. Canada

View peteg's profile (online now)


4423 posts in 3021 days

#2 posted 12-29-2015 07:26 PM

What a great example of craftsmanship Bob, you have made a great job of the head & a handle to suit, Bet Dad was real pleased with this beauty, well done
(used to have one of these Bob but never knew what it was used for)

-- Pete G: If you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got

View JoeinGa's profile


7739 posts in 2205 days

#3 posted 12-29-2015 07:58 PM

What a cool little hammer ! I made a hammer way back in 9th grade shop class, but I seem to have lost it somewhere along the way. It was very similar to this style.

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14179 posts in 4181 days

#4 posted 12-29-2015 09:23 PM

Cool hammer. I have one similar. It is very handy.

Is still want to make one of these…
Click for details

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View majuvla's profile


13353 posts in 3066 days

#5 posted 12-30-2015 04:58 AM

It’s realy long and very well shaped. Isn’t it too thin in upper section?

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View bobasaurus's profile


3544 posts in 3382 days

#6 posted 12-30-2015 05:05 AM

It’s made to be very thin and springy, allowing for good rebound in use to reduce fatigue. These hammers are meant for continuous light tapping, not heavy blows. I wanted to make it even thinner, but it was bouncing around on the lathe too much.

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

View CFrye's profile (online now)


10481 posts in 2038 days

#7 posted 12-30-2015 09:08 AM

Glad you put your mark on it, Allen! Great looking hammer. Thanks for sharing.

-- God bless, Candy

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

8549 posts in 2527 days

#8 posted 12-30-2015 06:39 PM

That’s a very nifty little hammer.

I’m interested in knowing about your dad’s kiln…. sounds expensive.

-- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

View Scott Oldre's profile

Scott Oldre

1101 posts in 3630 days

#9 posted 12-31-2015 02:10 PM

very cool looking hammer

-- Scott, Irmo SC

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