Family restored

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Project by Dan Krager posted 03-03-2013 12:56 PM 1089 views 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Family restored
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Here is a nice family, Mr. and Mrs. Ballpeen Hammer with Junior. The handles were broken off and the heads were rusty and dirty. Now they have a new lease on life with solid ash, custom turned handles. The heads have been custom fitted into a cradle that helps suppress vibration from the blows and forms a strong cushion should the target be missed, which is the cause of most broken handles. No expoxy, just good mechanics and tight fit.

-- Dan Krager, Olney IL

12 comments so far

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

8549 posts in 1960 days

#1 posted 03-03-2013 01:24 PM

They look beautiful, Dan. Nice pieces that will be kept in the family a lifetime! :)


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View helluvawreck's profile


18766 posts in 1907 days

#2 posted 03-03-2013 01:27 PM

A worthy cause. Nice work.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View LukieB's profile


962 posts in 1370 days

#3 posted 03-03-2013 02:02 PM

Dan, they look awesome! very nice work.

-- Lucas, "Someday woodworks will be my real job, until then, there's this"

View Don W's profile

Don W

16669 posts in 1607 days

#4 posted 03-03-2013 02:45 PM

Nice. I like the turtle neck handles. How did you cut the cradles?

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


1443 posts in 1449 days

#5 posted 03-03-2013 04:23 PM

Very nice, they have relatives that live in my toolbox.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View Dan Krager's profile

Dan Krager

2520 posts in 1274 days

#6 posted 03-03-2013 04:32 PM

The handle part was trivial turning. I decided to turn these instead of make them oval with a drawknife as I have done with some in the past. I discovered that more time should be spent on how the head was connected, so I reduced the time spent on the handle by turning. Besides, the humps offer a comfortable, hand filling grip at different balance points as good or better than what I was doing with the draw knife.
I turned the head tenon to the size of the longest part of the head opening. I undercut the tenon shoulder to match the curve of the casting. Then I drew the outline of the head opening on the end of the tenon and quickly removed all the irrelevant waste with a saw, chisel, and scraper. I continued scraping until the head could be forced to the shoulder, focusing on the areas marked by the head at each “fitting”. I was careful to keep the head oriented the same way each fitting because the ovals are unique to each head and not regular. I was also careful about grain orientation of handle to head, trying to keep 45 degree or less to the axis of the head. This makes the wedges, driven parallel to the grain open the tip of the handle into the widest part of opening in the strongest possible way. Before driving the wedges, however, I flattened the sides of the collar and cut more relief where needed with carving chisels. I wanted the head to be cradled in the collar to help diffuse the twisting shock of the head upon impact. And it is less likely that the head will be snapped off on a missed stroke. They may not be the prettiest hammer in the drawer, but I’ll bet they outlast some of their brothers… It’s humble work, but I still want it to be the best available. There are some 12 LB sledge heads with 18” handles I made for the concrete pump trucks that have lasted two years so far and are still basically unmarred. Dirty, but solid. I even checkered two of them to see if that improved the grip in the muddy slippery conditions, and it does seem to be working.

-- Dan Krager, Olney IL

View Don W's profile

Don W

16669 posts in 1607 days

#7 posted 03-03-2013 04:38 PM

they are great custom handles. Thanks for the explanation.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


1443 posts in 1449 days

#8 posted 03-03-2013 10:26 PM

Good explanation, helps with setting up my own, thanks!

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View a1Jim's profile


113725 posts in 2617 days

#9 posted 03-03-2013 10:28 PM

They look nice and sturdy.

-- Custom furniture

View RobynHoodridge's profile


126 posts in 1369 days

#10 posted 03-04-2013 11:17 AM

Yes! Somebody else who understands the boon of broad shoulders. Nice work.

-- Never is longer than forever.

View Chrisysue's profile


30 posts in 992 days

#11 posted 03-05-2013 09:56 AM

Very nicely done, they look to pretty to use.

-- Chrisy & Larry GR. MI.

View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 1216 days

#12 posted 03-06-2013 03:02 PM

Beautiful hammers! Like the nice shape of the handles, looks really sturdy and handy with your detailed and helpful explanation. Thanks for sharing!

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