Perfectly Balanced Hammer

This might be the most perfectly balanced hammer.┬áLet’s come back to this,

boiler making - K N Harris

I’ve been flicking through and reading sections of K. N. Harris’ book on boilers and boiler making. This is in response to me trying to develop the small vertical boiler.

This is a great book and covers design, building and operating boilers.

I spotted a simple drawing for a riveting hammer and just had to have a go at making it. I made some slight changes to the plan, but dimensionally it is the same.

Harris boiler book and parts of the hammer

The hammer is really simple, 1/2″ diameter brass handle, 3/16″ diameter silver steel shaft and 3/8″ square mild steel head.

The 1/2″ round brass handle is lightly knurled.

The silver steel shaft I threaded ME 3/16″ x 40tpi at each end. This was threaded into the head and then the end was peened into the hole and filed flat.

The shaft is also threaded into the handle end. This end I just threaded in tight.

On both the handle and the head I countersunk the holes slightly at 3/16″ so that the thread on the shaft was completely hidden.

Harris book hammer
Harris book hammer

The head of the hammer has a flattish end and a tapered end. Both ends are rounded and smoothed.

Once I hade filed, polished and drilled and tapped I then hardened both ends.

As this head is made from mild steel I case hardened the ends using EKP’s case hardening powder. This works really well, but I repeat the process 3 times on each end to ensure I get the steel on the surface as hard as possible before quenching.

The result is a perfectly balanced hammer. It is difficult to put into words just how good this hammer feels in the hand and to use.


planishing hammer

Planishing Hammer

This little planishing hammer again uses a case hardened mild steel head.

The handle has some colour added using rosewood.

Overall this little hammer gets used quite a lot in my model making, feels great in the hand and has a light touch.

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