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Looking After A Hammer





Like all hand tools, hammer heads should always be kept clean and free of chips and scratches. A clean hammer head is less likely to slip off a nail head, so inspect it before use and, if necessary, give it a polish with a fine emery cloth. Remember that if you use your hammer around adhesive, try to remove it before it sets.

The heads of wooden handled hammers sometimes become loose. To cure this problem hold the hammer vertically and thumper it handle first, on a block of wood until the head is firm on the handle.

You should then knock metal wedges into the wood in the eye of the head until the wood fills the whole of the eye. You can buy these from DIY shops and tool shops.

If the handle becomes split of broken, fit a new one. Replacement handles come in various sizes, and if you are in doubt about what to buy, take the hammer head to the store to compare it or ask for advice.

To fit the new handle, start by sawing through the old handle just below the head. Next, place the head in a vice. When using a woodworking vice protect the jaws with a piece of wood.

With the head secured, work between any metal wedges that may be there and drill out as much wood as you can. Knock out the remainder of the wood using a hammer and nail punch or a piece of dowel as a drift.

Try the new handle for size. Shape it with a wood rasp until it just slips tightly into the eye of the head then finish off with medium grade glass paper.

Use a tenon saw to cut a wedge slot in the end of the handle, to about two thirds the depth of the head. You can mke the wedge itself from scrap hardwood.

To ensure a tight fit, wrap the handle in a polythene bag, excluding as much air as possible, and leave it in the fridge overnight. Just before you put the two parts together, pop the head in a pan of boiling water for ten minutes. These two processes shrink the handle and expand the head temporarily.

Knock the head and handle together with another hammer, making ure you protect the handle with aa piece of waste wood, then drive in the wooden wedge.

Finally drive in two ready made metal wedges at right angles to the wooden wedge, can clean off the end with coarse grade glass paper.

To protect the hammer handle against dirt or damp, its worthwhile ether to give it a couple of coats of varnish or treat it with linseed oil. Apply the oil with a soft cloth, let I seep in thoroughly and repeat the process at least twice.

Many people these days buy a solid hammer with a steel handle. I personally prefer the feel and grip of wood. A well looked after hammer should last a life time.

Remember measure twice, cut once.
About Author Paul Disley :

Johan Nickson is a hand tool expert <a href="http://www.powertooldirect.co.uk" target="_blank">http://www.powertooldirect.co.uk</a>


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Article Added on Wednesday, March 12, 2008
LD
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