Let’s get hammered

A little project while I’m waiting for paint to dry. For some reason, I like little hammers but they can be hard to find. Seems like a good excuse to make one. Hammer heads are a lot more complicated than they look; hardness varies throughout the head, some faces are softer at the edges than at the center. There is a preferred bevel(s) to the handle hole (to keep the head on the handle). But I’m ignoring all that and am going to just wing it and see what happens. I’ll use mild steel for the body and weld on some O1 faces.

After the fact, I did a bunch of Goggling to try and find out hammer steel types, heat treats, actual hardness, and whatever else applies to hammers. Lots of talk, not enough numbers. About the best thing I found was a Google scan of a Popular Science Dec 1945 how-to article on making your own hammers. Pretty good.

We pick up the story about half way though. I’ve milled a chunk of 3/4″ mild steel rod to cut a 5/16″ slot (about 15/16″ long, I think I was going for 7/8″) and cut hex flats (I used a hex collet holder). I didn’t measure any of this, just cutting by eye.
Here, the rod is mounted in the lathe and I’ve used a round bit to cut the neck and step. Then some clean up with files.
Time for a break, some tea and more painting so I took a pic.

OK, I lied, I had doodled something but it doesn’t look like what I made. Here is the part minus the tool steel faces. I flubbed the second neck, so I made the second face smaller. If I had thought of it, that would have been the plan so this goof has a happy ending. The little detail to notice here is the chamfers on the ends: I’ll use those to ensure a deep weld.

A 1/8″ O1 face plate attached with a massive overkill weld. I’m going to grind and machine off everything to the original diameter.This is a two pass weld:  the first (root) pass is a “fusion” (nofiller) weld, mostly so I can see I have penetration to the bottom of that bevel. For the second pass, I used a stainless steel filler, basically because I like the color. But lordly, is it ever a pain in the butt to machine.

Mostly done, just the heat treat, beveling the handle hole, polishing (or painting), making the handle and putting the two together left to go. Hmm, suddenly I’m tired.
On the left face, you can see a vertical stripe that is the stainless filler. And a weld pit if you look closely. 2 3/4″ long, 3.5oz.

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